Riverdale is ranked the second best neighbourhood in Toronto

Riverdale has done it yet again. North Riverdale is ranked the second best neighbourhood in Toronto. The community’s real estate is still growing and the demand is still high.

We want to know what you think about Riverdale and about its rank. What do you love about Riverdale? What can be improved?

Read the TorontoLife article about Toronto’s neighbourhood rankings!

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Hundreds show up to Dusk Dances' 24th festival season

The preview night at Withrow Park was a success thanks to all its volunteers 

 Dusk Dances opening performance: Waving is funny. Choreographed by Tina Fushell. Performance by Tina Fushell, Luke Garwood and Molly Johnson

Dusk Dances opening performance: Waving is funny. Choreographed by Tina Fushell. Performance by Tina Fushell, Luke Garwood and Molly Johnson

Article and photography by Fleur Boomsma

The Dusk Dances preview evening started out relaxed. Neighbors got together with their children and pets; sitting on picnic blankets and lawn chairs enjoying a drink. They were watching the opening band and Joy of Dance teacher perform a dance lesson. Several people got up to learn how to dance, especially the children. The teacher requested a volunteer to help him assist with the dance lessons and a young child was delighted to come forward. You would think that only a handful of people would show up at 7 p.m., which was the introduction before the festival started.

By the time of 7:30 p.m., the park was filled with hundreds of neighbors prepared to watch the five dance performances. It was incredible see how the volunteers and the (really funny) host, Susie Burpee's alter ego, Allegra Charleston, were able to navigate these watchers to the next performance. Let me tell you, the host was a real comedian!

 The host of the 24th Dusk Dances festival season, Susie Burpee's alter ego Allegra Charleston

The host of the 24th Dusk Dances festival season, Susie Burpee's alter ego Allegra Charleston

It is Dusk Dances’ 24th year that they celebrate this festival season and travel to Terrebonne (Quebec), Hamilton, Toronto (Withrow Park), and Barrie. The park is filled with volunteers selling popcorn for $2 a bag, take donations (it is a pay-what-you-can basis), and help the host navigate the residents through the park to go to the next dance piece. These festival’s choreographers come from various backgrounds that are represented in the contemporary and traditional dance pieces.

While the audiences are navigated by its volunteers to the next performance, you see the children run (for their lives almost) to get a good seat! You don’t want to sit behind those who have lawn chairs, you won’t see a thing! The adults are lucky, their children get to the piece early and reserve spots while the adults can walk at an easy pace while chatting with their surrounded neighbors. 

Dusk Dances performs five 10-minute pieces at Withrow Park and are “inspired by the park’s natural environment”. I won’t spoil these performances, you’d have to see for yourself and judge! With the rain this week, don’t let this weather ruin this artistic, social and cultural event. Bring some dry lawn chairs so you won’t have to sit on the wet grass.

Dusk Dances celebrate between August 5-12th. You are just in time to finish your weekend off with this relaxing and amazing experience. We love Dusk Dances, what do you think?


Dusk Dances 2018
Withrow Park

Located south of the Danforth, between Logan and Carlaw in Toronto, ON.
Closest TTC subway station: Chester.
More info: 416 504 6429 ext 24

Going eco-friendly: Ride the bike!

City of Toronto installs three new bike station docks in Riverdale's Withrow Park

 Bike station docks at Carlaw Ave and McConnell Ave.  Photo taken by Fleur Boomsma

Bike station docks at Carlaw Ave and McConnell Ave. 
Photo taken by Fleur Boomsma

Article and photography by Fleur Boomsma

Since the City of Toronto started investing in “Bike Sharing” back in 2011 the number of bike rides and annual members have grown significantly. According to Bike Share Toronto, they had over 4,000 members in 2016 and it continues to grow. The Riverdale community is one of the perfect places ride the bike safely wherever you go, no matter what time it is. See biking as an entertaining and economical way to get around town while avoiding traffic, TTC delays and Taxi or Uber fares! Let’s not forget you get the exercise!

Finally, on July 10, the city installed three new bike sharing docks near Withrow Park which are located at Carlaw/McConnell Ave, Logan/McConnell Ave, and Logan/Bain Ave. Each station block has between 9-17 bikes available. Now you may see that bikes are not always parked at the station docks, it seems that the Riverdale community is fully committed to bike sharing! The city recognizes that our growing Riverdale neighborhood is ready for this bike system around its well-known Withrow Park.

How does it work?

The system is simple. You locate a bike at one of stations by going to the Bike Share Toronto website or the mobile app. Once located the bike (or if you are at a station already), purchase your pass with your credit card and you will receive a 5-digit code that gives you access to unlock a bike. The benefit of bike sharing is that there’s no need to return the bike to the exact same station.

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What is the cost?

Though a single trip of 30 minutes would cost you $3.25, it’s wiser for you to purchase a 24-hour pass of $7. That way you will avoid getting overcharged on your credit card if you don't return your bike within 30 minutes.

If you want to explore the city you can purchase a 3-day pass for $15, which is much more cost-effective than using the public transportation in Toronto.

If you are a committed bike rider like the Dutch in the Netherlands, who will bike anywhere no matter what weather condition they are in (summer, fall, spring AND winter), there is the option of purchasing the $99 annual membership that allows you to have unlimited bike rides for an entire year.

We would love to hear your thoughts on the new bike sharing installations! Is it worth your while?

Time Travel to a Living Room in the 90’s

Farside bar plays VHS, vinyls and trivia to help quell any nostalgia you’ve had for the last great decade.

 photo courtesy of Toronto Life

photo courtesy of Toronto Life

Article by Marlene de Leon

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The host with the most, Russel Harder, is nicknamed the man in the bow tie.

Deep in the heart of East Chinatown flashes a neon “Open” sign with a palm tree. It’s Wednesday trivia night, which Russel Harder, aka the man in the bow tie, holds every other week at Farside bar (really, he wears a bow tie to every trivia night).

Priding itself on its sense of community, Farside calls itself the neighbourhood’s communal living room. Nestled in the heart of Riverdale at 600 Gerrard St. E., the bar is an anomaly. It’d be difficult to find any other locations in the area that can speak to the vibrancy of the community.

The bar hosts Trivia Club biweekly on Wednesday, VHS movie screenings every Monday and guest DJs who spin vinyl records on Saturdays. (See their monthly schedule here.)

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The bar also hosts Post a Letter Social Activity Club, where patrons write letters to politicians, loved ones and everyone in between.

Time travel never looked so good.

Comfy sofas are upholstered with fabric straight out of the 90’s (florally and reminiscent of something you’d find in your granny’s basement) and are stationed right by the front window. The wall behind the couches is adorned with a mural (which photos just don’t do justice), painted by a Toronto artist. Friends curl up, gathering their wits for trivia night.

Russel gives you a sheet of paper for your trivia answers and asks for your team name. You are now a member of Farside Trivia Club.

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Order classics and cocktails at the bar.

You’re part of the community as soon as you walk through the door.

The bartender hands you a menu, each one showcasing a different illustration by a Toronto artist.

While ordering a drink and hot dogs, a Disney VHS plays from a projector onto the back wall of the bar.

It feels like you’re 10 years old again, hanging out at friend’s house in 1998… except you can drink alcohol.

Trivia begins.

There are three rounds, each one packed with questions relating to old movies, songs and pop culture from decades past. The game evokes equal exclamations of both “I remember this!” and “I can’t believe I don’t remember this!”

Then, just like in grade school, you exchange trivia pages. You’ll go through another team’s answers, evoking equal exclamations of both “I can’t believe they didn’t remember that!” and “How could they possibly have remembered that?”

At the end, Russel returns your trivia sheet and gives you a sticker. You’ve earned it!

Stay a while. Have another drink. Maybe celebrate with a piece of cake served on a Spice Girls plate. (This is a real item on the menu!) It’s not everyday you get to time travel to the 90’s.

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The seating is as comfy as your nana's old sofa and the mural by a local artist adds a sense of Toronto community pride.

Farside Toronto
600 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1Y3
www.farsideto.com
(647) 347-7433