North Riverdale spans from Gerrard Street in the south, to as far north as Mortimer in spots, stretching to as far as Greenwood in the east, with the Don Valley Parkway serving as its western boundary. (Note that borders are imprecise and non-linear throughout Riverdale. See the Riverdale Map for more details.) Members of this community are are mainly young professionals and upper-middle class families, intermixed with some long-term residents who have lived here their entire lives.
North Riverdale homes display both Victorian and Edwardian architecture, dating from the late 1800s to the 1920s. Homes are mostly two and three stories, and range from very large detached homes, to tall and skinny semi-detached and rowhouses. Many North Riverdale homes have been lovingly restored and/or renovated, with the utmost attention to detail. Other than in multi-million dollar renos and in home design magazines, never have I seen finer materials and more exquisite d?r than in some of the more recently renovated Riverdale homes. It is the trend here; residents take great pride in their homes, both inside and out. The gardens are lovely, full of perennials, and enhance the architectural details of these historic buildings. The streets here are hilly and laden with trees, setting an ideal backdrop for these inviting residences.
In the section of North Riverdale above the Danforth, proximity to Jackman Public School, and the Danforth itself, are significant drivers of real estate values. South of the Danforth, Withrow Park serves as a hub of the community; homes close to Withrow are always in great demand. This entire stretch of North Riverdale above Riverdale Avenue is referred to as Upper Riverdale, or Prime Riverdale.
Of course, one of the best aspects of living in North Riverdale is having Greektown around the corner. Greektown on The Danforth offers something for everyone, whether it be shopping, strolling, relaxing on a patio, or people watching. Past its days of just being a place to get a souvlaki fix, cosmopolitan Greektown is now a multicultural dining destination, with its assortment of restaurants offering foods from virtually every nationality found in Toronto. Fine boutiques and purveyors of natural products and health-promoting services round out this vibrant retail landscape.
South Riverdale lies south of Gerrard and west of the DVP, extending down to Eastern Avenue. The eastern boundary is a bit contentious; although technically, South Riverdale is oft described as extending past Greenwood, even to as far as Coxwell Avenue, most of my clients who are looking for homes in Riverdale find that once you are east of Leslie, the character really changes to that of Leslieville. I could further confuse matters by bringing Little India and Riverside (formerly called Queen-Broadview Village) into the discussion, and by stating how Leslieville is arguably a sub-neighbourhood of South Riverdale, but this is confusing enough already.
Homes in South Riverdale are more affordable than those to the north, thus attracting many young couples and working class families to the community. South Riverdale homes are mainly Victorian in design. Two and three storey gothic rowhouses and semi-detached homes are common, as are gingerbread cottages, such as those found on Degrassi Street (made famous by the series of Degrassi TV shows filmed in and around Leslieville and Riverdale, though the actual school locations were in East York and West Toronto).
For those more inclined towards a condo lifestyle, the newer Broadview Lofts and Riverside Lofts feature modern urban styling at the edge of downtown near Queen and Broadview. For truly authentic loft-living, the Carlaw Lofts feature condominium residences in a converted Soho-style warehouse.
Although South Riverdale is a bit of a trek from the Danforth subway, it does offer the convenience of the Gerrard, Broadview, and Queen streetcar routes. For those looking for a little shopping or nightlife, Riverside (at Queen and Broadview) is now exploding new with shops and cafes, and the downtown core is just a brief bicycle or streetcar ride away.
Riverdale Park extends to both the east and west side of the Don Valley Parkway. On the west side, which is entered from Winchester Street in Cabbagetown, you will find sports fields and the whimsical Riverdale Farm. That's right, there is no need to leave Toronto to visit cows, sheep, chickens and pigs, they're right here in Riverdale! On the east side of the Don Valley, there are additional fields, tennis courts, a jogging track, swimming pool, ice rink, and a popular toboggan hill.
In the heart of North Riverdale is Withrow Park. This large expanse of greenery extends between Carlaw and Logan, just south of the Danforth. Withrow is a popular spot for quiet contemplation, dog walking, ice skating in the winter, and catching one of the open-air theatrical performances in summer. Homes overlooking the park usually attract a lot of interest whenever they come on the market.
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