Riverside: “The Finest In Adult Entertainment”

Jilly's entrence

South of Riverdale, and on the east side of the downtown core sits an up-and-coming area called Riverside.

But the area comes with a bit of a question-mark; one that’s almost impossible to miss…

Ruby Watch Co.
PicNic Wine Bar
Dark Horse Espresso Bar
Ambiance Chocolat
Blue Moon


It’s like when we were kids, watching Sesame Street…… (Cue Music) “One of these things, just doesn’t beeeelong…”

The Riverside District is changing rapidly, and if you want visual evidence, take a tour of Queen Street on Google Maps, and then take a tour in person.

You know that Riverside Market that I showed in the video?  On Google Maps, which probably goes back 2-3 years, that was called Pari Discount Store, which was an odd assortment of food, lottery tickets, and crap you might find at Dollorama.

But so long as Jilly’s, aka “The Finest In Adult Entertainment” is prominently featured on the biggest major intersection in the Riverside District, I just don’t see this area becoming “The new Riverdale,” or “Leaside East.”

Although in this red-hot market, maybe any excuse to get even a modest discount on housing should be viewed as a blessing!


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  1. Webb says:

    Rumour is that Jilly’s has a very long lease, so any new building owners would be hard pressed to get them out.

    1. Bojangles says:

      Also run by the mob, so yeah, good luck with that.

  2. Jeremy says:

    I stopped by Jilly’s once…. but I was only in there to get directions on how to get away from there.

    1. @ Jeremy

      Simpsons! Great quote…

  3. Yup, Jilly’s is really ruining that area. Probably wont last long anyway.

  4. David says:

    “Jillys is not going away’.. and thank god for that..

  5. Nathan says:

    The Dingman building (aka the Broadview Hotel, later the Lincoln, now the New Broadview Hotel) is a heritage property (built in 1893 I believe).

    Development would have to be very sensitive to preservation of the building’s character and integrity.

    It’s owned (if I recall correctly) by the children of Harold Kamin (of Bargain Harold’s fame), who passed away in 2010.

  6. EdenRam says:

    I don’t live in Riverside but I have friends who do and I love spending time in their neighbourhood. As a woman, I have no interest in patronizing an establishment such as Jilly’s but dammit I would fight any attempt by developers to push them out. Every neighbourhood needs dirt and character. Toronto isn’t Pleasantville so if somebody wants to buy into Riverside and Jilly’s is already there, then dammit you will need to accept the businesses who populate the area.

    1. ScottyP says:

      Unfortunately, most people in Toronto do think it’s Pleasantville… or want it to be. They want their neighbourhoods “cleaned up”, gentrified. Zzzzzzzzz.

      Market forces say this is the way it has to be. People who don’t want a sterile city say otherwise.

  7. mike says:

    Ive never been into Jillys but i have been to ruby watcho and thats a ripoff.. never been to a more overrated restaurant in my life. however Prohibition which is next to Jillys is amazing..

  8. kristin says:

    i kind of like that it’s there with Dangerous Dan (Double D’s) across the street…it makes the neighbourhood badass

  9. DirtyP says:

    If you ever have sore quads after a run/workout and need them massaged by a naked bum, Jilly’s can’t be beat.

  10. dave says:

    Strip clubs never close in Toronto. ‘Cause its almost impossible to get a new license for a new club. I can’t remember the last time a club closed

    1. DirtyP says:

      Cheaters (later Mystique), on Yonge Street south of Eglinton closed in 2008.

      But otherwise, you’re right.

  11. Pot Kettle says:

    It’s called “character”, innit? Isn’t everyone looking for that little dive hole in the wall like Cold Tea or Dakota Tavern to have in their ‘hood so they can say they’re hip?
    And if Jilly’s wasn’t there, what are you going to put there? Starbucks?

    How about FYEO on King St. W.? oh, that’s an “upscale” place! That’s different!

    1. @ Pot Kettle

      Starbucks’ goal is to have a location every…..soemthing like…..thirty feet. So yeah, I think given that the only other location is waaaaaay down east at Logan Ave, this would be a prime location!

      (I write this as I’m drinking from my new Tassimo, which is awesome FYI!)

  12. buk says:

    for your eyes only didn’t hold back the primmest real estate in toronto.

    1. @ buk

      I knew somebody would call me out on FYEO!

      Maybe there’s a difference, maybe not.

      Jilly’s is a landmark building, and impossible to miss. FYEO is dark, somewhat hidden, and about 1/20th the size as Jilly’s.

  13. Graham says:

    Every neighbourhood needs a little dirt!

    I hope when someone finally buys Jilly’s, they don’t tear down that beautiful building. Give it a good delousing and maybe transform it into an east side Gladstone or Drake style boutique hotel.