Welcome to Walk Liberty!
Walk Liberty is an interactive, online portal that showcases the rich history, public spaces, and dynamic and eclectic businesses of Liberty Village. Get outside, explore the neighbourhood and support your local businesses.
This is one of ten stops along a walking tour of Liberty Village.
Until the early 2000s, neither East Liberty nor Lynn Williams Street existed. Several railway tracks, used for storing rail cars and serving local industries, crossed here, while Liberty Street ended abruptly at Hanna Avenue. New condominium towers, townhouses, and shops planned for the old Inglis lands saw four new streets added, including East Liberty and Lynn Williams Street, Western Battery Road, and Pirandello Street
Lynn Williams Street was named for former United Steel Workers president Lynn R. Williams from 1983 to 1994. Williams was the first Canadian to lead a major international labour union. He is noted for his political activism (he was a founding member of the New Democratic Party in 1961) and for his efforts to save industrial jobs in Canada and the United States in the 1980s and early 1990s, despite several recessions, increasing automation, and globalization in the steel industry. Williams was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2005.
The A.R. Williams Machinery plant, to the north, is one of many heritage buildings in Liberty Village. A. R. Williams was a manufacturer and supplier of woodworking and metalsmithing equipment for industrial and personal uses. Though the plant is currently used as a condominium sales office, the southern half of the building will be retained as part of a future development project.
Across East Liberty Street is Liberty Market, a fine example of adaptive reuse. Built to house Inglis’ marine steam engine and waterworks manufacturing divisions, it became part of the larger household appliance operations after the Second World War. The southern building was adapted into Toronto Police Service’s traffic safety division and motor garage, while the northern building was reconfigured into a shopping and office complex. Feel welcome to explore Liberty Market further, including the atrium between East Liberty Street and Hanna Avenue.
Above the intersection is the sculpture Split Rock Gap by Francisco Gazitua, the same artist who created Perpetual Motion in Liberty Village Park. Split Rock Gap pays homage to Canada’s natural history, captured in paintings by Tom Thomson and The Group of Seven. A granite boulder anchors an 11-metre steel sculpture inspired by windswept pine trees on the Canadian Shield.
Aerial view of Liberty Village, looking southwest. Most buildings pictured here still stand. The A.R. Williams Machinery plant, with its peaked roof, is near bottom left. Lamport Stadium is at the far right.
Looking west from near the present corner of East Liberty and Lynn Williams Street. Until 20 years ago, Liberty Street ended just east of Hanna Avenue, at the Irwin Toy building. The railway tracks in the foreground, originally the Toronto, Grey, and Bruce Railway to Owen Sound, was later used by Canadian Pacific trains serving local industries.
City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 200, Series 1465, File 58, Item 36
Split Rock Gap by Francisco Gazitua
Continue your tour…
Location 4 Hanna Avenue and Snooker Street – 350 metres northwest (75 Hanna Avenue)
Location 2 Liberty Village Park – 175 metres east (70 East Liberty Street)
Location 10 Hanna Avenue and Liberty Street – 225 metres west (2 Liberty Street)
Support Liberty Local. Check out these nearby businesses!
Cafés and Restaurants
Aroma Espresso Bar 120 Lynn Williams St
Athletes Kitchen 171 East Liberty St, Unit 131 (Liberty Market)
Brazen Head 165 East Liberty St
Chiang Mai Liberty 171 East Liberty St, Unit 144 (Liberty Market)
Kibo Sushi House 171 East Liberty St, Unit 146 (Liberty Market)
Maurya East Indian Roti 150 East Liberty St
‘ONO Poké Bar 100 Western Battery Rd, Unit 2
Panago 120 Lynn Williams St
Pizzaville 171 East Liberty St, Unit 127B (Liberty Market)
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen 165 East Liberty St
180 Smoke Vape Store 171 E Liberty St, Unit 118 (Liberty Market)
Beer Store Express 120 Lynn Williams St
Carnabys Bespoke Jewellery 171 East Liberty St, Unit 135 (Liberty Market)
Demo Soap Studio 171 East Liberty St, Unit 123 (Liberty Market)
Luxe Tanning & Swimwear 171 East Liberty St, Unit 142 (Liberty Market)
3 Apples High 171 E Liberty St, Unit 125 (Liberty Market)
Axe & Hatchet Grooming Club 120 Lynn Williams St
Body in Tune 171 East Liberty St, Unit 133 (Liberty Market)
Cures Beauté 171 East Liberty St, Unit 141(Liberty Market)
F45 Training 171 East Liberty St, Unit 124 (Liberty Market)
Oxygen Yoga and Fitness 171 East Liberty St, Unit 126 (Liberty Market)
Portrait Dental 171 East Liberty St, Unit 138 (Liberty Market)
See and Be Seen 171 East Liberty St, Unit 136 (Liberty Market)
Village Family Health Team 171 East Liberty St Unit 102 (Liberty Market)