Neighbourhood Spotlight: Eclectic Leslieville

In 2005 the New York Times, in an article aptly entitled Goodbye Gritty, Hello Trendy, stated  “…Queen Street East is the new Queen Street West, with the formerly industrial stretch known as Leslieville emerging as Toronto’s hippest place to dine, drink, shop and live”.  They weren’t wrong!  This east end neighbourhood has blossomed into a happening spot complete with a natural and charming character.

Leslieville has become one of the most demanded areas in Toronto with regards to real estate.  Established in the 1850s, Leslieville is located exceptionally (and conveniently) close to downtown Toronto, just east of the Don River and Riverside, bounded by the Canadian National railway line and Gerrard Street to the north, Empire Avenue to the west, Eastern Avenue to south, and Coxwell Avenue to the east.

Leslieville map, Toronto Ontario


Throughout my career as a real estate agent I’ve had numerous clients indicate a desire to make a move into this now quite established area and currently have clients living throughout the neighbourhood.   Certainly, I’ve never had a hard time agreeing with their desire to join the growing number of east enders that call Leslieville home!

In the past several years the area has seen an influx of some absolutely fantastic shops and restaurants and has managed to escape the invasion of chain restaurants and box stores (except of course for the token Starbucks at Logan & Queen).  One could argue that the ability to avoid the franchises, having attracted and kept a fine selection of eclectic shops and restaurants, has added to the “je ne sais quoi” of the neighbourhood.

So wondering what to do in Leslieville?  There are tonnes of choices.

If you feel like shopping there are charming boutiques like Pied a Terre, home to vintage inspired and antique furniture; the Bone House, a lovely boutique just for Fido; Green Tea Design, an Asian inspired home furnishing shop; Hardware Interiors, the east ends location for custom furniture and Interior Design services; or Pro Glo Paints, my wife’s favourite store and Leslieville’s spot for Benjamin Moore paints.

If you feel like grabbing a bite to eat there are delicious offerings from places like Gio Rana’s Really Really Nice Restaurant, locally referred to as the Nose because of the really really big nose on the exterior; the Ceili Cottage, a rustic pub housed in a building that once was the home to a rundown garage; Tomi-Kro’s, serving beautiful fusion cuisine complete with the largest picture of a sumo wrestler I’ve ever seen; and Bobbette & Belle, a bride-to be’s paradise, artisan patisserie, and perfect place to grab a quick (sinfully good) treat.

Those were just a sampling of what the area has to offer.  You have plenty more choices.  Grab yourself an espresso from Mercury Espresso Bar, a morning ritual for me, and spend an afternoon walking along Queen East and the smaller side streets.  Do some window shopping and take in some of the beautiful homes in the neighbourhood, you won’t be bored or disappointed.

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