1. BIA’s: Toronto’s Newest and most exciting BIA is the Leslieville BIA. This means engaged business owners steering us in the right direction. By the way, we also have the oldest BIA in Toronto (The Riverside Bia) who is fantastic as well!

2. The entrepreneurial spirit. The majority of businesses are independent and abundance of self employed people have made for an entrepreneurial spirit second to none!

3. We are very multicultural! How many hoods can you have breakfast in Greece, lunch in china and dinner in India?  And we haven’t even mentioned the Queen Street East Restaurants yet!

4. Playing outdoor basketball at Jimmie Simpson in the summer.

5. You’re downtown FAST.  Traffic is awful west of Yonge Street. You heard it here first. And my opinion comes with some experience. I drive for a living!

6. There is a circus. Come on.. When you were a kid you wanted to run off and join the circus. Now you can as an adult! Check out the Zero Gravity Circus at Centre of Gravity East
1300 Gerrard St. East. Tell them Ben sent you! And have a coffee at the Sideshow Cafe. It’s delicious!

7. Parks & Trees – We don’t have a gigantic park like High Park but we have way more of them! Between Withrow,Jimmie Simpson,Greenwood, and Monarch Park and dozens of smaller parks we have a tonne of green!

8. The small town feel so close to an urban center.  Perhaps its the lack of density, or historic buildings on Queen?  But Queen Street East certainly feels like a small town. And it’s friendly too:)

9. Hollywood North –  Our Film District brings movie stars and film industry peeps to the area in droves! I have worked out with Adam Sandler at Mayfair, had a coffee with Drew Barrymore on Queen, and sold east side homes to dozens of working actors.

10. Great Condos.   We have Cool condo architecture and not an abundance of developments. They are also predominately owner occupied dwellings. Buyers sometimes have a concern about moving into a building that is “all renters” meaning the building was originally sold to investors and no actual owners live in the building. This is not a concern east of the Don River, as most of our buildings are enjoyed by the owners themselves!

11. Perfect state or “sweet spot” of gentrification. The ma and pa shops are still scattered throughout the area with the new businesses owners moving in as properties taxes increase.

12. Amazing mix of people. Families, single, gay, straight, all cultures, perhaps a couple aliens. Everyone is here! We are very embracing of culture and race.

13. The best independent coffee shops in Toronto: Dundas and Carlaw,SideShow Cafe,Grinder,Tango Palace,Darkhorse,Mercury.. To name a few!

14.Toboggan at greenwood park, withrow park, and of course, the mother of all hills: Riverdale.

15. Shopping on Queen Street East. Check out: Guff, Zig Zag,Arts Market,and more!

16. A rich history – and perhaps the ghosts that accompany it. See our previous blog post here.

17. The Greenwood park revamp.

18. Lack of snobs. Yup, I said it.

19. Chino Loco Burritos. Yummy!

20. We are covered with mature trees.  Many streets feature a gorgeous tree canopy in the summertime.

21. Proximity to awesome spots! Steps to The Beach, The Danforth, Little India, Chinatown East, makes it a central east end location. Cabbage town, St Lawrence Market, Riverdale Farm are all 10 minutes away!

22. Engaged communities. Look at how many likes in our group. www.facebook.com/leslievilletoronto

23. Leslieville Riverdale tree planting. A project developed by the community. More details here: http://www.leslievilletreeproject.com/

24. Great new businesses like Brickyard Grounds opening up constantly!

25. The Brow house. Ok I haven’t been there – My eyebrows are naturally this gorgeous. But my wife loves it! Check them out at 1256 Queen Street East or email shape@thebrowhouse.com

26. Lack of downtown density.

27. Moments in time – Ya living in Yorkville may have its bonus’ but are you going to find little gems like this? (Jones and just south of Gerrard)

28.Swimmming pools. Lots of em!  And the fact that the Duke of Connaught curriculum includes swimming lessons is awesome!

29. The brunch in Toronto.  Why is there a lineup a block long? Is there a boy band on Queen East? Nope. They are waiting for the best brunch the city at spots like  Lady Marmalad and Bonjour Brioche.

30. We have an Oyster Shucking Champion? I bet you can’t say that about your neighbourhood?  Say hi to Patrick at theCeili Cottage and he may show you a few secrets. You can also tweet him @shuckerpaddy

31. We have residents and entrepreneurs with vision! I would love to do a separate blog post that lists all of the fantastic people are form our community so why not nominate one! Email me at ben@leslieville.com  Your nominees can include anyone from Riverdale, Leslieville, Riverside, East York, The Beach, or The Pocket.

32. We have a Brewery. Yup! We do! Left Field Brewery was established in Toronto in April of 2013 and brews a series of baseball-inspired, distinct and full-flavoured beers. 36 Wagstaff Dr, Toronto, ON M4L 2H7 (647) 402-3449

33. We have the freshest coffee in Toronto. Yup! It’s true. Pilot Coffee Roasters makes beans daily and delivers (by Bicycle sometimes) the freshest beans to the our amazing local coffee spots. Yum!

More soon to come…


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99 reasons to move to Leslieville! Part one. (Riverside, Riverdale as well)

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Ben Ferguson
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