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Noble Court Lofts - 24 Noble StreetGorgeous Double Corner Authentic Noble Court Loft! Space & Light. Spectacular Renos Make This A One-Of-A-Kind Home Featuring Timber Post & Beam, Exposed Honey Brick, Soaring 10Ft Wood Ceilings! North, East & South Exposure = Drenched In Sunshine With 7 Oversized Windows. Fabulous Restaurant Inspired Kitchen With Quartz Counters & Stainless Steel Appliances. Savvy Office Nook & Custom Shelving. Luxurious Spa Style Washroom With Soaker Tub & Separate Shower.  MORE DETAILS HERE

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Corktown Lofts – 21 River Street

I have been told by owners that the Corktown Lofts was originally a tannery built in 1853, which would make it the oldest loft I know of, beating the 1860 date of the St. Lawrence Market Lofts at 81A Front Street East. But I am not content with hearsay, I have to make sure, to know for myself.

So I started to check the old maps and archives of the city. I could not find it on William Somerville Boulton’s 1858 Atlas of the City of Toronto, which concerns me. The old Davis (Don) Brewery (now the Malthouse Loft Towns) is there, but 21 River Street is an empty lot. I can see the Queen City Vinegar building on the 1913 Goad’s fire insurance map at 19 River Street, with something questionable to the north. But nothing that looks quite like the Corktown Lofts building. Only on the 1924 Goad’s map do we see the building unequivocally.

Corktown Lofts - 21 River Street

The Corktown Lofts on River Street, with the Queen City Vinegar Lofts under construction

To me this means it was built sometime between 1913 and 1924, putting the whole 1853 date into serious question. It also appears to be numbered either 23 or 25 River Street, so the current number 21 of the lofts is not original. Using those addresses, I found an old ad for the Atlas Engineering and Machine Co. Ltd. at 23 River Street, manufacturers of heating and pumping equipment.

I have also found a bio of Lewis Sanagan Elsie, from Delaware Ontario. He came to Toronto in 1919 to become manager of production, and also held the offices of secretary and treasurer for the Atlas Engineering and Machine Company. Thus the building was built somewhere between 1913 and 1919. I am guessing that Atlas built it for their own original use, in the 1914-1918 period, probably to capitalize on the need for machining work during WWI.

Corktown Lofts - 21 River Street

An old ad for the business that likely built the building housing the Corktown Lofts

As much as I like the 1853 tannery story, it is sadly not true. Possibly there was once an old tannery near that spot in the mid-1800s, but that is not the building that is now the Corktown Lofts. There is a listing for “Grant E. Cole Co., 23 River Street, Toronto” in the “Mechanical Contracting & Plumbing January-December 1923″, indicating that Atlas had moved on by that point.

Finding actual historical photos was even harder! All I found was one, and only by accident. We can see the building in the background of this photo from 1946, though there is no signage to help us determine what it was at that time.

Corktown Lofts - 21 River Street

Behind the children at left is the Corktown Lofts building in 1946, with the Queen City Vinegar building at right

In 1995, it was an ugly office building, with nasty mirrored glass windows. They still used the lower level for manufacturing at that time, though what I do not know. The whole building sold for $275,000 back then… I know… It was originally marketed as River Studios in 1996, with prices in the $160s. Things have changed for sure since then, as they go for 4 times that much now.

This hard loft conversion only has 8 units, each with a private entrance, walk-ups in a New York style. Upper units have rooftop decks. They were against the addition to 19 River as it casts shadows on their rooftop decks. Lower units have living space on the main floor, with bedrooms on the lower level, a very European way to live.

Corktown Lofts - 21 River Street

Some of the Corktown Lofts are lovely and luxurious

If you want size, then the Corktown Lofts is for you. The lofts range in size from 1,154 to 1,682 square feet. The ample space allows some owners to work from their lofts. Some units are rough and raw, others are luxurious and opulent. One unit still has the original owner.

The Corktown Lofts have vaulted ceilings, original cedar post and beams, plank hardwood floors and large windows. The revitalization of Queen Street East is apparent by the all the new construction projects in the area. The suites are generous in size and reasonably priced as compared to houses, which makes them the right choice for a lot of east-end urbanites.

Corktown Lofts - 21 River Street

Original posts and beams give the Corktown Lofts their hard loft character

Due to the relatively small size of the building, there are no amenities, but maintenance fees are higher as they include utilities.

Once a slum for immigrant workers, Corktown is truly coming into its own. With the revitalization of Queen Street East ramping up ever faster, this area is one to keep your eye on. There are other hot loft conversions in the area, such as the Queen City Vinegar Company Lofts right next door at 19 River Street, the Malthouse Loft Towns right behind, the Carhart Lofts kitty-corner on Queen, and the Tannery Lofts up the street on Dundas.

Corktown Lofts - 21 River Street

The side of the Corktown Lofts is tucked away off the main street, giving a very mews-style feel

What used to be a sketchy area is being reinvented into a booming neighbourhood. New and more relaxed zoning bylaws in the Corktown district have resulted in the speedy conversion of many of Corktown’s commercial buildings into work/live studios, condominium lofts and professional offices, all of which has helped to revitalize the entire neighbourhood.

For as much as Corktown itself is being renewed however, it’s becoming just as well known for the two huge new neighbourhoods being constructed at its borders. To the north is the new Regent Park, where condo buildings are going up and changing the Corktown sky almost daily. To the South, the massive Pan Am Village is taking shape for the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto. Projects changing the area include the fantastic River City by Saucier + Perrotte Architects, the new TCHC Buildings at King and River, Underpass Park, Don River Park now at the foot of River Street, and the entire Canary District, just south of the neighbourhood and future home to a new George Brown campus and the largest YMCA in Canada. The number of cranes visible in the sky in this once-desolate parcel is truly staggering.

Corktown Lofts - 21 River Street

Corktown is right on the edge of all the exciting new development in Toronto’s east end

But as much as there is new in Corktown, the thing many people like most is respect for the old. Corktown was originally settled by working class immigrants in the early 1800s. As a result of that past, Corktown is still largely filled with old row houses and small cottages built in the late 19th century.

But no one can tell you authoritatively how it got its name. One story claims it’s because of local breweries and adjacent distilleries a century ago. The main theory says that it was because the majority of its Irish inhabitants came from County Cork. Historians say that both stories are fiction – that it was always just the southern tip of Cabbagetown, severed by the construction of Regent Park after World War Two, and cut off on the south when the Richmond overpass to the Don Valley Parkway was built.

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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 every article, some are reproduced here for people who
are interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.

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Coleman Lofts – 99 Coleman Avenue

The Coleman Lofts is small boutique warehouse loft conversion hidden away just north of the Danforth. As much as I research it, there is no information out there about the origins of the building. There was a big Canada Bread factory over by Danforth and Greenwood, and the old grain elevator two blocks away… but that is as close as I can get.

Coleman Lofts - 99 Coleman Avenue

The Coleman Lofts frontage, showing the lower level “Coach House” units

One of the best kept secrets of the Toronto loft market, this is a warehouse that was converted into only 18 hard lofts. It is one of Toronto’s older loft conversions, completed sometime around 1989. Original seller was Nancy So, not sure if she was the developer or how things worked at the time. Then, in 1991, 99 Coleman Avenue Inc. became the seller of record.

Coleman Lofts - 99 Coleman Avenue

Dramatic multi-level interior of one of the Coleman Lofts

Tucked away on Coleman Avenue, just a block north of Danforth, east of Main Street. These lofts generally have 2 levels and most come with fireplaces. A rarity in converted lofts, many also have balconies or terraces. This is a very rare building with units coming up maybe once a year, but they are truly stunning. Lots of open space, high ceilings, unique layouts.

Coleman Lofts - 99 Coleman Avenue

The Coleman Lofts are known for their massive terraces

The authentic lofts in this former warehouse feature lots of steel trusses and glass block, with ceilings up to 16 feet high. The lofts range in size from 800 to 1,460 square feet, many with skylights. There is also an occasional brick wall. Parking is a combination of private garages and surface spots.

Coleman Lofts - 99 Coleman Avenue

Open concept rooms overlook other areas, spanned by steel trusses

Right around the corner from Victoria Park subway station, residents will love the proximity to the Greek restaurants of The Danforth, plus fresh fruit and vegetable markets and other multicultural spots within walking distance in Danforth Village.

Coleman Lofts - 99 Coleman Avenue

Every loft is different at the Coleman Lofts, no two are alike

Coleman Avenue gets its name from the old town of Coleman’s Corners, precursor to Little York and East Toronto. Those three towns/hamlets grew up around the Grand Trunk station and yards east of Main Street (some of those same tracks from the 1880s are still used by GO and Via today). Look closely on Dawes, south of Danforth, and you will see an old grain elevator, originally called Chalmer’s Flour Mill, built in 1893. There was also a Chalmer’s Milling Co. at 12 Dawes Road.

Coleman Lofts - 99 Coleman Avenue

You can see the balconies and rooftop patios of the Coleman Lofts

First known as Smith’s Corners in 1860, the intersection of Danforth and Dawes changed its name in the 1870s to Coleman’s Corners when Charles Coleman, another hotel owner in the area, was appointed the first Post Master of the intersection. Coleman’s Corners also experienced a “boom” period of growth. In 1883, the Grand Trunk railway decided to put a divisional Sorting yard at Dawes Road just south of Danforth. With a growing population and more development, the village was now called Little York, named after the first station stop on the Grand Truck, in relation to the City of York. Little York was referred to in City directories right into the 1920s, although it was annexed to East Toronto in 1903, which itself was annexed to the city of Toronto in 1908.

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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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Claremont Hall Lofts – 34 Claremont Street

Originally constructed in 1950 as a secular extension to the St. Cyril and Methodius Roman Catholic Episcopal Church, this very solid masonry structure was converted into 13 lofts in 1995. Developed by Robert Mitchell and Michael Stewart, it was part of a larger parcel of church land parceled off and sold in 3 lots (the hall, the church itself and the manse next door).

Claremont Hall Lofts - 34 Claremont Street

The Claremont Hall Lofts is an unassuming boutique loft conversion

The adjoining church and manse were severed and developed as three additional and very large freehold custom loft/residential spaces. The church property also included a land parcel to the south, allowing the ground floor units to walk out to large private gardens at grade.

Claremont Hall Lofts - 34 Claremont Street

What Claremont Hall originally looked like around 50-60 years ago, on the left

What was once a hall extended off an old Slovakian church, now houses 13 unique lofts. Expect to find all the features of a more high-end townhouse – glass block, maple floors, slate finishes. Each loft has a new fireplace, a deck or terrace, and access to a dedicated parking space. Its beginnings as an old church hall have also allowed ceiling heights in this building to reach up to 14 feet. Never mind the soundproofing provided by the 8-inch-thick masonry walls between the units.

Claremont Hall Lofts - 34 Claremont Street

Each Claremont Hall Loft has a walk-out to a backyard-like private patio

One of the best things about this loft conversion is its desirable location, just steps to Queen Street West. The Claremont Hall Lofts is one of Bob Mitchell’s famous and few loft conversions, located in the Queen and Bathurst area. Claremont Hall has authentic lofts that range in size from 600-square-foot one-bedroom units up to 1,200-square-foot two-bedroom + den units.

Claremont Hall Lofts - 34 Claremont Street

Glass block and fireplaces are signature elements of the Claremont Hall Lofts

All of Claremont Hall Lofts back to the south, have decks/terraces, and contain either skylights or light wells. These designs maximize light and ensure the sun gets in all day long. Parking is underground with one space available per unit. Heating is forced air gas and air-conditioning was an upgrade during construction.

Claremont Hall Lofts - 34 Claremont Street

Upper-level Claremont Hall Lofts have roof top terraces with lovely views

This building is one of those true urban gems. Because it has only a baker’s dozen lofts, it flies under most peoples’ radar and not many people know about it. It’s within walking distance of Queen West and Trinity Bellwoods Park, and offers single-storey lofts on the main level and two-storey lofts on the second and third floors.

Claremont Hall Lofts - 34 Claremont Street

Some of the Claremont Hall Lofts have been updated in a modern way

The main-floor lofts have south-facing gardens that are almost as large as the one-bedroom suites are in their entirety. Accessible via double French doors, there is a strong connection between the interior and the terrace garden.

Claremont Hall Lofts - 34 Claremont Street

Newspaper clipping about the Claremont Hall Lofts from 1995

Originally Claremont Hall, the building was fairly utilitarian in its design. However when it was converted, over-sized windows were punched into its walls to create livable urban homes. Live here and you will enjoy high ceilings, built-ins, hardwood floors and a fireplaces. Most units have their own large locker and owned parking.

Claremont Hall Lofts - 34 Claremont Street

Contact us today if the Claremont Hall Lofts is the loft for you!

—————————————————————————————————–
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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