CENTURY 21 is the only real estate organization that can reward our clients with AIR MILES reward miles on their real estate transaction.
Spectacular open concept units make the One St. Johns Place Lofts feel like a house, with all the conveniences of loft living! Conveniently located in a quiet & intimate 15-unit building converted from an office, set among residential homes in the prestigious neighbourhood.
Converted in 1998-1999 from a mid-1970s office building owned by the Better Business Bureau Of Metropolitan Toronto. This likely had something to do with the Better Business Bureau taking a major hit in credibility due to allegations of excessively high executive pay, causing its collapse in Toronto during the 1990s. The Toronto BBB office closed for good in 1995. Not sure if they built the building, its origins are lost in the haze of the 1970s.
This coincides well with the historic MLS listings. The building was originally offered for sale in 1987, then again in 1996 and again in 1997 (subsequent to the shuttering of the Toronto BBB). But there is no record of it selling on MLS, some sort of private or exclusive deal must have been struck.
Not long after, the builder (listed only as One St. John’s Place Inc.), starting selling units in the fall of 1998 with projected occupancy in spring of 1999. The builder still had one for sale in 2000.
There were only 15 units, spread mostly across the upper 4 floors, though with a couple on the main floor. There are 2 on the first floor, 3 each on the second and third floors, with 4 each on the 4th and 5th floors. The units are all large, ranging from 858 to 1,550 square feet with huge lockers, one of which is 550sf – larger than many new condos!
The lofts are all one or two bedroom, with 10-foot ceilings and lots of windows. Extra-thick concrete walls separate each unit, which is nice for soundproofing. But, unfortunately the lofts are all kind of dull, full of drywall and looking more condo-like than loft-like. At least the wall-to-wall windows give the lofts loads of natural light.
While outdoor space is not common in the building, units 202 and 203 do share a long balcony along the entire south side of the building and each of the 5th floor units has a private rooftop terraces. Most of the lofts are on one level, except for the 5th floor units which have two levels, giving access to the rooftop terraces above the units.
Most of the lofts come with parking, but some have to do without. The parking is in a surface lot behind the building, with some lucky owners have space in the covered carport.
Just to the west of the heart of The Junction and a little north of High Park, the area streets are lined with towering oaks, reflecting its proximity to one of Toronto’s largest and most popular parks. This in-demand location is within walking distance of the shopping district and restaurants of The Junction.
But more importantly, this small area around Dundas and St. John’s road has been known since the early 1920s as Little Malta. This area once thrived as one of the biggest Maltese communities outside of Europe. The first documented Maltese arrived in Canada in 1826. Early Maltese immigrants came to Canada as economic migrants, escaping form the political instability, over population and unemployment from back home. Many of them were unable to speak English and they found themselves unable to take part in every aspect of their catholic faith, as there were no Maltese-speaking priests. Anticipating this problem, Maltese priests who visited Toronto established the first Maltese church in Toronto. This was the birth of Little Malta.
By the 1940s, the Junction had become the center of Toronto’s Maltese community and immigration even increased further after World War II. During the 1970s and 1980s there were more than 45,000 Maltese in Canada – of whom 8,000 lived in Little Malta – though when the economy of the small Mediterranean country thrived again, migration ended quickly. Today only 4,675 people in Toronto claim Maltese as their mother tongue and many of those who lived in the Junction have spread across the GTA.
Even though some fear that Little Malta is losing its culture, not only the street signs, but also the Maltese Community of Toronto and few local businesses try to keep their culture and history alive. The original Saint Paul Apostle Church is still in place. They serve to the Maltese community but also welcome other nationalities. To keep their inheritance alive, they organize several get-togethers, classes and potlucks. Every year, at the end of June, the Maltese Community of Toronto host the Mnajara Festival in Runnymede Park. This Maltese feast commemorates two important saints, Saint Peter and Saint Paul. During this day, the Maltese in Toronto honour the saints with folklore singing and dance, a soccer tournament and traditional foods and drinks.
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.