5 Instagram-worthy Spots in Toronto’s Riverside

Because of social media, we’ve developed this “content-first” approach to things. Wherever we go, the impulse to whip out our smartphones and take photos has become almost second nature. If you’re looking for a place to take some fun photos for the feed, head over to Toronto’s Riverside in the East End. There’s plenty of cool sites and photo ops that line this part of Queen Street East. Here are some of the best spots in Riverside for the ‘gram:

Photo credit: Christian Jay B. Quilo

“Time and a Clock” at the Riverside Bridge

Address: Time and a Clock, just west of Davies Ave on Queen St E, Toronto, ON

Riverside’s iconic Queen Street Viaduct or simply the Riverside Bridge is not only an important landmark; it is also the canvas for one of the three-piece metal art series called “Time and a Clock” by artist Eldon Garnet. On the arch of the bridge, you’ll find the text “The river I step in is not the river I stand in” in stainless steel letters. Think of these installations as bookends, marking important points of Riverside. If you want to know more about “Time and a Clock”, click here.

Photo credit: Nick Sweetman

“Along The Riverbanks” Mural

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

This beautiful mural by Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist and local Riverside resident Nick Sweetman illustrates the rich biodiversity that lives in Ontario’s rivers, including the nearby Don River. It’s a little obscured from the sidewalk, but once you’re in Riverside Common, go straight past the Riverside Square condominium and you’ll immediately see the entirety of it. If you love murals, you can do a self-guided tour of Riverside’s public art as well.

Photo credit: Christian Jay B. Quilo

Queen Garden Centre & Cafe

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

Yes, it is a garden centre AND cafe. You can come in and shop for plants and gardening supplies. When you’re done, you can rest for a bit and grab a coffee from the cafe, which operates in a sleek glass greenhouse in the middle of the space. Fun fact: the mural of the bees that you can see at Queen Garden Centre came years before the garden centre even opened—in a way, it seems like a crazy foreshadowing.

Photo credit: Christian Jay B. Quilo

Boxcar Social Riverside

Address: 4 Boulton Ave, Toronto, ON M4M 2J3

If you’re a sucker for minimalist industrial interiors, you’ll love Boxcar Social. The exposed piping, wood & steel fixtures, and polished concrete floors all lend to Boxcar’s unmistakable aesthetic. As a cafe and bottleshop, Boxcar is popular for their drinks too, so get a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and stay a while. It’s a great place to catch up with friends.

Photo credit: Christian Jay B. Quilo

Stephan Caras Design Headquarters

Address: 744 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1H4

Before it became the atelier of internationally renowned designer Stephan Caras, it was the Canadian Bank of Commerce. Built in 1905, the building features beautiful architecture that would be hard to find these days. It’s now a fashion headquarters, heritage building, and cultural landmark in Riverside. From the outside, you’ll be able to see two of Caras’ designs on the window display.


Christian Jay B. Quilo, Riverside BIA Marketing Assistant

Christian is an international student from Cebu, Philippines, currently interning with the Riverside BIA. He has a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and is currently taking post-graduate studies in Lifestyle Media at Centennial College. He has been writing professionally since 2018; his favorite subject matter being food, travel, and fashion. When he’s not busy as a student or marketing assistant, he goes full-on tourist, exploring Toronto one neighborhood at a time—most likely with an iced oat latte or bubble tea in hand.