Between 1888 and 1974, this was the site of the Riverdale Zoo. In 1974 the zoo relocated to a much larger facility in Scarborough and became the Toronto Zoo. In 1978, Riverdale Farm opened on the west bank of the Don River adjacent to Riverdale Park. The main barn was first constructed in 1858 in Markham and moved to the present site and rebuilt in 1977. The farm is open to the public all year-round. It specializes in pioneer breeds of farm animals that are hard to find on commercial farms. Animals at the farm include poultry, waterfowl, goats, sheep, pigs, cows, donkeys, and horses.
In 2011 a consultant report recommended the closure of the farm along with the High Park Zoo as a means to cut cost for the city. In 2013, the W. Garfield Weston Foundation made a CAD $25 million donation to provide funds to keep the farm operating in the short term.