Riverdale Farm is a Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation facility located in Cabbagetown. It is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. Admission is free of charge.
History: Between 1888 and 1974, the Riverdale Zoo was located on the west bank of the Don River adjacent to Riverdale Park. In 1974, the zoo relocated to a much larger facility in Scarborough and was renamed the Toronto Zoo. In 1978, Riverdale Farm opened on the old zoo site.
Riverdale Farm is an example of an Ontario farm between 1880 and 1920.
The Farm is enjoyed by thousands of people from the local community and across the City of Toronto to tourists from afar. The Farm is a vital part of the social and economic fabric of our city. Here are some examples as to why:
- The Meeting House has served as our community centre for decades.
- Local events like the Farm Dinner, Babe in the Barn, the Fall Festival, The Rites of Spring, etc., would not be able to happen without Riverdale Farm.
- The Garden Club has volunteered thousands of hours to help the City maintain costs and make the Riverdale Farm a beautiful place to visit.
- The community gives back by helping the farm on clean-up days, “Paint the Picket Fence” days, planting days, etc.
- In a community survey in November of 2009, the Farm and the Farmers Market were the top two things that make Cabbagetown a great place to live.
- Riverdale Farm Advisory Council has given back over $5,000 in financial aid to Farm projects in 2010 from our community fundraising.
Interesting Farm Facts:
- In February 2002, after a year-long study, the Toronto Zoo recommended that the Parks and Recreation division was best suited for operating the Farm.
- Great cities like Chicago, Washington D.C., and Edmonton have farms similar to Riverdale Farm.
- According to the Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens in the UK, farms such as the Riverdale Farm are found throughout the UK and Europe. Even in this time of economic uncertainty, funding is not being cut back in Europe because they realize the overall benefit to the community.
Riverdale Farm is known for food.
- Farmers Markets - Riverdale Park is one of the leading locations for downtown farmers markets.
- The Bread oven has shown thousands of people how bread used to be made.
- Riverdale Farm supports the work of Rare Breeds Canada. This helps to preserve the rare breeds that created one of the greatest agricultural countries on Earth – Canada.