New Faces at the Riverside BIA

This winter, the Riverside BIA has been extremely lucky to have on board two volunteer interns from George Brown College.  We would like to welcome Alysha Ford and Ai Kobayashi, who are the newest east-enders to be walking the streets of Riverside.

Alysha Ford

Alysha Ford

Alysha will be with us for 7 weeks and is currently a second year George Brown College student studying in Special Event Planning, with much experience in fashion merchandising, the world of Bridal, and event coordination. When Alysha is not helping out with an event you can find her sipping tea and reading many bridal magazines. Alysha comes from the small city of Stratford ON, but has always thought of herself as a true upper East-Sider girl. Alysha hopes to one day have her own Event Company, but as for right now, glad to be giving back to you Riverside!




Ai Kobayashi

Ai Kobayashi

Ai will be with us for 14 weeks and is a first year student at George Brown College studying Strategic Relationship Marketing. She is looking forward to getting experience in marketing, event coordination, and streetscape as well as getting acquainted in admin tasks. Ai is very excited to work for Riverside District and is really looking forward to meeting the interesting people who have businesses in the Riverside BIA!

We are thrilled to start the New Year with these two talented interns. If you see them around be sure to say hi.


Care Food Drive-A Voice for Those to Help Others Who Don’t Have a Voice.

Core Food Drive

This morning, I went shopping with Dale Sonier from Riverside’s macFAB to purchase a trunk load of food for the CARE Food Drive, which  Linda Sargeant from Core Realty (747 Queen E – in Riverside) has been running for 12 years.  Linda’s aim it to help people who are beyond the reach of the food bank.  For whatever reason, they are in need, and can’t reach out – Linda is reaching out to them.   This really is a grass-roots drive, and started with Linda wanting to do something.  The first year, she and her friends donated, wrapped and delivered 50 gift baskets of food – and today, they are at over 500 baskets that will be delivered.

Dale Sonier from macFAB purchasing a truckload of food for Care Food Drive

Dale Sonier from macFAB purchasing a truckload of food for Care Food Drive

There is a wide range of recipients from refugees new to Canada,spending their first Holiday Season here; to Seniors who are in need; to 1st Nations Families and more.  Recepient organizations include:  Nellie’s, Ernestine’s, Red Door Shelter, Woodgreen Community Centre, MCC Refugee Program and more)

The Care Food Drive really is a voice for people that want to help those who aren’t able or willing to use their voice.  This is the 2nd year macFAB’s Dale Sonier has put a bin in his store, and he has more than doubled the donations from last year.  Dale, says that this drive speaks to him.  As a child, Dale was raised by a single mother along with his 3 other siblings, and they had very little.  The only gift he ever got under his tree came from a toy drive.  Dale knows first hand how these drives make a difference.

Linda’s support crew is small, but mighty.  She works with local East End public schools – Pape Avenue Public School, Jackman Public School and Riverdale Collegiate.  Plus local businesses have set up donation bins including macFAB, Pape Market Foodland, , TD Bank (Logan), Baby on the Hip and several Queen West Shops.

Linda’s workshop is run right out of her Core Realty Offices in Riverside’s Queen East – her staff and friends are busy sorting and wrapping and coordinating deliveries.  Each gift is beautifully wrapped and hand delivered to the person/family in need.

Linda Sargeant and her team sorting and wrapping at Core Realty Offices (747 Queen E)

Linda Sargeant and her team sorting and wrapping at Core Realty Offices (747 Queen E)

Initially Linda was concerned with the situation in the public schools, and the ability to get their support – but the Community in rallying, and food donations are coming in…There are always more in need…Please give – there is still time – donations are being accepted until Sunday Dec 23rd.  Please click  here for more details

Linda Sargeant from Core Realty, ready to deliver Holiday Food Hampers

Linda Sargeant from Core Realty, ready to deliver Holiday Food Hampers


Thanks Linda for helping make a difference!

Just another great reason why Riverside is the Best Neighbourhood in Toronto!!


Prohibition Gastro House wins 2012 Riverside Streetscape Award of Excellence

Prohibition Gastro House Wins 2012 Riverside Streetsape Award of Excellence

Prohibition Gastro House Wins 2012 Riverside Streetscape Award of Excellence

Riverside Streetscape Committee Chair Rachel Conduit,  presented the inaugural Golden Broom – Riverside Streetscape Award of Excellence to Michael Summerfield, owner Prohibition Gastro House at 696 Queen St East in Riverside, during the Nov 2012 Riverside Annual General Meeting. Rachel accepted on Micheal’s behalf and quoted from a conversion the BIA had with Michael earlier in the year

“When we started Prohibition over 5 years ago people were very excited seeing us as a catalyst to turn the community around; attracting other like-minded businesses.  Looking back, and forward I believe we have accomplished that.

I am here 7 days a week during the day and am a huge supporter of our developing fledgling community.

We pride ourselves on being the best at what we do; constantly improving and developing our Brand to embed ourselves deeper in the community as a hole in a positive manner.”

Michael Summerfield, Owner Prohibition Gastro House


Rachel explained the Streetscape Award of Excellence was established to recognize a Riverside Business who consistently goes above and beyond to beautify their store and street level presence.  She outlined Prohibition’s efforts as follows:

  • every morning – sweep sidewalks
  • weekly powerwash
  • employ security staff on weekends for crowd control
  • seasonal window displays
  • support the neighbourhood by donating helium at all BIA events + more
  • good citizen with staff  saying “hello” and “Thank-you” to BIA Maintenance Staff
  • plus more…

Rachel is a bar owner herself (Riverside’s The Avro and Kensington Market’s The Handle Bar), and having your peers recognize excellence is one of the reasons the Riverside BIA is such a special place.

Please join us in congratulation Michael and his staff at Prohibition Gastro House.