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.
Liberty Street between Dufferin Street and Hanna Avenue is lined with historic factory buildings, all enjoying new life as office and studio space. The Toronto Carpet Factory, which encompasses eight buildings within the block bounded by Mowat Avenue, King Street, Fraser Avenue, and Liberty Street is a standout. The Toronto Carpet Manufacturing Company moved to the corner of King Street and Fraser Avenue in 1899. Within twenty years, the factory expanded several times to meet the demand for commercial and residential carpets. At the factory’s peak in the 1920s, 1000 workers were employed here – about the same number of workers employed by the complex’s tenants today. Tenants include art and design studios, film production companies, marketing firms, non-profit social advocates, restaurants, law offices, and communications solution providers.
One block east, at Fraser Avenue, sits the former E. W. Gillett Company building, locally known as “The Castle.” Constructed in 1912, the Gillett plant was famous for its Magic Baking Powder and Royal Yeast Cakes brands. Gillett merged with several American firms in 1929 to form Standard Brands, itself eventually becoming part of Nabisco Foods. After sitting mostly empty for years, the Gillett factory was renovated and now houses digital and broadcast media firms including SiriusXM Canada, television producer Insight Productions, and e-book firm Kobo. The old boiler house, off Pardee Avenue, is home to Broadflour bakery, which maintains the site’s baking tradition.
Prior to the E. W. Gillett Company, the southeast corner of Fraser Avenue and Liberty Street was home to Diamond Park, one of Toronto’s first baseball stadiums. The ballpark was home to the professional minor league Toronto Maple Leafs from 1901 through 1907, following a fire at their old venue at Hanlan’s Point. In 1908, the Maple Leafs returned to a new stadium at Hanlan’s Point, and Liberty Village’s first stadium was soon demolished.
Diamond Park, 1901-1907
Baldwin Collection, Toronto Public Library, Item E 1-46d
Promotional postcard depicting E.W. Gillett Company plant upon its completion in 1912.
The southeast corner of Mowat Avenue and Liberty Street, early 1980s. Disused railway spurs led to emptying-out factories. Though traces of the old rail lines can still be seen today, Liberty Village is now a much livelier place.
City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 200, Series 1465, File 51, Item 4
Continue your tour…
Location 8 Dufferin Gate 350 metres south-east (157 Dufferin Street)
Location 10 South Liberty Trail – 400 metres south-east (1 Fraser Avenue)
Location 7 Dufferin and Liberty Streets – 100 metres west (233 Dufferin Street)
Location 13 Hanna Avenue and Liberty Street – 500 metres east (2 Liberty Street)
Support Local. Check out these nearby businesses!
Cafés and Restaurants
Little House of Deli 161 Liberty Street
Mike’s Liberty Grill 153 Liberty Street
School 70 Fraser Avenue
Brodflour 8 Pardee Avenue
L Studio Salon 39 Mowat Avenue
Pure Yoga Toronto 47 Fraser Avenue
Explore the amazing history of Liberty Village. Check out the full walking tour here!