RiverdaleFarmTorontoIt’s no secret. Torontonians know that you don’t have to leave the city for a day at the farm. Riverdale Farm, just west of the DVP and south of Bloor in the Cabbagetown neighbourhood, is a family destination any time of year. But has your family taken advantage of all it has to offer?

Here are some of the area’s must-do’s:

Visit the farm: Admission is free. Open daily year round from 9 am – 5 pm. It’s a representation of a rural farm. Not a petting zoo. (It was a zoo however, the site of the Riverdale Zoo, the city’s first zoo from 1894 to 1974. Most of the old zoo’s buildings were removed except for the Residence, the Donnybrook, and the Island House buildings.)

Toddler play time: The City of Toronto offers a free indoor drop-in playtime (0-3 yrs plus caregiver) in a bright room located in the Meeting House at the Farm’s far east end. There are lots of farm-themed toys. No shoes policy. Check drop-in schedule.

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Demos: Goat Demo is daily at 11:30am in the lower Francey Barn.

Summer splashing: Wading pool (End of June to September). Schedule will be posted here.

Picnicking: Lots of seating, lots of room for blankets and lots of shade.

Winter sledding: Riverdale West park has one of the best hills for sledding. (In the summer, you’ll see a lot of baseball.)

Hike/Walk/Bike: There is a lower gate (open May 1 – November 1 from 9:15 am – 4 pm daily) at the base of Riverdale Park West Park and a foot bridge that connects it to Riverdale Park East (above the DVP) to Broadview Ave. (Bikes not permitted in the farm property.)

Cabbagetown Festival: This annual event takes place every September (check here for 2014 info). We love the Cabbagetown Arts & Crafts Festival, which takes place in the park just outside of Riverdale Farm for one weekend in September.

Check the calendar: Follow on Facebook page to learn more about activities.

Parties: Yes, they do birthdays (room rentals and farm demos). Email farm@toronto.ca for details.

In the hood: Parliament Street has tons of restaurants and cafés.

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Getting there: On TTC, take the 65 Parliament bus and exit at Winchester St. Driving, there is free parking.

Low-down: Admission is free. Open daily from 9 am – 5 pm.  It is a representation of a rural farm – not a petting zoo. Don’t feed the animals!

Potty time: There are public washrooms with baby change table on the main floor of the Simpson house at the farm’s main entrance. Also in the Meeting House (east end of farm near duck pond.)

Food: The “Friends of the Farm” Shop and Kitchen are open from Tuesday through Sunday from 10:30 am – 3 pm.

Stroller-friendly: Yes to strollers. No to dogs, bicycles, in-line skates, foot scooters, ride toys, and vehicles.


201 Winchester St