A lot of people think that Liberty Village is just another new(ish) condo community on the west-side of downtown Toronto. For those of us that grew up in Toronto in the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s, you may remember an edgier Liberty Village where few people lived but many people came to create art and party.
Liberty Village is actually quite rich in history and there’s lots that few people might know about this historic Toronto neighbourhood. Here are 6 cool facts you didn’t know about Liberty Village:
1 – Joe Rockhead’s
Today, Liberty Village has a shiny Goodlife and a few yoga studios, crossfits & bootcamps, but one of the best know and most-beloved gyms in Liberty Village is still Joe Rockhead’s. Now in its 30th year, Joe’s was groundbreaking when it launched back in 1990.
Joe Rockhead’s opened on June 30th, 1990. Making this year their 25th anniversary. When Bob and Sharon Bergman, and Bob’s brother, Brian opened Joe’s, there were no other climbing gyms in Canada. No organized Canadian climbing competitions, and no places for climbers to go and train during our long, cold winters. It was the first Canadian facility of it’s kind, and it became a popular hub for the, then small, local climbing community. Read more here.
3 – Bren Guns
“They were manufacturing the Bren gun, and after the war most of the industries moved out of the area, and this building was used for light industrial and warehousing purposes,” Brown added.
Find the story here!
The “Castle” was built in 1912 by the E.W. Gillett Company and was once the production grounds for Magic Baking Powder, Royal Yeast Cakes and scented lye. Check it out!
From 1905 to 1959, the Brunswick, Balke, Collender Company (BBCC) called the east-west slice of Hanna Ave. home. The company manufactured billiard tables, cues, balls and all manner of pool table accessories. In 1910 BBCC bought Canada’s oldest and largest manufacturer of billiard tables, the Samuel May Company. By 1959, it needed to expand its operations and it subsequently moved to Cooksville, Ont. The building is now home to a pool hall, the Academy of Spherical Arts, which occupies one-sixth of the old factory.