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Liberty Village

Prison Chapel Update

The Prison Chapel in Liberty Village is to be renovated:

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03.02.09 1:52 PM
Hanif Harji Expands Nyood, Plans Multilevel Restaurant for Historic Prison Chapel

Restaurateur Hanif Harji (Nyood, Kultura) is preparing to open two new event spaces—the Bar at Nyood, and Chapelfor. Construction is currently under way on the Nyood bar, which is set to open above Nyood in early April. The space, being designed by Commute Home, will hold 150 people. Harji plans to operate the venue as a private event space during the week, and will open the lounge to the public on weekends. "Everything is going to be custom designed, from the lounge seating to the light fixtures," he said in an interview. "We're going to keep it upscale."

Harji is also planning to turn the 180-year-old former women's prison chapel in Liberty Village into a multilevel restaurant and event space called Chapelfor. "We are going to do some great landscaping outside, and the main floor will have a beautiful patio with trees and cobblestones. It will be a casual space, no reservations," Harji said, noting the second level will be a "hip" reservation-only dining room, and the third floor will house 2,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor event space. "We're just in the process of working with the heritage board," said Harji, who expects to open Chapelfor in the spring of 2010. —Susan O'Neill







Source: http://www.bizbash.com/toronto/cont...vel_restaurant_for_historic_prison_chapel.php
 
This area is getting super busy! I'm there for the gym, Metro, bank etc. a couple times a week and sadly enough there is only one way to get in/out if you are coming off Stratchan to East Liberty. As this neighbourhood grows cars are starting to pile up now (doesn't help that they are parked along both sides of the road too). If there is a Toronto FC game you could possibly be waiting for 10-15 mins just to make a turn! They need a 3 way stop or something to direct the traffic flow at Stratchan & East Liberty!
 
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This area is getting super busy! I'm there for the gym, Metro, bank etc. a couple times a week and sadly enough there is only one way to get in/out if you are coming off Stratchan to East Liberty. As this neighbourhood grows cars are starting to pile up now (doesn't help that they are parked along both sides of the road too). If there is a Toronto FC game you could possibly be waiting for 10-15 mins just to make a turn! They need a 3 way stop or something to direct the traffic flow at Stratchan & East Liberty!

I agree. With all the reasoned complaints about the quality of architecture and planning in Liberty Village, it has one asset which separates it from other condo neighbourhoods downtown, namely pedestrian traffic. I think a lot of it is thanks to the much maligned Metro and its central location. I hope that the Sobeys in CityPlace can accomplish similar amounts of pedestrian activity.
 
Is Liberty Village safe? I mean, it is RIGHT next to Parkdale, a rather dangerous area.
 
Is Liberty Village safe? I mean, it is RIGHT next to Parkdale, a rather dangerous area.

The answer to that depends on how dangerous Parkdale really is. To me it seems fine during the day when visiting, though it's sketchy at night. That itself is probably improving with the influx of new restaurants and bars. Concerning Liberty, I suggest a comparison with Roncesvalles, also next to Parkdale. Roncesvalles has no reputation for being unsafe.
 
Is Liberty Village safe? I mean, it is RIGHT next to Parkdale, a rather dangerous area.


I'd consider LV to be very safe. Being sandwiched between two sets of railway tracks acts as a natural "riff-raff" buffer. The undesirables from Parkdale and King West tend to stay away.
 
The Prison Chapel in Liberty Village is to be renovated:

Harji is also planning to turn the 180-year-old former women's prison chapel in Liberty Village into a multilevel restaurant and event space called Chapelfor. "We are going to do some great landscaping outside, and the main floor will have a beautiful patio with trees and cobblestones. It will be a casual space, no reservations," Harji said, noting the second level will be a "hip" reservation-only dining room, and the third floor will house 2,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor event space. "We're just in the process of working with the heritage board," said Harji, who expects to open Chapelfor in the spring of 2010. —Susan O'Neill

Source: http://www.bizbash.com/toronto/cont...vel_restaurant_for_historic_prison_chapel.php

That's interesting. The chapel is currently part of Liberty Village Park and seems a permanent fixture there, with interlocking brick going right up to it, and there's bike racks and a water fountain, and they recently removed the fencing around the park and attached metal grills to the doors and windows to keep vandals out and...yeah. I just don't see how a restaurant would work in the space and I'd be surprised if this happened. Not that the building couldn't use a good restoration. I'd love to see it repurposed rather than languishing in degradation as it is now. I'm just not sure how it would work in a public space.





As for the article, and just to be pedantic, the chapel was actually part of the Central Prison for Men which was built in 1873. The chapel was added to the south end of the prison in 1877, which makes it 132 years old by my reckoning. They're likely confusing it with the Mercer Reformatory Prison For Women which was located in the area that is now Lamport Stadium.

I've always been curious as to why they left the chapel up when they demolished the prison in 1915. Religious superstition maybe?


There's a plan in place to install lights at East Liberty and Strachan this summer.

This seems to be happening now, thankfully. Now, if they could just make one side of East Liberty nonparking I wouldn't get a heart attack every time the bus is coming from the other direction.
 
Now, if they could just make one side of East Liberty nonparking I wouldn't get a heart attack every time the bus is coming from the other direction.

That only happens to people who drive in the middle of the road, there's lots of room for buses and cars to pass safely, as long as drivers stick to their side of the road.....can you tell that it's a pet peev of mine?

On another note, the neighbourhood desperately needs a crosswalk opposite the Brazen Head, linking the Metro parking lot with the Liberty Market building.....the number of pedestrians that simply wander out into the street with no regard for moving traffic seems to be increasing daily.
 

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