The green and white Leslieville street signs that run along Queen Street were installed in 1987. These historic markers are symbolic of a renewed interest and pride in Leslieville among the residents of this quiet east end neighbourhood.
Leslieville, still feels very much like a small village. It’s cozy houses, quaint stores, and tree lined streets, seem surprisingly serene and peaceful considering Leslieville’s close proximity to downtown Toronto.
History of Leslieville
Leslieville began as a small village back in the 1850’s. The village grew up around the Toronto Nurseries owned by George Leslie and sons, after whom this neighbourhood is named.
Most of Leslieville’s residents were either market gardeners or were employed at one of several brick making companies that used to operate in the area.
One of the first buildings in the village was the Leslieville Public School, built in 1863. Leslieville’s first principal was Alexander Muir who composed “The Maple Leaf Forever”.
Muir’s poetic verse was inspired when a brilliant autumn maple leaf fell from a Leslieville tree onto his jacket.
That maple tree is still standing today and has become Leslieville’s most famous landmark. It is designated by an historic plaque at the intersection of Laing Street and Memory Lane.