A decade ago, it was hard to imagine Leslieville as a hipster haven let alone the young professional and family mecca it has come to be. Leslieville is now home to some of our favourite lofts in Toronto.
Leslieville is one of Toronto’s coolest neighbourhoods not just for its community-feel, good schools and local amenities–in particular, a plethora of some of the best coffee houses and restaurants in the City–but also for its amazing Toronto lofts that often offer much greater value per square foot than west end and downtown Toronto lofts.
Here are some of the reasons why we love Leslieville and encourage you to take a closer look if you’re considering buying a Toronto loft.
It Didn’t Gentrify its Soul
Leslieville still has edge even though it’s gone through a major period of development and gentrification. There’s a bohemian mindset to local residents and it shows in the indie shops and restaurants they support, the heavily-utilized local parks and the lack of pressure to keep up with the Jones’.
Houses and yards are kept clean and nice but you won’t see the same amount of time and money (i.e. pressure) going into Leslieville homes that you see in nearby neighbourhoods like the Beaches and Riverdale. And that’s because Leslievillers prefer to spend their free time enjoying the neighbourhood with family and friends and besides, they need their savings for all that time spent eating and drinking on Queen East.
There’s an eclectic feel to the main retail strip including numerous indie Leslieville cafés, home décor boutiques and unique fashion retailers, not to mention a quality selection of gourmet food purveyors. While loft living in Leslieville offers many of the same conveniences as living in downtown Toronto, there’s an individuality and charm to this laid-back, eastside neighbourhood that’s all its own.
Its Value Proposition is Strong
Authentic Toronto lofts often come at a premium versus Toronto condos and soft lofts because of their demand and relative rarity. We’re unlikely to see many more historic building conversions because of lack of inventory and because new builds are typically more profitable for developers.
There are some amazing Toronto west end hard lofts for sale but the reality is that dream buildings like the Toy Factory and the Candy Factory are not within everyone’s budgets. We’re big fans of Leslieville lofts for their historic interiors, smart architecture that marries well with their surrounding streetscapes and overall value for money including the Garment Factory, the Printing Factory and the work/live i-Zone lofts for the true, industrial design enthusiast.
It’s a Foodie Paradise
Leslieville has become synonymous with laid-back fine dining. That is to say, really good food by top-notch chefs in atmospheres that feel more like a friend’s dining room than the cold slick and shiny interiors of many downtown Toronto restaurants. Residents frequent the likes of Gio Rana’s Really Really Nice Restaurant, Edward’s 1290 (Edward Levesque’s Kitchen) and Ruby Watchco.
Two of our favourite Toronto coffee houses are also located in Leslieville – Tango Palace Coffee and Te Aro. Just a few of the many independent cafes along Queen East. And if you choose to call Leslievile home, you’ll get to know your local baker, organic butcher and cheesemonger (it’s home to the Leslieville Cheese Market after all) before ever having to step foot in a big chain supermarket.
Any favourite Leslieville haunts to share with our Toronto loft loving community?