As real estate professionals with significant presence in Leslieville, people sometimes ask us what’s so great about it. Answering the question is interesting, because it gets us to look more closely at some stuff that we could otherwise take for granted.
To us, the main thing about Leslieville is that it is a district which, in redefining itself, has proven to us that the real draw of a neighbourhood is its people. Because if you think about it, 20 years ago this was a very different place. The physical homes were all in place, but the tone of the streets was darker and less vibrant.
But then something started to happen. People started buying into the neighbourhood. They recognized its potential. They put a new face on the outside of the homes they bought and they renovated and update the interiors. Then, when what they were doing started to show, other people got the same idea and followed suit. Before long, street after street had been reinvented and rejuvenated.
Now, the tone of the place is lively and happy. Go for a walk and you’ll pass joggers, dog-walkers and mothers with strollers. You’ll see people happy with their sense of place.
So while we can cast a professional eye along the streets of Leslieville and see a pocket of increased and increasing housing values, we like to remember what actually fuels the change. It’s people, with an eye to making their houses into homes. It’s people who apply effort and vision to their homes. It’s people who value and contribute to an overall sense of community.
There are anonymous neighbourhoods in every city – the places with no stamp of individuality on them. Then there are the places driven by the character created by its residents. What’s so great about Leslieville is that it fits so squarely into that second category.