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Liberty Village

Liberty Village is a neighbourhood in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is bounded at the north by King Street West, the west by Dufferin Street, the south by the Gardiner Expressway, the east by Strachan Avenue, and the northeast by the CP railway tracks. The Liberty Village name was introduced as a positive 'brand' by the property owners and developers in the area in conjunction with the City of Toronto. The neighbourhood aims to distinguish itself from Parkdale, which now begins west of Dufferin Street. Its location is considered one of its finest assets being a 5 minute walk to the Lakeshore, 20 minute walk to the financial core and a 10 minute walk from the entertainment/fashion/gallery districts of King St. West, West Queen West, Ossington, Dundas St. West and Wellington St. West.

Partly because of this, Liberty Village has experienced phenomenal growth from 2004 to the present in terms of new condos/lofts, office space, a new park, and a multitude of new shops and restaurants. It has been dubbed by many the "hottest" neighbourhood in Toronto.

The ongoing gentrification of downtown Toronto has been pushing farther outwards from downtown (see Queen Street West, Niagara, Distillery District), encouraging rapid development. It has become a trendy neighbourhood for young professionals and artists pushing farther west for less established areas, while still remaining a short walk or streetcar ride from the core. Many old factories have been repurposed as lofts while others have become restaurants, gyms, furniture stores and galleries, as this area was primarily a former heavy industrial area which had been largely abandoned for the past 20 years. 3 new condo towers, townhomes and lofts will be completed by the end of 2010 increasing its density and neighbourhood feel further.

Offices are mostly concentrated in the west end of Liberty Village. New condo developments are currently focused on East Liberty Street, which begins east of Hanna Avenue. Over 20 new restaurants have opened in the past 3 years, providing the residents and workers in the community with many eclectic places to enjoy a drink after work, dinner, or the ubiquitous Toronto Sunday brunch.

Liberty Village is also known for its successful Art and Design studios. Many Canadian and US design firms have located to Liberty Village, creating many jobs for the increasing number of citizens that have moved into the growing neighbourhood.

Liberty Village's name comes from its central street, Liberty st. named in honour of a historic prison reform, the initiative of then Provencial Secretary William John Hanna who forced the closure of Toronto's Central Prison located north of the CNE and west of Strachan Avenue in 1915.

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