Nell & Natasha: Riverside’s Community Builders

As part of this ‘Riverside BIA 40 Years, 40 Stories’ series we’re pleased to share this story from Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood:

One cannot celebrate 40 years of the Riverside BIA without recognizing Nell Bradshaw and Natasha Varjacic’s contributions to this vibrant neighbourhood. While Nell and Natasha, our local mother-daughter real estate team of Real Estate Homeward Brokerage, are definitely not the new kids on the block. Their growing family, born and raised here, has certainly added some little ones to the community!

Nell moved to Canada in 1968 and lived on 1st Avenue. Here she attended the local Dundas Public School and Queen Alexander Secondary School. She worked in property development and management in her later years of adulthood. Nell has been practicing real estate in the neighbourhood for over 30 years.

Nell shared, “It has been incredible to grow up in this neighbourhood. To see and be an active part of all the change and transformations over the last 50 years. I have been so fortunate and am so proud to have raised my family – now in our third generation – right here.”

Natasha was born and raised in Riverside.  At a young age, she developed a passion for real estate and involvement in real estate investment and development. This led Natasha to earn her MBA at the Schulich School of Business in Real Estate Development and Infrastructure, joining the family business as a Real Estate Broker. She has also been involved in development since the age of 21 and has built three family homes down the street from her office. “It is very important to be rooted in your community and we are here to stay,” says Natasha.

Beyond running their successful Real Estate Homeward Brokerage branch at 807 Queen Street East, both Nell and Natasha have always been generous with their time and support to the community. They  frequently give back to numerous local charities and causes, such as St. Matthew’s Church, Dundas Public School, Nellie’s Shelter, the Rivertowne Breakfast Program and many more. They also support international causes, one of them being  a monthly donation from a portion of their monthly sales, to help build classrooms and provide essentials for a village in Kenya.

For years, Nell has been an avid organizer of many community events, all of which have raised funds for the many local causes the duo support. Nell and Natasha’s popular Annual Easter Egg Hunt, Summer BBQ and Halloween Pumpkin Giveaway  are community favourites which draw hundreds of people of all ages. For a number of years the Halloween event and complimentary  summer BBQ & Blues have been held in partnership with the Riverside BIA and other community partners, such as Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre.

“We believe that investing our time and resources into our community will make a difference,” says Nell, “and the creation of a sense of community will make everyone feel like they belong, and are part of something special, and we can all grow together.”

As a member of the Riverside BIA Board of Directors since 2007, Natasha has contributed countless hours of her time to projects to improve the streetscape, and marketing initiatives for the business area as a whole. She has always been a big supporter and fan of local businesses. Na tasha often caters her open houses with local food from Bonjour Brioche, plans outings to the bar I’ll Be Seeing You , grabs lunch at Tabule Middle Eastern Cuisine or takeout at Siddhartha  Indian Cuisine, and other popular local spots.

“I think it is important to be involved in your community,” says Natasha, “and I am honoured to be part of all the positive changes and initiatives that have helped foster this vibrant neighbourhood, that has created awareness and a name for itself as Riverside. It’s become a destination in Toronto with the support of the BIA and all of its dedicated members and volunteers. “

This dynamic duo’s tremendous work in the neighbourhood is much celebrated and is an important part of the heart of this business-community.

The ‘Riverside BIA 40 Years, 40 Stories’ Series is part of how we’re celebrating the 40th anniversary of this incredible neighbourhood of community-builders.