Riverside Eats and Beats | Riverside

Riverside, which is a neighbourhood east of the Don Valley along Queen Street East, is hosting it’s annual Eats & Beats Fest on Saturday June 6th from 1pm to 6pm. Riverside is just minutes from the downtown core and is easily accessible by streetcar and contains many artist’s lofts, some galleries, and a wide variety of restaurants and shops including numerous unique destinations.

Riverside sign

During Eats & Beats in Riverside, area restaurants will be serving special tasting plates (the Eats part) and presenting live music (the Beats part). At many different destinations there will be live music and entertainment. There will be arts events including a live painting, outdoor spin classes, cooking demonstrations, craft sales and lots of kid friendly events.

Live music will get you moving and shaking and will range from Jazz to Samba to Celtic. The atmosphere will be electrifying and festive. Click through to riverside-to.com for a list of what to expect… BBQ and blues bands and flowers and coffee and knitting and burgers and fine arts and heritage buildings.

The Riverside area is a prime example of neighbourhood regeneration without gentrification or pretension. Look for the trademark quotes embedded in the sidewalk on the four corners of the intersection of Broadview and Queen which are part two of a public art installation “Time and a Clock” by Eldon Garnet. The four quotes read “Distance = velocity x time”, “Too soon free from time”, “Time is money, money is time” and “Better late than never”. Part one is placed on the Queen Street bridge across the Don Valley and reads “This river I step in is not the river I stand in”. Part three can be found in Jimmie Simpson Park further east on Queen Street atop banner poles and spells out TIME. – one of the touches that make the neighbourhood vibrant and unique.

Time sidewalk quote

Underpass Park in Toronto | Underpass park

As the weather warms up we get outside more and have a chance to appreciate our city. There are hidden gems everywhere, you just have to keep your eyes open and look around. This space isn’t so much hidden as difficult to find but if you drive down the Bayview Extension and continue around and back up River Street toward Eastern Avenue you will see it as you go under the Gardiner Expressway.

Underpass park

Conceived as the first ever underpass playground in Canada, Underpass Park uses the unique location as a positive feature in the landscape design. Incorporating the pillars into the design and using the overpass as a weather shield designers Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg have created a welcoming community asset.

Underpass park

Right in the middle of what used to be a wasteland of concrete and industrial leftovers Underpass Park is part of the rejuvenation of the West Donlands and the waterfront.

Underpass park

The plaque reads:

“Welcome to Underpass Park. The first park built under an overpass in Toronto, Underpass Park opened in 2012 and transformed previously underused and derelict space into an urban neighbourhood amenity. The park features a number of spaces designed to encourage both active and passive recreation. The public artwork “Mirage” was created for the unique space and is comprised of mirrored octagonal stainless steel panels attached to the underside of the overpass to reflect light and movement.”

Underpass park

More information can be found at waterfronttoronto.ca

Kensington Market in Toronto | Kensington Market

Kensington graffiti

Kensington Market is a truly unique neighbourhood in Toronto. One of the oldest areas, it is the definition of urban multiculturalism. You’ll find Caribbean patties, Mexican tacos, spices, vegetables, fish, cheese and great cafes. Not just food, though, the area has the best vintage shopping in the city and a large selection of contemporary crafts shops. The neighbourhood is congested, noisy, smelly and lively. You’ll see great street art and people from every walk of life.

 Kensington market map

Kensington Market is located west of Spadina Avenue, east of Bathurst Street and south of College Street, north of Dundas Street West. The area is very congested especially on the weekends and there is very little-to-no street parking. There is a parking garage on Baldwin Street and a parking lot on Bellevue Ave.

Kensington market graffiti

Some of the highlights include the following:

Augusta Avenue

Longboard Living 202 Augusta Avenue Cruising on a skateboard says freedom. 416 901 7787 www.longboardliving.com

Kid Icarus 205 Augusta Avenue I found a true treasure trove of map inspired items (my obsession) among the range of really great crafts, sources are primarily Canadian. The real stand-out are the silkscreened prints and cards, the majority of which are printed by them. They also do custom design work for invitations and event posters. 416.977.7236 www.kidicarus.ca

Blue Banana Market 250 Augusta Avenue It’s a department store of interesting finds, a fantastic mix of crafts. 416 594 6600 

Good Egg 267 Augusta Avenue There are some things that are made for each other… peanut butter and jam, eggs and bacon… the food metaphor is intentional and appropriate when describing Good Egg. A quirky, lovely store dedicated to food in a quirky, lovely neighbourhood. No food just food stuff and books. 416 593 4663 www.goodegg.ca

Bungalow 273 Augusta Ave. One of the best vintage stores in an area lousy with vintage. Not just clothes but furniture and housewares. 416 598 0204 www.bungalow.to

Fresh Collective 274 Augusta Ave. Looking for a special dress that you won’t see on everyone you meet? FC is the place to go for pieces that are for the most-part locally designed and truly unique.  416 966 0123 www.freshcollective.com

Model Citizen 279 Augusta Ave. Silkscreening on-site, clothing, accessories, local designers. 416.703.7625 www.modelcitizentoronto.com 

Kensington market graffiti

Nassau Street

Lettuce Knit 86 Nassau Street  Inspiring little knitting shop with a range of supplies. Look for the yarn wrapped fence posts outside.  416·203·9970 www.lettuceknit.com

Kensington market graffiti

Baldwin Street

Tom’s Place 190 Baldwin Street One of the best kept secrets of well-heeled Bay Street types. Discounted high-end business attire in Kensington since 1958. 416 596 0297 www.toms-place.com

Hooked 206 Baldwin Street This seafood market was named in the “Best of the City” 2012 issue of Toronto Life magazine. They hold seafood prep and cooking classes including Sunny Dreams of Sushi, Summer Starters and Fish cooking. One of two locations, see the Riverside guide. 647 925 1835  www.hookedinc.ca

Army Navy Deals.ca 199 Baldwin St. Great, sliding piles and stuffed racks of camo, uniform pieces, bags etc.


Kensington Avenue

By far the best vintage shopping in the city is on Kensington Avenue. There are so many shops on this street that naming them will take us a bit longer – vintage store after vintage store lines the street. The grand old dame of vintage in Toronto Courage My Love is located here.

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