Liberty Village is a cool, urban enclave on the west side of Toronto, Ontario. This is a community aimed at artists, artisans and those who seek a bohemian community to make their home in.
Architecturally speaking, Liberty Village is one of the older neighbourhoods in Toronto. Whereas many of the original structures along the waterfront were completely demolished to make room for condo buildings, Liberty Village is largely made up of re-purposed industrial buildings and warehouses. Some new development has also taken place in the neighbourhood with more forthcoming.
Liberty Village is located between Dufferin Street and Strachan Avenues. King Street marks the boundary to the north, and the southern edge is clearly marked by the Gardiner Expressway.
Liberty Village is trying very hard to maintain its bohemian-chic credibility of years past. However, it is slowly transforming into a slightly more upscale neighbourhood as gentrification settles in. Ongoing development in the area means that there is now a very eclectic mixture of old buildings and new, giving the neighbourhood a somewhat patchwork appearance. However, in the corners where the mostly vintage buildings remain, the preservation and restoration efforts have been marvellous, giving the neighbourhood some wonderful architectural appeal.
The location of Liberty Village makes it very appealing to young professionals. It is close to the lake, only a short transit ride to the downtown core, and has good access to the highway for those who drive. Despite the gentrification, there is also still a large population of artists and creative professionals in the area.
Liberty Village has a lot to offer in terms of both shopping and dining For those who prefer to browse the wares of smaller, local shops, and to try fantastic local dining options, Liberty Village is a fantastic place to visit, or live. One of the highlights of the neighbourhood is the Liberty Market. This building is made up of retail, office and studios units, and is home to a very eclectic mix of clients. They range from the Stitchy Lizard, a business that deals in embroidery and screen printing, to Naked Red, a high-end fashion retailer. Dining in Liberty Village is top notch, and there are restaurants drawing their influences from all around the world in this small neighbourhood. The Brazen Head pub is a constantly active local watering hole that is known for offering good food as well as cold drinks. Koja is a Sushi and Bibimbop restaurant that is well known to the locals. There are also a number of wrap, burrito and coffee shops tucked into the various nooks and crannies of Liberty Village.
Housing in Liberty Village trends very much towards multi-unit dwellings. The most sought after addresses in the area tend to be in the old factory and warehouse buildings that have been refurbished for residential use. Some of the highest end units in the neighbourhoods are the upper-level loft suites in some of these buildings. The new condo buildings in this part of town are quite affordable by Toronto standards.
The pollution and noise is definitely one of the drawbacks of living in Liberty Village. The neighbourhood is definitely subject to a bit more pollution and noise than some of the more spacious outlying neighbourhoods in Toronto. Proximity to the Gardiner is also an issue when it comes to noise in the south end of Liberty Village.
Liberty Village suffers from some of the same problems that other neighbourhoods with high populations and a vibrant nightlife do. It has a higher rate of sexual assault, drug crimes and assault than many of Toronto’s neighbourhoods. However, this is partly due to the heavy traffic flow through the area, and not necessarily a reflection on the actual safety of the neighbourhood.
Liberty Village is another of the small, urban enclaves in Toronto without a school within the immediate neighbourhood. Children who live in Liberty Village are likely to attend schools in Parkdale, to the west, or Niagara to the east. Given the artistic nature of the neighbourhood, there are some other educational facilities within Liberty Village. There are several schools involved in the arts that call Liberty Village home, including Danceology, Ritmo Flamenco and the Toronto Academy of Acting for Film & Television.
Liberty Village is connected to the downtown area via the streetcar. There are three streetcar lines that can easily be accessed from Liberty Village. The King line has a stop at King and Dufferin, right in the northwest corner of the area. The 508 Lakeshore also runs through the neighbourhood. Finally, just south of Liberty Village, passengers can get on the 509 route at Strachan and Fleet Street.
Liberty Village is one of the many condo-based communities close to the water in Toronto. By and large, these areas are composed of buildings that contain small apartments or condos with 1 or 2 bedrooms. The vast majority of households in these areas do not include children living at home. This is also a neighbourhood where, partly because of affordable housing, there are a larger number of single-person households than in much of the city.