Leslieville - Explore an East End Neighbourhood

Located east of downtown Toronto, Leslieville is a historic neighborhood with a rich industrial heritage and beautiful green space. Easily accessible by TTC streetcars and subway trains, this district is surrounded by some of the city's best lakefront beaches and parks. Click to book your Toronto tours.

History

Leslieville in Toronto
Leslieville - Explore an East End Neighbourhood
Leslieville was originally established as a rural community on the eastern outskirts of Toronto in the 1850s. Scottish immigrant George Leslie is the namesake of this community, which retained a quaint atmosphere for most of the 19th century. In the early and middle of the 20th century, the district supported light and heavy industries. Opened in 1910, the Ashebridges Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant has been a major industrial fixture in the area for generations. Gentrification and new waves of immigration reshaped the character of Leslieville at the beginning of the 21st century. Today, the neighborhood has significant Indian and Pakistani enclaves. The Gerrard India Bazaar caters to these ethnic communities and curious visitors who seek exotic items.

Parks, Recreation and Attractions

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One of Toronto's premier waterfront green spaces, Woodbine Park is located on Leslieville's southeastern corner. Some of the park's highlights include splash pads, biking trails, playgrounds and sports fields with easy access to public restrooms and picnic shelters. The adjacent Beach Skateboard Park is one of the largest parks of its kind in the city. Ashbridges Bay Park is another popular green space that's within walking distance of this neighborhood. Situated on a peninsula that's surrounded by Lake Ontario, this park has miles of trails and multiple marinas with yacht clubs. If you're a history buff, check out the elegant Ashebridge Estate that was built in the 1850s. Sprawling gardens surround this charming homestead that's managed by the Ontario Heritage Trust. The property has been occupied by the same family for more than two centuries. Click to book your Toronto tours. During the summer season, the sandy Woodbine Beach attracts flocks of residents and tourists. A boardwalk hugs the curved perimeter of this natural attraction, which has designated swimming areas and other recreational amenities, such as volleyball courts. You can also swim at the Donald Summerville Olympic Pool, which is located just north of the beach. Centrally located in the area, Greenwood Park is another major hub for outdoor recreation. This city park includes several baseball diamonds, an outdoor swimming pool and an enclosed dog park. The Pape Avenue Cemetery is another landmark that reveals the stories of the area's first settlers. Established in the late 1840s, this cemetery has some of the oldest Jewish burial sites in the city. The Maple Leaf Forever Park is another property with historical significance. Opened in the early 1930s, this municipal park honors famous Canadian composer Alexander Muir. Built in the 1870s, the Maple Cottage was once occupied by this prominent musician.

Visiting Leslieville

The Toronto Transit Commission Bloor-Danforth Line stops at multiple stations that are situated just north of Leslieville. Some stations that are within walking distance of the neighborhood include Greenwood, Donlands and Pape. The community gets direct service from several TTC streetcars, such as the 301, 501, 502 and 503 lines. These routes primarily run along Queen Street East, arguably the busiest road in the neighborhood. The Go Transit Lakeshore East and Stouffville trains serve Danforth Station, which stands just outside of the district's northeastern corner. Both of these commuter rail lines stop at downtown's Union Station. Carrying multiple lanes of eastbound and westbound traffic, Lakeshore Boulevard East defines the southern boundaries of Leslieville. The intersection of this boulevard and Leslie Street forms one of the busiest points in the community. In fact, the TTC bus 83 route stops at this important intersection. Additionally, the pedestrian-friendly Lower Don Recreation Trail runs parallel to the boulevard.
By: Denise Marie
Published On: 2019-08-15
Updated On: 2019-08-15

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