Riverdale

Overview

Heritage Toronto Book Award — Shortlisted, Non-Fiction Book

A popular history of the Riverdale area of Toronto, including Playter Estates north of the Danforth.

In its first 50 years, the city of Toronto changed from a rough settlement to a booming city with a voracious appetite for land. The incorporated city of Toronto grew tenfold from 1834 to 1884 — partly through immigration, but also through the annexation of older communities. Among these were the former suburbs of Leslieville and Riverside, which were joined together in 1884 to become the new Toronto community of Riverdale. Later, the Playter Estates neighbourhood also became part of this community.

Riverdale tells the history of the neighbourhood, starting with the Simcoe, Scadding, Playter, and Leslie families, who shaped the area throughout its early settlement, the American Revolution, and the War of 1812. It shows the waves of immigration from Britain, America, Italy, Greece, and China, that made Riverdale one of Toronto’s most diverse areas. And it tells the stories written into the map of the neighbourhood, revealing the history on display in its streets and historic buildings.

Awards

Short-listed
Heritage Toronto Book Award
2015

Reviews

Muir's excellent book, Riverdale: East of the Don ... is an important addition to the history and heritage of Toronto.



 - George Rust-D'Eye, author of Cabbagetown Remembered, historian, and municipal lawyer.

Author Elizabeth Gillan Muir delves into the history of Riverdale...[the book] is full of stories that capture Riverdale's history by looking at the streets and historic buildings that remain there.

Spacing Magazine

...a lively popular history of one of Toronto's most famous neighbourhoods...

Ontario Historical Society Bulletin

About the Author

Elizabeth Gillan Muir

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014
Elizabeth Gillan Muir photo

Elizabeth Gillan Muir

Elizabeth Gillan Muir has taught Canadian history at University of Waterloo and the University of Toronto. She has written extensively about women in Upper Canada and recently published a history of Riverdale, Toronto. Elizabeth holds degrees from Queen’s University, the Harvard Business School, and a PhD from McGill University. She lives in Toronto.