Help Bring Bixi Bikes to #RiversideTO

Hey Riverside – Help make it easier for people to travel and shop in the East End!  Please click the Bixi Bike Support link and sign this petition to expand Bixi!!  It will only take 10 seconds, and will help make a difference!!

april bixi

Toronto businesses see BIXI as an important service for attracting customers and making commuting easier.   It’s great for our neighbourhood is so many ways (environment, health, businesses, accessability, and so much more)

The demand for BIXI is significant. Given the high level of ridership and demand at the edges of the service area, Cycle Toronto wants to see an expansion across a larger service area.

In 2011, Toronto launched the BIXI public bike system with 1,000 bicycles in a condensed service area. This was well behind many other cities  who launched their public bike systems on a much wider scale. Montreal launched with 3,000 bicycles in 2009 and expanded to 5,000 bicycles in the same year. Toronto’s system originally called for 3,000 bicycles distributed between Dupont Street to the north, Lake Ontario to the south, Broadview Avenue to the east and High Park to the west…..We are still waiting….Riverside has been campaigning to expand Bixi Bikes to the East End for almost 2 years!!  Let’s keep up the effort!!

BIXI is ideal for short trips and provides relief to overcrowded streetcars, buses and subways.  It just makes sense!!

Please – do your part –  visit the link, sign your name…it will only take a moment of time, and can help make a difference.

And…share this request broadly – pass this along!!!!!

Many Thanks

Your friends, neighbours and businesses in Riverside!



Jane’s Walk – May 5, 2013

Hey Riverside,

Jane’s Walk is approaching  fast! On May 5, 2013 from 11:00 AM – 12:45 PM, you can experience all the main locations that have made and enhanced Riverside into this amazing neighborhood that we all love and enjoy.

“Take a walk down Riverside’s Historic Queen Street East and have a walking conversation on how things are made in Toronto’s Riverside District. Although known for its heritage buildings, award-winning restaurants, and the street that inspired the cult classic Degrassi TV series, Riverside’s secret also lies in its artisans and community builders of many sorts.  Get a behind the scenes view of where and how everything from fashion and furniture designs, to streetscaping and community parks are made in Riverside. “

Made in Riverside

1. (start) The Ralph Thornton Centre – making community,

2. Bergstrom Originals – making Fashion,

3. Olive & Olives – making olive oil

4. Mac Fab workroom – re-making furniture and home furnishings

5. Hangman Gallery and Studio – making art

6. Quince Flowers – making flower arrangements

7. Streetcar – making homes

8. Joel Weeks Park and TCHC – a community making parks

9. (end) Matt Durant’s Studio –   remaking & reclaiming

Along the way we will explore making streetscapes and what makes a neighbourhood distinctive and inspiring to be in – you’ll never look at a street the same way!

Let us know you’re coming:

About the Jane’s Walk Leaders:

Morgen Peers, maps and plans neighbourhoods and builds outdoor furniture for the greater good. He is based in the Greater Toronto area, where he works with communities, institutions and governments to create better, more profitable places.

Rachel Conduit, is a local personality instrumental in reviving Toronto’s East End. Among her many initiatives, she has spearheaded local community garden projects, the East End Icon calendar – highlighting the area’s unsung heroes, has organized “The Little Art Show”, and a community East End Bike Ride. She is the owner of the “The Avro” in Riverside and “The Handlebar” in Kensington Market.

Anjuli Solanki, is the Director of Marketing and Events at the Riverside BIA and has a background in community engagement, public programming and urban research. She has a passion for public spaces and public art.

Thyme Again Gardens – Toronto CSA Program – JOIN NOW!

The concept of Community Supported Agriculture reflects an innovative and resourceful strategy to connect local farmers with local consumers. Consumers buy an annual membership in the CSA, and the farmer provides members with a weekly supply of farm fresh produce.

How long does the program run?
The season will run for 17 weeks from June 25th to October 15th

Where do I pick up my weekly basket?
At Olive & Olives, which is located at 779 Queen St East

When can I pick it up?
On Tuesday evenings between 4:00 p.m and 7:00 p.m

What does the 2013 Membership cost and how do I pay?
the cost of a Toronto membership for 2013 is $570
A deposit of $200.00 is payable upon registration
The balance of $370.00 is payable on first delivery June 25th

What will my weekly basket include?

The contents of your basket will depend on what’s growing on any given week- what’s available changes throughout the growing season. Typical spring produce includes radishes, rhubarb, asparagus, lettuce, spinach, arugula  mustard greens, green onions, strawberries, podding peas & sugar snaps. Summer brings Swiss chard, beans, zucchini, tomatoes, kale, carrots, beets, eggplant, cucumbers, endives, leeks and melons. And then in late summer and into fall, you’ll see squashes, tomatillos, tomatoes, kale, leeks, beets, carrots, garlic, cooking onions, peppers, radicchio, lettuce mixes, arugula, spinach, potatoes, sweet potatoes, melons, Chinese cabbage, radishes and rutabaga. And all throughout the season you’ll have access to a wide variety of fresh herbs like basil, parsley, fennel, oregano, lovage, thyme, sage, mint, dill and cilantro.

To Sign up you can contact
Lorraine at Thyme Again Gardens,
Mia at Olive & Olives, 416-551-8181,

DEADLINE  for registration is MAY 31, 2013
613 394 1139

Wine Rack’s Newest Member – Barb Michelis

Hello Riverside,

The Riverside BIA would like to introduce Barb Michelis, the new manager of The Wine Rack.

Barb has 20 years of experience in the wine industry and has been instrumental at improving different location’s quality, professionalism and reputation – she looks forward to making the Riverside Wine Rack the best it can be. Barb has worked in the Dufferin Mall Wine Rack for 15 years and Scarborough for one year, with all but one goal in mind. ‘Having a bigger store’, and that is just what she got.  When Barb accepted the management position she got relocated to right here in Riverside.

We asked Barb, “What do you want to achieve within this store?”

Here’s what she had to say: “I want to bring the sales & transactions up to what they have never been before and increase the reputation of this store. These goals will be easy to achieve considering the great and motivated staff within this store.“

We also wanted to find out: “What comments can you say about this store location in Riverside?”

“Riverside is a great area and community and I want to get more involved. Once I settle in with the store, I want to go out and network with all the local businesses here.”

Riverside, next time you walk by the Wine Rack, stop in and introduce yourself to Barb. We’re sure you won’t be sorry you did!

Barb-wine rack

















Guest Blogger: Kyla Danielis


Check out Artists’ Network Exhibit at RiversideTO BIA Office (#761 Queen St E)

The Riverside BIA is thrilled to exhibit local Artists from the Artists’ Network, featuring framing from Dimensions Custom Framing. Please pop in to the offices at 761 Queen St East to view work of 7 talented artists.  Their work and information about the Artists is outlined below.

About the Artists’ Network

Artists’ Network is a membership-based, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting visual artists in their business practice. They promote professional development, entrepreneurship and growth by organizing educational seminars, offering networking opportunities, providing business tools and developing exhibition opportunities. They work with individual artists, the community and arts organizations, as well as the private sector and all levels of government to promote the arts. And, they attract art lovers and collectors to experience members’ work.  For more information please click on this: Artist Network


About Dimensions Custom Framing

Dimensions Custom Framing adds it’s inviting convivial presence to trendy Riverside.  This fresh expansive gallery is the collaborative product of Ellen Davidson and Wendy Palmer, in business together for over 10 years.  Dimensions not only showcases works by emerging and established artists such as Donna Zekas, Janet Potter, Scott Johnston, Shawn Skier and Ileana Grimm but also homes a custom design framing empire where visions are brought to life by renown master framer Wendy Palmer.  Proud sponsors of non profits such as ACT, Art Gems and Interval House, both Ellen and Wendy create an engaging comfortable space bridging a dynamic visual mix of art in a friendly welcoming atmosphere.


Dimensions Custom Framing





Please scroll through the images and artists statements to see what is currently on exhibit in the Riverside BIA Offices.




Sewing up a strom

Sewing up a strom by JANET F POTTER

JANET F POTTER – Artist Statement: As an artist I have become totally indulged in urban environments and the surrounding nature from Newfoundland to Northern Ontario to Vancouver Island B.C. I’m extremely passionate about my art and use my tools to dream the dreams, see the visions, sketch the intricate detailed plans, and take the time to feel and view every aspect of my creation. My mediums include personal writings and drawings, partial photo transfers, silk screenings accompany with various mediums process onto Japanese Washi and Mylar Paper and Aluminum creating Paper Art and Art Book.


Downtown Toronto from The Air

Downtown Toronto from The Air by JUDY-ANN CAZEMIER




JUDY-ANN CAZEMIER – Judy-Ann’s Biography: Born, raised, and schooled on the Prairies, I received my first camera, a Kodak 174 instamatic, at age 10.  Since 1985, I have gained experience in scenic, portrait, and stock photography, and a few more cameras. One of my photos was used in an advertisement for Ontario Tourism in these well-known publications:  Time, People, National Geographic Traveler, and Reader’s Digest in 1992.  And more recently, in 2009, Ontario Tourism published one of my photos in their book:  Ontario:  Seasons of Discovery. I photographed three assignments for Seasons magazine.  Canadian Camera magazine published a design article, illustrated with sunflowers, and highlighted a portfolio submission in a second article.  I have two diplomas in photography from Humber College, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Winnipeg.


Winds from The East

Winds from The East by NANCY BENNETT

NANCY BENNETT – Nancy’s Bio and Artist Statement: As a life long artist and crafter, starting with knitting at age 7 and oil painting at age 10, I have expressed my creativity in weaving, sewing, woodworking, ceramics, quilting and soap making.  After a long hiatus, I returned to painting this past summer.

I’m inspired by the contrasts between the old and new structures in our neighbourhood and the beautiful skies.  The smokestacks, sometimes known as the Leslieville Twins, feature in many of my pieces. Their smoke (really it’s steam) indicates the force and direction of the wind. The colours change with the time of day till the blinking lights take over at night. I am a longtime fan of Tom Thomson. His portrayal of Canada was unusual at the time because he found beauty in the “ugly” wilderness. As a rural to urban transplant, it took me a while to recognize the beauty in old factories, rooftop HVAC equipment and smokestacks. Now that I see it, I have to paint it.




ALICIA TYSON – About Alicia: After spending the better part of a decade on the mid-Atlantic island of Bermuda, Alicia Tyson returned to Toronto inspired by the endless motion and restless energy of the sea. A descendent of seafaring Scandinavians, Alicia explores the depths of the canvas with broad gestures, colours and layers that appear to be forever shifting, rising and falling.Whether capturing the human figure, landscapes or her primal fascination with waterborne vessels, Alicia’s abstract images flow with no defined beginning or end, reflecting the nature of human entanglements, relationships and memory. Alicia has studied with Harold Klunder, John Leonard, Otis Tamasauskas and Peter Kolisnyk and graduated in Graphic Design at Sheridan College in Oakville, Canada. A full-time Professor at Niagara Collage, she teaches within the art and design program. Alicia also continues to design and paint. After 20 years of painting, Alicia Tyson has work featured in numerous private collections throughout Bermuda, Canada, England and the United States.


Seascape with Cliff

Seascape with Cliff by GABRIELE M. CRAIG

GABRIELE M. CRAIG – Gabriele’s Biography and Artist Statement in Brief: Gabriele Craig has been an artist throughout her life. Her training and studies began in Germany and continued in Canada after moving to Ottawa in 1969. What captures Gabriele’s interest is a representation of nature and the feelings our experiences of nature evoke. Her medium is water colour, mixed media and encaustic, these allow her to explore ways of using layers of colour to convey inner dispositions and feelings in an abstract manner, this enables the viewer to experience his or her own unique emotional reaction to her paintings. Her work has been exhibited in galleries in Ottawa, Kingston and Toronto.

New creations are works produced on Mylar, incorporating mixed media, i.e. working with oils, watercolour, inks, transfers, also including textured materials. This transparent material allows for the manipulation of images on both sides, front and back, creating double images or positive and negatives at the same time. The result has been the collection of Seascapes. Expressing herself and the world around her through drawing and painting has been a “Leitfaden” throughout her life. Her background as a cartographer and interior designer, both have influenced the style and images of her work. This found expression in the geometrically ordered, aesthetically pleasing, or ultimately organic images.


Receeding Time

Receeding Time by DONNA ZEKAS

DONNA ZEKAS – Artist Statement: My paintings are defined by colour and texture. I do not have specific images in my mind when I begin a painting. I work with numerous layers and make conscious decisions about whether to leave parts visible, obscured or covered. As I proceed with adding, subtracting, wiping away or pooling paint, I fuse the conscious and accidental.Each step is dictated by previous one and each layer is constructed with the knowledge that it will be altered… I react intuitively and rely on my instincts and impulses to both obscure and reveal what lies beneath.



Nudge by KING WONG


Las Vegas Don't Count

Las Vegas Don’t Count by KING WONG

KING WONG – Artist Statement:

My visions are reflections about human remnants of survival in a time-less and unfathomable world. Beyond is an exploration of context delving on our affinity with authentic real objects, figures and surrounding spaces. My paintings are pathways to exploring an awareness of what it means to “be”.



We hope you enjoyed the sampling of artwork from local East End Artists, if you want to see more, please visit the Riverside BIA offices at 761 Queen St E.  We appreciate your feedback, and invite you to leave  your comments.