According to TorontoNeighbourhoods.net, Leslieville began as a small village back in the 1850’s. The village grew up around the Toronto Nurseries owned by George Leslie and Sons after whom this neighbourhood is named. Most of Leslieville’s first residents were either market gardeners or were employed at one of several brick making companies that used to operate in the area.
Leslieville’s main shopping district runs along historic Queen Street. Most of these stores are small independently owned shops that cater to the specific needs of the local residents. The area on Gerrard Street East between Greenwood Avenue and Coxwell Avenue is known as the ‘India Bazaar’. This is the commercial center of Toronto’s East Indian community and it’s expected to change over the next few years…
Leslieville, is one of Toronto’s most popular neighbourhoods because it feels very much like a small village. Its cozy houses, tree lined streets and quaint stores and restaurants seem surprisingly serene and peaceful considering Leslieville’s close proximity to downtown Toronto. Walk to the water, bike to the Beach and the financial core is a quick Streetcar ride away.
The area has grown substantially over the last 5 years; in fact, the average sale price from 2011 to today has increased 44.7% overall (in district E01 South Riverdale). Not only are home prices rising, more condo and hard loft developments are projected to keep up with the demand – Streetcar Developments are still busy developing along Queen East while some projects near completion along Dundas while other Developers continue to cash in on the industrial land along Eastern, Broadview, Carlaw and Dundas… Some say the area has reached a new peak in its journey toward gentrification but the area is still ‘in transition’ with more developments to come bringing more retail and conveniences to the current and future residents.
As the Toronto Star describes in their 2014 article titled Welcome to Hipsterville East, “Leslieville’s metamorphosis from rough-worn working class borough to trendy playground of urban professionals has accelerated in recent years. Property values and rents have spiked, while new high-end lofts and condo developments have boomed along Carlaw Ave., Gerrard St. and other neighbourhood thoroughfares. By now, nearly 10 years after the New York Times declared it “the new Queen Street West,” Leslieville has a well-established reputation as a hip hovel for Toronto’s creative and professional classes.”
With the average price of houses now exceeding $1.1M, more and more buyers draw their attention to spacious condos and townhouses in the area; most especially the hard lofts due to their unique space and industrial aesthetics including 201 Carlaw – The Printing Factory Lofts.
Originally built to house the printing presses of Rolph Clark Stone, 201 Carlaw Avenue has been a Leslieville landmark since its completion in 1913 when this Queen Street East community was at the heart of industry in Toronto. The building is composed of the historical three story podium which was part of the original factory, an eight story tower above it and stacked townhouses to the east. The 254 units include two level units, one and two bedroom units, a mix of large and small terraces and balconies, exposed pipes, concrete ceilings and floors, open concept living spaces, 9 and 11 foot ceilings, and some of the original features of the printing factory are still intact such as its gracious winding staircase that welcomes you to the lobby.
This rare three bedroom, three bathroom unit is the largest in the building with 1,586 square feet all on one level. The open concept living spaces lend well to entertaining with the large kitchen and island, dining area and living area offering 11 foot ceilings, exposed concrete and ductwork. The layout allows for two spacious bedrooms plus a separate office or guest room for those who come and go making this suite the perfect alternative to the more expensive houses in the area. There’s even a gas BBQ line on the balcony and dogs are allowed! It’s like a house in a convenient and more affordable lofty environment.
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