Neighbourhood Spotlight: Liberty Village
Nestled among the Fashion District, Queen West, and the Waterfront, Liberty Village, once the outpost of Toronto, is now a trendy hub of urban professionals and creatives. Its history is both honourable and controversial, once being part of Garrison Common which was a military outpost of the Town of York, and was part of the military base of the Canadian militia during the War of 1812.
Towards the mid-century, railway brought business to the area where city planners aspired to shift the community to a residential enclave. However, by the mid 1870s, the Toronto Central Prison (closed in 1915) and the Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women (closed in 1969), were major institutions in the neighbourhood. Liberty Village pays homage to Liberty Street, the first street walked by freed men and women from these institutions.
Industry continued to boom well into the twentieth century until the 70s and 80s diffused manufacturing overseas. With renovated buildings housing creative and tech start ups, Liberty Village now is heavily skewed on the youth/young adult side and is extremely attractive for creative all-nighters. Warehouses are now converted to dance studios, restaurants, and office/residential loft spaces, but the facade still reflects the area’s electric history. Professionals are also very supported by the Liberty Village BIA as a deep sense of community ties residents together.
Need a break from the downtown core? Consider these hotspots:
Mildred’s Temple Kitchen is not just a Liberty Village gem, but a Toronto highlight. The light and open space provides generous contemporary fare with buck-a-shuck Thursdays and community cooking events. A solid competitor for brunch (lunch and dinner…) is School, with delicious food in a rustic setting. For a more ethnic flare, try Raaw for your sushi cravings and Maizal for homemade tortillas filled with Mexican attitude. Although BMO Field is in the neighbourhood and Rogers Stadium is just ten minutes from Liberty Village, the best seat for the game is at the Craft Brasserie & Grille, with over one hundred craft beers on tap.
Recently moved to Liberty Village? Shop for beautiful and simple modern furniture from EQ3 Hanna on Hanna Avenue. Visit the design studio Smitten Kitten at its shop I Have A Crush On You on Jefferson Avenue with whimsical prints and stationery.
In your backyard you will find the CNE and Exhibition grounds, which makes catching one of Toronto’s famous year-round events such as Caribana and the Canadian National Exhibition. Grab tickets to a TFC game at the BMO field or indulge in an epic dinner and show at Medieval Times.
Enjoy Liberty Village’s proximity to the waterfront with a jog or stroll along the waterfront trails or get some sun at Liberty Village Park. For some indoor food for thought, visit the many design studios in the neighbourhood and the Laurier Gallery at Jefferson Avenue.
There are many seasonal activities like the summer Farmer’s Market, movie nights, and the Liberty Village Art Crawl that engage both neighbours and out-of-towners alike as well as stunning city views that will have you snapping pics at every corner.
If Liberty Village begins to feel claustrophobic, the downtown core is less than half an hour’s walk while the many bars, boutiques and restaurants of King and Queen Streets are a stones throw away. With plenty of streetcar and bus options right on your doorstep, you will be able to commute across Toronto easily. The exhibition Go Train station found just south of Liberty Village allows for lengthier commutes across the GTA and surrounding cities.
With the current provincial policy on Fair Housing, it is more affordable to buy in Toronto, particularly in Liberty Village. Compared to higher end neighbourhoods like the Entertainment District and Yorkville, Liberty Village is an excellent residential space for millenials and young professionals, with its proximity (yet quiet compared to the downtown core) and cleanliness. The landscape is condo-driven with more condo buildings being built to improve the density.
Renting is relatively cheaper as well compared to the downtown core. Within the neighbourhood, the eastern portion is slightly more expensive than the western portion.
Many choose this neighbourhood for its trend-factor and character, through its bricks, concrete, and glass, which differentiates it from its neighbouring areas. In a city that demands conformity, stand out and embrace your personality in a neighbourhood that celebrates individuality.
For information on other exciting Toronto neighbourhoods, check out our Hood Guide. To find the perfect Liberty Village rental, click here to see the many furnished and unfurnished rentals we have in Liberty Village or contact our offices to speak with an agent today.