Toronto Neighbourhood Profiles: Leslieville

Jessica Napier

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Just over the Don River this former 19th century farming village turned working-class industrial centre is transforming once again into one of the city’s most eclectic destination neighbourhoods. In an area where garages and abandoned storefronts were once the norm now trendy resto-lounges, galleries and home décor shops dominate along the Queen Street retail strip.  So why not head east to discover what this unique Toronto hood has to offer…

 

Where to eat and drink

Restaurants aplenty line the Queen street stretch in Leslieville, a glass of wine with girlfriends at PicNic wine bar or thin crust pizza’s at Lil Baci are great options for nighttime dining. However, east-end culinary experts really shine on the weekends during early morning brunch, a ritual beloved by all Torontonians.  Young stroller pushing couples and weary nightlife lovers regularly endure long line-ups outside of neighbourhood favourites like Toast and Lady Marmalade to sample veggie scrambles and ‘bread pudding style’ French toast.

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If you’re looking to pick up some take home groceries be sure to check out the Leslieville Cheese Market. From brie to baguettes to their wine and cheese night-school this local landmark has been so successful they’ve recently opened a location in the west-end. 

While the calendar says it’s September these gorgeous temperatures are suggesting otherwise so why not indulge in a frozen treat from Eds Real Scoop. Locals flock to this delicious creamery to scoop up fresh ice cream and gelato in handmade waffle cones. We bet you’ll find a new fall favourite once you try Ed’s popular pumpkin flavour.

Where to shop

Whether you’re after antique treasures or ultra modern designs Leslieville is home to a number of décor shops that will suit a variety of tastes. You can find modern country at Filk and Company and refurbished vintage furniture at Simply Home. For shabby chic pieces wander over to Wattle and Daub, if you’re lucky you’ll catch them during their operating hours which are listed as “by appointment or by chance.” Leslieville’s artist community also produces some inspiring wall-décor. Stop inside artist-run Parts Gallery and Gallery 888 and take a peek at some of the contemporary work done by the emerging creative talent in the area.

Shopping for the little ones in your life? Pick up eco-chic essentials for stylish young things at Baby on the Hip and visit Timmie Doggie Outfitters for treats and accessories for your pampered pooch. And if you find yourself in need of a caffeine jolt along the way skip the local Starbucks and try out one of the many independent coffee shops like Mercury Espresso Bar, Tango Palace Café or the newly opened Te Aro, located inside a restored car garage.