In the 1830s workers paved Queen Street with planks. It became a toll road. Stage coaches and travelers had to stop at a toll booth where the Duke of York is now. Like service centres on today’s expressways, entrepreneurs came to serve travelers who needed to water and feed their horses in stables and replace lost horse shoes in blacksmith shops.

Wayfarers also rested, fed and watered themselves. By 1852, the village boasted three hotels, a blacksmith shop, and several general stores. When George Leslie, owner of Canada’s largest tree nursery, took over the Post Office and general store, Leslieville was born.

As Toronto’s population exploded in the 1850s, farmers subdivided their fields into small lots. Here, market gardeners grew fruit and vegetables to feed the city. Meanwhile others found clay deposits and turned out bricks to build Toronto.


Drovers herded cattle, sheep and hogs along the road from the surrounding countryside. After they reached the tollgate, they turned their weary, hungry animals loose on the grass along Ashbridges Bay to fatten and Leslieville’s butchers supplied steaks, chops, sausages, bacon, etc. to feed “Hogtown”.

Abattoirs, nurseries, and brickyards became Leslieville’s major employers. Others cut ice and fished on Ashbridge’s Bay. Small shops provided necessities from sewing needles to shoes.

Soon professionals such as doctors and pharmacists came to care for the body and clergymen to care for the soul. And so Leslieville grew until in 1884 it became part of the City of Toronto and large industries began to locate in “the East End.”


Tap the images to read our history.

Board Meeting Minutes

The Board meets monthly. All are welcome to attend and observe. Check in here to see the minutes.

Meet the Board

Andrew Sherbin

Andrew Sherbin is the current Chair of the Leslieville Business Improvement Area.  He lives with his family in Leslieville and immediately fell in love with the neighbourhood when his business moved there in July of 2010.  As an “Eastender” for 17 years, Andrew looks forward to seeing Leslieville continue to grow and thrive. He is also a Certified Financial Planner® with Edward Jones and his Branch is at Queen St. East and Leslie, in the heart of Leslieville. He helps individuals and businesses in the community build, manage and protect their wealth at all stages of life.

Jennifer Orenstein

I am a Certified General Accountant in public practice who works in a family business that has been part of the community in Leslieville for many years. I have experience in taxation, book keeping, and financial statements. As part of the board, I hope to encourage the business to work together to create a better sense of community. I use my expertise to sit on the board as a treasurer on Leslieville. With this in mind, I represent Leslieville as a director on the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas.

Brad Daniels

As resident of East Toronto since 1990, I became a Leslieville resident/landlord, and business owner in 2008. During the ongoing renovations to my property at 1256/58 Queen St E. I had the pleasure of meeting many of the business owners of Leslieville, many of whom I now count among my friends and acquaintances. I believe that being able to walk to your favourite restaurants, galleries, pubs, shops, etc. is truly a privilege and to that end I couldn’t have chosen a better place to live. In addition to my business interests in Leslieville I have owned/operated a construction company based in south Etobicoke for nearly 20yrs. Prior to that business I worked in the design/ development sector for many years and hope that my experiences, expertise, and love of Leslieville can in some small way have a positive impact on our community through the BIA.

Christiane Tetreault

I am the director and operator of a charming and beautiful venue called The Vandenberg House, established in 2014. We provide rental event and meeting space for personal and corporate events and meetings. Living in Leslieville since 2008 has given me some insight and first hand experience with our ever changing, unique neighbourhood. As soon as I opened my venue, I joined the BIA as a board member and Marketing co-chair to support our neighbourhood and Leslieville BIA members with a positive and creative attitude. Our diverse, friendly and small town feel is unique to Toronto and felt throughout our neighbourhood. I love our area and look forward to working with others to grow our Leslieville vision.

James Lane

In the past two years, I was proposed to, got married, moved to Leslieville and opened Home James Décor & Staging – a business founded on the belief that good design doesn’t have to be expensive to transform the way you live. Whether living in Tokyo where I finished my Economics degree in a tiny 400 square foot apartment or aboard cruise ships in an even smaller space; I discovered that wherever you rest your head can feel like home and reflect your own unique personality. I love the sense of community in the East and hope that the BIA will be able to bring the business community together. Leslieville is very diverse and we all bring something unique to the table. I am proud to call Leslieville “HOME”.

Ara Mamourian

Hello! I first got a taste of Leslieville as a resident on Caroline ave in 2003. Wherever I go, whatever I do I’m always spreading the Leslieville love and when it came time for me to open my own Real Estate Brokerage (Spring Realty) I immediately knew it had to be in my home town of Leslieville. We have a highly engaged community of residents and an equally engaged group of business owners that I am proud to be a part of. As entrepreneurs, we’re forced to excel at everything! What I’ve enjoyed learning, teaching, and mastering the most are my marketing and social media skills. This is what I bring to the table as Board Member and Chair of the Marketing Committee. My many connections in the East end business community have proven to be an asset and I will continue to leverage these relationships for the benefit of the BIA going forward.

Lucas Di Giovanni

At Chartwell Avondale Retirement Residence, I manage all the sales and marketing initiatives as it pertains to our home here in Leslieville. We try our best to be an extension of the neighbourhood so we adopt every ounce of Leslieville that we can for our residence. I felt that getting involved as a member of the Board was very important because Chartwell Avondale is one of Leslieville's largest employers and landlords. I love and admire the tremendous sense of pride that every business owner and resident feels for this neighbourhood and see such potential in providing Leslievillians, shoppers, and tourists with a "small-town" feel all while being so close to the city's centre. I hope to be able to use my decade of experience in business development and marketing to provide a youthful perspective on goals and strategies that the BIA looks to execute on. Over the last few years, I have grown extremely fond of this neighbourhood and hope to raise my family here one day.

Councillor’s Corner