Liberty Village/Queen West

Liberty Village, King West, and Queen West are all highly desirable, recently gentrified neighborhoods in downtown Toronto. All three are extremely likely places to find condos, since these neighborhoods' recent gentrification has lent them to the development of high-rise condominium towers to keep up with the demand. Most of the condos in this area will be fairly new and modern and all have excellent access to shopping, culture and night life because of their downtown location. The downshot of this, however, is that these areas can become extremely congested both with traffic and pedestrians.

Liberty Village is a neighborhood in the west end of downtown that used to be an industrial district. The area was home to many factories and warehouses that have long since been abandoned. The push for housing in downtown Toronto has given Liberty Village a massive facelift in recent years, however, especially in 2005 and 2006. Many old warehouses and factories have been converted into apartments, condominiums, and office space. The heaviest concentration of condos is on the east end of Liberty Street itself, while the offices tend to be located at the west end. Recently, bars and restaurants have been opening up in between to entice office workers into having dinner or a drink on their way home.

Since its gentrification, Liberty Village has become popular with trendy young professionals. In an effort to differentiate it from nearby Parkdale, developers have turned the Liberty Village name into a trendy brand name with which to market the area. Also contributing to Liberty Village's "coolness" are the art and design studios which have been moving into the neighborhood in recent years.

Queen Street West is a conglomeration of neighborhoods intersecting with Queen Street, one of Toronto's main streets. Queen Street was the geographical center of the east-west streets in Toronto's original grid pattern. In Toronto's early days it was home to communities of immigrants from Ireland, Poland, the Ukraine and Portugal. The demand for housing, retail and office space in the downtown area has made real estate in Queen West extremely expensive, gradually forcing the immigrants into more affordable areas of the city. Now Queen West is known as a center for arts, broadcasting, shopping, and has become one of Toronto's main tourist destinations.

Queen West can be further subdivided into sections nearest major cross streets. Each section has a distinct composition and flavor. For instance, the area between University Avenue and Spadina Avenue that used to be occupied by the immigrant communities is now home to a wide variety of upscale shopping boutiques such as Roots and The Gap, and the well-known Eaton Center mall. This section also features many restaurants, hair salons, and televisions studios, including the famous CHUM-City Building, which is home to MuchMusic and CityTV.

Moving further west, the next section is dominated by government institutions and cultural buildings like City Hall and the Four Seasons Center. The section between University and Spadina is known for street performers, musicians, nightclubs and its connection to the punk rock music scene. This section is not to be confused with Spadina to Bellwoods Park, which is famous for its connection to the goth scene, or Bellwoods Park to Dufferin, which is an art and design hub and features a multitude of galleries, bars and nightclubs.

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Monday, June 24, 2024