Dogs and Liberty Village seem to go hand in hand. Seemingly at any daytime hour, there are always residents out with their pups walking the streets of Liberty Village. In fact, the community may be one of the most pet-friendly in Toronto, with its influence being seen in neighbouring Queen West and Parkdale.
The influx of pets has meant lots of success for pet services and pet supply stores in and around our community. For example, Pack of Paws is a Liberty Village doggy daycare located at 105 Jefferson Avenue. It’s a great place to take your fur-baby if you want to give them some time to socialize outside of your condo. There are also a half-dozen dog walking services in close proximity which means there is no excuse for allowing your dog to get lazy.
If we’re talking where to get pet supplies, there are two pet stores in the area. First is the Pet Valu. If you don’t care to venture over to King-Dufferin, Pet Valu is your general retail chain that carries all foods, supplies, toys, and other products for dogs, cats, and reptiles. They maintain a pretty strong 4.4/5 rating on Google Reviews and are a strong recommendation for where to check out. The Pet Valu staff are always friendly and knowledgeable, and they’re a great place to bring your dog to get a bath.
The other Liberty Village pet store option is the Global Pet Foods on Hanna Avenue. . Like Pet Valu, they maintain an impressive Google Reviews rating with 4.5/5. They carry much of the similar products, toys, and pet foods, and for most, the location is more accessible than Pet Valu. For your essentials, it’s worth coming here if you live nearby. There’s also an excellent incentive program for purchasing certain brands at this location.
Need something for your dog, cat, or reptile? Either of these Liberty Village pet stores are excellent options!
Liberty Reclaimed: History of the Village is an exploration of west end Liberty Village. Led by Heritage Toronto Tours, there are 4 dates set for this tour of the history of Liberty Village. The first event is set for Thursday, May 23 at 6:30 pm, followed by one on Thursday, June 20 at 6:30 pm, another on Sunday, July 28 at 1:30 pm, and the last on Saturday, September 28, 1:30 pm.
Today the neighborhood is a collection of condo developments and a flourishing creative business district. Decades ago, the community was very different. Some of the industrial buildings are still standing and have been adapted into business use alongside the remains of Liberty Village’s historic Central Prison Chapel and more.
For more info or to secure a spot, visit their website.
This event is a celebration of where Liberty Village has come from. Its history is formerly one of the most industrial, run-down, and forgotten about neighbourhoods in Toronto. The event on May 23rd will begin at the Toronto Carpet Factory at 67 Mowat Avenue and end at the Central Prison on 70 East Liberty Street. Although all events are cost-free, a $10 donation is suggested. The event is also supported by the Liberty Village BIA.
This is one of several tours overseen by Heritage Toronto, a fantastic organization which focuses on promoting the history of our beautiful city. It’s been 25 years since Heritage Toronto first began launching these tours city-wide, alongside several community partners and historians. This year, the organization will oversee a total of 65 tours city-wide. For historians in Liberty Village, this might be an interesting group to check out in the months ahead.
Regardless, Liberty Reclaimed: History of the Village will start on May 23rd at 6:30 pm. Come and join other local historians as they discuss and explore many aspect of the neighbourhood you may not be aware of.
For more info or to secure a spot, visit their website.
The one you have been waiting for! A rarely available 1 bed + den with soaring west (and south) unobstructed views. One of the best layouts in Liberty Village, this spacious suite is bursting with light and a sense of space that only comes with high ceilings and so so many windows.
Includes a super-convenient parking spot and a storage locker.
April wasn’t exactly a gorgeous weather month for us and it seems that the busy spring condo market has been a tad slow to warm up. Still, we had a healthy 32 sales in Liberty Village in April vs the 40 we had in March. Last year in April we had 34 – so pretty darn similar. Let’s take a look at prices.
The average price for those 32 sales in April 2019 was $660,145. In comparison, April 2018 had an average sale price of $624,000, which is a percentage increase of 5.8% year-over-year in Liberty Village. Nothing record-breaking but that number doesn’t quite tell the whole story. Let’s break these down to something more meaningful and look at 1 beds, 2 beds etc.
1 studio sold in April 2019 for $381,500, it was listed for $340,000.
9 1 beds sold in April, ranging in size from 400sqft to 635sqft. The average sale price was $539,000, while last year the average 1 bed price was $517,500 (4.15%+).
9 1 bed plus dens sold this April. The average sale price for 1+1s was $663,000, while last year the average 1+1 price in April was $599,000 (9.7%+).
The average sale price for 2 beds this April was $755,000, while last year it was $719,000 (5%+)
Where Condo Sales Are Heading
Entry-level 1 beds are still flying but sellers need to be cautious not to over-price. I am seeing some greed out there in terms of asking prices and these over-priced units will sit. While the Liberty Village condo market is moving well, that doesn’t mean you can ask whatever you want and get it. Buyers are still apprehensive about over-paying or even worse, a condo not appraising when it comes to financing.
This smart and sophisticated 1 bedroom + den, 2 full bathroom suite at the The Tower At King West checks all of the boxes: style, functional spacious layout and a 600sqft terrace like you’ve never seen before!
Locker & parking included.
Top-of-the-line finishes that you’ve come to expect from 125 Western Battery Rd. The modern kitchen is perfect for entertaining with a large kitchen island.
The kitchen is equipped with full-sized stainless steel appliances, a breakfast bar, lots of cupboard – all of which will make this kitchen a joy to cook in.
There is no need to compromise with condo-sized furniture. There is plenty of space for all of your favourite furniture pieces.
Brightly lit by floor to ceiling windows, allowing an abundance of natural light in.
The den is extremely versatile and is currently used as a dressing room/wardrobe space. There are lots of options for the den: you may choose to use the space as a dedicated home office, nursery, dining area or entertainment zone.
The 3-piece bathroom has a glass-enclosed fully tiled shower stall, granite vanity with storage and large mirror.
Stretch out in the master bedroom, with large floor to ceiling windows. Step out of your bedroom onto your own massive private outdoor space. And we mean massive.
The bedroom includes a double door closet and rich hardwood floors.
Enjoy the convenience of a 4-piece master ensuite bathroom of your own. Beautifully-finished with a soaker tub, shower and granite vanity with under-storage.
The generous terrace is perfect for sitting out and enjoying your morning coffee or a glass of wine after a long day at work, hosting BBQs and gatherings, lay out and tan, great work out space… anything you want, this space will accommodate it. This terrace is larger than most 1 bed condos in the area!
Liberty Village is filled with amazing restaurants, corporate chains, small businesses, bars, pubs, and coffee shops. If you’re looking for where to find the best comfort foods, we’ve got you covered. Although some of the names on this list can be challenged in their respective category, all of them make for an easy place to start when it comes to foods like BBQ chicken, mac and cheese, and independent coffee.
The Best BBQ Chicken in Liberty Village
The Liberty Village Rotisserie is a great location of authentically prepared Portuguese and Greek cuisine. If you’re in the mood for some rotisserie chicken done BBQ-style, there’s a variety of dishes to chose from ranging from quarter-chickens to something much larger. Every meal comes complete with two sides.
The Best Mac and Cheese in Liberty Village
There’s a couple places offering some pretty good mac and cheese in Liberty Village. For the best of the best though, most will choose Craft Brasserie. Alongside a menu loaded in comfort foods and more than 100 craft beers on tap, the mac and cheese here is built from baked orecchiette served in brown butter cheese sauce and is loaded with green peas, chorizo, and candied bacon.
The Best Indie Coffee in Liberty Village
Balzac’s Coffee is unquestionably Liberty Village’s most successful indie coffee chain and is highly recommended. Balzac’s has additional locations across Toronto, including in the Distillery District, Dovercourt Village, Yonge and Bloor, on the Ryerson University campus, the St. Lawrence Market, and in Union Station. Needless to say, they’re difficult to miss if you’re living in downtown Toronto. That said, you don’t need to go far if you’re living in Liberty Village to taste some amazing coffee from Balzac’s.
The Best Brunch Restaurant in Liberty Village
There’s no shortage of brunch options in Liberty Village. You’ve got an easy half-dozen absolutely amazing places within walking distance. The one that makes our list for best brunch restaurant in the neighbourhood and a place that continues to earn their spot as a top hot spot is the Barcelona Tavern. The chocolate blueberry pancakes and avocado toast with poached eggs is a top meal!
The Best French Toast in Liberty Village
While we’re on the subject of brunch, if there’s anything equal in deliciousness to pancakes at this time of day, it’s French toast. The best place in Liberty Village for delicious French toast, is School Restaurant. The super cheesy French toast is easily one of the best breakfast meals in Toronto. You won’t be disappointed!
These are just a few of Liberty Village’s top places to go for some comfort food but they’re far from the only ones. Some honorable mentions have to go to LOCAL, the stylish Williams Landing, the new and trendy 3 Brewers, the friendly Irish-themed Brazen Head Irish Pub, and the Toronto-famous Mildred’s Temple Kitchen. The best thing about all this is that everything’s located right in our very own Liberty Village. So the next time you’re looking to grab some tasty comfort food, this is just a little of what awaits in our neighborhood.
King West has undergone a great deal of development over the past 25 years. What was once a desolate stretch of King West has become a thriving condo community. Amongst the few remaining relics from the past is the now iconic Palace Arms at the corner of King and Strachan. As with a lot of historic properties, the 130-year old Palace Arms building that has been used as a rooming house for the socially and economically disenfranchised is now being wrecked and demolished, and replaced with – you guessed it – condos.
As derelict as Liberty Village/King West’s classic Palace Arms building is, it’s been a major part of Toronto history in this part of the city. Constructed in 1890 in a Romanesque Revival architecture design as a hotel, it’s been many things to many people in its history. Since the 1970s, it’s been purposed as a rooming house specifically for men struggling with alcohol, drug issues, and mental illness. For these people, when they’ve had no place else to turn, Palace Arms was a place they could come for some respite.
Now, Palace Arms is set to be removed and in its place will be a 16-storey residential condo development. Some of the original building will remain and/or be incorporated into the final design. Prior to leaving in May 2014 however 14 tenants remained in the building. Further complicating things, the building doesn’t actually have a rooming house license, according to the City of Toronto. The tenants remaining are expected gone by the time construction is to begin.
It’s not necessarily the people living there or the demolition of the historic building that has people up in arms about having another condo in the neighborhood. As communicated in a community consultation meeting this past March with councillor Joe Cressy, people just don’t like the way the building looks. The Liberty Village Residents Association (LVRA) have also received dozens of comments from people calling the design ‘ugly’ and disputing the actual shape of the architecture.
Regarding the architecture design, even the City has stated the design is not supported in its current form. There are also questions regarding whether it will adhere to heritage policies and the loss in affordable housing is no doubt going to be a hit for people who used to live here.
Currently, a final report based off of recent consultations are expected before summer 2019. A new design for the Palace Arms property is expected and some of the concerns expressed by Liberty Village residents are no doubt on the table to be addressed.
Is it worth it to keep the Palace Arms open – unfortunately, it doesn’t appear so. There’s more revenues for the City in a condo development here than in keeping the Palace Arms open. Though it’s a heritage property, the Palace Arms is also in terrible physical condition. A restoration would be far too expensive with current owner Rod Bell suggesting it to be infeasible.
For some, the Palace Arms demolition will be yet another sign of gentrification in Toronto with little concern given to the most disenfranchised. As affordable housing continues to grow increasingly scarce, it’s unclear the long-term impact a lack of respite shelters will have. Looking to this past winter, the shelter were full and with record-breaking cold on the streets, there was nowhere for dozens of people to go.
Is the Palace Arms the answer – absolutely not. It violates health, fire, and safety standards plain and simple, and has fallen into such a state that it cannot be brought back from in a financially responsible way. The living conditions there were also terrible in recent years, with no bathroom or kitchen and rooms painted in beige.
So to the Palace Arms, we say goodbye. We only hope the architecture design and the condo building which will come to occupy this property gives at least a little nod to its past and/or bare minimum, is a design accepted by the Liberty Village community surrounding it.
On the edge of Liberty Village, ZEN King West is continuing its frenzied construction pace as we inch closer to the occupancy date. The IBI-designed 32-storey condo development is being erected on East Liberty Street at Strachan Ave.
A little past one year into its construction, so far, shoring and excavation has taken place and work on the underground levels have now brought the construction above grade for the first time as of January. Once out of the ground, it’s common to build a new floor every three weeks or so.
ZEN King West is being built by CentreCourt, an organization who has been highly praised by Toronto council for their fast construction and adherence to the agreed-upon timelines. Nothing’s telling us ZEN King West will be any different. The 228-space, massive 7-storey underground garage has now been formed which means the more exciting above-ground work’s now taking place. Although the property’s an absolute mess right now, you should begin to see its tower reach the skies by the end of the year. Upon completion, this will bring another 481 new condo units to one of Toronto’s fastest growing neighbourhoods.
For buyers looking for Liberty Village condos or condos near King West, ZEN King West Condos may be your best investment when it comes to a cost-to-value ratio. The development itself is nestled in at 19 Western Battery Road among some fantastic amenities. In addition to the King West and Liberty Village neighbourhoods, in close proximity you have grocery stores, entertainment, the CNE, Ontario Place, BMO Field, an off-leash dog park, and the beautiful Trinity Bellwoods Park. Also, inside ZEN King West Condos is a 5,000 sq. ft. fitness centre, a 3,000 sq. ft. spa, and a 200-metre sixth-floor level outdoor running track.
In a sophisticated, high-value Toronto location, this may in fact turn out to be Liberty Village’s most valuable condo development yet. Unit layouts vary in size from 600 to 1,000 sq. ft. ZEN King West Condos is on-schedule for occupancy estimated in April 2020.
Recently voted by blogTO as one of the top 10 outdoor art fairs in Toronto, the Liberty Village Art Crawl is in its 6th year of operations. The Art Crawl is coming to Liberty Village Park on Saturday, June 8th between 11am-6pm. With each year that passes, the Art Crawl grows a little bigger and brighter.
This year, the Liberty Village Art Crawl will host more than 60 artists and designers with a variety of works from all types of categories of art. During this 1-day event, you’ll find original artwork, photography pieces, fashion, vintage accessories, body care products, home décor, jewelry, sculptures, and more. Also, food vendors will be on-site ensuring no one goes hungry and there’ll be a live DJ spinning all day. When it comes to community gatherings, it doesn’t get much better than this.
The Art Crawl is an opportunity to support local Toronto artists with their unique, one-of-a-kind pieces on sale. You’ll also get the opportunity to speak directly with the artist to learn more about and their products. Admission is free so you don’t need any tickets to attend. Arrive early and receive one of only 25 swag bags, said to be worth more than $85+ and filled with free products from some of the Art Crawl’s favourite vendors and sponsors. This is a family-friendly event and leashed pets are welcome!