The Pocket Neighbourhood

The Pocket is bounded by Danforth Avenue, between Jones and Greenwood, and the railroad tracks that lie north of Gerrard.

But first of all…why is this east-end neighbourhood called the “Pocket”? The residents created the name  because this little piece of Riverdale is tucked in between the Greenwood TTC yard and the CN train tracks and actually resembles a pocket – mostly closed on three sides. For the most part, you can only get to it from the west from Jones Ave. For a couple of streets, you can enter from Danforth to the north or from the east from Greenwood. It’s a small, quiet and unique “pocket” sitting smack dab in the middle of Riverdale, one of Toronto’s most popular neighbourhoods.

Phin Park


Phin Park is the green hub and heart of the Pocket. It was formerly called Phin Avenue Parkette, but as the result of a petition which was undertaken by the PCA with the support of Councillor Paula Fletcher, it was renamed Phin Park in recognition of the amenities (and also since it didn't border Phin Avenue at all!) 

The area’s residents love living here. The community’s new personality as “The Pocket” started to take shape over twenty years ago when younger families and single professionals started moving into the then-affordable older homes, many of which were built before WWI. But there are still older, long-term residents living in the “Pocket” because it appears that once you move IN…you’re in no hurry to move OUT. Here is a link to a 2009 Toronto Star article about the Pocket.

Ravina Cres., a winding street south of Danforth Avenue off of Jones is one of the main entry points.  Baird, Shudell, Hunter and Boultbee also serve as entry streets off Jones. In the last few years, the Pocket Community Association worked with Councillor Fletcher and city staff to erect green street signs that let people know there is no thoroughfare to Greenwood. 

Chatham Avenue is an entry point from Greenwood, while Oakvale also brings people into a cul-de-sac.

Condor Avenue, Earl Grey Road and Seymour Avenue are primary streets but there are also several interesting smaller streets and lanes. Ben Kerr Lane was named after longtime local resident, busker and perennial mayoral candidate Ben Kerr.

The “Pocket” borders the Danforth and residents can walk to their favourite restaurants, coffee shops, pubs and cafes that line one of the city’s most popular avenues.

Three TTC subway stops are just a short walk away – Pape Station to the west, Donlands to the north, and Greenwood to the east. The “Pocket” is literally surrounded by parks all within a short walk from the heart of the neighbourhood.

Area schools include Wilkinson Public, Blake Street Public, Earl Grey Senior Public, Riverdale Collegiate and Danforth Tech. The Pocket is also home to Kapapamahchakwew-Wandering Spirit School (the former Eastern Commerce Collegiate), which teaches kids from across Toronto with an Indigenous-based curriculum. For more information visit And, the Pocket is home to École élémentaire catholique du Bon-Berger, a French Catholic school serving large parts of Toronto.

The homes in the Pocket are older, although some are being torn down and replaced, and more and more are being updated and renovated. Small yards with well-tended gardens and minimal traffic have engendered a real sense of camaraderie among the residents. Block parties, street clean-up days, community BBQ’s and potluck get-togethers are the order of the day.

The Pocket is also home to the Greenwood Subway Yards, a maintenance shop for subway cars. Bordering the yards is a green space called Oakvale Green. It is actually made up of two spaces, with one space fully maintained by the TTC, through an agreement with the community. In 2006, the residents of Oakvale Avenue (OKRA) signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU) covering the eastern portion of the lands. The other space, the western and southern portion of the lands, was covered by an MOU between the Pocket Community Association and the TTC from 2014 until 2019, when it was taken over by the City. As part of Parks and Recreation controlled land, the grandfathered offleash dog area was officially confirmed as such. Click here to see a copy of the PCA’s now-relinquished MOU.