Liberty Village just doesn’t seem like the right thing to call a neighbourhood that used to be occupied by numerous prisons. However, in order to make light of the situation, the area was named for being the place where prisoners first walked free after being released.
Liberty Village has since transformed into something quite different. Thanks to the physical boundaries carved out by the Gardiner Expressway to the south and the railway line to the north, the residential portion of Liberty Village feels like a self-contained area of its own. And while this unique neighbourhood may be extremely urban, it’s still completely community-oriented. The best example of the collective nature of this neighbourhood was the crowdfunded bus service that ran from Liberty Village to Union Station back in 2014. While the project was eventually cancelled due to the TTC’s monopoly on public transit in the city, it’s the effort that counts.
Perhaps the community influences prospective buyers to make offers on Toronto condos for sale in Liberty Village, but it also may very well be the remainders of the neighbourhood’s history that does the trick. Liberty Village is home to a handful of well-preserved formerly industrial buildings, and it’s one of the only neighbourhoods in the city where locals can walk along cobblestone streets. All in all, Liberty Village feels like the perfect balance between old and new. One of the neighbourhood’s main shopping destinations is the Liberty Market Building, a formerly industrial edifice that now houses local boutiques as well as a large Bulk Barn, a couple of gyms, and office spaces.
The non-residential portion of Liberty Village is situated south of the Gardiner, and is made up of a complex of venues including Exhibition Place, the Better Living Centre, the BMO Field, the Coca-Cola Coliseum, and the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. While varied events from soccer matches to trade shows are held here year round, the most beloved annual affair has to be the Canadian National Exhibition. Held over the last few weeks of summer, around 1.5 million visitors make their way over to the Ex each year. This means that purchasing a Liberty Village condos for sale comes with the added benefit of never having to fight for a parking space.
And while most neighbourhoods gain points for being filled with plenty of green space, Liberty Village also benefits from its close proximity to Lake Ontario. The recently redeveloped Ontario Place sits right at the bottom of the neighbourhood, where visitors can ice skate, watch an IMAX movie in the Cinesphere, catch a concert at the Budweiser Stage or Echo Beach, or take a stroll around Trillium Park. Other lakeside parks in the area include Marilyn Bell Park, Coronation Park, and the Toronto Inukshuk Park. With all of these outdoor spaces to explore, Liberty Village residents simply have no excuse to stay inside on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
As historical as the neighbourhood feels, many of the condos for sale in Liberty Village are found within buildings that are quite contemporary — in terms of both build date and style. What’s more, plenty of ultra-modern, pre-construction buildings will soon grace the neighbourhood, such as the Phoenix, Zen King West, and the Liberty Market Tower.
With 21 condos in total — a large number for such a walkable, self-contained neighbourhood — prospective buyers interested in the neighbourhood have lots to choose from. There are even a couple of townhome complexes, such as the Liberty Village Townhomes, a 3-part complex located on East Liberty Street and Western Battery Road.
Those attracted to the neighbourhood for its storied past, on the other hand, will want to focus their search for a Liberty Village condo for sale on the Toy Factory Lofts. This former factory at 43 Hanna Avenue is home to authentic conversions as well as soft lofts. The renovation was carried out in 2013 by BLVD Developments, using designs by Toronto-based architect Rudy Wallman. Most notably, the Toy Factory Lofts is home to some multi-level lofts with exceptionally high ceilings and generously-sized terraces.
With the Gardiner Expressway running straight through the neighbourhood (Lake Ontario technically comprises the southernmost boundary), drivers interested in Liberty Village condos for sale are guaranteed they’ll be able to get around with ease. The Gardiner runs east and west along the southern edge of the city, and offers transfers onto the 427 and the Don Valley Parkway, to the west and east, respectively.
Buying a condo in Liberty Village is also convenient for those without cars. While the subway is a little ways away, residents have access to the King West and Harbourfront streetcars, both of which make stops within the neighbourhood. Another great option for those heading north is the 63 Ossington bus, which loops through Liberty Village at the end of its route. This bus continues north along Ossington, making a stop at Ossington Station on the Bloor line, and eventually turning back south at Eglinton West Station on the University-Spadina line.
Those heading out of town also have plenty of options when living in Liberty Village. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is within walking distance, although depending on the amount of luggage one has it may be easier to travel here by taxi. Alternatively, Union Station is a quick ride away via the Harbourfront streetcar, where residents can access VIA Rail trains, GO buses and trains, and the UP service to Pearson International Airport.
Liberty Village locals who prefer to get around on two wheels can use the Martin Goodman Trail, a 56-kilometre bike (and pedestrian) path that follows the north shore of Lake Ontario. Strachan is also equipped with bike lanes, as is Fort York Boulevard and Wellington Street West. Cyclists heading to work in the Financial District can take the Martin Goodman Trail until they reach Lower Simcoe or Yonge Street, while Adelaide Street West is also ideal for reaching the downtown core.
The Locals: West-end hipsters and families who loathe the concept of suburbia.
Code of Conduct: There’s a real opportunity to be part of a community here — but that's also entirely optional.
What You’ll Find: Something extremely rare for Toronto: cobblestone streets.
What You Won’t Find: Nightclubs.
Sealing the Deal: Not having to find a parking spot when attending events at Exhibition Place.