A generation ago, Toronto’s Liberty Village was barely post-industrial, its landscape still dominated by abandoned munitions factories and railway yards. Since the 1990s, an astonishing transformation has seen new towers rise between these old red-brick buildings — now converted to trendy lofts — as young people have flooded to Liberty Village to live, to work at a growing number of tech and design firms, or simply to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of a neighbourhood on the rise.
Restaurateurs Oliver & Bonacini and Albertan craft brewer Big Rock recently collaborated to create Liberty Commons at Big Rock Brewery, located at 60 Atlantic Avenue, a key node in Liberty Village. They tasked local firm DesignAgency to convert the 7,400-square-foot interior of the exemplary former warehouse into Big Rock’s first hospitality location in Ontario. DesignAgency created interiors that celebrate the connection between beer and food and appeal to the district’s style-conscious residents. Part vintage speakeasy, part modern tasting cellar, Liberty Commons has an atmosphere that’s polished, yet casual.