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Leslieville Thick-rimmed glasses-wearing hipsterville

Recently dubbed "Hipsterville East" by the Toronto Star, Leslieville has had one of the highest rates of gentrification among Toronto's neighbourhoods next to the likes of Cabbagetown and Riverdale. Ages ago, the streets of Leslieville were lined with soda-pop shops and quaint family-run businesses of old that would cater to lassies in poodle skirts. Then, its commercial area was more boarded up then not. Now, Leslieville is so hip, it even has an upscale gas station. Who knew? There are a few good reasons for this; among them, its prime location near the Beaches, an easy commute to downtown, thanks to Leslieville's location just east of the Don, and rents that until recently were really affordable. Things have changed, though, and the rents aren't as low as they once were, but the industrial-style lofts are much classier than some of the previous housing stock – as are the lux condos popping up nearby. Short commute aside, tons of Leslieville residents work in creative industries which more often let them work from home, so who says a commute is even necessary? Plus the plethora of just plain awesome businesses that do a stellar job of catering to the local hipsters mean those who live in Leslieville can pretty much stay in Leslieville.

Who Lives Here

Bearded, tight jean-wearing hipsters with thick-rimmed glasses who work in film, digital arts and the sciences. They like expensive, artisan coffee sourced from free-trade areas, vegan dinners and vintage clothes.

Perfect for…

More hipsters. Honestly, Leslieville businesses do a great job of catering to the hip, young generation that has just enough money to spend on the things they want to solidify their style. Working singles and couples do great here, as do younger families with kids.

Not-so-perfect for…

Seniors and the older generation who isn't too keen on change. Leslieville's seen a lot of it and the trend is likely to continue. Suits might also have a hard time fitting in here.

Life and Style

At any time of day, thanks to flexible work hours and a somewhat alternative attitude towards what a shift looks like, hordes of uber-stylish young couples and friends roam the colourful streets of Leslieville, stopping by cafes and trendy clothing stores to check out what's new that day. Queen Street East is the main destination, with endless organic restaurants and cafes, food markets, yoga studios, pet shops, boutique stores for kids and fashionable clothes. With the Beaches neighbourhood so close by, warm weekends are often spent just outside of Leslieville. Visitors and newcomers to Leslieville will notice a very different pace here than in downtown. People move more slowly, because they can.

Housing Market

Leslieville is a large neighbourhood in Toronto and has a ton of housing for both renters and for buyers. Prices are still better than downtown, but gentrification is changing that fact – fast. Apartments, condos and basement suites in Leslieville still go for below-average rates for renters, whereas a detached house will cost a bit more, but gives the added benefit of a little back yard and a bit more space for the family.

Avg. rent by housing type and size

Studio/Bachelor: $980
1-bedroom: $1,410
2-bedroom: $1,800
3-bedroom: $2,530
Avg. rent compared to other Toronto neighbourhoods
Leslieville is 9% lower than TO average

Typical housing type

A mix of apartments, nice condos, townhouses and old detached character homes


Queen Street East is the Leslieville foodie's main hangout, not just for great eats, but for people watching on one of a few patios around. For breakfast, there's Lady Marmalade, which seems to have lineups all day, every day, then Eastside Social for a maritime-style dinner, or Skin + Bones, or Completo, or Gio Rana's, or Goods and Provisions. Then, there are almost too many cafes to name, plus a dozen bakeries, pubs, lounges and bars. Leaving Queen Street, there's an area on Gerrard at the neighbourhood's east end called the India Bazaar, with awesome restaurants and shops selling imported goods. For families, there are five public elementary schools within the neighbourhood's borders, plus one high school and a Catholic school called St. Joseph's.