While "Little Chinatown" at Broadview and Gerrard has had a long and interesting history in the development of Riverdale, the stretch closer to Logan has for some time been a rather desolate and bland row of apparent disrepair. Until recently, the only bright light has been the rather continuous possibility of beer at the Beer Store. ;)
Well even that's about to change.
(Virgin Radio's personality "Tucker" snapped a pic recently that typifies the current ghost town feeling of this stretch, as you're looking back towards the city.)
The first signalling was when Mad Dog Coffee moved into the void a few years ago, and life started to stir somewhat. Then amazing brunch spot Saturday Dinette arrived (after some notable other failures in the same location), and now owner Suzanne Barr is a regular, beaming presence on the block, bringing hoardes of empty stomachs to the 'hood to be satiated.
After came the superb Hailed Coffee just a few buildings west of Saturday Dinette, offering Arabic coffee and Middle Eastern delicacies in various forms. This co-funnel of foot traffic that the two shops now command is no doubt convincing others to wade into the block of no return. Certainly developers have taken notice.
The iconic Beer Store kitty corner to Saturday Dinette at Gerrard and Logan is being demolished in favour of LoftHouse, a six story condo development (see photo below), with units being decorated by TV interior designer Andrew Pike. As well, word on the street is that the Cash N Carry just south of the intersection is slated for demolition for what else...condos.
So whatever quiet spots that now separate Leslieville and Riverdale are about to disappear. The near continuous density creep that engulfs Lesliville and Riverdale has closed a loop somehow. :)