Our City Spotlight  series explores the neighbourhoods that make up Toronto and the GTA! Each month, we take a look at what makes these areas unique and what we love most about them. Join the discussion on our social media to share your favourite things about each neighbourhood!

This month’s feature is on Leslieville, a vibrant east-end neighbourhood that has emerged as one of the city’s coolest areas yet still feels very much like the small village it once was.



In the 1850’s, Leslieville was a small village, originally named after George Leslie who owned the nurseries around which the area grew. Many original residents were gardeners employed at the nurseries, or workers from the local brick-making factories nearby. For a number of decades, the area was home to light industry concentrated south of Queen Street, including tanning factories and metal processing plants. Many of the buildings which formerly housed these industries have been reclaimed since their demise; a number of the city’s film studios now reside here. Today the gentrified surrounding neighbourhoods are home to a burgeoning creative class who live and work in the area or enjoy a short commute downtown.

After many years of playing the role of little brother to more developed Riverside, Leslieville has emerged as one of Toronto’s hippest places to dine, drink, shop and live. The neighbourhood still feels very much like a small village, with its cozy houses, quaint stores, and tree lined streets, that seem surprisingly serene and peaceful considering the area’s close proximity to the city centre.

A 2005 article in the New York Times called this Leslieville section of Queen East ‘the new Queen West’. The neighbourhood has continued to grow into this reputation, and today it is known as being home to some of Toronto’s top brunch destinations, while some of the city’s best restaurants have made Queen East a real culinary destination, sitting among funky cafes, vintage furniture, fashion and design stores.

Our favourite places & things to do in Leslieville

There are so many great places and things to do in Leslieville that we haven’t mentioned here – tell us YOUR favourites on social media!


Search for your next home in Leslieville here!