The feeling a Torontonian gets when driving over the Don River is akin to the feeling a Manhattanite has when crossing the East River into Brooklyn: in the east end, things become slightly calmer, and everything feels a touch alternative. For prospective buyers drawn to this sort of lifestyle, it’s worth checking out condos for sale in Leslieville and South Riverdale.
Once home solely to factory workers, Leslieville was developed into the neighbourhood it is today shortly after the turn of the new millennium. Following a period of deindustrialization, scores of new and interesting businesses began popping up on major streets like Queen and Dundas.
Bound by Gerrard, Lake Shore Boulevard East, the Don Valley Parkway and Greenwood (with the northeast corner rising slightly north of Gerrard), Leslieville and South Riverdale also happens to include a little strip of commercial businesses collectively known as East Chinatown. The food here is just as authentic as in downtown’s Chinatown, yet east-end diners never have to deal with lengthy lines. And anyone in a real rush can stop by Rose’s Vietnamese Sandwiches for one of the best best banh mis in the city.
If anyone needs convincing regarding just how hip Leslieville is, they can simply count the number of microbreweries in the neighbourhood. Some residents may stay true to their favourites, while others might prefer to visit them all on a rotating basis. And once a year there’s even the chance to sample as many local brews as possible in one place: at the the Leslieville Beer Festival.
The cultural scene on Queen East is further testimony of Leslieville’s trendy nature. Once a vaudeville theatre, the Opera House is one of the best spots for concerts in all of the East End. And while the West End has the Drake and Gladstone Hotels, the East End also has a hip boutique hotel of its own. The Broadview Hotel isn’t just for tourists, either: the restaurant and café in this converted 1890s building are also gathering places for local residents. Then there’s Streetcar Crowsnest, a performing arts complex on Dundas Street East that contains a theatre, bar, restaurant, and even condos.
Whether in need of a grocery run or when gathering some tools for a DIY project, the Gerrard Square Shopping Centre has it all. Here, residents can find a Walmart, Winners, Food Basics, Home Depot, and a Service Canada Centre, along with other retail shops. Most importantly, shoppers should be sure to leave time for some lunch at Tropical Joe’s for Caribbean food before a big shopping trip — because as they say, you should never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach.
With 27 buildings in total, finding a condo for sale in Leslieville or South Riverdale can be difficult for prospective buyers who are easily overwhelmed by choice. Those looking for something contemporary, however, can narrow their options by looking to Streetcar Developments. Streetcar takes pride in strengthening culturally rich neighbourhoods through the creation of residential real estate developments, and The Carlaw is no exception. Located at 345 Carlaw, these are the homes situated above the aforementioned Streetcar Crowsnest.
Formerly home to light industry (such as metal processing plants and tanneries), today Leslieville contains many authentic hard loft conversions. The Garment Factory Lofts, The Printing Factory, and the Wrigley Lofts, for example, can all be found on Carlaw, just south of Dundas. Contemporary developers have certainly been inspired by these historical conversions, and the result is a large number of soft lofts that imitate them. Streetcar is no exception, as the firm is responsible for numerous East End condos for sale, many of which happen to be soft lofts.
As for soft lofts that imitate this industrial style using contemporary designers and materials, the Showcase Lofts at 88 Colgate Avenue is a top pick: this building even goes so far as to cater to artists. Painters and photographers have long been attracted to lofts for their high ceilings and large bright windows, and the Showcase Lofts ups the ante by offering a gallery space for exhibiting the work of local artists.
Condos for sale in Leslieville are ideal for prospective buyers with or without cars. While Leslieville is situated away from the subway, the extensive network of buses and streetcars in the neighbourhood allow travelers to reach trains in no time at all. South Riverdale residents, on the other hand, can simply walk to subway stations on the Bloor-Danforth line.
Drivers interested in condos for sale in Leslieville will be glad to hear that traffic in this east-end neighbourhood tends to be slightly less dreadful than in downtown Toronto. The Don Valley Parkway is a great option for those heading north, while those traveling west into the city centre can use Lake Shore Boulevard to reach the Gardiner Expressway.
The Locals: Alternative.
Code of Conduct: There’s something to be said for spending a day amidst the hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto, and then coming home to sleep in a tranquil and charming neighbourhood.
What You’ll Find: A more laid-back atmosphere east of the Don River.What You Won’t Find: Overcrowded streetcars.
The Homes: While standard condos are available, lofts — both hard and soft — are more concentrated here than in any other neighbourhood in the city.
Sealing the Deal: The unpredictability of this ever-changing, ultra-hip neighbourhood.