Toronto Loft Conversions

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I started off selling mainly condos, helping first time buyers get a foothold in the Toronto real estate market. Now working with investors and helping empty nesters find that perfect luxury suite.

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Brock Loft for rentLive At The Brock Lofts! Large One Bdrm + Den In The Former Eureka Refrigerator Co. Factory. Loft Has Lots Of Open Space With Amazing 13-Foot High Ceilings, Exposed Brick, Wood Columns And Rafters, Hardwood Floor. One Of Only 2 True Post And Beam Warehouse Loft Conversions In Parkdale. Boutique Loft Building Has Only 23 Units. Enjoy Summer On The Fabulous Rooftop Patio With BBQ. Just Off Queen Street West, Steps To Electric Mud, Wrong Bar And More! MORE DETAILS HERE

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The Church Lofts – 111 Robinson Street / 36 Claremont Street

Originally built in 1941, the church used to be Sts. Cyril & Methodius, a Slovakian Roman Catholic church. Interestingly, a developer (Bob Mitchell) had bought the church’s hall (built 1950) next door, now the Claremont Hall Lofts (34 Claremont Street), but left the church.

The Church Lofts - 111 Robinson Street 36 Claremont Street

The old church at Robinson & Claremont, probably in the 1950s

The first Slovaks settled permanently in Toronto in 1923. Their numbers grew so large that, in about 1927, they began to organize themselves and cultivate a strong social community. But the Toronto-area Slovak Catholics felt the need for their own parish. While Slovaks in the United States had priests to serve them, those living in Canada, unfortunately, did not. On April 18th, 1934, a historic day for this parish, Father Frank Dubosh brought Father Michael Shuba from Fairport, Ohio to Toronto to become the first pastor for the Slovak faithful in the Diocese of Toronto.

The Church Lofts - 111 Robinson Street 36 Claremont Street

How the Church Lofts look now, not all that much has changed in 60 years.

A few days after his arrival, the Slovak parish was officially established and Sts. Cyril and Methodius were named as its patrons. Father Shuba was able to secure the help of the Felician Sisters in 1938. The Sisters took over the care of the parish’s children, taught religious classes, were responsible for church music and singing, and the decoration of the altars. Even though the financial situation of the parish was slow to improve, the parishioners became more vocal about their desire for their own church. Under the leadership of Father Shuba, the first Slovak church of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, built by the congregation at 34 Claremont St., was blessed on Sunday, November 9th, 1941.

The Church Lofts - 111 Robinson Street 36 Claremont Street

This the front of one of the 5,000-square-foot lofts in the old Slovak church

As more and more Slovaks arrived in subsequent years, the lack of sufficient parking became a problem for the parish. In 1993, fundraising began in earnest. The final building plans and budget for the new church were approved and construction was started in 1995. The last Mass in the old church was celebrated on September 15th, 1993. The new church is in Mississauga, where the congregation has worshipped ever since.

As luck would have it, a couple had been looking for non-traditional space in Toronto – without much luck. Then fluke ends up connecting him with another couple thinking of buying a church. What one could not do alone, two decided to tackle. Thus, what had been all part of the same church “clump” was sold off as 3 distinct parcels. The hall to Bob Mitchell, the church to our intrepid converters, plus the third couple who bought the rectory at the west end of the property.

The Church Lofts - 111 Robinson Street 36 Claremont Street

Not great quality, but this is what the church looked like inside in the mid-90s

The church of the 9th century brothers Cyril and Methodius is probably one of the only Art Deco churches in Toronto. Not terribly grand, certainly no cathedral. But the squat little yellow brick house of the holy does have its own charm. It definitely helps that this former church is located in the Trinity-Bellwoods neighbourhood, east of the park, north of Queen Street West. The appeal of this conversion has got to be the unique structure as well as the great location.

The Church Lofts - 111 Robinson Street 36 Claremont Street

Multiple levels, open walls, exposed ducts, high ceilings

The two couples completed the sale and severed the property, dividing the church down the middle. They each renovated their half in their own style. What has resulted is essentially a giant semi-detached house. Both are freehold and are around 5,000 square feet on multiple levels. These rare and authentic lofts have only been offered for sale once, priced in the millions.

I showed that one listing years ago, it was pretty amazing. One of the guys who converted it wrote a book about the experience – and gave me a copy. Not a lot of those kicking around, let me tell you. Called “The Urban Loft“, you can still find it on Amazon. If you are as into the nuts of bolts of loft conversions the same way I am, you need to read it.

The Church Lofts - 111 Robinson Street 36 Claremont Street

Now the space is huge and open and airy

Features include soaring 25-foot ceilings, enormous windows, original hardwood floors, and private rooftop decks. There is a private garage beneath the church with multiple spots for both halves, as well as the rectory. All have direct access into their large homes. There are no condo fees here, as it is not a condo.

One day I hope to see the other half of this amazing building, and talk to the other crazy person who helped make all this happen!

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Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto real estate agent with Century 21 Regal Realty.
He did not write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who
are interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.

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Chocolate Company Lofts – 955 Queen Street West

Across from Trinity Bellwoods Park, in a neighbourhood that has an established sense of authenticity, you will find the Chocolate Company Lofts. The Chocolate Company Lofts are located at 955 Queen Street West, a traditional looking building in Queen Street West, between Crawford and Massey Streets. The current structure both links and complements two existing historic buildings, though you would almost never recognize them now.

Chocolate Company Lofts - 955 Queen Street West

The most original part of the Chocolate Company Lofts

The building was not a chocolate factory per se, but was home to the Patterson Candy Company, who was known for their chocolates. Since the Candy Factory Lofts name had been taken a few years earlier, Plazacorp had to play with the name a bit. John Patterson and Robert Wilson launched the Boston Candy Company as a retail store on Yonge Street in 1888. Soon after Wilson’s retirement in 1891, Patterson bestowed his name on the company and expanded into manufacturing with a successive series of plants along Queen Street West.

Chocolate Company Lofts - 955 Queen Street West

The alley behind the Chocolate Company Lofts, running west from Massey Street

Among the company’s claims was the opening of Canada’s largest soda fountain on Yonge Street in 1911, which promised patrons “the most delightful cooling drinks you’ve ever tasted.” After Patterson’s death in 1921, his sons William and Christopher took full control of the company. They sold the business to Jenny Lind Candy Shops owner Ernest Robinson in 1947, who maintained the Patterson brand for at least another decade.

Chocolate Company Lofts - 955 Queen Street West

One of the Patterson Candy Co.’s yummy products

At the time of Robinson’s purchase, it was noted that many of the employees had long tenures with the company, possibly due to benefits like a cafeteria, music during working working hours (not specified if it was live or piped in), paid holidays, and a generous health plan. Judging by the number of Patterson-sponsored athletic teams mentioned in the sports sections of local newspapers, and sizable donations given to the YMCA, it appears that the company was very interested in the physical health of their employees or wanted to prevent them from suffering the ill-effects of overindulgence on the production line.

Chocolate Company Lofts - 955 Queen Street West

An old ad for Patterson’s chocolates, the genesis of the Chocolate Company Lofts’ name

The most enduring legacy of Patterson Candy is the plant it built at the corner of Queen Street West and Massey Street in 1912. After an expansion in 1928, the five-storey plant included a printing plant and paper box manufacturing equipment amid its 60,000 square feet of air-conditioned work space. Full O’ Cream and Wildfire bars may be long gone, but you can live sweetly in the old Patterson premises in its current incarnation as the Chocolate Company Lofts.

Chocolate Company Lofts - 955 Queen Street West

Lower level Chocolate Company Loft unit with private entrance

The suites are simply breathtaking. Consisting of a mix of vintage loft architecture and modern loft design, the units offer loft living at its finest. Among their features are wood slate ceilings, steel beams, exposed duct work, hardwood floors, wooden pillar and column style construction, beautiful exposed brick walls, very large windows, and high ceilings. The suites also boast french balconies and a few private entrances. Some of the units are 2-story penthouses with private terraces that allow for spectacular views of the city.

Chocolate Company Lofts - 955 Queen Street West

Chocolate Company Loft bedroom with lovely brick and wood details

The experience of building the Chocolate Company Lofts on Queen Street West was not exactly sweet. It was a daunting design task and incredible engineering feat. The design and construction teams took two early 20th-century buildings and added a third brand new building along Queen Street West to link and extend them.

Chocolate Company Lofts - 955 Queen Street West

Chocolate Company Lofts have nice neighbourhood views along Queen West

The problem was that the two older structures were built about 25 years apart, so there was no correlation between them in terms of ceiling heights or anything. It was incredibly challenging. The result is a mixture of old and new. There are units with wooden beams and exposed brick, some with exposed concrete walls and ceilings, and others with large windows and Juliet balconies.

Chocolate Company Lofts - 955 Queen Street West

Warehouse windows let lots of light into the Chocolate Company Lofts

The Chocolate Company Lofts, formerly the Paterson Chocolate factory was converted in 2004 by Plazacorp. The building houses 144 lofts and is situated opposite the lovely Trinity Bellwoods park in the design district. It is arguable the best location of any Toronto loft development in the city. The building has both hard and soft lofts. The old chocolate factory to the east of the building offers gorgeous yellow brick, timber posts and 12 ft wood ceilings. The soft loft units have very functional layouts with 10.5 ft concrete ceilings. All units have exposed duct work, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. The building offers a 24hr concierge, cool party room and a basic exercise room.

Chocolate Company Lofts - 955 Queen Street West

Make sure to check out the Chocolate Company Lofts for yourself

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Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto real estate agent with Century 21 Regal Realty.
He did not write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who
are interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.

—————————————————————————————————–

Chambers Courtyard Lofts – 30 Morrow Avenue

Morrow Avenue has been transformed over the last 15 years from the gritty industrial street it was, to a series of redefined buildings. These buildings now house an art gallery of much merit, a loft development and a series of other thought-based businesses types. This avenue is really worth a stroll, particularly on Sundays when it’s quiet and the weekday business bustle is absent.

The Chambers Courtyard Lofts at 30 Morrow Avenue is a hidden gem – a converted industrial building on one of the coolest Junction-area streets. A two-storey, nine-unit boutique loft conversion with an exterior of brick and stone. Situated on a large private landscaped courtyard at the end of Morrow Avenue, overlooking the West Toronto Railpath. Large, expensive, private, gated. This is not your typical loft conversion! Completed around 2008, they are never for sale. When they are, expect prices close to $1 million and sizes over 2,000 square feet.

Chambers Courtyard Lofts - 30 Morrow Avenue

The front of the long building running along the south side of the Chambers Courtyard Lofts

Besides being home to some of the city’s most esteemed art galleries, think Olga Korper and Christopher Cutts, Morrow Avenue is nothing but hidden cool. This proper loft is indeed a secret gem located off of Dundas Street West and just steps from Roncesvalles. With it’s handsome brick exterior one can only wish a loft were for sale any time soon so as to grab it in a hurry! The whole aesthetic is bar none and reminds me why I fell in love with the loft concept way back when no one in the city was very keen on this type of living space. Retrofitted century buildings are the gold standard of hard lofts.

Only 2-storeys tall, the building’s units range in size from 1,750 to 2,154 square feet. Amenities include a private and gated landscaped courtyard. Parking is available underground.

Chambers Courtyard Lofts - 30 Morrow Avenue

The actual courtyard of the Chambers Courtyard Lofts

The building across the street housing Olga Korper Gallery used was once a foundry, then a garbage repository for a mattress factory… but I am not sure of the provenance of number 30 Morrow Avenue. Maybe it was the mattress factory that sent its garbage to number 17? Right across is the old Canadian Hanson & Van Winkle Co. Limited building, which I believe dealt in  electro-plating and polishing equipment and supplies. The building attached to the south at 2 Silver Avenue looks bank-like to me, though I would be it was the office part of whatever factory Chambers Courtyard Lofts used to be. Or it is just something different, built abutting the other building.

Chambers Courtyard Lofts - 30 Morrow Avenue

About the only interior view, of only one unit of the Chambers Courtyard Lofts

If you take note, there are at least 4 different phases to the building – from the long main building, then the corner addition, the beveled apartment-style front that everyone remember through to the red brick northern phase. Believe it or not, that northern piece is brand new – the developer did a fantastic job of making it look like part of the original complex. I sure wish I could dig up more information on this cool loft.

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Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto real estate agent with Century 21 Regal Realty.
He did not write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who
are interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.

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