Liberty Village

         
Liberty Village
Located just north of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in Toronto, Liberty Village is one of the most up-and-coming neighbourhoods in the city. Bound by Dufferin Street to the west, Strachan Avenue to the east, the Gardiner Expressway to the south, King Street West to the north, and the Canadian Pacific railway tracks to the north east, the area is a 45-acre community that is comprised of both residential and commercial dwellings.

The neighbourhood’s past spans a couple of centuries. In the 1800’s, it was the site of Toronto’s Central Prison. The area took the name of its main thoroughfare which runs east to west and is named Liberty Street, a name it acquired for being the first piece of ground upon which newly freed prison inmates would walk.

In the 1850’s and following the advent of the railway, the area became the city’s centre of industrial activities. The neighbourhood was then transformed into a cluster of factories and warehouses along with residential developments that housed workers. Factories in the district went from producing machinery for flour mills, to marine steam engines, to waterworks pumping engines. During World War II, Major J.E. Hahn’s company built light machine guns for British and Canadian infantry troops.

By the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, the industry had all but departed the neighbourhood leaving behind a decrepit wasteland. It wasn’t until the early 2000’s following the commencement of a gentrification process that the neighbourhood began to return back to life.

By virtue of a tremendous face-lift, Liberty Village has come a long way since its desolate and gloomy days. Today, it is a thriving neighbourhood with an eclectic mix of new storefronts and towering, luxurious condo buildings such as the Vibe at 100 Western Battery Rd, the Liberty Towers at 59 East Liberty Street, and the Zip Condos at 80 Western Battery Road. Many of the remaining factory and warehouse buildings have been converted to chic, authentic loft condominium structures such as the Toy Factory Lofts which houses 215 units and is located at 43 Hanna Avenue.

With more than 20 new restaurants and pubs opening their doors over the last 3 years alone, neighbourhood residents enjoy plenty of dining options as well a lively nightlife. Residents also enjoy close proximity to virtually everything they need including 24-hour grocery shops, banks, professional services, fitness centres, parks, public transportation and more. Easy access to the Gardiner Expressway provides for a quick way in and out of the downtown area.

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