HISTORY OF LESLIEVILLE
Leslieville began as a small village back in the 1850’s. The village grew up around the Toronto Nurseries owned by George Leslie and sons, after whom this neighbourhood is named.
Most of Leslieville’s residents were either market gardeners or were employed at one of several brick making companies that used to operate in the area.
One of the first buildings in the village was the Leslieville Public School, built in 1863. Leslieville’s first principal was Alexander Muir who composed “The Maple Leaf Forever”.
Muir’s poetic verse was inspired when a brilliant autumn maple leaf fell from a Leslieville tree onto his jacket. That maple tree is still standing today and has become Leslieville’s most famous landmark. It is designated by an historic plaque at the intersection of Laing Street and Memory Lane.
Leslieville, still feels very much like a small village. It’s cozy houses, quaint stores, and tree lined streets, seem surprisingly serene and peaceful considering Leslieville’s close proximity to downtown Toronto.
The green and white Leslieville street signs that run along Queen Street were installed in 1987. These historic markers are symbolic of a renewed interest and pride in Leslieville among the residents of this quiet east end neighbourhood.
HOMES IN LESLIEVILLE
Leslieville’s older houses along Queen Street, and south to Eastern Avenue were built in the late 1800’s. They include Ontario Cottages, Second Empire row houses and Victorian houses.
Leslieville’s second generation of houses, north of Queen Street, were built in the early 1900’s. This district includes modest detached and semi-detached houses as well as a large number of bungalows, that are among the tiniest houses in Toronto.
SCHOOLS IN THE LESLIEVILLE AREA
(P) Bruce Jr., 51 Larchmount Avenue, (416) 393-0670
(P) Roden Jr., 151 Hiawatha Road, (416) 393-9555
(P) Leslieville Jr., 254 Leslie Street, (416) 393-9480
(P) Duke of Connaught Jr. and Sr., 70 Woodfield Road, (416) 393 – 9455
(PH) Riverdale Collegiate Institute, 1094 Gerrard Street East, (416) 393-9820
(CA) St. Joseph, 176 Leslie Street, (416) 393-5209
(CA) St. William, 343 Jones Avenue, (416) 393-5303
(P) Public School (PH) Public High School (CA) Catholic School (PR) Private School (PC) Private Catholic School (PJ) Private Jewish School (C) College (U) University
LIFESTYLE IN LESLIEVILLE
Leslieville’s main shopping district runs along historic Queen Street. Most of these stores are small independently owned shops that cater to the specific needs of the local residents.
The area on Gerrard Street East between Greenwood Avenue and Coxwell Avenue is known as the ïIndia Bazaar’. This is the commercial centre of Toronto’s East Indian community. The smell of incense and the sound of music provide an exotic backdrop to the shops on this street.
The clothing stores sell imported silk fabrics, and the restaurant vendors barbecue spicy corn on the cob out on the sidewalk.
RECREATION IN LESLIEVILLE
Greenwood Park has three baseball diamonds, an artificial ice rink, a pool, and a playground. The Jonathan Ashbridge Park on the south side of Queen Street features two tennis courts, a children’s playground, and a wading pool.
The S.H. Armstrong Community Recreation Centre on Woodfield Road, has a gymnasium, an indoor pool, a fitness room, a craft room and meeting rooms.
The Gerrard/Ashdale Public Library has a wide variety of programs for children, adults and seniors.
TRANSPORTATION IN LESLIEVILLE
Leslieville is well served by the public transit system which operates bus or streetcar routes on Carlaw, Jones, Greenwood, Coxwell, and Eastern Avenues, as well as Queen and Gerrard Streets. Most of these bus routes link up with stations on the Bloor-Danforth subway line.
Motorists can be downtown in minutes. Lake Shore Boulevard, the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway are also close by.
PARKS AND GREENSPACES IN THE LESLIEVILLE AREA
Leslie Grove Park – 1158 Queen Street East
A small park on Queen Street East at Jones Avenue that features a ball diamond, a wading pool and a children’s playground.
Leslie Grove Shack is located inside Leslie Grove Park. The shack offers youth program on Friday nights.
Maple Leaf Forever Park – 62 Laing St
Greenwood Dog Park -150 Greenwood Ave
A 6.2 heactare park on Greenwood Avenue north of Dundas Street East that features two lighted ball diamonds, a mutlipurpose sports field, an off leash dog park, a community garden, a splash pad, outdoor pool and a children’s playground. There is also an outdoor artificial ice rink that is operational during the winter months and converts into a skateboard park for the summer months. The ice rink features a hockey pad and a pleasure pad. The entrance to the rink is on Alton Ave, which runs one way north.
Greenwood Park Outdoor Pool is located at the north end of the park. It features a 35m shallow pool which is approximately 2m at the deep end. There is a large pool deck with a raised seating area on the north side.
Hideaway Park – 23 Audley Avenue
A small park near Dundas Street East and Pape Avenue that features a dog off leash area, a ball hockey pad, a wading pool and a children’s playground.
Matty Eckler Playground – 953 Gerrard St E
Matty Eckler is a facility that provides programs at quality level training at cost effective prices available to all. It is a friendly and community oriented Community Recreation Centre located south-east corner of Pape Ave. and Gerrard St.
John Chang Neighbourhood Park – 50 Colgate Avenue
LIBRARIES IN THE LESLIEVILLE AREA
- Jones Library – 118 Jones Avenue, (416) 393-7715
- Queen/Saulter Library – 765 Queen Street East, (416) 393-7723
- Gerrard/Ashdale Library – 1432 Gerrard Street East, (416) 393-7717
- Pape/Danforth Library – 701 Pape Avenue, (416) 393-7727
- Riverdale Library – 370 Broadview Avenue, (416) 393-7720
CHURCHES IN THE LESLIEVILLE AREA
- Centre For Spiritual Living – 1311 Queen E, (416) 778-5433
- Church of God of Prophecy – 114 Pape Avenue, (416) 465-6321
- Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto – 115 Simpson Avenue, (416) 406-6228
- Toronto Gospel Lighthouse – 17 Rhodes Avenue, (416) 466-1411
- Saint Paul Church – 83 Power Street, (416) 364-7588
- Little Trinity Anglican Church – 425 King E, (416) 367-0272