South Riverdale - Leslieville Real Estate and Neighbourhood:
Recently, 'next big thing' Leslieville has emerged from the shadows of its more popular brother, Riverdale. None other then 'The New York Times' has dubbed it the 'new Queen Street West' in reference to its quickly moving development and cachet in the city. Leslieville originally began as a small village in the 1850's. Most of the residents were gardeners who worked in the Toronto Nurseries, owned by George Leslie and sons, namesake family of the community. Long a centre of light industry, almost all of these factory sites and area have now been abandoned and await redevelopment.
Along Queen Street and south to Eastern Avenue, you'll find the older homes in South Riverdale - Leslieville dating back to the late 1800's. Among these are styles like Ontario Cottage, Second Empire Row houses and the ever-present Victorian. The 'second generation' of houses north of Queen, date to the early 1900's, which includes detached and semi-detached houses as well as some bungalows. Many of the two-and-a-half and three-storey Victorian semis and row house are being restored to their century-old stateliness as Leslieville's neighbourhood renewal continues.
As far as recreation in Leslieville, there are many parks including Greenwood Park, which claims three baseball diamonds, a pool, an artificial ice rink and a playground. On the south side of Queen Street there's Jonathan Ashbridge Park that has two tennis courts, a children's playground and a wading pool. The area is well-represented by junior schools with Bruce Junior, Roden Junior and Leslieville Junior with the Duke of Connaught comprising of both Junior and Senior classes. Riverdale Collegiate Institute is well known and just next door and St. Joseph is a neighbourhood Catholic school.
Despite its hot-sport status, Leslieville is virtually untouched by big box retailers and well off the beaten tour-bus path, making it one of the city's most relaxing neighbourhoods to spend the day. Part of the area's appeal is its vibrant dining and shopping scenes. Many moderately-priced but creative spots are offering exciting and affordable cuisine while there's an array of trendy and funky shops popping up. More than just a trend in name only, the neighbourhood of Leslieville will surprise and delight while still feeling like the cosy village it started as.