Riverdale is dominated by several distinct features. First is yet another Chinatown area growing east and south of the intersection of Gerrard and Broadview. Still more Chinese neighborhoods can be found in Agincourt (in northern Scarborough), which is sometimes called "Asian Court".
The other dominant feature is the infamous Don Jail. Construction of the jail began in 1859, but the building burned down before final completion in 1865. A new wing was added in 1959 to try to ease overcrowding. The last hangings in Canada (of two convicted murderers) occurred at the Don Jail in December, 1962. Recently, the neighboring Riverdale Hospital announced an agreement to purchase the Don Jail.
The (infamous) Don Jail.
Riverdale was annexed by the city of Toronto on March 25, 1884.