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.