North Riverdale

Cranfield House
450 Pape Avenue
*Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the sidewalk only. Cranfield House was built in 1902 for William and Caroline Harris. Harris had founded a successful meat processing factory, later becoming part of Canada Packers Limited. The house, designed by Toronto architect Henry Simpson, mixed Queen Anne Revival with Edwardian Classicism to create a unique style for the home. Cranfield was given to the Salvation Army in 1930, where they provided social aid for 75 years. The home will become part of Nellie's Shelters, providing housing and support for women and children in need. Prior to the reconstruction project for Nellie's, the facade of Cranfield stood in for the Neibolt Street home in 'It: Chapter One' (2017).

Bain Co-op
100 Bain Avenue
*Note: Private property. Please observe the houses from the sidewalk only. Originally built as affordable rental housing in 1913, the Riverdale Courts were influenced by the Garden City Movement, a popular urban planning method in England at the time. Because of this urban design strategy, all the English cottage style apartments have street level access onto shared grass courts and gardens. This was the first example of social housing in Canada. After a period of private ownership, the resident-run Bain Apartments Co-operative took over the complex in 1977. The residents of the complex pooled resources, and were able to fully purchase the entire site. The Bain Co-operative still manages the 260 apartments.

Withrow Park
725 Logan Avenue
An 8 hectare park on Logan Avenue just south of Danforth Avenue featuring two ball diamonds, a multipurpose sports field, two outdoor tennis courts, a volleyball court, a dog off-leash area, a wading pool and a children's playground. In the middle of the park is the Withrow Park Outdoor Artificial Ice Rink.

GreekTown Banners and Logo
649 Danforth Avenue
In 1981, the burgeoning GreekTown community along the Danforth held a design competition for students at Danforth Technical School to design a logo for the Danforth Village. The design by Helen Palopoulos, highlighting Doric columns and laurel leaves, traditional of ancient Greek culture, was chosen. Her designs were painted on the light standards along the street, as well as banners that were hung throughout the neighbourhood.

'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' Filming Locations
439 Danforth Avenue
When 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' hit theatres in 2002, many Torontonians may recall seeing the characters in the movie visiting several places along Danforth Avenue. While the Mount Olympus Travel Agency may only have existed in the film, the storefront is still visible (although without the travel signs). Other neighbourhood landmarks appeared in parts of the film, and can still be seen today along this stretch of the city.

Model Theatre
417 Danforth Avenue
The 1914 Model Theatre (later the Grenada) was a 500 seat neighbourhood cinema. These small theatres were far less fancy than a traditional stage theatre, as patrons were there to see the film, not the architecture. Technicolor films were introduced in 1917, which further spurred interest in the cinema ('talkies' introduced sound to film a decade later). Visits to the theatre in the early twentieth century were an all afternoon affair, with matinee programming running up to four hours, including two films (an 'A' and 'B' picture), trailers, newsreels, cartoons, and a weekly serial short film. Although no longer operating as a theatre, the distinctive Victorian architecture at the top of the building hints at its early origins.

St. Barnabas Church
361 Danforth Avenue
This late Victorian church was built in the early twentieth century as a more permanent structure for the congregation. The original section of the building was completed in 1910. With the completion of the Prince Edward Viaduct in 1918, the community of the east side of the river was growing. The parish hall was added in 1919, and the final sections completed a few years later. St. Barnabas Church was originally a small congregation in a somewhat rural part of the city. Today, it sits in a busy city with a diverse community inside and outside the church.

Danforth Music Hall
147 Danforth Avenue
Brothers Jules and Jay Allen opened the Allen's Theatre in 1919, a 1,600-seat cinema originally screening silent films accompanied by vaudeville acts. In the 1970s, it began hosting live shows with performances by music legends like James Brown, The Clash, The Police and The Ramones. Renamed the Danforth Music Hall in 1978, it was a popular entertainment venue until it closed in 2004, due to disrepair and financial problems. The building was renovated and reopened in 2011 and has since hosted some of the biggest names in music and entertainment, including Billy Bragg, Dave Chappelle, FKA Twigs, Iggy Azalea, Justin Bieber, Metric, Rihanna, Run The Jewels and RuPaul's Drag Race. 'Chicago' and 'How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days' were also filmed at the theatre. Make sure to look for the stylized 'AT' (Allen's Theatre) inscription above the windows on the front of the building.

William Peyton Hubbard House
660 Broadview Avenue
*Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the sidewalk only. Born in 1842 to parents that had been freed from slavery, William Peyton Hubbard initially started his career as a baker, inventing and patenting a new kind of commercial bake oven, before going to work for his uncle's chauffer service. Hubbard formed a friendship with George Brown (noted abolitionist, newspaper editor, father of confederation) after he saved Brown from drowning in the Don River. Brown hired him as driver, and encouraged him to enter politics. Hubbard ran for council in 1893 (defeated by only seven votes) and won the following year to represent Ward 4, which at the time ran from St. Clair to Lake Ontario. Hubbard was the first visible minority elected to public office in Toronto, and was elected every year until 1908, before retiring from the council in 1913. He was known as the 'Cicero of the Council Chamber' for his eloquence. Hubbard constructed this house for his family, and his son Frederick built one next door. There are Heritage Toronto plaques in front of each noting the contributions of both.

Riverdale Park East
550 Broadview Avenue
The City of Toronto purchased this land in 1856, which included land on both sides of the Don River, and was used to build both Riverdale Park and the nearby Don Jail. The parklands opened in 1880 but, during the 1920s, the eastern edge of the park along Broadview Avenue was used for landfill. Since the 1990s, the Task Force to Bring Back the Don has led efforts to regenerate the park, with reforestation, restoration of a small marsh and the installation of prominent green exhaust pipes along Broadview Avenue, north of Withrow Avenue. These pipes vent methane gas from the now filled-in dump under the park. This renewed park has access to the Lower Don Recreation Trail and a pedestrian footbridge that connects the two sides of the valley. Today, Riverdale Park East offers a wide variety of recreational facilities and is known for its spectacular view of the downtown skyline.

Withrow Archeology Site
25 Bain Avenue
The Withrow Archaeological Site is marked by a plaque on the wall of Withrow Public School. In 1886, while a road bed was being dug to create Withrow Avenue, workers unearthed a First Nations burial ground and camp beneath what are now the school grounds. David Boyle, a provincial archeologist, oversaw the excavation of the site. Two separate burial places were disturbed during the excavation. Some of the artifacts found at the site included slate daggers, arrowheads, a stone axe, a slate knife, and pottery fragments. A slate point found at the site is currently housed at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and is on display within the Daphne Cockwell Gallery. It has been dated between 5000-2500 BCE. Human remains from the site are still held at the ROM. A small collection of artifacts is displayed in a glass case at Withrow Public School. This burial ground overlooks what is now known as The Don River Valley Park. Waasayishkodenayosh is an Anishinaabemowin name for the lower Don River that means burning light point. The name may refer to the practice of torchlight salmon spearing on the river.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Statue
454 Broadview Avenue
This bronze statue of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, founder of the Republic of China, was installed in Riverdale Park in 1985. Designed by local sculptor Joe Rosenthal, the monument shows Dr. Sun Yat-sen holding a book of his famous ideology 'The Three Principles of the People', symbolizing his beliefs on nationalism, democracy and socialism. The monument celebrates the area's Chinese community, which continues to thrive today.

Bridgepoint Active Healthcare
1 Bridgepoint Drive
Evolving from a House of Refuge for the 'poor, needy, and disabled,' to the Riverdale Isolation Hospital during smallpox and diphtheria outbreaks, to a modern care and rehabilitation hospital through the twentieth century, this space has long been dedicated to patient care. The current Bridgepoint Active Healthcare facility opened in 2013, and won several design awards. This 10-storey building has 680,000 square feet of space devoted to state-of-the-art medical equipment and practices. The entire campus was designed to be environmentally friendly and sustainable, from the green roof (you can see the trees from the base of the building) to the energy efficient lighting. There are also several pieces of public art installed throughout the campus that aspires to inspire curiosity, wonderment, conversation and delight in patients, their families, and others on the site. Bridgepoint has also appeared in film and television shows, including 'Room', 'Orphan Black', and 'The Handmaid's Tale'.

Don Jail
550 Gerrard Street
When the Don Jail opened in 1864, it was the largest jail in North America. It was designed in the Italianate style, popular in Ontario at the time. Architect William Thomas also designed St. Michael's Cathedral and St. Lawrence Hall. The building was designed with a central pavilion and vermiculated columns, and the sculpted head of Father Time frames the main entranceway. Film and television productions 'Cruel Intentions', 'Cocktail' and 'Orphan Black' have used the site. Today, the historic Don Jail houses the administrative offices of Bridgepoint Active Healthcare.

Metropolitan Community Church
115 Simpson Avenue
This red-brick church building was originally completed in 1907. Today, the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto (MCC Toronto) can be found within its walls. The MCC Toronto first began in 1973 as a progressive church also part of the LGBTQ2S+ community. In 1993, they partnered with the Toronto District Schoolboard (TDSB) to create the Triangle Program, Canada's first high school for at risk LGBTQ2S+ students. The program still operates in the church. On January 14, 2001, the first same-sex marriages were performed at a double wedding. While the official documents were not issued until two years later, the work by MCC Toronto in legalizing same-sex marriage was ground breaking. The federal Civil Marriage Act was realized on July 25, 2005, making same-sex marriage legal across Canada.

Explore North Riverdale

Now is the time for residents to experience all that tourists have been raving about for years. Discover shops, stops, places and spaces on city main streets. Stay curious, Toronto.

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Don't Miss

Artists from various disciplines present messages of hope and resilience throughout the city in the form of text-based visual art installations.
Hiba Abdallah
Toronto Public Library: Gerrard/Ashdale Branch
1432 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4L 1Z6

Check out main street storefront art installations, in the neighbourhood or nearby, created by Local Arts Organizations and Business Improvement Areas across the City.

Painting Icon StrollTO Guided Walks:

On select weekend dates, join guided walks and discover the diverse histories and cultural significance behind neighbourhood landmarks and attractions.
Learn more and register.

We hope that you enjoyed exploring this Toronto neighbourhood and found many other points of interest along the way. While StrollTO highlights some of the 'hidden gems' in the neighbourhood, there may be others that could be included in a future edition. Would you like to share a point of interest that you discovered in the neighbourhood? Email us at [email protected].

Neighbourhood Stroll

With magnificent views of downtown Toronto from the top of Riverdale Park East, distinctive architectural sites, and a dynamic community, North Riverdale has much to offer. Pop into the shops and cafés along the Broadview Danforth and GreekTown BIAs, learn about the varied histories of healthcare, theatres, prisons, co-operatives and so much more as you stroll through the streets and green spaces of this neighbourhood.

Main Streets: Danforth Avenue, Broadview Avenue
  1. Cranfield House
    450 Pape Avenue
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the sidewalk only. Cranfield House was built in 1902 for William and Caroline Harris. Harris had founded a successful meat processing factory, later becoming part of Canada Packers Limited. The house, designed by Toronto architect Henry Simpson, mixed Queen Anne Revival with Edwardian Classicism to create a unique style for the home. Cranfield was given to the Salvation Army in 1930, where they provided social aid for 75 years. The home will become part of Nellie's Shelters, providing housing and support for women and children in need. Prior to the reconstruction project for Nellie's, the facade of Cranfield stood in for the Neibolt Street home in 'It: Chapter One' (2017).
  2. Bain Co-op
    100 Bain Avenue
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the houses from the sidewalk only. Originally built as affordable rental housing in 1913, the Riverdale Courts were influenced by the Garden City Movement, a popular urban planning method in England at the time. Because of this urban design strategy, all the English cottage style apartments have street level access onto shared grass courts and gardens. This was the first example of social housing in Canada. After a period of private ownership, the resident-run Bain Apartments Co-operative took over the complex in 1977. The residents of the complex pooled resources, and were able to fully purchase the entire site. The Bain Co-operative still manages the 260 apartments.
  3. Withrow Park
    725 Logan Avenue
    An 8 hectare park on Logan Avenue just south of Danforth Avenue featuring two ball diamonds, a multipurpose sports field, two outdoor tennis courts, a volleyball court, a dog off-leash area, a wading pool and a children's playground. In the middle of the park is the Withrow Park Outdoor Artificial Ice Rink.
  4. GreekTown Banners and Logo
    649 Danforth Avenue
    In 1981, the burgeoning GreekTown community along the Danforth held a design competition for students at Danforth Technical School to design a logo for the Danforth Village. The design by Helen Palopoulos, highlighting Doric columns and laurel leaves, traditional of ancient Greek culture, was chosen. Her designs were painted on the light standards along the street, as well as banners that were hung throughout the neighbourhood.
  5. 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' Filming Locations
    439 Danforth Avenue
    When 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' hit theatres in 2002, many Torontonians may recall seeing the characters in the movie visiting several places along Danforth Avenue. While the Mount Olympus Travel Agency may only have existed in the film, the storefront is still visible (although without the travel signs). Other neighbourhood landmarks appeared in parts of the film, and can still be seen today along this stretch of the city.
  6. Model Theatre
    417 Danforth Avenue
    The 1914 Model Theatre (later the Grenada) was a 500 seat neighbourhood cinema. These small theatres were far less fancy than a traditional stage theatre, as patrons were there to see the film, not the architecture. Technicolor films were introduced in 1917, which further spurred interest in the cinema ('talkies' introduced sound to film a decade later). Visits to the theatre in the early twentieth century were an all afternoon affair, with matinee programming running up to four hours, including two films (an 'A' and 'B' picture), trailers, newsreels, cartoons, and a weekly serial short film. Although no longer operating as a theatre, the distinctive Victorian architecture at the top of the building hints at its early origins.
  7. St. Barnabas Church
    361 Danforth Avenue
    This late Victorian church was built in the early twentieth century as a more permanent structure for the congregation. The original section of the building was completed in 1910. With the completion of the Prince Edward Viaduct in 1918, the community of the east side of the river was growing. The parish hall was added in 1919, and the final sections completed a few years later. St. Barnabas Church was originally a small congregation in a somewhat rural part of the city. Today, it sits in a busy city with a diverse community inside and outside the church.
  8. Danforth Music Hall
    147 Danforth Avenue
    Brothers Jules and Jay Allen opened the Allen's Theatre in 1919, a 1,600-seat cinema originally screening silent films accompanied by vaudeville acts. In the 1970s, it began hosting live shows with performances by music legends like James Brown, The Clash, The Police and The Ramones. Renamed the Danforth Music Hall in 1978, it was a popular entertainment venue until it closed in 2004, due to disrepair and financial problems. The building was renovated and reopened in 2011 and has since hosted some of the biggest names in music and entertainment, including Billy Bragg, Dave Chappelle, FKA Twigs, Iggy Azalea, Justin Bieber, Metric, Rihanna, Run The Jewels and RuPaul's Drag Race. 'Chicago' and 'How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days' were also filmed at the theatre. Make sure to look for the stylized 'AT' (Allen's Theatre) inscription above the windows on the front of the building.
  9. William Peyton Hubbard House
    660 Broadview Avenue
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the sidewalk only. Born in 1842 to parents that had been freed from slavery, William Peyton Hubbard initially started his career as a baker, inventing and patenting a new kind of commercial bake oven, before going to work for his uncle's chauffer service. Hubbard formed a friendship with George Brown (noted abolitionist, newspaper editor, father of confederation) after he saved Brown from drowning in the Don River. Brown hired him as driver, and encouraged him to enter politics. Hubbard ran for council in 1893 (defeated by only seven votes) and won the following year to represent Ward 4, which at the time ran from St. Clair to Lake Ontario. Hubbard was the first visible minority elected to public office in Toronto, and was elected every year until 1908, before retiring from the council in 1913. He was known as the 'Cicero of the Council Chamber' for his eloquence. Hubbard constructed this house for his family, and his son Frederick built one next door. There are Heritage Toronto plaques in front of each noting the contributions of both.
  10. Riverdale Park East
    550 Broadview Avenue
    The City of Toronto purchased this land in 1856, which included land on both sides of the Don River, and was used to build both Riverdale Park and the nearby Don Jail. The parklands opened in 1880 but, during the 1920s, the eastern edge of the park along Broadview Avenue was used for landfill. Since the 1990s, the Task Force to Bring Back the Don has led efforts to regenerate the park, with reforestation, restoration of a small marsh and the installation of prominent green exhaust pipes along Broadview Avenue, north of Withrow Avenue. These pipes vent methane gas from the now filled-in dump under the park. This renewed park has access to the Lower Don Recreation Trail and a pedestrian footbridge that connects the two sides of the valley. Today, Riverdale Park East offers a wide variety of recreational facilities and is known for its spectacular view of the downtown skyline.
  11. Withrow Archeology Site
    25 Bain Avenue
    The Withrow Archaeological Site is marked by a plaque on the wall of Withrow Public School. In 1886, while a road bed was being dug to create Withrow Avenue, workers unearthed a First Nations burial ground and camp beneath what are now the school grounds. David Boyle, a provincial archeologist, oversaw the excavation of the site. Two separate burial places were disturbed during the excavation. Some of the artifacts found at the site included slate daggers, arrowheads, a stone axe, a slate knife, and pottery fragments. A slate point found at the site is currently housed at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and is on display within the Daphne Cockwell Gallery. It has been dated between 5000-2500 BCE. Human remains from the site are still held at the ROM. A small collection of artifacts is displayed in a glass case at Withrow Public School. This burial ground overlooks what is now known as The Don River Valley Park. Waasayishkodenayosh is an Anishinaabemowin name for the lower Don River that means burning light point. The name may refer to the practice of torchlight salmon spearing on the river.
  12. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Statue
    454 Broadview Avenue
    This bronze statue of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, founder of the Republic of China, was installed in Riverdale Park in 1985. Designed by local sculptor Joe Rosenthal, the monument shows Dr. Sun Yat-sen holding a book of his famous ideology 'The Three Principles of the People', symbolizing his beliefs on nationalism, democracy and socialism. The monument celebrates the area's Chinese community, which continues to thrive today.
  13. Bridgepoint Active Healthcare
    1 Bridgepoint Drive
    Evolving from a House of Refuge for the 'poor, needy, and disabled,' to the Riverdale Isolation Hospital during smallpox and diphtheria outbreaks, to a modern care and rehabilitation hospital through the twentieth century, this space has long been dedicated to patient care. The current Bridgepoint Active Healthcare facility opened in 2013, and won several design awards. This 10-storey building has 680,000 square feet of space devoted to state-of-the-art medical equipment and practices. The entire campus was designed to be environmentally friendly and sustainable, from the green roof (you can see the trees from the base of the building) to the energy efficient lighting. There are also several pieces of public art installed throughout the campus that aspires to inspire curiosity, wonderment, conversation and delight in patients, their families, and others on the site. Bridgepoint has also appeared in film and television shows, including 'Room', 'Orphan Black', and 'The Handmaid's Tale'.
  14. Don Jail
    550 Gerrard Street
    When the Don Jail opened in 1864, it was the largest jail in North America. It was designed in the Italianate style, popular in Ontario at the time. Architect William Thomas also designed St. Michael's Cathedral and St. Lawrence Hall. The building was designed with a central pavilion and vermiculated columns, and the sculpted head of Father Time frames the main entranceway. Film and television productions 'Cruel Intentions', 'Cocktail' and 'Orphan Black' have used the site. Today, the historic Don Jail houses the administrative offices of Bridgepoint Active Healthcare.
  15. Metropolitan Community Church
    115 Simpson Avenue
    This red-brick church building was originally completed in 1907. Today, the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto (MCC Toronto) can be found within its walls. The MCC Toronto first began in 1973 as a progressive church also part of the LGBTQ2S+ community. In 1993, they partnered with the Toronto District Schoolboard (TDSB) to create the Triangle Program, Canada's first high school for at risk LGBTQ2S+ students. The program still operates in the church. On January 14, 2001, the first same-sex marriages were performed at a double wedding. While the official documents were not issued until two years later, the work by MCC Toronto in legalizing same-sex marriage was ground breaking. The federal Civil Marriage Act was realized on July 25, 2005, making same-sex marriage legal across Canada.

Accessibility information: All points of interest are visible from the sidewalk. Broadview Avenue is on an incline. Some residential sideroads may not have sidewalks.

Soundtracks of the City

From global superstars to local favourites and ones to watch, the Soundtracks of the City playlists all feature artists who have called Toronto home. Whether it’s a lyric about the neighborhood, an artist representing a cultural community, or a tie-in to the StrollTO itinerary itself, all the music reflects connections to an individual ward or the City as a whole.

Music was chosen based on an artist’s Spotify presence and each song’s broad appeal, as well as its associations with the cultures, languages and ethnicities that reflect Toronto’s neighborhoods and diverse music scene. Soundtracks of the City combines 425 songs that feature more than 500 different local artists or acts, showcasing songs in 23 different languages.