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Living in Riverdale: Discover the Gateway to the East End

Considering a move to Riverdale? Find out why this charming, family-friendly community is one of the best places to live in the city…

For far too long, Toronto’s east-end neighbourhoods took a back seat to those further west. That’s changed. Today, you’ll now find some of the most sought-after real estate east of downtown—and Riverdale has quickly become a top choice for home hunters. While its central enough to provide easy access to the rest of the city, this well-established neighbourhood boasts quiet tree-lined streets, unique shops and eateries, and a well-established sense of community. If you’re thinking of calling Riverdale home, here’s what you need to know.

The basics

When it comes to location, Riverdale can’t be beat. Bordered by lively Greektown to the north and hip Leslieville to the east, it’s the perfect place for those who want to be close to the action. Its southern border, Lake Shore Boulevard, is part of what makes the area ideal for commuters. Riverdale is also known for its family-friendly quality, and it boasts some of the best schools in all of the GTA. As just two examples, Pape Avenue Junior School and Bennington Heights Elementary have both earned top Fraser Institute rankings.

Who lives in Riverdale?

Given the recent high demand for homes in Riverdale, there’s a good chance that your neighbours will be first-time buyers and young families. That said, this is also a mature neighbourhood, so you’ll likely meet a lot of upper-middle class professionals who have settled into their forever homes.

Where to eat & shop

Recently, Riverdale has become a culinary hotspot. Off the Hook is one of our favourite places to grab a bite. When you have a craving for fish and chips, this Broadview eatery is guaranteed to satisfy—and the dishes are a lot more creative than what you’ll find in most pubs. If you appreciate French cuisine, you’ll fall in love with Batifole. Located on Gerrard Street East, this intimate bistro serves up pitch-perfect classics like escargot and duck-leg confit. If it’s lighter fare (and a well-crafted latte) you’re after, try Riverdale Perk. From gourmet paninis to pistachio pie, we promise you’ll find something that hits the spot.

Those who engage in retail therapy will love exploring the shopping districts in Riverdale. There are a number of shops clustered on the Danforth (many of which serve the area’s Greek community), as well as a charming Chinatown around Gerrard and Broadview. Riverdale is also home to top-notch specialty boutiques. We love Knick Knack Paddywack for its unique pet products, and Pop Music for its extensive record collection. Bergstrom Originals is a must-visit for fans of colourful, retro-inspired women’s wear.

Things to do

Outdoorsy families will appreciate Riverdale’s gorgeous green spaces. Greenwood Park is our top pick. Within its 6.2 hectares, you’ll find baseball diamonds, a splash pad, an off-leash dog area, and more. Leslie Grove Park and Jimmie Simpson Park are other local favourites.

If you’re an arts enthusiast, you won’t want to miss the Riverdale Artwalk. This two-day exhibition, which takes place in early summer, is ideal for those looking to buy beautiful new works for their homes. Best of all, admission is free. Riverdale is also home to the Opera House, one of the most beloved venues in Toronto. A wide variety of acts perform here, and the stunning 1900s architecture is definitely worth taking in.

Getting around

Visiting other parts of Toronto and the GTA is a breeze for Riverdale residents. The area has several major subway stops along the Bloor-Danforth line, including Broadview, Chester, Pape, and Greenwood. There’s streetcar service on Gerrard, and the neighbourhood is well served by a number of bus routes. Riverdale is also very conveniently located for motorists, who can hop onto nearby Lake Shore Boulevard, the Gardiner, or the Don Valley Parkway.

Real estate

When it comes to real estate, you’ll find a variety of options in Riverdale—from condos and row houses to single-family homes. The area is blessed with beautiful living spaces, many of which were built in the Victorian and Edwardian periods. In particular, those looking for older detached homes that provide lots of space will adore the housing stock in Riverdale.

Looking for your dream home in Riverdale? Reach out to learn more about the neighbourhood—or check out some of the gorgeous listings in the area!

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