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Leslieville / Studio District

LUVIT!

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I’ve just moved into Leslieville from Riverdale. Only 2 km from my previous home but light years away in differences!
 

emacs

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I’ve just moved into Leslieville from Riverdale. Only 2 km from my previous home but light years away in differences!
Just curious, what are the differences to which you're alluding?

Although I don't intend to move away from St. Lawrence Market (been here since 2004 and loving it), I do visit Leslieville and Riverdale several times per season. Thanks!
 

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If I may jump in and offer a few comparisons, I lived next to the SLM neighbourhood for the past six years. I visited the market itself regularly and my kid attended school there. I really enjoyed the neighbourhood and was reluctant to leave. I liked the pace, density, above-average public realm, and mix of income levels. Having lived on King West, the east side of downtown felt considerably older (more seniors/retirees - including the tourists) and more quiet when I first moved there, which was a bit of a drag tbh, but then the condo and office development proposals rolled through and things sort of leveled out. The added density brought better business hours and better quality businesses on King East, amazing park upgrades (Berczy, St James, Sackville, and soon Crombie Park). The King streetcar corridor was a revelation. Really good coffee (Fahrenheit, Neo) and beer (C'est What, Betty's).

Here’s my postmortem for living on the east side of downtown, and keep in mind these are highly personal:
- Crossing under the Gardiner sucks. The barrier effect is real. I rarely ventured south to the waterfront, despite it being so close. Choosing the option to rebuild the freeway instead of tearing it down is one of the worst decisions in this city's history and SLM, Corktown and the fledgling east bayfront community with suffer from it for a very long time.
- Traffic on Jarvis sucks because of access to the Gardiner and Lakeshore. The streets are plagued by out-of-town motorists who are not accustomed to pedestrians and cyclists, which I suppose is a problem in all parts of town, but Jarvis & Esplanade in particular is a circus at rush hour. The enforcement of traffic rules and safety is pathetic. Zero Vision is strong here. Its nearly as bad as Spadina. There are multiple cars occupying the centre of the intersection and the crosswalks at every single light cycle.
- Restoring the reversible centre lane on Jarvis was stupid and I hope Councillor Wong-Tam eventually succeeds in enhancing the streetscape.
- Sherbourne is the only decent bike connection to the waterfront through that neighbourhood, and my preferred route was way east through the Canary district.
- Most of my travel was east and west. I have friends in Regent Park who I visited on occasion, but I rarely travelled north of Richmond, even to visit Cabbagetown. It felt distant, even though it really wasn't. Moss Park is another mental barrier. I hope it can be properly reintegrated into the city, and soon.
- Cuts to social services have a magnified impact on this part of town. I'm not optimistic that this will improve as boomers age.

The differences I've noticed from living in Leslieville for less than a month:
- It's more quiet, like the east side of downtown used to be. It's far more residential and business hours and the type of businesses cater to families with mortgages and daycare expenses. This is obvious to anyone who spends any time here, but things are changing, albeit at a more gradual pace compared to downtown and particularly the west end.
- A good amount of the houses have been split into duplexes and triplexes, so it's a little more dense than first meets the eye.
- The farmers markets are way younger and more hip than the St Lawrence Market, which I still visit.
- Gerrard has gotten pretty cool.
- Travelling north and south isn't as big of a deal compared to east downtown, despite the railway that cuts through diagonally.
- I've visited the LCBO a total of one time so far because there are so many breweries with retail bottle shops within walking distance.
- Leslie and Lake Shore is a little slice of Mississauga right here in Leslieville, complete with parking lots and drive-throughs. They’re still adding stuff to it, too. I love Farm Boy, but that store has absolutely no interest in anyone who isn’t arriving by car. Not sure what can be done about this. I guess redevelopment of the portlands and the Unilever site are the best hope for weaving this quagmire into the urban fabric, but that seems so far in the future.
 
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toonderly

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I love Farm Boy, but that store has absolutely no interest in anyone who isn’t arriving by car. Not sure what can be done about this. I guess redevelopment of the portlands and the Unilever site are the best hope for weaving this quagmire into the urban fabric, but that seems so far in the future.
I try to walk a lot, but I have tended to think of Leslie and Lakeshore as a driving destination. However after Farm Boy opened over there I took a long walk over and realized that if I take the Queen streetcar it's not that bad. I also noticed that there appears to be some kind of streetcar that goes south of Lakeshore on Leslie, so that might help as well. I often take the Queen streetcar west to the Loblaws at Portland, but going to the west on the weekend can be very slow.
 

grey

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I also noticed that there appears to be some kind of streetcar that goes south of Lakeshore on Leslie, so that might help as well.
That would be the flexity streetcars from various routes going home to Leslie Barns for the evening, which is the enormous building south of Lake Shore Blvd across from Canadian Tire. Those streetcars go out of service at Queen & Leslie before turning south, but the 83 Jones bus goes down there.
 

emacs

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Here’s my postmortem for living on the east side of downtown, and keep in mind these are highly personal:

. . .
To live, I very much prefer the older and more quiet St Lawrence Market neighbourhood compared to the bustle of King Street west of Peter.

I understand how the Gardiner can be a mental and physical barrier, and I agree that Jarvis has gotten more congested and dangerous for people cycling and walking about since 2004. And, yes, the one block radius centered about Moss Park is not an easy neighbourhood to rehabilitate. A little more than a decade ago there was an attempt develop a condo at the southwest corner of Sherbourne and Queen. Obviously, the project never progressed far beyond the planning stages. I think it was called the Kormann House.

The new St James Park playground (since December 2018) is an incredible improvement. My 3.75 year old son loves that place every weekend. And, with phase 2 of the St James Park improvement project scheduled to start as early as this week https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/planning-development/construction-new-facilities/st-james-park-improvements/ the place will only get better.

The differences I've noticed from living in Leslieville for less than a month:

. . .
As a frequent visitor to Riverdale and Leslieville I have witnessed most of what you mentioned. As for the "Leslie and Lake Shore is a little slice of Mississauga", I've avoided that area only because of its resemblance to Mississauga.
 

toonderly

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That would be the flexity streetcars from various routes going home to Leslie Barns for the evening, which is the enormous building south of Lake Shore Blvd across from Canadian Tire. Those streetcars go out of service at Queen & Leslie before turning south, but the 83 Jones bus goes down there.
Oh, THAT explains why I couldn't see where to catch one of them. I see the streetcars on Eastern east of Leslie and I imagined that was where they all congregate, didn't realise there was a more southern barn.
 

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It's an impressive facility. Well worth a visit during Doors Open if/when it participates. The interior is like a space station.
 

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!Holy Cow! Towel Bizarre (sic), a.k.a. Holy Cow Market, a.k.a. Holy Cow Turkish Towels at 1130 Queen St East has more signs than usual indicating its impending closure. Looks like it’ll be gone by the end of the month. This is a 2-bay complex anchoring Queen and Brooklyn, which Holy Cow has occupied for decades, so it’ll be interesting to see what moves in.

Hopefully not a beauty salon.
 

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Word on the street is Domino's Pizza will open in the old Florabunda location at Queen & Larchmount Ave, which closed due to a big rent increase.
 

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