Originally the land was owned by John Scadding, whose cabin, built in 1794, remains the oldest building in Toronto which, if you are curious, can be found within the grounds at the CNE.
As one of the earliest Toronto settlers, Mr. Scadding ran a farm throughout the first half of the 1800’s before selling 120 acres of it to the city in 1856 and assigned both as park land and for the construction of the Don Jail, both of which exist albeit in different forms to this day.
Nestled in Victorian houses in Cabbagetown, the Toronto Necropolis to the North and Riverdale Park to the East, the 3 acre Riverdale Farm is an oasis of culture, nature and trees at the very heart of one of North America’s largest cities.
The small farm is open year-round and it specializes in pioneer breeds of farm animals like horses, cows, goats and sheep that are hard to find on commercial farms. Making it a welcome location for a relaxing Summer break from typical urban sightseeing and all within a 20 minute transit from Yonge and Bloor.
I visit with my camera during the Summer and Fall as the farm, marshland and Don River areas make for some creative telephotography from fauna but particularly for wide and macro landscape photography. Just remember to check a map first!
Fun fact: Where the farm stands today was the original site of the Riverdale Zoo before moving to Scarborough in 1974 to become the Toronto Zoo.
Check their site especially for events.