In My 'Hood | Lindsey Gerrish from Riverdale in Toronto, Ontario

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Hi there! My name is Lindsey, from the blog Recreated. I started blogging about 5 years ago. I originally started it when I started doing upholstery as a side business (I work as a project manger by day) and wanted to share my projects and ideas. But I very quickly realized that I wanted to share more than my projects and it developed into a lifestyle blog with posts on design, food and fashion. 

But enough about me! Today, I am so happy to be contributing to this series In My 'Hood! I have lived in Toronto since 2002, but I grew up in a small, close-knit town in New Brunswick. When I first moved to Toronto I assumed that in such a vast city you wouldn't be able to emulate anything close to that small-town feel. But what I have come to discover is that Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods which operates a little like a whole bunch of smaller towns. Sure, these towns are very much interconnected, but once you live in one area of the city, moving to a new neighbourhood is almost like moving to a new city entirely.

I live the east end neighbourhood of Riverdale and I've lived here for 5 years. Before I lived here I lived in the adjacent neighbourhood of Leslieville. Riverdale is located just a few kilometers east of the heart of downtown Toronto just past the Don River and the Don Valley Parkway.

One of the best parts of my 'hood is that there is so much greenery. The streets are lined with mature trees and gardens and I love it. This time of year, it's just so nice to look up a see this....


Just a few minutes from my place is Riverdale Park East. It is a meandering sloping park leading down to the bottom of the Don Valley, and which boasts what just might be the best view of the downtown skyline in the city.

Riverdale Park East 2

It also has some lovely lush landscapes for reading, picnicking and even napping.

Riverdale Park East 1

The houses on my 'hood are mostly older brick homes with lost of character elements like wrought-iron fences and big porches.

Streetscapes 1

There are many lovely homes on my street but this one is probably my favourite. IT.HAS.A.TURRET. And who doesn't wish their house had a turret? Exactly.

fave house

At the end of my street is the former home of the historic and notorious Don Jail, which has been around since before confederation. It also happens to be the first and last place that a convicted criminal was put to death in Canada. In 1962, and by hanging no less! who knew they were still performing hangings in the '60s. This lovely building has a dark and sinister past, which you can read more about here.

Don Jail

The building was recently incorporated into the redevelopment of the Bridgepoint Health complex and now houses administrative staff. It is connected to the new modern hospital via a skyway. I love how they have incorporated the old with the new in this project.

Don Jail - Bridgepoint Health

Not everyone knows this but Toronto has two Chinatowns. My neighbourhood in home to the the lesser-known Chinatown East. Gerrard Street East at Broadview is brimming with Asian restaurants, bakeries and groceries.

Gerrard Street East 1
Gerrard Street East 2

Another place high on my list of cool places in Riverdale is Rooster Coffee House. It is great and it's always hopping. They have great coffee, amazing design and has a really friendly atmosphere. And it's in a great location right across from Riverdale Park East.

Because it is always super busy on the weekends (I'm talking line ups out the door sometimes) which happens to be when I'm able to get there, it's hard to get good pictures. The following photos are from their online gallery and while they don't 100% capture the look and feel that you get being there in person, you can get a good idea how cool it is. I also love that they feature revolving art by local artists on the walls (for sale in case you fall in love with something!). Great coffee + great people + great design + discovering new art = awesome.

On to food loves.....oh how I love food, and the east end is booming with great restaurants, old and new. The first place I want to mention is a 3 min walk from my house. It's Chino Locos Burritos on the southwest corner of the Gerrard Street East and Broadview. It doesn't look like much from the outside but their burritos are UNREAL.

restos 2

About a 10 minute walk from my house along Queen Street East there are a ton a great restaurants including Chef Kim Crawford's Ruby Watchco, Table 17, La Carnita and The County General.

restos 1

One store that I frequent is the MacFab Notions shop. MacFab Fabrics used to have it's store on Queen Street East as well, but sadly it recently moved uptown. Thankfully, their notions shop remains and has all sorts of fun things like pins and bottons and ribbon.....

ribbons copy

A relatively new addition to the neighbourhood is Goodfolk Vintage and Handmade. I haven't yet purchased anything here but it won't be long because I stop in pretty regularly and they always have something new that catches my eye.


And if you travel a little farther out along Queen Street East (techincally in Leslieville) you get to one of my fave decor stores in the city, Black Rooster. They started off as an amazing online store but now have a great bricks and mortar location. And it's well worth a visit. I was just there last weekend and had my camera and I took some photos, but guess what? I didn't have my memory card in the in camera! Balls. I do have other photos from events at the store, but instead I'm using a couple of images from their facebook page (credit Nina Ber-Donker) so you can see what is currently in store.

Great stuff. Oh, and do you see that pretty beach scene on the wall in the pic above? Well, I just bought that lovely for my wall! So excited for it to arrive.

And that brings me to the end of my 'hood tour! There are so many great neighbourhoods in this city, but I really do love mine and hope to stay here for awhile. Thanks for having me!

Thanks for sharing your special neighbourhood Lindsey! For more information on this series, see the other posts below. If you'd like to contribute, please contact me.

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