Learn about the history of Riverdale Farm

The Riverdale Farm property was originally owned by John Scadding, an early settler of the Town of York (now Toronto), who served as clerk to Upper Canada’s first lieutenant governor, John Graves Simcoe. The City of Toronto purchased the land from Scadding in 1856. Riverdale Farm was built by the City as a tribute to Ontario’s small, family farm heritage, and we officially opened our gates on September 9, 1978. The Farm actually sits on the site of Toronto’s first zoo, Riverdale Zoo, which closed in 1974. Visitors can still see some remnants of the old zoo, such as the zookeeper’s residence, known as the Donnybook and the Island House.