Leslieville and Corktown are neighbourhoods located in the east end of Toronto. Known as one of the most sought after areas for families to live in, these neighbourhoods have quickly become my favourite the longer I’ve been living in Toronto. There was a time that the west end of the city was all the rage for my friends and I but as I’ve grown up in the city over the last ten years, I’ve truly fallen more for the charm that the east end has.
I’ve decided to combine both Leslieville and Corktown together as they are situated very close together that I often just consider them as one area. Corktown begins around Parliament and Queen St East and extends to just before the Don River where Leslieville starts just east of the Don River to Coxwell Avenue.
How to get there
These neighbourhoods are accessible by the TTC (Toronto public transit). Essentially all you need to do is take the Queen St streetcar (the 501) east and hop off around Jarvis or Parliament Street. From there I would suggest walking and stopping in some of the businesses I’ll include in this post.
For a guide on how to ride the TTC in Toronto, click here.
Where to eat
There are so many great spots to eat in the east end that I could seriously make 34738497389437 posts on the best spots and it still wouldn’t be enough. However, here are some of my favourites:
Best for a Quick Sandwich: Leslieville Pumps
Best Groceries: Blackbird Baking Co., Leslieville Cheese Market, Leslieville Farmers’ Market (Sunday’s, May-Oct)
Best Mexican: Barrio, La Carnita, Chula Taberna
Best Pizza: Blondies, Descendant
Best Brunch: Bonjour Brioche, Maha’s, Bodega Henriette, Lady Marmalade, Dundas & Carlaw
Best Comfort Food: Maple Leaf Tavern, Avling (also a brewery)
Best Treats: Ed’s Real Scoop, Craig’s Cookies
I haven’t been everywhere in Leslieville, so these are just some of my personal favs. Have other restaurants I NEED to check-out, share them in the comments.
Where to drink
There’s some great stops for local craft beer, tasty coffee, or awesome views on rooftop patios in this area. See below some of my top choices:
Best Coffee: Te Aro, Boxcar Social, Dundas & Carlaw
Best Breweries: Saulter Street, Eastbound Brewery, Black Lab, Left Field
Find my East End brewery crawl recommendations here
Best Rooftop Patio: The Broadview Hotel, Rorschach Brewing Co.
Wine Bar: Chez Nous
Cocktails/Dive Bars: Poor Romeo, Hi-Lo, The Vatican Giftshop
Where to shop
There are seriously endless cute shops in the Leslieville area. Some popular stops are:
- Arts Market: A beautifully curated store full of local artisans and artists work that you can purchase all under one roof
- Good Neighbour: This store sells a mix of great gifts, cute clothes, and even an awesome selection of baby/kids things
- Scout: A local gift shop with all sorts of awesome gifts to take home with you
- Gadabout Vintage: One of the top vintage stores in the area if you’re looking to thrift. Thrill of the Find is also a great stop for all your vintage dreams
- Coal Miner’s Daughter: A small boutique with multiple locations across the city but one resides right on Queen East
Other things to do
One of the parts I love about Toronto is finding and discovering all the beautiful street art. Leslieville has a selection of its own that is definitely worth checking out.
A notable mural representing the neighbourhoods namesake can be found on the west wall of 1401 Queen St. East. You can also find another one located on the side of Meating On Queen at 1160 Queen St. East.
Another notable stop to make in the area is the infamous doll house located at 37 Bertmount Street where the home is covered in dolls and toys. An odd Toronto landmark that is worth a pop by if you’re in the mood for a quirky attraction.
What are your favourite things to do in the east end of Toronto? Share below in the comments!