The third of the trio of Soho Lofts in Toronto. Just east of the its sister building at 188 Eglinton East and a ways north of the Starwood Centre, this is another converted office building. More of a low-rise, with only four floors and 40 units, these lofts are a little more exclusive. Most people don’t even know it exists, never mind the fact that it is one of only a few loft conversions in the Yonge and Eglinton area.
Also by Bruce Greenberg / Starwood. The Starwood Group is headed by Bruce Greenberg. His company bought the Soho Eglinton Lofts at 188 Eglinton in the mid 1990s originally to use as office condominiums. That plan didn’t work, so he converted the building to lofts in 1998. Around that same time he bought the Soho Bayview Lofts building, converting it to lofts in 2002.
Starwood also converted another office building (the Soho Lofts at the Starwood Centre at 477 Richmond Avenue West). He has built many other buildings in Ottawa with the Soho brand, it is a very common theme in Greenberg’s projects. Bruce Greenberg is the son of John Greenberg, the scion who launched Mastercraft Starwood in 1951 and built condos across Ottawa, with his first building (an apartment) completed in 1956. Bruce moved on to Toronto, with his first Toronto project completed in 1982. While Starwood has moved back to focus on Ottawa construction, they do still maintain an office at 188 Eglinton, on the 8th floor.
Not sure when it was built. The building, with the current footprint, can be seen in aerial photos back in the 1973 image. But, in 1971, there is something different there, a building with a similar frontage but different rear. There is an empty lot to the east in the 1960s, not sure if they were connected at any point. That same building can be seen all the way back to 1950! But there are only trees on that spot in the 1947 photo. I wonder what stood there for 25-odd years…? Then demolished or renovated into the building we see in the 1998 MLS listing. Another non-descript building without any history to share with us.
The Soho Bayview Lofts is a small building, only four storeys tall. The 40 lofts within range from around 600 square feet to just under 1,200 square feet. Each loft includes an open concept living room / dining room overlooking the kitchen with breakfast bar, four piece bathrooms with marble tile flooring and counter.
As with its sister building to the west, Soho Bayview has 11-foot ceilings, big multi-paned windows, sliding bedroom doors on industrial rails, and the usual variety of modern finishings. Amenities include a gym, indoor bike storage, outdoor BBQ and patio for entertaining, games room with pool table, visitor parking. As with the other Soho Lofts, parking is rental only. The building is pet friendly.
The office building was listed on MLS in 1998 for $1.7m and $1.9m but nothing showing as sold. Both times the seller is listed as a numbered Ontario company, not sure who owned it before. Part of sign says “CUMBA”, which was the CUMBA Health Network. They provided drug benefits for the City of Toronto staff in the early 1990s. When collective bargaining changed the benefit coverage levels in 1996, the city moved to source a new provider. The City chose Sun Life and thus CUMBA lost a major revenue source. I think this might have led to the building being put up for sale in 1998.
Great public transit options – the bus shelter is right outside the building. There are actually 5 separate bus routes that pass the building. And there will be an Eglinton LRT station right at Bayview and Eglinton soon. If you drive, it is only 10 minutes to either Hwy 401 or the DVP. It is literally a 1-minute walk to 24-hr Metro Grocery Store (plus a Beer Store, pharmacy and dry-cleaning) just to the east. An easy walk takes you to the unique restaurants, bars and shops on Bayview Avenue.