A quaint rural community, Riverdale became a bustling centre in the 1850s when the Grand Trunk Railway brought industry and employment to the small community.
The first homes were built south of the railway, leaving the area North of Queen largely underdeveloped until Riverdale was annexed by the city in 1884.
At this time the neighbourhood was known as Riverside but was changed as a reference to the park that has long been a trademark of the area.
By 1918, development in the neighbourhood accelerated after the construction of the Prince Edward Viaduct, Toronto's largest bridge.
This provided an accessible link to the City of Toronto and marked the growth of Toronto east of the Don River.