An Opportunity For Refreshment & Reinvention On Laing In Leslieville

offered at $800,000

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If we were creating the framework for a custom home for you and asked “What are your everyday essentials for a choice urban life?” how would you reply? Would you be placemaking in an engaging community steps from a village high street, near good schools, or convenient to public transit? Would you pick treetop peak-a-views, parks & recreation to rejuvenate your soul or would you gravitate to gritty destinations that cultivate arts and entertainment? What amenities would enhance your life because of their accessibility and convenience? For those seeking to secure their ideal version of domestic bliss, it begins by ensuring the trifecta of location, dwelling, and budget aligns in support of your personal and professional lifestyles.

What if we told you we found a property – primely situated in vibrant Leslievile, steps to the fab amenities of Queen Street East – that would be suitable for a custom dwelling containing as many as 4 units + a garden suite?

Welcome to 55 Laing Street!

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Live The ‘Leslieville Life’!

Lovely Leslieville hums with a unique energy that draws you in and invites you to stay. The same can be said for the many hip eateries, cafes, bistros, and shops that line its streets and avenues. In fact, Leslieville’s notable restaurants, arts & culture establishments, and nightlife have become a huge draw for residents and visitors alike. So imagine how much more exciting and diverse your life could become, living here in such a sought-after area – within walking distance to all the ‘must-haves’ and being spoiled for choice! It’s an urbanite’s dream!

How great would it feel to live stress-free breezing through your To-Do list lickety-split? Most city dwellers have to schedule a day and a time to visit all the big box stores we invariably need searching for this and that, but when you live on Laing Street in Leslieville, all the necessities sold at Canadian Tire, Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws, Farm Boy, Fresh Co, Pet Valu, and the LCBO are just a stroll south from your front door. There’s a comfort that comes with increased efficiency and ease, and it’s easier to relax knowing that even forgotten items or last-minute needs can be fulfilled in moments!

Wondering what’s for dinner tonight, foodies? For those living east of the Don Valley, there are tons of great culinary hotspots to choose from. First, Gio Rana’s (The Nose) is a well-loved neighbourhood gem – that goes without saying! Then there’s Chula Taberna for excellent Mexican; they serve up chill street food vibes, and their rooftop is great in the summer! Also, it’s difficult to find a better chicken than at The Real Jerk!



If you wander up to Queen Street East you’ve got dozens more choices in either direction! Dine on Italian fare at Nodo Leslieville, or cozy up at Jules Bistro for a great date night and excellent French cuisine. The fare is hot at Dang BBQ, and Seafood-centric Eastside Social is a favourite gathering spot for us. For your pizza pickup, we recommend Descendant Detroit Style Pizza just down the block. Fancy a bevvy? Meet up with friends in the tap room at any of these faves: Black Lab Brewing, Queen’s Head Pub, or The Duke. If you’re a frequent reader of the Urbaneer blog, you know our favourite meal is brunch! Next time you’re out and about on a Saturday or Sunday morning, try Betty’s East!

We know urbanites tend to be discerning when it comes to their hot morning brew, and Leslieville holds plenty of options. There’s a Starbucks and Tim Hortons close at hand (a 4-minute walk), but may we recommend Pilot Coffee Roasters for your next cup of java? Perhaps take your pup on a 15-minute stroll to Pilot, whose core values of sourcing ethical, direct trade coffee and building transparency from farm to cup ensure this is specialty coffee you can feel good about! Coffee in hand, perhaps you’re in the mood to treat yourself? Wander over to Sweet Bliss Baking Company or Bobette & Belle Artisanal Pastries for an indulgent dessert, or pretty up your pad with fresh blooms from The Zoo Flowers.

An absolute must, of course, is access to parks and outdoor recreation – a rejuvenating amenity that often tops urban homebuyers ‘wish lists’. Luckily for residents of Laing Street, there are plenty of quality, sizeable swaths of green space (and blue space) nearby. In fact, there are two that are equidistant – just a 9-minute walk away! First, Leslie Grove Park boasts a splash pad, playground, and lots of lovely leafy trees, and second, the expansive (over six hectares) Greenwood Park! This is a special all-season park, with an outdoor pool, a splash pad, an outdoor rink (which was once the city’s first artificial, covered outdoor rink), trails, a playground, multi-sports fields, a community garden, and of course – lots of green space to run, play, exercise, or relax!  Also, dog owners will love the Greenwood Dog Park – a ‘park within the park’ with a large off-leash area – as well as the connected dog-owning community that frequents it. Finally, Maple Leaf Forever Park is just 2 minutes from your front door up and across the street. According to legend, Alexander Muir was the owner of Maple Cottage – 62 Laing Street – when he composed the iconic song “The Maple Leaf Forever” in 1867.



Perhaps the largest perk when it comes to the great outdoors is the accidental wilderness called Tommy Thompson Park which is a 3-minute drive or a 15-minute walk from this property. Further east is Ashbridges Bay/Woodbine Beach Park (featuring an extensive boardwalk, sandy beach with lifeguards, outdoor volleyball courts, food trucks, fire pits & BBQs, exercise equipment, a playground, washroom facilities, and more!). Reap the blue benefits of being able to be close to water on a regular basis!

Having schools close by is a must; even if you don’t have school-aged children, good schools are one of the most sought-after amenities from future buyers, adding value to your real estate investment. And that value only increases when said schools are walkable! Students living on Laing Street are a 10-minute walk from Bruce Public School, for JK through to Grade 8. High school is a little farther, but still very walkable, at Riverdale CI. Having the ability to walk to school means convenience and time saved for the whole family.

Even with Leslieville’s rich village life, where nothing feels more than a stroll away, there are still rainstorms and Canadian winters to contend with. On those days when walking isn’t an appealing option, you’ll appreciate that the 501 QUEEN streetcar at the top of the street runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Getting anywhere in the city is a breeze on this arterial line; the streetcar will whisk you away East or West, or deliver you to the Yonge Subway line lickety-split! For even more choice, the Jones bus (with a stop right at Queen) hastens your journey North or South. And for those dashing off to the airport or heading north to cottage country, it’s just minutes to Lake Shore Boulevard East & West, The Gardiner Expressway, and the Don Valley Parkway.




A Property Of Possibilities

Yes, the subject property does require substantial capital investment, but the land and the location are prime! This dwelling is well-suited to a downsizing zoomer with deep pockets or a small-scale developer who sees the value in demolishing most of the existing dwelling and expanding it into an executive single-family residence or a multi-unit dwelling. Who doesn’t dream of creating a completely tailored home?!

The existing dwelling is reputed to be an original Sears Catalogue house built in 1900. It has lots of original character details including stained glass windows, a vintage stair banister, and classic doors and trim. However, it also is approaching obsolescence and is an obstacle to the real opportunity here, which is the highest and best use of an exceptionally deep lot with rear right-of-way from Memory Lane (see survey). Being around 22 x 165 feet, and having a total size of 3767 square feet (per Land Registry), this premium residential parcel of land with 1 times coverage is an attractive opportunity for a builder to construct a custom multiunit residence.

What could you build? Both the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario are committed to increasing the supply of housing. Because of this, all residential zoned properties can have multiunit dwellings on them. Here’s our blog explaining more: As-Of-Right Multiplexes Create Missing Middle Options For Toronto Real Estate.


Build A New Single Family Dwelling

The city setback requirement from the street is 20 feet. The existing dwelling is set back about 18.5 feet if an owner were to get permits to substantially renovate the existing dwelling and work with portions of the original envelope.

Although one can build closer to a lot line and forgo installing windows, our calculations are based on both the north and south sides being wide enough to install windows, with the south side having a 1 metre-wide access route to the rear. This means a new dwelling would be about 15.75 feet wide.

In the City of Toronto, a single-family dwelling can be 55 feet long and 32.8 feet high, which we have accounted for in our calculations.

On this basis, a single-family dwelling of 866 square feet per floor level can be constructed as-of-right pending city permits – which is 2599sf above grade and 3465sf with a lower level.


Construct A Multiunit Dwelling

Following the same criteria above, with the exception that the length of a multiunit dwelling is limited to 46 feet, up to 4 units could be built around 700+sf per floor.

On this basis, a multiunit dwelling of 2100+sf above grade and 2800+sf with a lower level could be constructed on this site.


‘Grow’ Your Own Garden Suite

Lanescape Architecture & Construction prepared a review confirming a 2-storey 1290 square foot Garden Suite (about 17 feet wide and about 37 feet long) could be built on the property between the existing dwelling and the rear right-of-way pending the creation of a minimum 3.25-foot access route on the side lot from the street to the back of the property and city permits.


Significant Residential Redevelopment Coming To Immediate Area

Yes, inflation and escalating interest rates have taken a bite out of Toronto’s real estate values. This is reflected in the asking price. But it isn’t stopping Toronto real estate developers from their land acquisitions. Check out this Urban Toronto article from May 2023 about the 49 projects in queue: ‘Proposals Pouring In For Riverdale And Leslieville Main Streets‘. And keep in mind the larger context; to the south of this property, you have the Port Lands revitalization project – Revitalizing The Port Lands On Toronto’s Waterfront – as well as the East Harbour development to the west – Up-And-Coming Or Over-And-Out? Cadillac Fairview’s East Harbour Development .

Just as importantly, here are some of the sites being redeveloped surrounding this listing:

• To the rear of the property is a vacant parcel of 2 lots known as 130/132 Sear Street. We have documentation approving 6 single-family residences, with 4 being semi-detached and 2 being detached dwellings, facing Sears Street and Memory Lane.

• Down the block, we’ve noted an application to build a 4-storey 7-unit townhouse complex on the corner lot at 46 Laing Street, having dimensions of 17.5 x 151.6 feet.

• Opposite the dwelling is an application to build two 7-storey rental apartments with 227 units facing Maple Leaf Forever Park at 50 Laing Street. Fronting onto Sears Street, these proposed buildings are on a land assembly of 4 properties. The parcel fronting onto Laing Street is 50 feet wide and is proposed to have a 4-storey facade that complements the existing streetscape.

• To the south, a 12-storey building with 180 rental units located at 880 Eastern Avenue, just east of Laing, is going through the development process.


Are you familiar with this neighbourhood and its amenities? Here’s our Neighborhood Page on Leslieville, Riverside, and South Riverdale, including our flavour video, the city census data on the area, plus several past blogs on area amenities!

Have Vision? If you’re interested in booking a private viewing, it would be our pleasure!
Contact James Ormston ( or Steven Fudge (, okay?