Riverdale is a large neighbourhood in Toronto bounded by the Don River Valley to the west, Danforth Avenue and Greektown to the north, Pape Avenue, and Leslieville to the east, and Queen Street East to the south.
The popular teen drama shows The Kids of Degrassi Street, Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi High, and Degrassi: The Next Generation are named after the South Riverdale street of the same name.
Known by Torontonians as a thriving residential neighbourhood, from the strong arts community that caters to independent galleries on Queen Street, to the large corporate film studios along the waterfront. Riverdale was formerly a town before it was annexed by the City of Toronto in 1884.
Its tree-lined side-streets are complemented by the various styles of Victorian and Edwardian residential architecture, primarily built between the 1880s and the Great Depression. The neighbourhood has seen the rise, fall and rise again of prosperity over the past century. The grand homes built on some avenues are a testimony to prosperous times. Despite this rich housing stock, the area was considered to be down-and-out in the 1970s. Since then, the area has rebounded dramatically and is now a trendy and expensive residential district, attracting many young professionals and families.
The main commercial streets in the neighborhood are: Danforth Avenue which has a concentration of Greek restaurants in addition to a variety of boutique and mainstream shops; Gerrard Street East, home to Asian shops and restaurants of East Chinatown and the Gerrard Square Mall; and Queen Street East featuring a variety of restaurants, cafes, and small shops.
The neighbourhood features three large recreational parks; Riverdale Park, adjacent to the Don River, Withrow Park, in the north east of Riverdale, and Jimmie Simpson Park, in the southeast.
There are three medium to large sized parks in Riverdale. At the west edge between Broadview Avenue and the Don Valley Parkway just north of Bridgepoint Health is Riverdale Park East. This park features a running track, three baseball diamonds, a skating rink, a public swimming pool and tennis courts. At the south end, a community centre is under construction which was the former St. Matthew's Lawn Bowling Clubhouse which was relocated there in 2009. At the highest point of the park, near Broadview Avenue, one is afforded a panoramic view of the Don Valley, and downtown skyline, which was featured in the famed 1984 film Ghostbusters . To the east is Withrow Park which has a large off-leash dog area, an ice rink, two baseball diamonds, play structures, and a soccer field. In the south is Jimmy Simpson Park which contains tennis courts and a community centre. In the southwest corner just north of Queen St. East on Broadview Avenue is the Royal Canadian Curling Club. The curling club features 6 sheets and hosts leagues for about 500 members.