Spotlight on Spring Cleaning: Riverside Community Clean Up 2024

APRIL 19, 2024 — Even on a rainy day, residents and members came together for the Riverside Community Clean Up, a long-running initiative organized by the Ralph Thornton Community Centre (RTCC) and the Riverside BIA as part of the City of Toronto’s Clean Toronto Together campaign.

For at least 20 years now, the annual community clean up has an annual tradition in Riverside and a great way to not only contribute to maintaining the cleanliness of the neighbourhood, but also for residents and BIA members to get together and catch up even for just a little bit.

Our Neighbourhood Community Liaison Officers came by to lend a hand

Here’s new ED at the RTCC Ravi Yee Joshi with Jim Houston, a previous RTCC ED and local legend, along with Jennifer Lay, ED at Riverside BIA

The Happy Gatherers dance group have been supporting the clean up for decades

Jennifer Lay, Executive Director of the Riverside BIA and Christian (the author)

Coincidentally, it was also the last official day of my internship as a marketing assistant for the Riverside BIA. The community clean up felt like a nice culmination to my brief yet productive time with the organization.

Registration was set up right outside the Ralph Thornton Community Centre (RTCC). We were well equipped for the clean up; garbage bags, disposable gloves, face masks, hand sanitizer, and maps were readily available. We also had doughnuts and coffee courtesy of our local Tim Horton’s to fuel our volunteers for the day, as well as to hand out to the occasional passersby craving a sweet snack or in need a hot beverage amid the drizzle.

Volunteers were spread out and assigned to different areas in the neighborhood to get as much coverage as we could. We had folks from the RTCC, Tim Horton’s, UNTITLED by Flaunt Boutique, local liaison officers, and residents take part in the clean up.

Together with Riverside BIA Executive Director Jennifer Lay, I worked on the alleyway parallel to Thompson Street Parkette, just behind the Broadview Hotel, all the way to Munro Street near Oma Chiropractic & Wellness.

As we were picking up garbage (and being pleasantly surprised by how mild the garbage situation was, save for the concerning amount of cigarette butts), Jennifer and I chatted about Riverside’s history and how it’s evolved over the years. After spending a good hour and getting two bags worth of litter, we made our way back to the registration booth to welcome and chat with the other volunteers. At around 2 p.m., we wrapped it up and called it a day.

This day was a clear testament to Riverside’s solid sense of community and camaraderie. This explains so much why Riverside is such a great neighborhood. Needless to say, this year’s clean up was a success—thank you to all the volunteers!

If you love Riverside just as much as its residents do, you can become a community supporter. You can find more information here. Consider following @riverside_bia on Instagram as well if you want to stay updated on what’s to come, because Riverside’s got an exciting year ahead.


Christian Jay B. Quilo, Riverside BIA Marketing Assistant (March-April 2024)

Christian is an international student from Cebu, Philippines, currently interning at 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.