Leslieville started out as a small village in the 1850's and over the years became known as a light industrial area populated by small factories. Many of the homes in the neighbourhood were originally built to house the workers who toiled in these factories. Over the years the factories have disappeared and the area has been undergoing rapid gentrification. Old factories are being converted into trendy lofts and restaurants, shops and cafes are catering to the young urban professionals and creatives the area is attracting. One of the areas greatest features is its quick accessibility to downtown Toronto, the Don Valley Parkway, Lakeshore Blvd East and the Gardener Expressway.
Leslieville is loosely bordered by the Don Valley Parkway to the west, Coxwell Avenue to the east, Gerrard Street East and the CN Railway tracks to the north and Lakeshore Road to the south. Many people agree that the boundaries are blurred and adjacent neighbourhoods such as Queen-Broadview Village, Riverside and South Riverdale overlap. Either way, this is a fabulous area with great shops and restaurants all within walking distance for the local residents.
The housing styles range from Victorian style workers cottages and row houses to modern day condo/lofts. Everywhere you look there are homes being renovated and restored adding to the value of neighbouring properties. House prices have been steadily increasing due to demand for the area but you can still find a good bargain if you're willing to do some work!
Large film studios, such as Cinespace and Showline Studios, have opened along Eastern Avenue and Lakeshore Road and this area is now known as Toronto's Film District or Studio District. This has helped encourage development in the area.
LINKS AND ARTICLES ABOUT LESLIEVILLE
Gerard India Bazaar - located along Gerard Street East just east of Coxwell Avenue. It is the largest market place for Asian goods and services in North America.
SPORTS AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES
Jimmy Simpson Community Centre - 870 Queen Street East
Matty Eckler Community Recreation Centre - 953 Gerard Street East ( at Pape on south east corner )
S.H. Armstrong Community Recreation Centre - 56 Woodfield Avenue
Greenwood Park is a large park with playing fields, outdoor pool, splash pad, outdoor rink and an off-leash dog area. It is located in the northwest corner of Greenwood Avenue and Dundas Street East.
Ashbridges Bay Skate Park
Outer Harbour Marina
SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES
Duke of Connaught
Riverdale Collegiate Institute is one of the local high schools serving the community. It is located at the corner of Jones Avenue and Gerrard Street East. It was originally founded in 1907. It was extensively renovated in the 1990's but the original facade was maintained.
St. Joseph Catholic School- Rich in tradition, this school was first established as a combination church and school back in 1863 in the village of Leslieville. Over the years there were many changes to the property and a few newer buildings were established with many more additions and renovations taking place. This is a small school with an enrollment of approximately 180 students in classes from JK to Grade 8. It is located south of Gerrard Street E. at 176 Leslie Street.
The T.T.C has streetcars routes on both Queen Street East and Gerrard Street East that pass through Leslieville.