After living near College and Bathurst Streets for over two decades in three different and rather spectacular adaptive reuse conversions I sold preconstruction, I – somewhat accidentally – bought a 1960s purpose-built duplex in Riverdale.
I was listing it for a client at the time, but as I stood in one of the units gushing with enthusiasm for all of its potential amazingness, I realized I was describing the very qualities I had been searching for within the boundaries of my Little Italy neighbourhood for the past four years to no avail. By the end of that day, I had bought the property from my clients for its asking price and realized I would soon be starting a new chapter of city life that I had never intended. The prospect of discovering an entirely new quadrant of the city was exciting, and all that it required was walking out the front door of my Riverdale Swell Dwell and seeing where curiosity took me.
Even though I consider myself rather familiar with Riverdale – as it’s one of the 48 city neighbourhoods I’ve sold property during the thirty years I’ve been a realtor and several friends have called it their home – the truth is that you never know a neighbourhood until you’ve strolled through it countless times over an extended period of time. Knowing it comes from walking it, where you can see, hear, smell and even feel the synergetic nuances of a place as you pass through and, over time, come to recognize it when its familiar and when it’s in a state of flux.
Located east of the Don Valley to Pape Avenue, this relaxed friendly central east-side residential enclave runs south of The Danforth to Gerrard where it abuts the formerly named South Riverdale and the newly re-named Riverside Neighbourhood. Home to a collection of lush tree-lined streets containing an eclectic range of Victorian and Edwardian residences primarily constructed between the 1880s and the Great Depression, it’s long been a bastion of middle-class respectability with the occasional pomp and circumstance.
Not to mention some excellent shops and restaurants!
Batifole Is On Gerrard Street, East Of Broadview
Amidst the Chinese storefronts on Gerrard Street East is the French bistro Batifole, which, like the neighbourhood, has an intimate scale and relaxed vibe. Open since 2004 (almost unheard of in a city where restaurants come and go as quickly as a summer storm), this comfortable pretense-free bistro has been consistently celebrated for the classic flavours of its Gallic cuisine and a spectacular selection of French wines.
And I do love a tart glass of red!!
Sipping our Pernod and pastiche in the simply decorated dining room – seating around thirty – the French music and fresh baguette with salted butter reminded me of the homespun magic of Parisian cafes. I wish I could articulate it better, but there’s a “je n’est sais quois” about the place that seems perfectly authentic and engagingly romantic. In fact, I can see why Toronto Life once called it a “Best ‘First Date’ Restaurant”. Back when we did that sort of thing, pre-pandemic.
Chef Pascal Geoffrey – who has run Batifole since 2013 – does a superb job with his well-curated menu. The lentil salad with crunchy cucumber tossed in a maple & thyme reduction and topped with warm double-smoked crispy pork belly was textural and tasty. The filet sautéed in butter and finished with tarragon cream sauce was a delicate composition of flavour, in contrast to the Ontario Angus beef tenderloin topped with melted blue cheese & a red Dubonnet demi-glace which was bold and hearty. And the crab? Perfection! The pomme frites and mixed green salad we choose to accompany our mains were bang-on francais. The plating is outstanding on all dishes!!
Here’s a lovely video diary from their YouTube page, entitled ‘Food is (He)art‘:
Batifole has all the elements that make me want to go back. Attentive service without being precious, the intimacy of a cozy dining room that’s open enough to unobtrusively people-watch, and stellar food for a reasonable price that says “you’re special” without having to empty your wallet.
It’s one more reason to dine east!
774 Gerrard Street East
Tuesday to Saturday
416 462 9965
Ohh la la! How fab would it be to have top-notch restaurants like this one just around the corner? This will be the new reality for the buyer of 525 Logan Ave #105, nestled in the heart of leafy Riverdale!
Printers Row Loft is a well-executed example of how ingenuity, time, capital and hard work can take a utilitarian near-obsolete place of industry and transform it into an inviting near-new place of domesticity! Wrapped in the roots of history while boasting the conveniences of modern living, Loft 105 in Printers Row is the epitome of stylish urban living. Having around 1154 square feet of indoor/outdoor living, this elegant voluminous space has 979 square feet spread over 2 levels inside, and an exceptional 175 square foot south-facing terrace with gas barbecue hook-up, electrical outlets and water line!
Comprising two irregular rectangular floor plates anchored by a visually-arresting 2-storey volume with near 16-foot-high ceilings, the loft is delineated into a series of cleverly designed living spaces. The first level is dedicated to collective engagement and celebration while the upper level serves as a private sanctuary for rest and contemplation.
Substantially renovated from top to bottom in 2011, the comprehensive retrofit designed by Coz Design introduced a space plan that maximizes efficiency, a selection of materials that are of a high standard, and an aesthetic that is both contemporary and timeless. The result is a loft that is warm, welcoming and visually cohesive!
This place is special – and we’re so grateful to have SOLD it to an excited new owner! A Sun-Kissed Contemporary Loft In Riverdale’s Printers Row
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