Liberty Village, like most planned communities, never fully materialized into the neighbourhood its developers expected.
Instead, the previously-industrial King Street stretch between Strachan Ave. and Dufferin’s become a neighbourhood all to its own - a live-work-play mini-village that evades its previous reputation as an artsy, bohemian enclave. Now, it’s a vibrant, busy hub of design firms, small-modern companies, coworking spaces, and designed-hip restaurants.
Liberty’s faced a few evolutions in the past decade. It was named for Liberty Street, the first street convicts would walk once freed fromToronto Central Prison Chapel, and developers hoped keeping the name would create a positive neighbourhood “brand”.
Now, a decade later, it’s a haven for young families or singles looking for loft living and nearby King Street culture. It hosts one of the (arguably) most popular bars in Toronto, The Local, and the ever-bustling Liberty Market. They serve as the Village’s central hub, surrounded by Victorian industrial architecture-turned-condos and a spread of mid-size chain restaurants and stores.
Liberty Village plays happy host to a well-documented Toronto niche - its residents are young professionals, early-morning farmers market attendees, and craft beer fanatics. And it’s a great place to buy and rent.
Residents love the area, and are likely to stick around for longer than other high-rental-areas (think U of T). It’s got built-in culture - something only found in areas like the Distillery District and High Park Village. The old factories make for great, exposed-brick low-rise condos, and the neighbourhood itself offers a gorgeous medley of mixed-use, Victorian-turned-modern architecture.
It’s close to the Gardner, and not too far from the downtown core.
Liberty’s transit sucks. It’s actually pretty famous for it - the King St. streetcar route is so overcrowded and underserviced that Liberty residents crowdfunded their own rush hour transit system. Pretty cool for a community initiative, but many people who find Liberty Village hard to get to won’t want to make it their home.
Property values for condos in the area have increased steadily for the last eight years. In particular, Toy Factory lofts made a name for itself by capping condo maintenance fees, and it’s outpaced GTA condo value increase as a likely result. It’s expensive, but so is everywhere else in the city - but at least you’re almost guaranteed a willing, well-employed tenant.