Have a look at the following update from our local BIA!


2016 Riverside WineFEST

We are getting the ball rolling for this year’s Riverside WineFEST, and wanted to get a sense on which Riverside Restaurants and Retailers would like to get involved.

Riverside WineFEST takes place late March, early April and brings local Ontario wineries toRiverside for tastings and to be a part of different wine dinners.

Last year we had a number of Riverside retailers host wine tastings (the wineries cover the wine, but to make it a more compelling event we suggest the business include something interesting to pair the wine with). It is a great way to either do a customer appreciation, and bring loyal customers back into one’s business, as well as bring new people through the door for wine and cheese, and then stay for a while and shop.

A number of Riverside restaurants hosted prix fix dinners with wine parings last year, and organized for one of their local wine suppliers to speak about the properties of each wine, and their paring with the food.

Let us know if you would like to be included in this year’s Riverside WineFEST or get more info at walkon@riverside-to.com

Thief targeting businesses in the area 

In the last couple weeks there has been theft and an attempted theft in two busy restaurants in the BIA. In both cases the thief has targeted the staff area of the restaurants looking to steal purses, wallets, laptops and other valuables.

He looks to be a middle-aged bald man with medium-dark toned skin. Please contact us if you have any information. There are pictures of the suspect, but we cannot share it through public avenues.

Canada Summer Jobs – You Could Get Funding to Hire a Summer Student 

Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to help employers create summer job opportunities for students. It is designed to focus on local priorities, while helping both students and their communities. Small businesses can apply to have up to 50% of the minimum wage funded

Canada Summer Jobs:

  • provides work experiences for students;
  • supports organizations, including those that provide important community services; and
  • recognizes that local circumstances, community needs and priorities vary widely.

Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to create summer job opportunities for young people aged 15 to 30 years who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year.

The funding priorities for the this area are: 

  • Organizations that provide programs and services to youth, children at risk, families and recent immigrants
  • Organizations that support recreation and social integration
  • Organizations that invest in cultural and creative industries to strengthen our Canadian identity
  • Organizations that help small businesses to become more innovative, competitive and successful

The application period for Canada Summer Jobs 2016 is from January 4, 2016 toFebruary 26, 2016.

Sidewalk Salting Alternatives During the Winter

Several residents in the area have brought the issue of over-salting front walks to our attention, and we thought we would share this with our businesses. Many of Riversidepatrons own dogs and find that the excessive use of salt in front of businesses an obstacle which burn the dogs paws. As a result of this, some potential patrons are avoiding Queen Street altogether, and this has an adverse impact on Riverside businesses.  In general, over-salting has a negative effect on  the infrastructure (corroding sidewalks), cars (rusting) and the ecosystem( high salt content in the water system  through spring runoff).

With this in mind we, are sharing some solutions and alternatives to salt use during the winter.

Salt, Refrain from using several bags of salt in one go. A few handfuls spread evenly go a long way, and a allows the salt to melt the snow or ice.

Sand.  This is a great alternative to salt.  Sand provides traction, is inexpensive, does not harm the environment, and sweeps up easily.  Brick sand is best because it is coarser and more granular than regular sand.  Brick sand can be purchased from building supply stores.  Sand also has a relatively low albedo, which means it will absorb sunlight, helping to warm ice/snow and contribute to faster melting.

EcoTraction.  One commercial alternative that shows promise is “EcoTraction”. Limited application of this product, used in conjunction with sand, has worked well at EcoHouse in recent winters. Check out the EcoTraction website for more information on this salt alternative. http://www.ecotraction.com/

Safe Paw is a salt-free ice melter on the market and it is  safe for pets, children, surfaces, and the environment. Safe Paw’s pellets are green to make it easy for consumers to distinguish it from rock salt and salt-based ice melters. http://www.safepaw.com/

Magnesium chloride, such as Ice Melt by Uline. It doesn’t leave a powdery residue, and it’s considered safer for humans, animals and vegetation. http://www.uline.ca/BL_7050/Ice-Melt

Change is in the Air in Riverside: Winter 2016 

Comings and Goings + Spaces Available in Riverside this winter

Here’s the latest scoop since our last edition of Change is in the Air in November 2015…

First off, we are excited to welcome the news of The Arts Market coming to Riverside! In about a month from now their new location should be opening up at 790 Queen St East. Following from the success of the Leslieville Arts Market, market owner operator Daniel Cohen scoped out the perfect space to open his third Toronto Arts Market location (second location in the east end), right here inRiverside. On any given day you will find Daniel working hard to renovate the new space to house 50+ artists. He says the renovated space will be accessible to strollers and wheelchairs (upon request), and will have a public washroom and other useful space available downstairs. While Daniel already has most of the 50+ spots filled, he welcomes folks to get in touch.

Change Blog Jan 2016_Arts Market

Just west you’ll find the shiny new Dollarama, which opened up on Dec 5th, to much excitement from the neighbourhood (likely over the free Dollarama-branded mug that you’d get with your purchase as a gift). From the outside it looks like a little shop but is actually an expansive space when you walk down to the sales level.

The Peasant Table opened up in late December in 782 Queen St E (formerly Table 17). It brings ‘old world dishes into a modern setting with a focus on Italian fare’ and is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, plus brunch on weekends, and a three-course, prix-fixe, bring your own wineSunday dinner!

Across the street, and right next door to the Riverside BIA office at 761 Queen E, you’ll see that The Artists’ Network now has its own storefront again. As usual you can visit them by chance or by appointment 😉

Right next to them, the Lan Vietnamese Restaurant is still on its way in at 755 Queen St East.

Green Jar quietly opened at 753A Queen St East (formerly Ambiance Chocolat) back in early December….continue reading the rest of ‘Change is in the Air’ here

Change Blog Jan 2016-Peasant Table etc


The Arts Market is Coming toRiverside: Update

The Arts Market is coming to Riverside!  Following from the success of the Leslieville Arts Market, market owner operator Daniel Cohen scoped out the perfect space to open his third Toronto Arts Market location, right here in Riverside. On any given day this month and next you will find Daniel working hard to renovate the space at 790 Queen Street East (formerly Lancaster Flowers – between Papas’ Laundry and ‘Untitled’ Hair Boutique). Upstairs will be accessible to strollers and wheelchairs (upon request) and will host 50+ artist spaces, and a public washroom and other useful space will be available downstairs.

Daniel’s goal is to open before Valentine’s Day, and he already has a huge waiting list of vendors eager to make their products available to consumers. While most of the 50+ available vendor spots have already been filled – anyone who is interested can reach out to Daniel at the Arts Market here.

How does the Arts Market Work?
The Arts Market provides small, flexible, and affordable space for ‘artistic entrepreneurs’ who want to display, sell and/or promote their work. The spaces for rent are either 2ft x 2ft or 2ftx 4ft, and rent for 4 weeks at a time for just a few hundred dollars. Artists can do anything with their space – advertise in it, paint it, sell in it, decorate it – and have the freedom to be in that space as long as they’d like with no long-term lease.  It is up to each artist to figure out a way to make the space work for them, as one part of their overall portfolio.

The Riverside Arts Market will operate year-round from 12-6 Wed to Fri and 11-6 on weekends (closed Mon-Tues). The market will also plan to host an annual charity event to give back to a local cause, and may host fun evening events for the community.

Stay tuned for more news about this exciting addition to the Riverside BIA!

Greening Riverside: Terracyle Cigarette Waste Brigade

You already know that the BIA has reduced cigarette litter along Queen Street East through special cigarette receptacles (i.e. at Woodgreen, The Wine Rack, Papas Cleaners, and Boots & Bourbon). But did you know that the BIA is collecting this toxic waste and shipping it out to TerraCycle for recycling? It’s just another way to be a greener BIA.

This program is at no cost to the BIA, as TerraCycle provides free shipping labels each time a 3lb or more shipment of cigarette waste has been collected.  It took the BIA’s maintenance staff, Drew, just one month to collect the first 3lb package – further evidence that the BIA’s cigarette receptacles are really working.

What does TerraCycle do with the cigarette litter?

The cigarette waste is recycled into a variety of industrial products like plastic pellets, and any remaining tobacco will be re-worked into tobacco composting.

Anyone can join TerraCycle’s Cigarette Brigade – just sign up here

Are you doing something for Winterlicious? 

Winterlicious artwork

Let us know if you are.
Toronto’s favourite foodie event returns for two mouth-watering weeks! Celebrate the city’s culinary scene through delicious three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner menus served at more than 200 local restaurants and experience one-of-a-kind culinary events. Now in its 14th year, Winterlicious presented by Interac Association runs from January 29 to February 11, 2016. Tickets to the Culinary Event Series go on sale December 10, 2015. Reservations for the Prix Fixe Promotion begin January 14, 2016.
Visit www.toronto.ca/winterlicious for more information.

Tourism Toronto wants to know if you have any plans for Family Day

Share your unique Yoga Experience

February 2016 long weekend: Tourism Toronto media relations wants to know what you’re planning for the February 2016 long weekend which will include Family Day/Valentine’s Day/NBA All Star Weekend/President’s Day.  Please send us your hotel happenings, unique romantic recipes/menus, any basketball related packages (even if it’s a new cocktail named after a ball player!), attractions for families and more!

Send information as soon as possible to Jessica Halliday at jhalliday@torcvb.com.
Looking to pitch Toronto’s great yoga scene.   Are there any attractions, hotels, etc.  that have yoga events or a unique take on yoga?

Please send information to Michele Simpson at msimpson@torcvb.com by February 1, 2016.

Dear Toronto-Danforth community member,

Please join me on Saturday January 16th to share your thoughts and opinions on ways to make our community an even better place to call home. Your valuable insights will guide our Government’s work as we begin preparing the 2016 federal Budget.

This round table discussion will be held at:

Monarch Park Collegiate cafeteria

1 Hanson Street

Saturday January 16th 2016

11:00am – 1:00pm

You will be asked to share and discuss your ideas and priorities so that I can bring those messages back to Ottawa and to Finance Minister Bill Morneau directly.

The budget affects all Canadians and this is your chance to have a say and share your ideas. Please come and tell me what you think.

Reserve your ticket at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/pre-budget-consultation-toronto-danforth-tickets-20652223356


I have attached a flyer invite to the event below.
I look forward to hearing from you.



New 18blocks.com RiversideCommunity Notice Board is here for you!

Join the New Riverdale, Leslieville, Riverside Community Board!

Social media platforms connect us with people around the world.  But how do we start a conversation with our neighbours?

Enter 18Blocks – a free, hyper-local, online network designed to help neighbours connect around common interests.  By posting notes with photos, neighbourhood residents, community organizations, and local businesses can reach out to discover one another, or be easily found.  In turn, neighbours can comment publicly or respond privately to notes. Riverside neighbourhood has joined the 18blocks.com community Board!

The platform is good news for Riverside businesses. The company is offering local retailers the ability to create and post notes on the site for free.  In addition, Riverside businesses receive a free listing on the company’s neighbourhood directory.

It takes just seconds and you can use it to post a note about anything – from an in-store event/special to a note just saying ‘thanks’ for a helping hand.

18 Blocks is active in 16 neighbourhoods across Toronto.  Over the last year, they have partnered with BIAs and other local organizations on community initiatives including, Spring into Parkdale, the Cabbagetown Forsythia Festival, YIMBY, The Junction Summer Solstice Festival, and the Bloordale Laneway Crawl….and now they are partnering with RiversideBIA!

Visit the Riverdale, Leslieville, Riverside noticeboard today and get started!!


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Leslieville/Riverside News: #RiversideTO BIA Weekly Update

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Ben Ferguson
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