Lisa Peressini 


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Neighbourhood Videos


Riverdale is a large area in the east end of Toronto that encompasses many smaller neighbourhoods. In the broadest sense, Riverdale runs from the Don Valley Parkway east to Pape Avenue, and south from Danforth Avenue to Gerrard Avenue

The majority of Riverdale’s homes were built between the 1880s (after it was annexed by the city of Toronto) and the 1920s. They are mostly two to three-storey semi-detached Victorian homes, with a mix of detached and row housing included. In the 1980s, the artistic and literary community rediscovered Riverdale, with prices then being very affordable and the neighbourhood family friendly. Because of this, it has undergone a considerable ‘gentrification’ since then, with prices rising significantly over the last twenty years. It is a hot, trendy market these days, with a fully renovated home moving very quickly on the market.

Danforth, the northern boundary of Riverdale, is an eclectic mix of Greek restaurants, boutique shopping, specialty and gourmet shops, cafes, and design stores. Every year, the street shuts down one weekend in the summer for the Taste of the Danforth to celebrate everything Greek, but especially the food. To the south along Gerrard Street, a large Chinese community brings the Orient to residents with shops, restaurants and fresh produce stores.

There are many parks in Riverdale: Withrow Park, Riverdale Park East, with its popular tobogganing hills, Greenwood Park, and Jimmy Simpson Park. All have swimming facilities, baseball diamonds and tennis courts. Nearby Greenwood offers day camps and hockey and skating classes, Jimmy Simpson Recreation Centre has a gymnasium and games room, and the Pape Recreational Centre has meeting rooms along with an indoor pool and weight room.

Access to all parts of Toronto is one of Riverdale’s prime attractions. The Don Valley Parkway is just minutes away, as are the Gardiner Expressway and Lakeshore Boulevard. Drive along Danforth, over the Bloor viaduct and you are on Bloor Street, right in the heart of downtown Toronto. There are several bus and streetcar routes throughout Riverdale, along with the Broadview, Chester and Pape stations of the Bloor-Danforth subway line.

Playter Estates

Separated by the Lower Don Valley River Trail on the west and Jackman Avenue in the east, Danforth Avenue in the south and just past Fulton Avenue in the north, this is another historical neighbourhood named after one of its early inhabitants. The Playter family arrived in the area from Pennsylvania in the 1790s, and the mansion they once lived in still stands and two streets still carry their name. What has long been a Greek community is seeing a diversification with young people from all over being drawn to the area. Sleepy one-way streets lined with Victorian homes, and easy accessibility via the TTC Bloor-Yonge line, make this an increasingly desirable pocket on the east side of the city.

Fab Food

Serving good pub grub, with a garden to be rivalled citywide and trees that are centuries old, Allen’s is a remarkably cozy place to spend an evening. Or, for a more Southern comfort style food, The Combine Eatery offers down home cooking and an impressive bourbon list. In early summer the neighbourhood hosts Taste of the Danforth -- a popular food festival that celebrates the high calibre of Greek and International food the area has to offer.

Allen’s, 143 Danforth Avenue

The Combine Eatery, 162 Danforth Avenue

Music, Maestro

Originally a movie theatre built in 1919, this gem of the Danforth is now a live music venue offering intimate shows in a historic setting.

Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Avenue,

Out and About

The Don River trail offers joggers and trekkers plenty of choice exploration to the west and the area is dotted with parkettes, fountains and places to stop and people watch.


Located in the centre of the city lies the quiet neighbourhood of Leaside. This leafy area, first settled in the mid 1800's, is one of the city's premier areas for upper middle class families who value this established and safe community as the perfect place to raise their families. The area was mostly farmland through the nineteenth century. It was incorporated as a town in 1913. In 1967 it was amalgamated with the township of East York to form the borough of East York. In 1998 it became part of the city of Toronto.

The Leaside community is made up predominantly of single-family homes in traditional Tudor style designs dating from the 1930's and '40's. There is a good mix of two-storey detached and semi-detached houses, and while a large number of Leaside bungalows have been replaced by new custom designed homes, an over-riding effort has been made to keep architectural exterior details in place, such as leaded glass, cut stone and wide wooden trim.

The largest recreation centre in Leaside is Leaside Community Memorial Gardens which includes an indoor swimming pool, an ice rink, a curling rink and a large auditorium. Serena Gundy Park, located in the north-east corner of Leaside, covers 62.6 acres and is used for picnicking and hiking in the summer and cross country skiing in the winter. Trace Manes Park is located in south Leaside and is home to the Leaside Tennis club and boasts six tennis courts. Other facilities in the park include a playground, a baseball diamond and an outdoor ice rink in winter. Howard Talbot Park in north-west Leaside features two baseball diamonds, a "splash pad", and a water playground. While small in area, Leaside has a fine selection of reputable schools for both young children and teens including Maurice Cody, Blythewood, Bessborough Drive School, and Leaside High School.

The commercial strip of Bayview from Millwood to Soudan is one of Toronto's best mid-town neighbourhood shopping districts. With a comfortable mix of big box stores, smaller chains, antique and indie shops, sport and fitness clubs, as well as health, beauty and fashion boutiques, this up-market retail strip is within easy walking distance. Bayview is also known for its wide selection of speciality food shops and a wonderful choice of restaurants and pubs to suit any craving or quench any thirst.

Yonge & St. Clair

Also known affectionately as Deer Park, thanks to the great number of deer that lived in the area at the turn of the century, the Yonge - St. Clair neighbourhood is bounded by a section of the Rosedale ravine to the east, Farnham Avenue and Jackes Avenue in the south, Avenue Road and Oriole Parkway in the west, the Belt Line trail in the north on the west side of Yonge Street, and Glen Elm Avenue in the north on the east side of Yonge Street. Besides Yonge and Eglinton to the North, this is another example of how rapid residential and commercial development followed the TTC subway expansion in the 1950's. Today this neighbourhood is one of Toronto's busiest midtown intersections and home to prominent companies like Astral Media.

Deer Park has a wonderful mix of detached and semi-detached houses that encompass a variety of architectural styles. Most of the original Deer Park houses were built between 1875 and 1920. Deer Park also contains a fair number of newer townhouses that blend in well with the older homes in the neighbourhood. Like many communities in Toronto, the residential streets of Deer Park feed straight out to the main arteries. In addition to a healthy home stock, the area also has a wide selection on condominium choices. There are several older buildings like the iconic Granite Place, several co-op buildings on Avoca and Rosehill, some newer buildings on Delisle and Yonge Street and further west, near Avenue Road, the city's latest luxury buildings like One12 St. Clair, The Avenue and Churchill Park condos and the architecturally acclaimed Imperial Plaza, a luxury residence with units priced to $8 million.

This part of the city is also close enough to wealthy neighbourhoods like Forest Hill, Rosedale and Moore Park to support a number of high end restaurants and specialty shops. In fact, the area attracts many shoppers from other parts of the city for its high-profile boutiques and wide selection of retailers in shopping complexes like The Towne Mall and Delisle Court. Residents love how Deer Park's commercial centre balances so well against a neighbourhood surrounded by lush green parkland, majestic trees, quick access to the Belt Line and the vibrant and urban forest of the Avoca Ravine.

The epicentre of this neighbourhood remains The Rosehill Reservoir, located just steps from Yonge and St. Clair. Together with David Balfour Park this is an oasis in the bustling midtown core. The Reservoir which forms the upper tier of this park includes a very pretty four acre reflecting pool lined with cobblestones. There is also an adjacent waterfall with a small bridge and a maze of stairs on each side, as well as a separate water fountain feature with a dramatic overhead spray that rushes water into the oval pool below. There is also a pretty flower garden and wading pool tucked away at the far end of the park. Wrapped around Rosehill Reservoir is a surfaced path that's ideal for walking, jogging and cycling. This well treed park has a large children's playground.

Yonge & Eglinton

Yonge and Eglinton, once a part of the old Town of North Toronto, is also affectionately known as “Yonge and Eligible” thanks to the 20-something crowds that settled into the low and high-rise apartment buildings in the 70’s and 80’s. Today that moniker is more about lifestyle than age - while the young crowd is still here, Yonge and Eglinton is especially popular with families raising school-age children. It has everything families are looking for in a neighbourhood including good sized houses, an excellent selection of public, private and separate schools and a multitude of parks and recreational facilities.

Recently, because of its centralized location, there has been massive development, including a number of big-box retailers and high density residential towers. While development has concentrated around the Eglinton subway station, there are still plenty of residential homes in the immediate area. To the north the housing stock includes bungalows, as well as semi-detached and fully detached houses, built mostly between 1910 and 1940. The southernmost neighbourhood, known as Chaplin Estates, is a bit more up-scale with larger lots and grander detached houses.

The area is home to a variety of small retail stores, restaurants, cafés and bakeries, several big box stores and a large indoor mall with a movie theatre complex and dozens of shops and restaurants that get especially active at lunchtime when the office towers empty and high school kids get out.

Yonge-Eglinton excellent public transit access which will get a further boost with the development of the Eglinton–Scarborough Cross-town Line.

A dynamic retail core combined with quiet side streets, highly reputable schools and the nearby North Toronto Memorial Community Centre (which offers tennis, soccer, swimming and water slide, gymnasium, squash courts, a walking track, and dog friendly park), make this not only a sought-after neighbourhood but one that will remain a vibrant and successful focal point of Toronto for years to come.

Davisville Village

The City of Toronto recognizes this area as two separate communities, but the reality is that local residents refer to it simply as Davisville Village and while it is divided almost perfectly by Mount Pleasant Road, it is often overlooked for better-known neighbourhoods like Leaside to the east and Chaplin Estates to the west. But do not dismiss Davisville, as it is a bustling and amazingly diversified neighbourhood with a real sense of community. With shops and services on the three major north-south intersections - Yonge Street, Mount-Pleasant and Bayview - residents of Davisville are always just steps away from movie theatres, grocery stores, big box shopping as well as trendy restaurants and boutiques.

There is tremendous demand for homes in this area because it is a quieter place to live yet it is still easily accessible to major shopping and entertainment areas and public transportation. Families love how close they are to parks and the beautiful Mount Pleasant cemetery, and the amazing Kay Gardiner Beltline which is favoured for walks and bike rides by Toronto residents. One of the advantages of this neighbourhood is that there are various other interesting areas within walking distance.

The typical house of the neighbourhood was built in the 1920s and 1930s and are mostly 2 and 3 storey homes although there are still a few bungalows. There has been a series of condominium projects built on streets like Merton, Balliol, Millwood, Mount Pleasant and Bayview. These new condo complexes have allowed for an influx of single buyers and young upwardly mobile couples, who want to live on the subway line with the possibility of walking to all services, without living downtown. People choose Davisville for its lifestyle and its community as well as its urban look and feel!


The Wonders of Wychwood

Founded as an artists’ colony in the late 1800s, the community of Wychwood has long been a creative hub. It got its name from artist Marmaduke Matthews, an Englishman who immigrated to Canada in 1860 and called his house after Wychwood Forest in his native Oxfordshire. The name now also applies the whole area North of Davenport Road and West of Bathurst, bordering Coso Italia. The community retains a friendly, artistic feel, with markets and studios, and independently owned food and drink gems. There are kid-friendly community events aplenty (family barbeques and outdoor music in summer) and the area is easily accessible by TTC via the Bathurst bus or walking from the St Clair streetcar.

Art Attack

A major highlight of the area and focal point of the community is Artscape Wychwood Barns. What was once a streetcar maintenance facility has been transformed into a thriving, vibrant centre and park, featuring everything from a farmers market, to beach volleyball, local shops, threatre and galleries.

601 Christie St

Literary Love

Impressive in scale and construction, the Wychwood (or Carnegie) Library, designed by Eden Smith, is adapted from the Gothic Tudor style. Opened April 15, 1916 it remains a great spot for an afternoon read and there’s also a book club that meets regularly.

1431 Bathurst St., Toronto, 416-393-7683

Sweet Spot

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to sugary treats in this ‘hood. Leah’s bakery, owned by Leah Kalish, is famous for the biscotti or for a French take, Pain Perdu delivers perfectly flaky mille feuille. And Dutch Dreams delivers a cooler indulgence -- the eclectic neighbourhood institution has served up homemade ice cream for over 25 years and is well worth the lineups.

Leah’s Bakery, 621 St Clair W.

Pain Perdu, 736 St Clair W., 416-656-7246

Dutch Dreams, 78 Vaughn Road

Favourite Feasts

A non-stop hit since it opened in 2011, Stockyards is a family style BBQ joint that delivers deep, flavourful meat like 48hr brined and marinated fried chicken. For a more sit-down affair, The Rushton is a stylish but laidback neighbourhood hotspot, with French-inspired food and a friendly atmosphere. The man behind it, Frank Pronesti also owns Catch, which serves up steaks as well as seafood in a more casual environment and Ferro, a family favourite since 1993, known for its tasty traditional Italian food.

The Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder, 699 St Clair Ave. W

The Rushton, 740 St Clair Ave W

Catch, 744 St Clair Ave. W

Ferro, 769 St Clair Ave. W

Rosedale - Moore Park

It is generally assumed that the dividing line between Moore Park to the north and Rosedale to the south is the railway tracks that bisect this large central neighbourhood. Indeed, this is an area with many natural barriers. To the north is the Mount Pleasant Cemetery, to the south is the Park Drive Ravine and the railway tracks, to the east is the Moore Park Ravine and to the west is the Avoca Ravine. With its many ravines and convoluted street routes, Rosedale-Moore Park is known for its low levels of vehicular traffic. Of course that is not all that makes this one of Toronto's most sought after neighbourhoods: for over one hundred years Rosedale has held the distinction of being Toronto's most fashionable address. Many of Toronto's wealthiest and most prominent citizens reside here - who wouldn’t love to be surrounded by beautiful ravines and parkland, yet be just a few minutes from Toronto's major business, entertainment, and shopping districts?

Much of Rosedale's Victorian, Georgian, Tudor, and Edwardian style mansions were built between 1860 and 1930. Moore Park wasn’t far behind, being established some 30 years later and while much of South Rosedale contains a number of inexpensive condominium, co-operative, and co-ownership apartment buildings you are likely to find many newer townhouses as well as a fair number of duplex and multi-plex homes in Moore Park.

Currently there are fifteen heritage conservation districts in Toronto, including both South Rosedale and North Rosedale. Due to the neighbourhood’s Garden Suburb characteristics and grand old houses, many Rosedale homes are listed on the Toronto Historical Board's Inventory of Heritage Properties.

South Rosedale is currently home to an exclusive all-girls school, Branksome Hall. Rosedale Public School is a small elementary school in central Rosedale, across the street from Rosedale's community centre, Mooredale House.

Watch out for the annual spring park party, Mayfair, traditionally on the first Saturday in May. The event typically consists of rides, games, flea market and other such carnival-type activities. People come dressed to the nines.