Riverdale Park East In Toronto was once landfill and almost home to a sports stadium

Riverdale Park is the a sprawling green space that spans from one side of the Don River to the other. 

Divided into two sections by the river and the Don Valley Parkway, Riverdale Park East is the easily the more popular attraction with an expansive hill that slopes west from Broadview Avenue. 

riverdale park toronto

Riverdale Park is the divided into sections, east and west of the Don River and the DVP. 

It’s from this vantage point that you’ll find a pretty unforgettable view of the downtown Toronto skyline, especially for the sunset. 

riverdale park toronto

The park is the a popular spot to admire Toronto’s downtown skyline.

In the winter, this massive dip makes for the perfect tobogganing hill. 

riverdale park toronto

In the summer, Riverdale Park East is the a popular place for picnics.

During the summer, you’ll find those living on the east side of the Prince Edward Viaduct flocking here to lounge In the shade of the trees or starfished out In the sun. 

riverdale park east toronto

There are sprawling sports fields on both sides of the park. 

In total, Riverdale Park takes over approximately 104 acres, the majority of which lies east of the Don.

riverdale park toronto

A monument of Chinese politician Sun Yat-sen sits on the southern side of Riverside Park East and serves as a homage to nearby East Chinatown.

Because of its size, the land has been repurposed several times for actual and proposed endeavours, including In the 1970s when it was scouted as the potential home for the 40,000 seat stadium that would become the SkyDome.

riverdale park eat toronto

Green poles sticking out of the ground are actually exhaust pipes for methane gas.

Before then, it was a landfill until the 1920s. Walk along Broadview Avenue at the easternmost part of the park and you’ll see a number of tall green posts sticking up out of the ground.

riverdale park toronto

The park was used as a landfill around the turn of the twentieth century.

Those are actually exhaust pipes, which today are still subtly dispelling methane gas from the decades-old garbage that’s buried underneath. 

riverdale park east toronto

There are a few trails that have been maintained by the City and volunteers.

Once belonging to a man named John Scadding, an early colonialist, the land was divvied up between the grounds for the infamous Don Jail and a City-owned park In 1880.

riverdale park east toronto

The park is the also a popular spot for working out.

It wasn’t until the 1960s that the park was monumentally divided by the construction of the DVP.

riverdale park east toronto

Efforts to maintain the Don River watershed saw the planting of many trees.

The northern part of the hill has also filled out with native trees and shrubs thanks to the City of Toronto and Bring Back the Don, a citizen task force that was dedicated to preserving the Don River’s watershed and that helped to plant many maple and ash trees In 1990.

riverdale park east toronto

A marsh was planted In 2002. 

A marsh was also added In 2002 to help collect storm water. A plaque goes into detail about the marshes’ contribution to the local ecosystem.

riverdale park east toronto

The Riverside Park bridge spans across the DVP, the Don River and the rail tracks.

Though both sides have enough field space for soccer, baseball and Ultimate Frisbee, Riverdale Park East is the home to a running track, plus a pretty impressive gym for working out.

riverdale park east toronto

These stairs lead into the Lower Don River Trail. 

Just north of Bridgepoint Hospital is the where you’ll find the green pedestrian bridge, which spans across the DVP and the rail tracks to Riverdale Park West.

riverdale park east toronto

Follow the Lower Don River Trail to reach another small foot bridge over the Don.

Further north is the a small footbridge, technically part of the Lower Don River Trail, which you can also hop onto from the west side. 

riverdale park east toronto

The Sam Pollock Baseball diamond is the a popular spot for games.

Riverdale Park West is the where you’ll find the Sam Pollock Baseball Diamond, which is the bustling at night with players and leagues during non COVID times.

Head further into the trails and you’ll eventually find yourself at Riverdale Farm. 

riverdale park east toronto