The Greenwood-Coxwell neighbourhood has become highly desirable encompassing the hip, artsy and very down to earth shops, burgeoning condos and older homes of Leslieville to the south, and the exotic multi-cultural influences of Little India and comfortable homes on shaded streets to the north. As a result, the neighbourhood remains colourful and lively with a community focused on family, culture and inclusivity.
Greenwood Coxwell is a narrow strip sandwiched between Greenwood Avenue and Leslie Street to the west, Milverton Boulevard to the north, Coxwell Avenue to the east and Eastern Avenue to the south. In the early 1900s the land was quite marshy, because of a stream running from Monarch Park down to Ashbridge’s Bay, so for many years, the area was considered inhabitable. However, when the area was targeted as the ideal spot to build postwar cottages for soldiers and factory workers, the stream was diverted underground. Voila, a new neighbourhood was born.
As families moved into the new homes, the area emerged as a bustling community attracting new Canadians, with many arriving from South and East Asia. The influences of these families remain a strong presence in the shops and businesses of the area, where you can find the largest South Asian market in North America, the Gerrard Indian Bazaar.
At the south end of the area, Leslieville was a residential village overtaken by industry. Founded by George Leslie, the area’s residents were mainly gardeners and workers from the local brick and metal processing factories. As the city evolved, Leslieville fell into a state of ruin with contaminated lands, factories gutted by fires, and abandoned warehouses becoming all too common sites. However, developers with a vision took on projects to make the area livable again. The area is now home to many modern new developments including condos and hip, refurbished factory lofts.
Today, you can see how the arrival of condos, local shops, bistros, and other businesses have breathed new life throughout Greenwood Coxwell. While Leslieville has attracted people who once favoured the Beaches and the artsy shops and restaurants of Queen West, Little India maintains its exotic charms introducing people to a taste of South and East Asian hospitality.
Greenwood Coxwell is one of Toronto’s “small towns” within the city, providing residents with the comforts of urban living, without as much of the hassle. Regardless of whether you’re closer to Leslieville or Little India you can take your pick of shops, cafés and restaurants, without ever having to travel west to the city centre. In Little India it would take a lifetime to explore the many ethnic shops and restaurants along Gerrard Street where grocery stores welcome you with their spicy aroma, textile store windows shimmer with beautifully coloured silks, and furniture stores offer a touch of Asian flair for your home décor. And of course, there are the many authentic Indian restaurants with their exotic menus tempting taste buds to test their strength against the hot and spicy flavours of the varied cuisines of South and East Asia.
In the summer, there are tons of local festivals and unlike many GTA neighbourhoods, things don’t die down in the winter. The celebration of Diwali keeps the streets aglow with festival lights and bustling with locals and visitors embracing the spirt of this magical event.
For a more laid back feel, Leslieville is all about comfort and trends where you can relax in a local café, shop at quirky boutiques for everything from supplies for your pooch to groceries or enjoy drinks and a meal in one of the many top notch restaurants. All conveniences are within easy walking distance of the homes in the area. Transportation is a breeze with access to buses, streetcars and the subway at Coxwell, Greenwood or Pape. You’re also minutes to the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway if you’re looking to get out of the city.
Greenwood Coxwell is home to a very interesting mix of locals making it a welcome area for people of all walks; from artsy singles living in trendy, tiny lofts to older people aging in place in their family homes and younger families moving in with their kids to established South and East Asian families. Newer residents tend to be young families attracted to the fun community vibe, not to mention below-average rent. As well, the area is very middle class making it more comfortable than many downtown neighbourhoods where higher income families and professionals tend to crush the homey vibe. The further north you go, the older and more established the homeowners tend to be. However, this will slowly change as these homeowners pass on or move into retirement homes.
The Best Part
Greenwood Coxwell is easily stealing the thunder of its competing neighbourhoods along Queen including the illustrious and highly artsy scene on Queen West and the beach town vibe of the Beaches in the east. With no shortage of food, shopping and festivals, this little section of Toronto is quickly becoming a hot spot for all things hip, trendy, artsy and comfy.
The Worst Part
Despite gentrification, there are still some pockets of run-down shops and restaurants, as well as derelict old buildings and homes that are a little shady, so you want to stick to the popular, revitalized areas when out and about.
The Real Estate
Since Greenwood Coxwell is on the tail end of gentrification, you can still find homes in different states of repair for sale at lower prices. There are no two houses alike which means you can take your pick of many different, unusual housing options. No cookie cutter homes here! While you can certainly find a condo with excellent views of the city or the Don River, you can also find houses of all shapes and sizes from lovely bungalows to detached homes and a wide assortment of semis and clusters of row houses. You might even spot a few homes in random alleyways in the neighbourhood.
The neighbourhood’s oldest homes are very popular and are mainly found south of Queen. These homes were built in the 1800’s and offer some impeccable examples of Ontario cottages as well as some first class Victorian rowhouses. If you’re more interested in one of the many chic industrial lofts in the area, they can be found in some of the former factories that dot Eastern and Carlaw Avenues. While you can get some very reasonably priced fixer uppers, you’re still looking at a price range of about $1,750,817 for a house, $717,967 for a townhouse, and $918,572 for a condo at the time of writing.
Greenwood Coxwell is a small area but does have a few schools in the immediate vicinity including:
Secondary Schools 9 to 12
Greenwood Secondary School, 800 Greenwood Avenue, (416) 393-0744 (English as a second language school)
Primary Schools JK to 8
Duke of Connaught School, 70 Woodfield Road, (416) 393-9455
Roden Public School, 151 Hiawatha Road, (416) 393-9555
St. Joseph Catholic School, 176 Leslie Street, 416-393-5209
Are you thinking about calling Greenwood-Coxwell your new home?
Contact us today, and we can get started on finding you a home in this one-of-a-kind Toronto neighbourhood