In this Riverside Blog series, meet the owners and staff behind our incredible diversity of local businesses through these intimate snapshots. Tune into our Instagram or this page to learn about new local businesses each week!
Meet the owners of Riverside Burgers located at 688 Queen St E. This family business owned and run by Mustafa and Feray has taken the Riverside neighborhood (and everywhere else) by storm in the past 3 years! Riverside Burgers is the ultimate old-school takeout burger joint that also prioritizes their customers, when you walk in you’re immediately taken care of by their friendly staff. We can’t do this feature without talking about the mouth-watering burgers that are made from fresh and quality ingredients! From the OG Riverside burger to the brunch burger, you’re bound to find your perfect match. The cherry on top is that they have scrumptious sides as well like onion rings, poutine, and salads.
Punjabi By Nature
Meet Balkaran at Punjabi By Nature Bar & Grill located at 782 Queen E! Being in the heart of Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood, their goal is to unify their guest’s backgrounds with their own through flavorful dishes. When dining at Punjabi By Nature, their staff will ensure your experience is exceptional! Each plate is an opportunity to start new conversations around culture and tradition.
Meet Arif, owner of Burrito Queen located at 734 Queen St E. This local Mexican-inspired takeout restaurant is the perfect go-to spot for fresh burritos that are wrapped in flavour, cheese, and local love! Arif shows his appreciation to Burrito Queen’s customers with weekly deals that include a freshly made burrito, pop, and home fries all for under $11 (it doesn’t get better than that ;)).
Meet Vanessa, owner of Vertex Aesthetics located at 202A-717 Queen Street East. From Venezuela to Australia, and now Riverside, Vanessa took it upon herself to follow her dream to open a Medical Spa. The name of the business says it all, Vertex is the highest point in anything. While getting to the highest point in your skincare journey, Vanessa will be with you throughout the whole process supporting you. Before reaching her vertex point, Vanessa went through her own journey where she graduated from University in 2009 in Venezuela. Later on, after moving to Australia, she studied and started her skin career there, obtaining her qualifications and certifications with multiple established international brands such as Dermalogica, Ella Baché, and Hydropeptide. Vanessa knew Riverside was the place to be as she quickly realized how warm and cozy the area felt, similar to the neighbourhood, her medical spa is welcoming and warm to anyone and everyone. First-time clients get 20% off and there are a variety of Advanced Skin Care Facials & Laser Treatments to choose from.
Kids at Home
Meet Anthony, owner of Kids at Home located at 734 Queen St E. Kids at Home pre-dated Anthony’s ownership and he was a client with his first child. However, upon realizing the store was going to be shut down, a spark lit up in Anthony to create Kids at Home 2.0 after finishing his MBA. He made this vision come to life by re-branding the store with a modern twist. Since 2016, the ‘new’ Kids at Home has stood out through its uniquely modern and funky style. Their main philosophy is to curate high-quality goods for kids, with 80% of their products being proudly Canadian! Everything from the decor to the toys is carefully handpicked by Anthony so you know your children are getting the best of the best. Mix a little fun and funkiness into your children’s room by visiting Kids at Home in Riverside.
Meet Peter Tang, owner of Urban House located at 718 Queen Street East. The possibilities are endless at Urban House: from all-day breakfast to addicting appetizers! Peter went from being a manager at the restaurant’s former location to owning his very own restaurant in Riverside. He knew this was the place to be after finding out a lot of Urban House’s customers are from the East end. You’re guaranteed to experience a cozy vibe, exceptional service, and most importantly delectable eats at Urban House. Dine-in or Take-out at Urban House to get a taste of their menu!
Meet Lars Classington, owner of Laughing Vikings located at 696B Queen St E. Before the laughs, Lars was 8 years into a corporate career when he realized he wasn’t fulfilling his dreams, compelling him to create a life on stage and film as an actor, comedian, and creator. It all started with a Kijiji ad called “So You Wanna Be a Comedian?” Resulting in Lars taking part in an exhilarating standup debut at YukYuks. Fast forward to 2017, Laughing Vikings came to be, with a mission to uplift, inspire and empower a global audience of one billion people by helping 1000 actors and comedians share their stories through TV, film, and live events. He set up shop in Riverside BIA, joined the Marketing Committee in 2019, and has been a stalwart community supporter ever since!
Korman & Company
Meet Mitch Korman, owner of Korman & Company located at 721 Queen E. Mitch has been a dedicated Riverside BIA Chair since 2005, with decades-long familial ties to the #RiversideTO neighbourhood. His passion for the neighbourhood stems from his father’s roots as being one of the founding members of the BIA 40+ years ago and owner of Corby’s menswear which is still reflected in the gold sign that adorns 721 Queen E. Fast forward to today, Korman & Company focuses on providing personalized services while providing result-oriented solutions for their clients. For all things real estate law, get in touch! Pictured is Mitch Korman at a historic moment in time – our June 2015 unveiling of the Riverside Bridge Lighting Project at the Queen St Viaduct.
Meet Arda and Andy Akins (not pictured), owners of Aura located at 686 Queen Street East. The two brothers took elements from their upbringing in Turkey to create a one-of-a-kind lounge. Depending on your Aura, you can be indoors in a cozy 1940s like experience while the outdoor patio mimics a mythical forest. Tap into your Aura by trying their unique cocktails and mouth-watering eats.
Meet Maggie, employee at Token, located at 777 Queen Street East. The founder, Nicole curated a one-stop-shop for all things sustainable and trendy. Token focuses on selling gifts that actually last and can serve a purpose, making gifting that much more meaningful. Show your “token” of appreciation to a loved one this holiday season by stopping by 777 Queen Street East!
Lone & Co
Meet Cheryl, owner of Lone & Co Salon located at 711 Queen Street East. With over 20 lush years of experience, Cheryl founded her very own salon that embodies a warm and inclusive environment. When you step into Lone & Co, you’re guaranteed to feel welcome and pampered. Be sure to check out their latest services, after leaving a review you’ll be entered to win a free service!
Meet Jahlesha and Emma, managers at Common Sort located at 760 Queen Street East. Common Sort was created when the owner, Nicole, fell in love with the vintage shops in New York and decided to create her very own in Toronto! It’s rare to leave common sort without a new wardrobe because of how trendy and affordable it is. Treat yourself to a sustainable winter wardrobe by visiting the Riverside location.
Meet Aurelie, owner of Hey Kiddo located at 734 Queen Street East. Aurelie started off as a consumer who loved picking out products for her kids, after being told by friends and family that her taste in kids toys is exceptional, Hey Kiddo was born. While simultaneously existing with Kids at Home, Hey Kiddo focuses on providing high quality toys, clothes, and so much more! Check them out online or in-store!
Good Juice Box Vintage
“Our 2 foundational elements are fun and inclusivity.” Meet Sarah, owner of Good Juice Box Vintage located at 768 Queen St. E. Sarah saw the problematic gaps in the fashion industry including size and gender. That’s why Good Juice Box Vintage focuses on how clothing makes you feel regardless of the label. Each piece is uniquely chosen by Sarah to ensure the clothing represents their fun branding. Stop by to take a look at their earrings made by Hannah – 100% of the proceeds go to the Black Lives Matter initiative.
Meet Stavros, owner of Hair Code located at 743 Queen Street East. Hair Code grew out of Stavros’s passion for all things hair styling, and when it was time for him to open his salon, he knew the East end was the place to be. With over 10 years of experience, Stavros and his team ensure each client leaves happy by making their hair the top priority. Check out their hair packages – after purchasing 6 you get a discount!
“Both sides of the business have grown to become successful staples in the city.” Meet Patrizia, receptionist at Oreya Studio located at 724 Queen St. E. Lex, the founder, had a background in hairstyling and took the leap of faith by opening up her own salon. Two years later, the salon is home to loyal customers and an in-salon hair care brand, JŪS! by Oreya. Shop the natural hair care product line exclusively at Oreya Studio or online.
Meet Alyssa, owner of Little Peeps located at 742 Queen St. E. Alyssa’s passion for sustainable and safe toys began when she designed kids toys for large corporations. Fast forward, she decided to take it upon herself to create sustainable toys that wouldn’t end up in landfills. Little Peeps focuses on quality over quantity as one product can be shared among many. Shop sustainable, creative, and fun products online or in store.
Meet Nas and Kwan, owners of Thyme Studio located at 779 Queen St E. When Kwan was asked to create a bridal bouquet for Nas’s civil service, the two co-workers were unaware that they were planting the seeds to create a floral business. Thyme Studio focuses on crafting one-of-a-kind arrangements while being versatile enough for customers to purchase grab and go bouquets. Shop their latest fall collection online or in store!
Broadview Beauty Parlour
Meet George, owner of Broadview Beauty Parlour located at 741 Queen St. E. With over 58 years of experience in the hair cutting industry, George’s passion for hair styling is rooted in Greece where he began his career as a barber. Fast forward to now, the Riverside area has become like home to George as he spends six days a week cutting hair at his shop (and is also plays a mean game of chess, here and there). Book your appointment with Broadview Beauty Parlour “to experience a service like no other”, as George likes to say! Note: Mask was briefly removed for photo only, George is proudly fully vaccinated and following all health protocols in his salon.
“Everything in this market is unique because you don’t see it anywhere else.” Meet Robbie, store manager of Arts Market located at 790 Queen Street East. Arts Market was born after owner (and artist, himself) Daniel Cohen decided to create an affordable market where artisans can sell their handmade products. When you shop at Arts Market, you’re supporting local artisans who are dedicated to making custom products. Take a visit to Arts Market to get your one-of-a-kind candle, t-shirt, jewellery piece and more!
Chi Junky Yoga & Wellness Studio
“I started as a one woman show and still fund the business on my own with no outside partners or investors.” Meet Rachelle Wintzen, founder of Chi Junky Yoga & Wellness Studio located at 70 McGee St. Having gone through personal struggles, Rachelle experienced a 180° transformation where she discovered a newfound love for life. It became Rachelle’s mission to help people change their lives. So, she created Chi Junky Yoga + Wellness Studio in 2014, starting off as a 100 sq.ft room, to now a 4000 sq.ft studio through determination, sacrifice and hard work. Get addicted to Chi Junky by enrolling in virtual/ outdoor/ in-studio classes!
Untitled by Flaunt Boutique
Meet Karla and Linda of Untitled by Flaunt Boutique, located at 792 Queen St E. Carefully conceived to connect hair ingenuity with an eco-friendly consciousness, Untitled is dedicated to providing maximum client satisfaction, while drawing inspiration from their surroundings. Support them by shopping for incredible hair and body care products in their online shop.
Tabule Middle Eastern Cuisine
Meet Diana Sideris, owner of Tabule Middle Eastern Cuisine in Riverside since 2013 at 810 Queen St E. A huge supporter of the community, Tabule offers traditional Middle Eastern dishes in a richly textured environment. The chef’s special cultural expertise and interpretation of traditional dishes has created a menu that will delight your senses.
Meet Kara, owner of Sparkplug Coffee, located at 717 Queen St E. Sparkplug offers home delivery service of premium arabica coffee beans that are directly sourced and fairly traded, which delivers custom built coffee to your specifications. Order online for free shipping. affordable pricing and quick delivery.
Ride Away Bikes
Meet Donny and the team of Ride Away Bikes, located at 651 Queen St. E. With over 20 years experience in the cycle shop and repair business, this team offer hundreds of bike models, cycling accessories, and full bicycle custom builds, as well as regular tune up and repair services.
Meet Rosie, owner of Quince Flowers, located at 660 Queen St. E. While in England, she unearthed her love of all things botanic while moonlighting to help pay the rent. Today, Quince Flowers is a long-time reputable name in blossoming your intimate moments and big celebrations. Support our friendly local flower shop by calling-in to order for curbside, subscribing to a ‘Bloomogram’ or their e-news!
Oma Chiropractic and Wellness
Meet Dr. Adrienne McRuvie, Chiropractor and Clinic Director of Oma Chiropractic and Wellness, located at 1 Munro St. Oma is a wellness clinic committed to providing the highest standard of care, in a welcoming environment. Through chiropractic care, naturopathy, massage therapy and a host of holistic products, Oma is dedicated to helping people of all ages and stages achieve longevity and resilience so they can live their best lives. https://www.omachiropractic.com/
Irish Design House
Meet Sinead, owner of The Irish Design House, located at 756 Queen St. E. The Irish Design House showcases handmade crafts and fashion from various areas of Ireland. Each product is made with great attention to detail, love and care. Support them by checking out their extensive online shop. https://www.theirishdesignhouse.com/
Indian Spice Room
We were at a critical stage in March 2020, however, I decided that we would not shut down…not even for a day”. Meet Rohit Wadhawan, owner of Indian Spice Room, located at 717 Queen St E. Despite no prior experience in the food industry, Rohit opened the Indian Spice Room with a dream to create something fascinating; something that could be his very own. The Indian Spice Room continues to stand strong, with its exquisite all-vegetarian menu with over 80 items. Don’t forget to check out their vegan and gluten free options! https://indianspiceroom.com/
Eastbound Brewing Co.
Meet Chef Tara Lee and Brewermaster Dave Lee, the husband and wife team behind Eastbound Brewing Co. located at 700 Queen St. E. Throughout the pandemic, Dave and Tara worked hard to transform the ‘are we open tomorrow?’ to a ‘we will be open tomorrow!’ and they continue to work toward maintaining a positive and uplifting attitude for their staff and customers. From craft beer newcomers to seasoned tasters and homebrewers, everyone is welcome by this friendly local brewpub, now offering online ordering and retail shop, virtual offerings, takeout, and delivery. https://eastboundbeer.com/
Meet Richard Schulz, manager at Dresden Vision Riverside, located on 733 Queen St E. Inspired by the traditional German craftsmanship of connecting the product directly to the consumer and applying Australian pragmatism to the frame designs, Dresden Vision provides a vast selection of frames, equally sustainable, durable, affordable and interchangeable. Dresden Vision can make your vision come to life with frames starting at only $59.00 Check out their designs! https://dresden.vision/ca/store/riverside
Dreamy Beauty Bar
Meet Lynda Quach, owner of the Dreamy Beauty Bar, located at 696A Queen St E. This friendly local beauty salon guarantees its customers with the best service thanks to its up-to-date products and a certified and passionate staff. Dreamy Beauty Bar is the perfect place for both artistry and relaxation. Purchase their gift card (available on their website) to show your support! https://www.dreamybeautybar.com/
Dimensions Custom Framing and Gallery
Meet Ellen Davidson and Wendy Palmer of Dimensions Custom Framing & Gallery, located at 732 Queen St E. For over 20 years, Dimensions has been one of the city’s most reputable places for custom framing of cherished mementos and art works, as well as a celebrated showcase gallery of artworks from all genres. Together, Ellen – with her flair for popular culture and intuitive style – and Wendy – with her master framing skills – continue to give their community the gift of FRAMING. Check out their designs! https://www.dimensionsframing.com/
Meet Lori Feasson, founder of Bonjour Brioche, located at 812 Queen St. E in Riverside. This friendly local French cafe/bakery is famous for its butter croissants and pastries. In business for over 20 years now, the cafe/bakery continues to welcome customers with a smile everyday. Read about our friendly local cafe/bakery here: http://www.bonjourbrioche.com/
Dirty Pawz Dog Wash
Meet Ryan Chong, founder of the Dirty Pawz Dog Wash, located on 804 Queen St. E. When Ryan began to experience the challenges that came with bathing his pet dog, Molly, he decided to open a stress-free dog wash for customers to bathe their dogs in, without a mess at home. Equipped with K9000 Dog Wash Machines, Dirty Pawz ensures maximum safety and efficiency. Check out their Loyalty Program! https://www.dirtypawzdogwash.com/
Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers LP
Meet CEO Philomena Comerford and son Dylan Luft from the Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers LP team at 825 Queen St E. A long time trusted name in insurance brokering, Baird MacGregor has a large team specializing in providing cost-effective insurance and unique risk management solutions. They are a huge supporter of the community. Get to know your local: www.bairdmacgregor.com