At first glance, Toronto’s Liberty Village neighborhood appears to be a be little more than a maze of condos and loft spaces, and though the area is filled with such buildings, look a little closer and you’ll notice an abundance of things to see and do. Bordered by King Street West to the north, Dufferin Street to the west, the Gardiner Expressway to the south, and Strachan Avenue to the east, Liberty Village lives up to its name in that once you’re there, it really can feel like a small village within the city. Known for its historical industrial architecture, you’ll also find residential and commercial spaces mixed among bars, restaurants, shops and services. Here are some of the best things to do in and around Liberty Village.
While there isn’t a huge variety of green space in the neighborhood, you can get your outdoor fix on a warm day with a visit to Liberty Village Park, a small park near King Street West and Strachan Avenue.
Here you’ll find benches, a children's playground, and a giant sculpture by Francisco Gazitue called Perpetual Motion. The park also features a large building that was formerly the Roman Catholic Chapel of the Toronto Central Prison and part of the prison wall still stands.
Go Indoor Rock Climbing
Whether you love indoor rock climbing, you’re new to the sport, or you’re just looking for a unique way to work out, Liberty Village is home to Joe Rockhead’s Indoor Rock Climbing. First opened in 1990, they offer lessons for both beginners and experienced climbers. You can opt for a day pass, a weekly pass, or a 10-session pass in addition to lessons, and equipment is available to rent if you don’t have your own.
Established in 2007, the neighborhood farmers’ market of Liberty Village is where you’ll find vendors selling fresh, local produce along with baked goods and prepared foods. The market is located in the Green P parking lot on Hanna Street and happens every Sunday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. from early June to the end of November.
Soak up the Sun on a Patio
Among the biggest patios in Liberty Village is the one belonging to Williams Landing, a second-floor patio overlooking East Liberty Street with great views of the surrounding area. Or you can grab a pint or two at three-story Irish-themed pub Brazen Head which has a patio on the first floor, two patios on the second, and a patio on the third. Another good patio option comes courtesy of Local Public Eatery, which has a large, 90-set patio with a bocce ball court.
See a Toronto FC Game
Located near Liberty Village, BMO Field is Canada’s first soccer-specific stadium and is the home of Canada’s National soccer team, as well as Toronto FC, Canada’s first Major League Soccer team and the Toronto Argonauts. Local soccer fans are pretty enthusiastic about Toronto FC games and seeing a game is an experience worth having. Hang out in Liberty Village either before or after a game.
Enjoy a Craft Beer
If you’re looking for craft beer in Liberty Village, you don’t need to go far, and you have lots of options. For starters, The Craft Brasserie, with its 120 taps, offers the largest selection of craft beer in Toronto. Or, there’s 3 Brewers, a sprawling brewpub known for brewing all the beer they serve on-site. They have several locations, but this is the first one where every step of the brewing process is displayed in plain sight. Another good option for craft beer is Liberty Commons at Big Rock Brewery where you’ll find Big Rock’s signature and seasonal brews to enjoy along with pub favorites.
Get Your Brunch On
Brunch is a favorite pastime for the people of Toronto and there are numerous places in the city to get your fix. One of the best places for a mid- to late-morning meal is Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, which is justifiably popular amongst both Liberty Village locals and those from elsewhere in the city. Brunch runs on Saturday, Sunday, and long weekends from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. They don’t take reservations, so you may have to wait, but the wait is always worth it, especially for their famous blueberry pancakes.
Your other brunch bet in Liberty Village is School, which serves a very popular weekend brunch where you can get decadent treats like chocolate croissant French toast and buttermilk fried chicken and waffles. Note, they don’t take brunch reservations either.
Have a Great Meal
In addition to brunch, beer and patio options to choose from, Liberty Village is home to a wide variety of restaurants representing many cuisines and dietary preferences, depending on what you’re in the mood for.
For anyone in the mood for Italian, Caffino is a great choice. The small, stylish space serves lunch and dinner with a focus on homecooked Italian favorites.
Sit down for some authentic Spanish tapas and other Mediterranean-inspired cuisine at colorful Barcelona Tavern. The also serve up a full brunch menu on weekends and holidays.
Authentic Mexican can be found at Maizal, which also grows their own heirloom maize to make their tortillas, tamales, sopes, and pupusas.
Family owned bistro, Merci Mon Ami, is where to go for baguette sandwiches of all kinds, salads, and a rotating roster of hot features.
Shop Until You Drop
Shopping in Liberty Village is a good option for anyone looking for anything from clothing to housewares to stylish furniture.
Get unique greeting cards and gift items at I Have a Crush on You, which doubles as a gallery and design studio.
Handmade soaps and bath products are what’s on offer at colorful Demo Soap.
Shop stylish and versatile women’s and men’s clothing at Naked Red.