NOW Readers’ Choice 2020- VOTE Until October 28th

Support your favourite local places and people by voting for them in NOW Readers’ Choice Awards!

There are so many local nominees to choose from so have fun and don’t forget to show Riverside some love!

Voting ends October 28th! VOTE NOW

Here are some of the incredible nominees for NOW Readers’ Choice from right here in Riverside:

Blackbird Baking Co – BEST BAKERY
Hi-Lo – BEST BAR
Tabule Middle Eastern– BEST MIDDLE EASTERN RESTAURANT
Common Sort – BEST CONSIGNMENT CLOTHING AND ACCESSORY STORE
Arts Market – BEST FLEA/LOCAL MARKET and BEST INDEPENDENT JEWELLERY STORE and BEST UNIQUE GIFT STORE and BEST VINTAGE CLOTHING STORE (WOW!!!)
Lone & Co – BEST HAIR SALON
Dresden Vision -BEST OPTICAL STORE

NOW Readers Choice Nominations are Open Until September 24th!

Support your favourite local places and people by nominating them in NOW Readers’ Choice Awards!

There are so many nomination categories to choose from so have fun and don’t forget to show Riverside some love!

Nominate until 9/24 @ 1:00am Eastern 

Vote f the nominees Starting 9/28 @ 1:01am Eastern

Here are some of the incredible past nominees for NOW Readers’ Choice and great ideas for more nominees from right here in Riverside:

Blackbird Baking Co – BEST BAKERY
The Comrade – BEST BAR
Butchers of Distinction – BEST BUTCHER
Eastbound Brewing Co – BEST INDEPENDENT BREWERY
Tabule Middle Eastern– BEST MIDDLE EASTERN RESTAURANT
The John Bar 3 – BEST SPORTS BAR
Chez Nous – BEST WINE LIST
Ride Away Bikes – BEST BICYCLE STORE
Queen Garden Centre – BEST LANDSCAPERS
Quince Flowers – LOCAL FLORIST
Irish Design House – BEST LOCAL FACE MASK DESIGNER
Common Sort – BEST CONSIGNMENT CLOTHING AND ACCESSORY STORE
Arts Market – BEST UNIQUE GIFT STORE
Good Juice Box Vintage – BEST VINTAGE CLOTHING STORE
Riverside – BEST NEIGHBOURHOOD
Dimensions – BEST INDEPENDENT GALLERY
Tiny Record Shop – BEST RECORD STORE

You can easily vote for them again and any others you’d like!! Check out our Riverside Business Directory to refresh your mind on your favs and give them some love!

Celebrating 50 Years of BIAs

Did you know 50 yrs ago today, the world’s first BIA was created right here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada?

Riverside BIA is proud to be one of the first dozen in Toronto, having formed in 1980 (see photo: my how the streetscape has changed?!). This year we are commemorating and celebrating all the amazing memories with our ‘Riverside 40 Years, 40 Stories’ series.

THANK YOU to all our incredible BIA colleagues, members, partners and collaborators for all they do- we could not make this all work without TEAMWORK!!!

The history- 50 Years of BIAs

Business Improvement Area (BIA) legislation was enacted in Ontario, Canada, and became Section 204-217 of the Municipal Act. Bloor West Village in Toronto became the pioneer of the BIA concept and was designated as the first BIA on September 16, 1970. Celebrating #BIAweek and #50yearsforward of BIAs.

We are proud to stand today with over over 80 BIAs in Toronto and 300 BIAs in Ontario. The dedication and hard work of many enrich the lives of our business community daily making stronger, safer, vibrant, and healthy. Happy Anniversary BIAs!

Read all about in the Toronto BIA Association’s News Release

BE A TOURIST. #ShowLoveTO. Riverside Edition

Did you know there are 100+ local attractions in Riverside’s 10 blocks?!  Be A Tourist, locally by getting to know local landmarks, businesses, community spaces, and public art, right here in Toronto’s Riverside.

Piggy-backing on the #ShowLoveTO campaign, we’re sharing the many ways to get to know this incredible neighbourhood: browse our online directory, explore the Riverside Online Marketplace, and check out our full map and links below to explore some of Riverside’s popular attractions including public art, breweries, hotels, music venues and more.

Get to know the Riverside Bridge

Riverside Bridge illuminated nightly (Photo credit: Ford Thurston RE/MAX Hallmark)

Get to know Riverside’s Coffee Culture

Get to know Riverside’s Public Art

Riverside Pollinator Mural (Artist: Nick Sweetman)

Get to know Riverside Breweries

Get to know The Broadview Hotel

The Broadview Hotel (Illustration by: Ria Kapoor)

Get to know The Opera House

The Opera House-30 years-Riverside, Toronto

Get to Know the Riverside BIA – it’s our 40th anniversary in 2020!

Get to Know the Humans of Riverside

‘Humans of Riverside’ series Launches as Part of iheART Mainstreet Art Challenge

On September 1, 2020, the Riverside BIA got together with local BIPOC artists Bareket Kezner and Yshmael Cabana, the STEPS Initiative, RBC and community members to launch the ‘Humans of Riverside’ story telling series a part of the iheART Mainstreet Art Challenge.

The Riverside BIA – located along Toronto’s Queen Street East from the iconic bridge over the Don River to just past De Grassi St – is proud to celebrate diversity and inclusiveness with the story-telling series: “Humans of Riverside: Giving Voice and Making Space for BIPOC”. The project was launched in summer 2020 in collaboration with BIPOC writer and editor Grace Cameron, artists Bareket Kezwer (@bkez) and Yshmael Cabana (@_yshyshysh), and local residents, business owners and other community members, to bring public art and story-telling to Queen Street East in the Riverside BIA. This project is supported by STEPS Initiative (@STEPSInitiative) and RBC as part of their iheart Mainstreet Art Challenge.

Launch of Humans of Riverside series as part of the iheart Mainstreet Art Challenge, September 2020

Launch of Humans of Riverside series as part of the iheart Mainstreet Art Challenge at Eastbound Brewing Co, 700 Queen St E, September 2020

The “Humans of Riverside: Giving Voice and Making Space for BIPOC” story-telling project makes physical space in storefront windows for BIPOC artists, and gives voice to stories from local BIPOC community members in Riverside. Each piece of art and each story shared has a bigger meaning that connects to the local business/window and to the BIPOC community member by sharing a link/QR code to their full story online. The Main Street Art Challenge brings this new and ongoing storytelling series to life, and the art produced for the challenge will continue to live virtually beyond the Main Street Art Challenge as part of the ongoing ‘Humans of Riverside‘ storytelling initiative.

Write/Editor Grace Cameron with community member Drew Dopwell who share a story as part of Humans of Riverside and the iheart Mainstreet Challenge

Write/Editor Grace Cameron with community member Drew Dopwell who share a story as part of Humans of Riverside and the iheart Mainstreet Challenge, at the September 2020 launch of the series in Toronto’s Riverside BIA

The artists Bareket Kezner and Yshmael Cabana at the launch of the Humans of Riverside iheart Mainstreet Challenge in Riverside at Eastbound Brewing Co

The artists Bareket Kezner and Yshmael Cabana at the launch of the Humans of Riverside iheart Mainstreet Challenge in Riverside at Eastbound Brewing Co, 700 Queen St E

Read the full stories and visit the art works:

Charlene‘s Story: east-facing window at 660 Queen Street East (Quince)

Omar’s Story: Queen St window at 4 Munro Street (Oma)

Drew’s Story: window at 686 Queen Street East (The John)

Grace’s Story: window at 700 Queen Street East (Eastbound)

Rohit’s Story: west-facing window at 800 Queen Street East

The Riverside BIA wishes to thank:

The storytellers. We are proud to showcase all these incredible community members, artists, business owners and the stories of family, food, perseverance, legacy, and unstoppable strength. Thank you for sharingOmar (owner of Pizzaiolo), Drew (BIA maintenance staff), Rohit (owner of Indian Spice Room), Charlene (community kitchen at RTCC), Grace (special thanks as our ‘Humans of Riverside series writer/editor’).

The business owners/managers who are giving space on their windows for the storytellers: Dave of Eastbound Brewing Co,  Josh of The John, Adrienne of Oma Chiropractic & Wellness, Derek and Andre, Rosie and the team at Quine Flowers.

The artists: Bareket Kezwer and Yshmael Cabana

The story writer/ editor Grace Cameron.

The STEPS Initiative and RBC for their support of the iheART Mainstreet Initiative.