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Bain Co-op: it takes a village

Alice Dixon, Laura Sikstrom, Twyla Kowalenko (Bain Residents)

What happens when we live cooperatively? Come find out what it looks like in action through a past and present exploration of The Bain Co-op.

Built as Riverdale Courts in 1913/14, one of Canada’s earliest examples of social housing, its aim was quality affordable housing for workers, including single working women. It was designed by Toronto’s Arts and Crafts architect, Eden Smith, who imbued the development with an air of quality, respectability, and, as it turns out, functionality.

Today this housing development is Bain Apartments Co-operative Inc. The co-operative was formed by residents in 1974 as one of Canada’s first housing cooperatives. A unique example of social housing today, it encompasses an entire city block while blending in with the surrounding neighbourhood. Although its density is double the rest of the area, the Bain offers residents greater access to green space than the surrounding single-family homes: an outstanding example of the gentle density Toronto needs today.

Details: Walk leaders will be front of the Riverdale Courts historical plaque.

Walk Start:

North Riverdale. North-west corner of Bain and Logan Avenues.

North Riverdale. North-west corner of Bain and Logan Avenues.

Walk End:

Date: May 5

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.




Advocacy and Politics, Architecture and Urban Planning, Environment and Sustainability, History and Places, Lived experiences and personal perspectives, People and Communities.


Uneven terrain, Stairs or other barriers, Breaks encouraged, Family-friendly walk, Bicycles welcome.

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