Toronto's Leslieville neighbourhood is one of the most happening 'hoods in the city. It's too cool to call itself hip, though, and too sustainable for a label of "trendy". Let's go with lauded and loveable. No really, there's a lot to love here.
Leslieville is one of Toronto’s most popular neighbourhoods for young professionals. With vintage shopping and too-cool-for-school cafés along Queen East, as well as a stellar restaurant and bar scene, Leslieville could be thought of as the Queen West of the East if it wasn’t for that unique Leslieville vibe that’s so distinctive yet nearly impossible to articulate. We'll do our best through a little musical connotation: whereas Queen West is punk, Leslieville is a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.
It boasts a fantastic stock of starter condos and lofts along with mid-priced houses for young professionals moving up from condo living. There's also a wealth of beautifully-renovated, high-end homes in the area for more affluent buyers. For those willing to put in a little sweat equity, many Leslieville homes for sale in the area's south-end are a renovator’s dream.
Although Leslieville has generally been favoured by singles, young, childless couples and the stroller crowd, more families with school-aged children are putting down roots here thanks to the excellent amenities and overall family-friendly vibe. There is some controversy over the quality of some of Leslieville's primary schools, however, although there are more good options now than ever before. For example, Morse Street Jr PS received high Fraser Institute scores in 2016 and, if you're north of Dundas near Carlaw, just near the Leslieville/Riverdale border, you may fall into the coveted Pape Avenue Jr PS catchment.
If you're moving to Leslieville and planning on raising a family, speak with one of our Leslieville Neighbourhood Experts to make sure that you're buying within the catchment of the best local schools.
Leslieville homes come in a wide variety of types and price points which adds to the neighbourhood's appeal for first-time homebuyers unsure of which type of property will suit them best. There are detached houses, semi-detached, row-houses, townhomes and lofts all within Leslieville’s borders. Price points vary dramatically which translates to options for most buyers.
Houses north of Queen tend to be slightly more expensive and are often renovated while those south of Queen are generally more affordable. However, this is changing. Fast. Houses between Eastern and Queen have been snapped up and renovated as flips or rental properties for years now, causing prices to rise and stock of affordable, original condition homes to dwindle. This area, known as “Hollywood North”–the studio district that runs along Eastern Avenue–is home not only to companies servicing the film industry but also artists and designers looking for affordable commercial warehouse space. There are still some great, original condition homes in this area that would be worth much more with a little TLC but you need to get in soon.
More affordable freehold homes can also be found along the busy, Leslieville stretch of Jones Avenue but note there is still a lot of grit here. Still, the convenience can't be beat.
The best streets in Leslieville ("best" being highly subjective, of course) are the quieter streets running north of Queen, between Pape and Jones, including Brooklyn Avenue (leafy street with Victorians steps to a hidden Leslieville gem–Hideaway dog park). The most famous street is undoubtedly De Grassi (technically just on the cusp of Leslieville, in Riverside) thanks to it's namesake television series. Properties do tend to sell for a premium here because of that.
If you're on a budget, there are a number of fantastic Leslieville lofts along Carlaw between Dundas and Queen including the Garment Factory Lofts, the Printing Factory Lofts, the Wrigley Lofts, the Work Lofts and the i-Zone Lofts–the latter two being live/work complexes with some units being strictly residential, some commercial, some a combination of the two.
There are also two, newer developments by Streetcar–one of the key developers who have transformed Toronto's east end–right at Dundas and Carlaw called The Carlaw and The Taylor. You can read more about them on our partner's blog at MrLOFT.ca: new Leslieville lofts.
For those considering a townhouse, there are a number of new developments in the planning phases, under construction or recently opened including the Leslieville Mews Townhomes, One 6 Nine Jones Townhomes and the high-end, boutique Leslieville Four development. Both the aforementioned The Carlaw and The Taylor also offer a handful of loft-style townhomes within their larger, condo community. Note that the quality of these new builds in Leslieville varies dramatically; never negotiate a pre-construction deal without bringing your own REALTOR® to table (it won't cost you any more to do so and it could save you thousands or save you from a bad investment decision).
Leslieville has a fair amount of housing stock at any given time but, if you're having problems finding a home that suits you on your budget, head a little further west to Riverside where there are additional condo and loft options. Clustered along the main arteries of Queen and Broadview, there are some great, starter lofts here for first-time buyers along with upper-end, spacious, authentic hard lofts, all within a short stroll of Leslieville. Many REALTORS® lump these two neighbourhoods together as they share similarities and are so close to one another but, particularly as Riverside matures, there are distinct qualities to each neighbourhood that your Property.ca PRO can help you explore.
The iconic, Leslieville mural, painted on the side of a building at Queen and Jones, was updated in 2016 by local artist Jabari “Elicser” Elliott. The piece is described as "[paying] homage to the past, present and future of Leslieville by depicting a typical Leslievillian, contemplating the future, while resting under a giant maple tree." The theme is further communicated lyrically: "In days of yore, on Leslieville shore, put down your phone and daydream under a Maple Tree”.
The maple tree depicted in the scene was also featured in the original mural and is a reference to the "The Maple Leaf Forever", an 1867 poem by Alexander Muir, a poet, songwriter, composer and the first principal of Leslieville School.
Why We Love Leslieville
It Didn’t Gentrify its Guts
Despite moving to gentrified status several years ago (unofficially speaking), Leslieville has never lost its edge and is still an eclectic and bohemian neighbourhood. You’ll pass half a dozen independent or small chain coffee houses for every Starbucks and an organic butcher, baker and candlestick maker instead of your typical big name supermarkets.
Leslieville has all of the conveniences you’ll find in Toronto’s core but with an east-side, laidback charm and a little bit of cheek. If you don’t believe us, try karaoke night at The Duke.
Its Value Proposition Kicks West Toronto’s… Well, You Get the Picture
Not everyone can afford downtown and prime west-end housing prices but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a nice home in a vibrant neighbourhood. Leslieville has a small town feel in many ways yet it’s conveniently located close to the downtown core with easy highway access for drivers as well as many streetcar options for public transit users.
It has all the amenities you could want within walking distance along with good parks, schools and public services like libraries and community centres, all for housing prices that are often more affordable than its prime central and west-end counterparts. That doesn't mean cheap by any stretch but you'll typically get more home value for your dollar here than in other trendy neighbourhoods for active professionals like Trinity Bellwoods.
It’s Hungry like the Wolf
Leslieville is famous for its restaurants such as Ruby Watchco, Barrio and our personal favourite, Gio Rana’s Really Nice Restaurant otherwise known as “The Nose” (we recommend the giant meatball).
It also has tons of shops to buy gourmet and artisan ingredients such as The Leslieville Cheese Market, Olliffe butchers, Sandy Aleksander delicatessen and the Brick Street Bread bakery on Logan for freshly baked carb-tastic goodies.
- 4thMost expensive out of 8 neighbourhoods in East End$1.08millionAverage home value in Leslieville13.78%Year over year change in values
Historical Average Home Price in Leslieville