Riverside has undergone a gentrification of sorts but it has still been able to maintain a gritty urban charm. Riverside includes some of Toronto's more remarkable century old buildings that have provided the perfect backdrop for the plethora of shops and restaurants that have recently sprung up in the area. Some would describe the area as Bohemian due to the eclectic and artsy businesses along Queen Street and mingling of people from all walks of life.
When you are in Riverside it is hard to imagine you are just 2.5 kilometers from downtown Toronto. The railway corridor and the Don Valley that border this neighbourhood have resulted in a tightly knit community within a well defined area. Some notable neighbourhood landmarks include: the New Broadview House Hotel, Ralph Thornton Community Centre, The Opera House, Jimmy Simpson Park and Recreation Centre, Toronto's east chinatown located at Broadview and Gerrard, the recently revitalized Don Mount Court/Rivertowne mixed income public housing development, and last but not least De Grassi Street. This street was made famous by the popular CBC Degrassi series of television shows for youth. While largely filmed elsewhere the vibe of the show originated with this area and many exterior shots were filmed in this neighbourhood.