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 thirteen stops along a walking tour of Liberty Village.
Atlantic Avenue is Liberty Village’s main north-south street. Here, at King Street, frequent streetcar and bus service will get you downtown, to the subway, or to many of Toronto’s other vibrant neighbourhoods. Close by, a variety of shops, restaurants, and services offer to meet your needs and cravings. Walk south on Atlantic, and you will find Exhibition GO Station, with easy access to the C.N.E. Grounds, BMO Field, and Ontario Place.
One block west is Lamport Stadium, which hosts amateur and professional soccer, football, rugby, and lacrosse matches. It is home to the Toronto Argonauts’ practice facility, and a hub for Toronto’s annual Caribbean Carnival (Caribana). Lamport Stadium opened in 1975, on the grounds of the Andrew Mercer Reformatory, a notorious women’s prison that operated from 1872 to 1969.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, women could be sent to the Mercer Reformatory for violating Victorian and Edwardian ideals, including “promiscuousness,” having children out of wedlock, or being in interracial relationships. Abuses were common. Women released from the prison would be let out the back, to a roadway that became known as Liberty Street. With the opening of a modern women’s jail in Brampton – the Vanier Institute – the Mercer Reformatory was closed and demolished in 1969. Only the superintendent’s house, at the corner of King Street and Fraser Avenue, still stands.
The King Street Subway, to the east, was built in 1888 to solve a major traffic problem, where King Street crossed several railway lines and yard tracks. The elimination of this dangerous crossing allowed streetcar service to continue westward from Dovercourt Road, serving Liberty Village and south Parkdale and was the one of the first of many underpasses built along Toronto’s rail corridors to eliminate such dangers.
Next to this signpost are two examples of Liberty Village’s public art initiatives. “Emerging” by Liberty Village resident Michael Golland reflects Liberty Village’s transformation from its past and the human spirit of those who live and work here. “Milieu” by artist P Fortune, is one of a series of 14 artists’ benches commissioned by the Liberty Village BIA in 2019. “Milieu” features Liberty Village’s street grid and highlights the famous Inglis billboard, which stood by the Gardiner Expressway until 2014.
Learn more about the Inglis Billboard at Stop 1: East Liberty Street and Strachan Avenue
Continue your tour…
Location 6 King and Dufferin Streets – 500 metres west (1209 King Street West)
Location 4 Hanna and Snooker Streets – 175 metres south-east (51 Hanna Avenue)
Looking east on King Street to the subway
City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 200, Series 376, File 2, Item 17
Mercer Reformatory, 1893
Support Local. Check out these nearby businesses!
Cafes and Restaurants
Booster Juice 128 Atlantic Avenue
Burger Drop 116 Atlantic Avenue
Craft Brasserie 107 Atlantic Avenue
Evelyn’s Crackers 125 Jefferson Avenue
Fat Bastard Burrito 126 Atlantic Avenue
Freshii 85 Hanna Avenue
In Japan 124 Atlantic Avenue
Koja 120 Atlantic Avenue
Liberty Eats 129 Jefferson Avenue
Liberty Shawarma 114 Atlantic Avenue
LV Rotisserie 141 Jefferson Avenue
Mad Batter Bakers 135 Jefferson Avenue
Mildred’s Temple Kitchen 85 Hanna Avenue
Naomi Restaurant 112 Atlantic Avenue
Saigon Bistro 122 Atlantic Avenue
6ix Triangles 127 Jefferson Avenue
Provisions 109 Jefferson Avenue
ULTRAMEN 134 Atlantic Avenue
Knoll 109 Atlantic Avenue
Organic Garage 42 Hanna Avenue
Popeyes Supplements 118 Atlantic Avenue
West Elm 109 Atlantic Avenue
B Suite Salon 132 Atlantic Avenue
Goodlife Fitness 85 Hanna Avenue
Helen Tansey Photography 123 Jefferson Avenue
King Liberty Health Centre 131 Jefferson Avenue
Pack of Paws 105 Jefferson Avenue
Parss Courier 101 Jefferson Avenue
Smooth Wax Bar 110 Atlantic Avenue
Explore the amazing history of Liberty Village. Check out the full walking tour here!