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Visiting Riverdale Park, Toronto, Ontario: with its outstanding views of the Downtown skyline

Updated on March 13, 2013
Provincial flag of Ontario
Provincial flag of Ontario | Source
 Toronto skyline as seen from Riverdale Park
Toronto skyline as seen from Riverdale Park | Source
Riverdale Park, Toronto, Ontario
Riverdale Park, Toronto, Ontario | Source
Group on sled in Riverdale Park, Toronto, circa 1912
Group on sled in Riverdale Park, Toronto, circa 1912 | Source
Map location of Toronto, Ontario
Map location of Toronto, Ontario | Source

The breathtaking Don Valley

Don't only ask what you can see at Riverdale Park, Toronto, Ontario.

It's also a question of what you can see from the Park.

The fact is that from Riverdale Park may be obtained among the finest, vistas of Toronto's Downtown skyline. Seemingly rising amidst a verdant sea of foliage, here may be clearly seen in profile some of the most well-known landmarks of Ontario's capital: not only the famed CN Tower but also the Bank of Montreal Tower, the Scotiabank Tower, the CIBC Tower, and many others. The edge of Broadview Avenue is a particularly suitable place to access the Park at a point where views are outstanding.

Because of the lie of the land bordering the lower Don Valley, across which Riverdale Park is situated, a fine panorama of the Downtown area is readily obtained, if not exactly in the category of the vista of Downtown Montreal from Mount Royal (French: Mont Royal), yet only marginally less impressive. At night, as viewed from Riverdale Park, the illuminated windows of the many skyscrapers are reminscent of Manhattan.

The Park dates from 1880, and former comprised 66 hectares, but these were reduced to 42 hectares following the building of the Don Valley Parkway.

Because of the intersecting Don River and Don Valley Parkway, the Park is divided into East and West sections. Among Torontonians it has sometimes become almost a point of honour to express regret about the traffic on the 'Don Valley Parking Lot'. However, the magnificent natural heritage of the Valley is unquestioned. Particularly during the Fall, the Don Valley, as it extends into Riverdale Park, becomes a memorable and glorious kalaidoscope of colours.

While Riverdale is a mature Park, various ongoing tree- and shrub-planting programs continue. Species of tree, planted in recent decades include ash, maple (silver, sugar, and Manitoba), white pine and white cedar (1).

The Chinese community is closely associated with the vicinity of the Park. In the south-east corner, a monument to Chinese Nationalist leader Sun Yat Sen (1866-1925), who visited Toronto, dates from 1985, sculpted by Joe Rosenthal.

Riverdale Farm, adjacent to Riverdale Park, and accessible year round at 201 Winchester Street, is a working facility maintained by Toronto City Council, which receives many visits from students and others learning about agriculture and farming history.

March 13, 2013


(1) Further details may be accessed at:

Also worth seeing

In Toronto itself, sights include: the CN Tower, Old City Hall, the Royal York Hotel, Osgoode Hall, Campbell House, the Ontario Legislative Assembly Building at Queen's Park, numerous examples of fine ecclesiastical architecture, including St. James's Cathedral with its conspicuous, 92.9 metre spire, and many others.


How to get there: Porter Airlines, flies to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, with wide North American connections. Car rental is available at Union Station. Air Canada flies to Toronto Pearson Airport, with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available. However, visitors to Downtown Toronto will find many sights to be easily walkable. TTC Streetcars 504 and 505 stop at the Broadview Avenue vantage point bordering Riverdale Park East. Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. For up to date information, you are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent. You are also advised to refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

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