In this Riverside blog series, we’re taking you on a journey across the various landmarks, architecture and artworks of Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood. Check out our Instagram or this page to discover historical landmarks, architecture and artworks each week! Thanks to Lana Malykh for capturing these moments.
The Riverside Neighborhood
#GetToKnowRiversideTO – “Where’s Riverside?” On August 19, 1880, a Toronto Evening Globe clipping revealed the Dominion Government named the growing and enterprising area just east of the Don River “Riverside” and this name first shows up in a Goad’s Atlas of 1884. Fast forward to 1980, the Riverside BIA was formed (originally as the Queen/Broadview Village BIA), as one of the original dozen BIA’s in Toronto and now part of a family of over 80 BIAs in Toronto and growing. Just over 40 years later, the Riverside BIA has 100+ local small businesses who work together along with the @cityoftoronto @paulafletcher and many, many partners to improve, beautify, and promote the area as a whole. Thank you to all the incredible partnerships and collaborations that make this an amazing community in Toronto!
Queen East and Broadview Ave
#GetToKnowRiversideTO – How times have changed in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood! Until the 1880s, the intersection of Queen and Broadview (then called Kingston Rd & Don Mills Rd) was an eastern entrance to Toronto and a tollgate stood here in the middle of the road. The money from tolls – which came in pennies and half pennies – was gathered by the county and used to maintain and expand the road network, which was often surfaced with planks and in need of constant upkeep. Dingman’s Hall – today The Broadview Hotel @broadviewhotel – was opened in 1891 and would have seen the tollgate for a few years before the elimination of tolls in 1895. Fast forward to this photo from 2020 where we see the modern TTC street car crossing in front of the transformed Broadview Hotel in Riverside.
The Broadview Hotel
#GetToKnowRiversideTO – Located at 106 Broadview Ave, The Broadview Hotel is a modern yet historic boutique hotel located in the heart of Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood at the northwest corner of Queen/Broadview. It was originally built by Archibald Dingman in 1891 as a Romanesque-style hall for public gatherings. Over the years, this building changed from a rooming house called The Broadview House Hotel for people working in factories and on rail lines to clubs named Kicker’s and later Jilly’s. In 2014, the original heritage features of the exterior of this iconic building were restored and the interior was transformed into @thebroadviewhotel, with a rooftop patio with the best views of Toronto’s skyline
#GetToKnowRiversideTO – Located at 709 Queen St E is @brickworkscider. The name Brickworks is a tribute to Toronto rising from the ashes following The Great Fire of 1904. This story of resilience is also what inspired their first official cider – Batch: 1904. Find them at the south east corner of Queen and Broadview right here in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood.
The ‘Riverside BIA’ Brand
#GetToKnowRiversideTO – The vibrant pole wraps and banners in #RiversideTO are sure to catch your attention while along Queen St E. Since 2018, these striking colors along with images of local iconic art ‘Time: And A Clock’ by Eldon Garnet have become an indispensable part of Riverside BIA’s brand thanks to @geocdesign and the Riverside Marketing Committee made up of local business owners.⠀
#GetToKnowRiversideTO – Did you know the area around Woodgreen Place/Queen E has a long history of compassionate community service? ⠀
It’s the former location of the Woodgreen Methodist Church in the 1880s. @woodgreendotorg has since expanded throughout Toronto with a network of locations and programming designed to tackle homelessness, food insecurity, education, and they 37,000 people each year from 36 locations, including at 650 Queen E in Riverside. ⠀
This adjacent area has been home to @fontbonneministries, Sisters of St. Joseph, Toronto which was founded in 2000 to carry on the Sisters of St. Joseph’s tradition of caring for neighbours. Since their beginnings in France in 1648, the Sisters of St. Joseph have offered food and shelter to those in need. When Sister Delphine Fontbonne and three other Sisters arrived in Toronto in 1851, they continued this legacy of compassion. For example, their Mustard Seed location here at 791 Queen E saw an immediate need when the pandemic hit and started up a Lunch Program serving anyone in the community 3 days a week.⠀
The Opera House/The Hub
#GetToKnowRiversideTO – Located at 735 Queen St E, this building was originally known as the La Plaza Theatre, an Edwardian vaudeville stage seating 900 people. Over its 125+ years, the building has transformed itself many times from a cinema to, since 1989 The Opera House @operahouseto music venue, and over the pandemic has become The Hub in Toronto @thehubintoronto a full broadcast + content capture studio. THE HUB offers a low risk, high value, full-service approach that is designed to support all levels of innovation. Concerts, keynote speeches, product launches, comedy shows, information sessions and content capture are just a few of the flexible options that this venue can provide.⠀
Stephan Caras Int’l Headquarters
#GetToKnowRiversideTO – This heritage building at 744 Queen E first opened In 1905 as the Canadian Bank of Commerce. Much has changed over the years and it’s been the now longtime headquarters and fashion house of internationally renowned Canadian designer, Stephan Caras @stephancaras.
Riverside Sports Heritage (2014) & Legacy Mural (2015)
#GetToKnowRiversideTO – You can find the Riverside Sports Heritage (2014) & Legacy Mural (2015) at 1 Munro Street by artist Monica Wickeler (@monicaonthemoon) on the side wall of Oma Chiropractic and Wellness. The lower portion (seen in the photograph) of the mural illustrates Riverside’s rich history in bicycling associated with the former Royal Canadian Bicycle Club (now Curling Club), and also baseball, as Riverside was home to Toronto’s first baseball stadium, the Toronto Baseball Grounds ‘Sunlight Park’. A colourful upper portion of the mural was added during the Pan Am Games.
Riverside Wayfinding Art (2015)
#GetToKnowRiversideTO – The bright way-finding art that is just to the west of the steel truss bridge over the Don River was designed and created by artist Rebecca Houston, as part of the Riverside Bridge Lighting Project completed in 2015. The weather vane sign moves with the wind, shows direction, and provides wayfinding to other Toronto landmarks such as City Hall and The Broadview Hotel.