Rialto is Rapid! It’s been terrific to see the transformation of this urban village in recent years. More than just a convenient stop-off on the SCR; with major investment such as the new Children’s Hospital on its doorstep, a great range of businesses and local services, investment in the quality of the village and a highly active local community, Rialto its also a smashing neighbourhood. We take a look…
An Industrial Past
Rialto has strong connections to some of Dublin’s traditional industries. The original alignment of the Grand Canal (what’s now the Luas Red Line) was constructed to serve the Guinness brewery at St James’s Gate, and many of the artisans dwellings of Rialto Street and Rialto Cottages were built to house Guinness employees at the tail end of the 19th century. These developments gave the area a redbrick character which it keeps to this day, while the 10 Tudor-style gables along SCR are one of the most recognisable features of the area.
It was the Canal and the distinctive arched bridge built to cross it that conjured up notions of Venice’s famous landmark and gave the area its name.
Great Local Businesses
The Bird Flanagan is the prominent pub at the top of the SCR with a reputation for fine wines and great music and live acts. Soon to join it, is the revamped The Circular Bar – recently take over by the team behind Lucky’s of Meath Street and set to bring the fab Coke Lane Pizza to the area.
Daphnes is a new neighbourhood bistro on SCR offering tasty pizzas, pastas and other fare. There are daytime coffee stops too, and sweet treats, at The Bakery and La Boulengerie, while late night munchies can be had at the newly refurbished Amber Grill, which has been serving fab chipper fare since 1956.
Rialto has a great range of local independent shops and services. You’l find all your DIY needs at Mannions Builders Providers or Rialto Electrical – you’ll never need a trip to a retail park again. Cassidy’s Haven Pharmacy and Walsh’s Pharmacy have all your healthcare needs covered. There’s flowers from Kays and master butchers Ennis Butchers. Heritage Credit Union and Ferrys Solicitors can take care of your financial and legal needs.
The New Children’s Hospital
Over 3,000 people will be working in the new Children’s Hospital Ireland when it completes and opens in 2023. The new hospital is set to transform Rialto and draw new people to live and visit the area. A main entrance to the facility will be located at Rialto Luas stop, while the NCH is also part of a wider programme to open up and expand St James’s Hospital – creating a campus without walls.
The investment in the new hospital has also opened up opportunities to revitalise the green areas along the Luas line to create a new linear park between St James’s Hospital. Planning for this new space is well underway and Dublin City Parks Department – which is leading the project – have been considering features such a cycle track, new play areas, a skate bowl, and new planted areas to make the most of the former canal alignment.
A Vibrant Local Community
Community life is strong in Rialto, and despite its closeness to the city centre, the area retains a pleasant village atmosphere. Its active Environmental Group have been busily beautifying streets in the area, adding planting, holding cleanups and showing off local heritage. The group represents Rialto in the national Tidy Towns Awards and Pride of Place. And pride in one’s place is a key feature of life here from the beautiful flower filled roundabout, to Dublin Artisan Dwelling houses and the nearby natural heritage of the Grand Canal.
St Andrew’s Community Centre on SCR hosts a diverse range of community development groups including Rialto Development Association, the Youth Project, Studio 468 and Rialto Community Network and employment services. And a new Primary Care Centre for the area will open in 2020, adding to the range of local healthcare services right on your doorstep.
The Future is Bright
Rialto benefits from being close to the city and just a short hop away from the city centre on the Luas. There are plenty of bus connections and facilities for cycling and walking are improving all the time. Local and visitor alike value the area for its centrality and its strong village identity. As new development and amenities arrive, the future looks even brighter to this corner of the city.