Artists and creators come together at annual Riverdale Hub Holiday Market

The Riverdale Hub supports local talent

Nobu Candle studio is a creative studio for home fragrance 

Just down the street from Gerrard Street and Coxwell Avenue, an artisans’ market takes place every month. However, the November market is a little bit different. Hot cocoa is handed out to patrons as the halls fill for a holiday-themed event.

The Riverdale Immigrant Women Enterprises (commonly known as the Riverdale Hub) hosted its annual Holiday Market on Nov 20.

The market featured entrepreneurs from the neighbourhood and put an emphasis on amplifying Black, Indigenous, and people of colour’s (BIPOC) voices.

Clay Space is a pottery studio right next door to the Hub that offers classes and studio space.

Dana Snow, co-curator at the Hub, has been helping to run the market for the six months since she joined the organization.

“We’ve got a long history of getting these [markets] going,” Snow said. “It is a really great way to get folks into the Hub in a COVID-safe way.”

Taylor Daley, an emerging artist, participates in the Hubs markets whenever she has the opportunity.

“Since moving to Toronto I have been involved with Riverdale Hub, selling at their local markets and providing artwork for their artisan market in their cafe,” Daley said. “I enjoy Riverdale Hub because it has been a great place to network and meet other likeminded artists.”

Fortunate to have found ceramic arts at the age of 14, Daley sells her ceramic crafts at the Hub, and some of her work can be seen at the Gardiner Museum and Colborne Gallery.

“Riverdale gives tons of opportunities to the artists of Toronto and it’s truly a great place to be.” Daley said.


Aside from the products being sold at the market, all the money spent at the Hub goes back into their initiatives.

“What we at the Hub do, for anyone who doesn’t know, we work as a social enterprise, which is a not-for-profit business model,” Snow said. “So, any of the money that the vendors spend on their tables then goes back into directly benefitting our operations, programming, and community.”

According to the Riverdale Hub website, their purpose is “to sustain a vibrant organization that balances the socio-economic, cultural, environmental and artistic needs and aspirations of minority communities.”

The Journal of Language, Identity & Education published an academic journal in 2018, detailing the biggest problems immigrant women face upon arrival to Canada. The research shows that “older women, less educated women, and some immigration class groups (i.e., spouse/dependents, family class, refugees) have lower language proficiency at arrival and less chances to improve.”

Social programs to support immigrant women

The Riverdale Hub hopes to improve outcomes for immigrant women by offering a number of different programs. This includes a work-based learning opportunity, which is a joint program with Toronto Employment and Social Services. The program has been running since 2006 and helps women living on social assistance gain the skills needed to get employed.

The Hub also works with United Way to offer a ‘Women in The Garden’ program which is a health & wellbeing program that engages marginalized immigrant and refugee women.

These social enterprises are at the very core of the Riverdale Hub’s values, and provide a safe space for refugee and immigrant women alike. The Hub is also gathering place for the community, offering rentable co-working spaces for the general public, in addition to other services which help to pay for their initiatives.

“If you wanted to meet up with your community and say, I am interested in starting this business,” Snow said. “Or start a conversation about this book [you] read, that is the space we are endeavouring to provide.”

Green initiatives include their work with Toronto Seed Library, a community-based seed sharing network to offer free vegetable, flower, and herb seeds in addition to instructions on how to start a garden.

“We have a completely vegan cafe that is also uses produce from our rooftop garden and endeavours to provide culturally relevant foods,” Snow said.

The Hub will also host an opening reception on Nov. 24 for artist Shahrzad Amin. Her work will be displayed in the Hub for a month.

To find out more about the Hub and its events, check out their website at

About this article

Posted: Nov 22 2022 9:00 am
Filed under: Arts & Life Entertainment Food Performing arts