History Of The Tip Top Lofts
By: Rob Parker
Standing at 637 Lake Shore Boulevard West is one of Toronto’s true tributes to innovation, renovation, and high-class living – the Tip Top Lofts. The exclusive lofts that are part of this building’s appeal are unique in several aspects in comparison to other Toronto lofts.
They are located right on Lake Ontario within local proximity to the Martin Goodman Waterfront Park and trail system, as well as all of the excitement that makes up the atmosphere of the Toronto waterfront. The building is within walking distance to Ontario Place and a quick ferry ride from Toronto Island.
The lofts themselves are also unique – two stories high on average, they are spacious and comfortable with a soft loft appeal.
There’s no doubt that many aspects of the Tip Top Lofts building are unique, but it stretches right to the very foundation of the building itself. The Tip Top Lofts are not just a testament to the luxury of high class living, but also to the innovation and ingenuity that keep the city of Toronto in the limelight as one of the most cutting edge locations in North America. It is one of the historic buildings in the city that enjoys a long history and a place in the cultural and commercial history of the city.
Residents of the Tip Top Lofts can chalk up the incredible location, with its gorgeous view and easy access to all amenities, to the fact that the building itself was originally commercial in nature. It was constructed in 1929 by contracting company Bishop and Miller for the Tip Top Tailor clothing company, one of the largest men’s clothing chains in Canada.
Classified as an Art Deco building, the Tip Top structure was used both for office and warehouse purposes. At a time when highways and super freeways did not cross the landscape as it is today, access to the waters and ports of the Great Lakes was a huge commercial advantage, thus the location of the building proved to be invaluable.
With the Great Depression, Tip Top Tailors and others fell on hard times, and were forced to downsize as well as to review company policy. The company was sold to Dylex, who were interested in the chain and its potential, rather then any of the buildings the chain owned. The result was a rejuvenation of the corporate side, but this did not extend to the real estate holdings, and buildings like the warehouse were allowed to degenerate.
The move to conserve space, the appeal for the modern individual of a manageable living area, as well as skyrocketing real estate prices would all combine, bringing new life for the building, which was sold to Context Development Inc in 2002. The company renovated the historic structure into the high-end loft building it is today, registering the complex in 2006.
Today, these lofts (including the additional three floors of two storey units) are some of the most in-demand pieces of real estate in Toronto.
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