“We got our LCBO, so we’re good”: Liberty Villagers on their neighbourhood’s bad rap
“We got our LCBO, so we’re good”: Liberty Villagers on their neighbourhood’s bad rap
By Chris Bateman | February 11, 2015
By Chris Bateman | 02/11/2015
(Image: Giordano Ciampini)
Liberty Village takes a lot of flack, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a heavily developed condo community that’s cut off from the rest of the city by railroad tracks, leaving only two major routes in and out. Liberty Village Park, the only green space of note, includes just a single small play area, even though, elsewhere in the neighbourhood, plenty of space is devoted to unsightly swaths of surface parking. The 504 King streetcar, the area’s main TTC connection to downtown, is almost unridable during rush hour. There are even battles over dog shit. But how do the people who live and work in Liberty Village feel about it? We asked some of them whether the neighbourhood deserves the put-downs.
306867 <strong>Vince Ching, 30</strong><br />
<strong>Occupation:</strong> Royal Service coordinator, Royal York Hotel<br />
“Transit’s horrible. The 504 is ridiculous. But at least with the 63 bus you can get up to Ossington not too bad. I like the seclusion. We got our LCBO and we got our liquor, so we’re good.” (Image: Giordano Ciampini) https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/vince-ching-liberty-village-streeters-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/vince-ching-liberty-village-streeters.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/vince-ching-liberty-village-streeters.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/city/got-lcbo-good-liberty-villagers-neighbourhoods-bad-reputation/slide/vince-ching-liberty-village-streeters/ vince-ching-liberty-village-streeters 0 0
(Image: Giordano Ciampini)
306866 <strong>Simon Allard, 38</strong><br />
<strong>Occupation:</strong> Barber<br />
"Probably the worst thing is the King streetcar or lack thereof. But I think everything else—being walking distance from Exhibition Place, having the 63 that comes right through Liberty Village and goes to and from a subway station—is actually really good." https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/simon-allard-liberty-village-streeters-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/simon-allard-liberty-village-streeters.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/simon-allard-liberty-village-streeters.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/city/got-lcbo-good-liberty-villagers-neighbourhoods-bad-reputation/slide/simon-allard-liberty-village-streeters/ simon-allard-liberty-village-streeters 0 0
306865 <strong>Shonna Eden, 26</strong><br />
<strong>Occupation:</strong> Retail manager<br />
“I like the buildings. I like the potential for growth as well. I feel like I would like to come here to work on my laptop.” https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/shonna-eden-liberty-village-streeters-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/shonna-eden-liberty-village-streeters.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/shonna-eden-liberty-village-streeters.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/city/got-lcbo-good-liberty-villagers-neighbourhoods-bad-reputation/slide/shonna-eden-liberty-village-streeters/ shonna-eden-liberty-village-streeters 0 0
306864 <strong>Oksana Orel, 25, and Rostik Pro, 28</strong><br />
<strong>Occupations:</strong> Model and driver, respectively<br />
Oksana: “They have cool coffee shops. It’s a nice, interesting neighbourhood. If you can’t go to the Distillery, just go to Liberty. It’s a little pocket of coolness.” https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/oksana-orel-rostik-pro-liberty-village-streeters-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/oksana-orel-rostik-pro-liberty-village-streeters.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/oksana-orel-rostik-pro-liberty-village-streeters.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/city/got-lcbo-good-liberty-villagers-neighbourhoods-bad-reputation/slide/oksana-orel-rostik-pro-liberty-village-streeters/ oksana-orel-rostik-pro-liberty-village-streeters 0 0
306863 <strong>Kayla Matos, 26</strong><br />
<strong>Occupation:</strong> Publicist<br />
“Everything’s really close together. So if you’re doing your groceries, you can go to the liquor store. It’s kind of like a one-stop shop.” https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/kayla-matos-liberty-village-streeters-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/kayla-matos-liberty-village-streeters.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/kayla-matos-liberty-village-streeters.jpg 800 1200  https://torontolife.com/city/got-lcbo-good-liberty-villagers-neighbourhoods-bad-reputation/slide/kayla-matos-liberty-village-streeters/ kayla-matos-liberty-village-streeters 0 0
306862 <strong>Jes Clarke, 24</strong><br />
<strong>Occupation:</strong> Casting producer<br />
“I’ve lived here since June. It's very convenient, I must say. But I feel like I'm much farther from downtown than I used to be." https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/jes-clarke-liberty-village-streeters-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/jes-clarke-liberty-village-streeters.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/jes-clarke-liberty-village-streeters.jpg 800 1200  https://torontolife.com/city/got-lcbo-good-liberty-villagers-neighbourhoods-bad-reputation/slide/jes-clarke-liberty-village-streeters/ jes-clarke-liberty-village-streeters 0 0
306861 <strong>James Calder, 33</strong><br />
<strong>Occupation:</strong> Regulatory compliance officer<br />
"For me, it's about accessibility. I work down the street, so I can walk to work. My wife has a horrible time taking the 504, though. It's a nightmare. She's pregnant, so it's only going to get worse. Liberty Village isn't really built for families." https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/james-calder-liberty-village-streeters-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/james-calder-liberty-village-streeters.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/james-calder-liberty-village-streeters.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/city/got-lcbo-good-liberty-villagers-neighbourhoods-bad-reputation/slide/james-calder-liberty-village-streeters/ james-calder-liberty-village-streeters 0 0
306860 <strong>Genvieve Cofsky, 34</strong><br />
<strong>Occupation:</strong> Project coordinator<br />
“My husband usually takes the streetcar, and this year I’ve had to drive him to work because he just can’t get on. I’m content, but I’m in a condo, so it’s starting to get small. I just had a baby, so we definitely need to move somewhere where there’s a little more space.” https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/genevieve-cofsky-liberty-village-streeters-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/genevieve-cofsky-liberty-village-streeters.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/genevieve-cofsky-liberty-village-streeters.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/city/got-lcbo-good-liberty-villagers-neighbourhoods-bad-reputation/slide/genevieve-cofsky-liberty-village-streeters/ genevieve-cofsky-liberty-village-streeters 0 0
306859 <strong>Derek Wong, 27</strong><br />
<strong>Occupation:</strong> Sales administrator for pre-construction condos<br />
“I love it. I work here, too, so I don’t have to drive anymore. The neighbourhood is full of people my age, so it’s a great neighbourhood to be in. Traffic does get congested every now and then.” https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/derek-wong-liberty-village-streeters-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/derek-wong-liberty-village-streeters.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/derek-wong-liberty-village-streeters.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/city/got-lcbo-good-liberty-villagers-neighbourhoods-bad-reputation/slide/derek-wong-liberty-village-streeters/ derek-wong-liberty-village-streeters 0 0
34 thoughts on ““We got our LCBO, so we’re good”: Liberty Villagers on their neighbourhood’s bad rap”
Useless article is useless. Like there is no content, a Bad one paragraph blip that says nothing of value. Get your shit together I want my time back!
Did you view the slideshow? With the comments from the people who live there? That’s kinda the point of the article. The only pointless part was the guy who works for a Liberty Village condo developer – what was he going to say?
Not surprised at their comments. Would be interesting to read comments from people who moved out of Liberty!
I live here and it has its ups and downs just like any other part of the city. I grew up in Rexdale…Liberty Village is like paradise compared to where I used to live. Congestion? Meh, happens here and there. I drive everyday and don’t find it that bad ever since the Strachan bridge was completed…that’s made a huge difference. Transit is another story. Taking the 63 is better if you can avoid the 504.
Aside from that, one of the main reasons we moved here is because we wanted a larger condo. This neighbourhood gets you very good bang for your buck.
It also has all the amenities we’re used to. Every bank is here, Metro, restaurants, bars, LCBO and Beer Store, etc.
While I agree that it needs more green space, the lake is only a few minute walk away and so are the Fort York gounds.
Overall, it’s a great neighborhood.
Not to mention walking distance to the EX grounds and all the events that come with it (CNE, TFC games, Marlies (lol), Raptors practice is moving here, Better Living Centre, Concerts, etc).
I forgot to touch on the cut off from the city part. First, should point out that a new pedestrian bridge is being built in 2015/2016 similar to what they did at City Place to connect the neighbourhood to King st via Shaw.
However, I actually like how it feels like our little “pocket” of the city. There’s enough crazyness to deal with everyday in a big city. Coming home here to our little pocket always feels like a relief.
I’ve lived in Liberty Village since 2010 and have seen the changes. Sure there are some
things that could be better (i.e. transit and access to King street) but the
community has worked hard with Councilor Mike Layton to improve many aspects. A
bridge connecting King Street to Western Battery is in the works as well as a possible
new street parallel to the south tracks. Overall I think Liberty Village takes
too much flack. Aside from being away from a subway line, it is extremely
convenient with the lake close by and all of the stores/services you would need
for day to day life (Metro, Kitchen Stuff Plus, LCBO, dentists, family doctors,
etc). The good far outweighs the bad.
No, it’s useless. There are pros and cons of living in Liberty Village, just as there are in any other area of the city. Very insightful
I used to work in Liberty Village and loved it in 2008… by 2010 it had lost some of its charm. Now I’m totally over it. The developers killed it and there’s wayy more coming. Just not enough space and infrastructure to support the growing population. But then again if people live there and don’t mind.. all the more power to them.
Liberty Village, where everyone from the 905 has moved to find their suburb within the city
I am a little confused because I have lived here for a year and there is some comments that just don’t make any sense to me. The first one is it it being a suburb.
What kind of Suburb within a 5 walking range has a grocery store, the largest rocking climbing facility in Canada, a flurry of all types of restaurants (some the best in the city), and bars. Not to mention there are tech offices everywhere and more moving in. Do people even know what a suburb is? A suburb is place where there is only houses and you need a car to do anything, this is the exact opposite of what liberty village is, liberty village is an urban bubble.
Honestly I think the reason it gets so much flak is that it expensive so if you are young and have no money, this place would be terrible which is funny because the demographic in liberty village is younger. Of course your experience is going to be terrible if you have no expendable income after rent, but this applies to everything.
If you are paying crap rent but have expendable income you will be able to have more experiences which you will associate with the area you are living in.
“You can only shine a turd for so long before you remember it’s still, at the end of the day, shit.”
I’ve referred to it as a vertical suburb for a while now. It’s the only way to describe that black hole.
I live in Liberty Village (for another couple months). It’s like living in a suburb with a soundtrack of constant beeping and heavy construction. The older part of the village is OK but if you’re going to walk that far you might as well keep walking to greener artistic pastures beyond the tracks. Also, as an animal lover, I am appalled people actually keep animals in these glass boxes. Can’t wait to move out of Disneyland back into a real neighbourhood. Yuck!
Note: we just changed an inaccurate job description in the last slide of the image gallery.
For my fiancé and I, we moved here 3 years ago to be close
to the lake, as well as the Gardner. It was a good mid-way point as I work in
Scarborough and he, in Mississauga.
We rent and have considered moving every year, but have
trouble finding another area that is this convenient with so many amenities at
I do feel very cut off from the rest of the city and know
that the new pedestrian bridge will make a world of difference! (10 minutes cut
from the walk to King Street West)
It’s a transitory type of place. Personally, I don’t see raising
kids here, but the affordable rent and large condo size (we are in an “older”
condo) and good for now as we save for a house.
I guess I do fall into one of the stereotypes, as I did grow
up in the GTA. I don’t consider Liberty the suburbs, having grown up in them
and knowing the difference.
One additional area of concern is for the independent retailers
in Liberty that struggle to stay in business. Rents have gone up so much, to
reflect the large numbers of people who work or live in the area. It means a
lot of smaller shops are shutting down and more franchise restaurants and
stores are coming in.
I feel that Liberty will continue to lose its charm.
However, it will always have a market of young urban professionals willing to
take our place.
I am being totally honest right now. Where exactly do you live in Toronto that is so amazing that it makes liberty village look like a black hole?
I live in Leslieville. I’m not here to debate whether or not where I live is better than Liberty Village, where I work. I just find that for its proximity to downtown it feels so disconnected. Transit is abysmal, options for restaurants are limited, and the majority of stores are large chains with no character. I spend as much time here as many people who live here and I feel like I’m trapped in a bubble.
I would love you to tell me what restaurants in Liberty are among the best in the city..?
I moved out… nothing to do with LV, I just decided to,sell, that’s all, and concentrate our equity elsewhere. I loved it .. lived there from 2006 til last fall. it’s a brilliant neighbourhood.
He’s right: The article is just a ploy to get xtra clicks on links. It’s just to artificially inflate their stats. If they cared about the readers, they’d have written a column instead of clicking on a slideshow that seems designed for people with A.D.D. God forbid we ask people to read an entire single article without a picture for each ‘reply’ to their question. This is why I’m quickly losing interest in TL.
OK so that’s one… And, to be honest, a little debatable. Most people would accept the challenge by naming a few… instead of being condescending with a ‘duh’ after offering one, sole, lonely example.
The sound of beeping from trucks in reverse is a blight on the entire city but it’s the WORST in Liberty Village. The constant sound of trucks in reverse for no purpose because ZERO lives have been saved because of the beeping. And why do we need to hear it 2+ blocks away? Either you’re RIGHT behind the truck or you’re not in any danger whatsoever.
Liberty Village – If you’re a hipster or a millennial and want to live in a 500 sq foot “luxury” condo come on down.
Mildred’s is hugely over rated. The food is decent but I’m always disappointed by service. I agree with you…very debatable.
“ZERO lives have been saved by the beeping“ what an ill-informed thing to say. When 80% of the pedestrians are looking at their phones, you would think that the beeping would be a good thing.
What’s all the HUB BUB – BUB – about residing in ” Liberty Village ” ? I live in Scarborough, East (Sheppard & Kennedy) and not really satisfied with this Asian area either ? But, we all must live somewhere in the (GTA), eh ? If you drive, what’s the difference if your retired ?
I was in Liberty Village over the weekend to visit the Casalife store. The only thing that interested me about the area was the large Irish Pub next door which I will definitely go to. I am wondering what these buildings are going to look like in 10 years cause the density is way way too much and I am in real estate development & leasing & property management. I wonder what is going to happen to all these young buyers when they start having babies and are living in units that are 600 or 700 sq ft? As a dog lover many times over I think there should be more of a commitment from developers to provide ” green space” or ” park land” for your dog. It is totally unfair for people to have dogs and no where to walk them. Liberty Village reminds me very much of Yonge and Dundas. Another concrete jungle.
You have a very good point express by…if they cared about the readers…and the fact is they don’t. It is just drivel content and yet here we are finding ourselves reading it. I am just a guilty as you. But likewise I wish they would crawl a little up the intellectual ladder and start to present something, anything of value. I fear that for me TL now means Time Lost.
I moved to LV from Mississauga when I separated from my husband. I was in one of the townhomes on Laidlaw. I loved it! Yes, it was still developing but I loved the urban feel, the proximity to downtown and to the major arteries. There’s a huge Good Life a 10 minute walk away; Starbucks and LCBO next door. Lots of spa and esthetic services … library down the block. There are interesting restos on that strip of Queen West as well… the Drake is great for brunch or drinks. I only moved because my son and I outgrew the TH and the schools in that area were lacking. I moved to another cachement so he could attend a stellar school and, while I like my current n’hood, every summer I miss those evenings when I could roll out and down the block for a cocktail, without having to worry about parking.
The Drake is great for brunch and drinks. At the other end of Queen, further west, there are all sorts of interesting, reasonably priced restaurants, complete with patios.
WORST ARCHITECTURE IN THE CITY. WAKE UP TORONTO. DESIGN MATTERS. IT ALWAYS HAS. LETS CREATE A BEAUTIFUL, INSPIRING CITY, NOT AN EYESORE. LOSING HOPE AND STARTING TO BELIEVE THAT TORONTO IS COMPRISED OF PEOPLE WITH REALLY BAD TASTE. C’MON!
It’s a bunch of douchebags from Belleville brockbille peterborough that basically invaded Toronto. Outta here and never turning back. These hicks have ruined a good location. It’s too bad. No one in this hood is actually from Toronto. NO ONE
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