Out of Plain Sight: 6 Hidden Gems in Toronto’s Riverside

Although the bustling thoroughfare of Queen St East cuts through the whole stretch of Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood, the area still has those IYKYK kinds of places that one might only discover through social media or the good ol’ word of mouth.

Here are 6 not-so secret spots in the neighbourhood:

Photo credit: Christian Jay Quilo

Jimmy’s Coffee Back Patio (@jimmyscoffee)

Address: 806 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1H7

The Riverside store of this beloved Toronto coffee chain may be popular among the residents, but did you know that they have a back patio? Try one of their summer offerings like the Berry Berry Iced Tea or a cold brew and enjoy it on the patio–and yes, it is pet-friendly!

Photo credit: Christian Jay Quilo

Queen Garden Cafe (@queengardencafe)

Address: 771 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1H5

Perched in the middle of the Queen Garden Centre is a beautifully quaint glass greenhouse operating as a cafe. Whether you’re there to shop for plants and supplies or just looking for a brief respite from the heat, treat yourself to a beverage from the cafe and have a seat.

Photo credit: Christian Jay Quilo

Arts Market’s Basement (@artsmarket)

Address: 790 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1H4

While the main floor hosts the selection of locally made products and a light scattering of vintage items, the basement is where the bulk of vintage goods are. When you enter the store, simply walk toward the cashier and the stairs to the basement should be on your right. 

Photo credit: Christian Jay Quilo

Joel Weeks Park

Address: 10 Thompson St, Toronto, ON M4M 1L9

Everyone probably knows Jimmie Simpson Park and Riverside Common, but there’s one more park in the neighbourhood, tucked at the end of Carroll St where Dark Horse is. Look for the statue of a giant acorn surrounded by squirrels–that’s how you know you’re at Joel Weeks Park.

Photo credit: Christian Jay Quilo

“Along The Riverbanks” Mural by Nick Sweetman (@nick_sweetman)

Address: 30 Baseball Pl, Toronto, ON M4M 0E8

Hidden at the south end of Riverside’s Baseball Place, this mural by Nick Sweetman depicts the rich biodiversity that lives in Ontario’s rivers, including the nearby Don River. To find it, go south through Riverside Common to the end of Baseball Place and you’ll immediately see this 2000 sq ft mural.

Photo credit: The Broadview Hotel

“The Tower” at The Broadview Hotel (@broadviewhotel)

Address: 106 Broadview Ave, Toronto, ON M4M 2G1

The rooftop is a popular hangout for many guests at The Broadview Hotel, but there’s also an event space called “The Tower” on the same floor that you can rent out, albeit for smaller, more intimate gatherings. It boasts opulent details that’ll surely take your parties to new heights.

You know what to do: follow @riverside_bia on Instagram to stay updated on upcoming events and new stories like this on the blog!