| Buying

If you’re like us, you’ve probably fantasized about living in a super trendy Toronto loft transformed into an Architectural Digest worthy home that speaks volumes about your one-step ahead-of-the-next-big-thing intuition. Even if you’re not a maven of all things fashionable, up-to-the-minute, on point, and simply fabulous, living in an undeniably stylish loft is an exciting prospect! 

We’re with you and want to share some of our most crushable GTA lofts to set your heart aflutter and make those lofty ideas a reality. 

Tailor-made Tip Top Lofts – 637 Lakeshore Blvd. West

An art deco inspired beauty, this eight-story building is located beside Coronation Park, moments from Harbourfront, and it goes to follow, right on the lake. You know it. Everyone knows it. It’s the Tip Top Tailor Lofts. 

Expect love at first sight because the outer package of this building is spectacular. We’re talking a majestic circular drive complete with the original fountain, beautiful 1920’s frieze detailing, imposing industrial windows, and a crisp white façade perfectly “suited” to this former men’s garment factory. An exterior front staircase as wide as a boulevard leads to impressive original brass and glass front doors flanked by art deco brass light fixtures and framed by more of that frieze detailing. 

And did we mention the lobby? This is stunning art deco at its best featuring a coved ceiling with plaster detailing and the original reception desk. Coming up on nearly a century of sitting on Lakeshore, the old factory now features a lovely outdoor patio overlooking the lake while the original red neon TIP TOP TAILORS sign serves as a beacon, welcoming residents home. So quirky and fun! 

If you’re thinking, hmmmm sounds kind of old ladyish — not at all! It’s more like the kind of classy place Shiv from Succession might live in if she ever got divorced. 

Picture this:

  • Bi-level penthouse units… dahling
  • Those windows, oh those windows
  • Edgy exposed ductwork 
  • Soaring ceilings
  • Potential for lake or park views

You’re also minutes from the Gardner, QEW, and DVP with the TTC outside your front door. And did we mention the lake? 

Any Complaints?

Some units might have finishes that can feel a little dated, taking away the trendy aspect of the whole loft ideal. But buyers chomp at the bit when these lofts come on the market, and you can finesse the interiors with some statement pieces that make it your own. 

Read more about Tip Top Lofts here.

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Sweet on The Candy Factory – 993 Queen St. West

Located on Queen West, The Candy Factory is no poser soft “lofts.” This is the real deal, repurposing what was once the Cee Cee Candy Factory in the 1960s. We’re talking the original home to one of our fave Halloween treats and guilty pleasures, the iconic Rocket. However, although this makes a sweet storyline for this building, it also has the historical cred that defines a hard loft, as the original home to a fabric mill dating back to 1907.

Picture this:

  • Near floor to ceiling height arched windows streaming with light
  • To die-for original wood plank flooring
  • Potentially kick ass views of Queen West 
  • Original exposed brick walls
  • 12-foot ceilings revealing original wood lathe and/or monstrous wood beams
  • Vast open concept main living area 
  • Well-appointed kitchens and luxe bathrooms

You’re also just five seconds from Trinity-Bellwoods Park, all the shopping and restaurants you desire, and you can practically step out to hop the TTC going your way whether it’s north, south, east, or west! 

Any complaints?

You might find some layouts a little functionally challenged as architects did their best to overcome common loft conversion challenges. Think of it as character. 

Completely Bespoke Butterick Publishing Building – 468 Wellington St. West

Fashion mavens unite! This former home to the Butterick Publishing operations is an homage to its location in Toronto’s highly desirable, but tiny Fashion District. Tucked away on quiet Wellington Street, this 1915 six-storey building once printed sewing patterns and was associated with the famous “Delineator” women’s magazine. The magazine played a pivotal role in an era where the modern woman first struggled with an existence in and outside the home in the late 1800’s and remained influential well into the mid-1930s. Talk about channeling your inner Miranda Priestly! This building epitomizes fashion with a side of feminism. 

Despite its unassuming, low-key façade, the building features an understated lobby, with secure elevators that step out directly into the suites. Known as one of Toronto’s most exclusive lofts, only 11 units with no more than two lofts per floor offer some of the city’s largest floorplans reaching 5,000 square feet. 

Picture this:

  • Original exposed brick walls against unsurpassed modern features
  • Stunning wooden beams on generous ceilings
  • Original wood floors finished to perfection
  • Rare find direct elevator suite access
  • Highly customized suites each with a unique design

Let’s not forget the premium location close to every possible restaurant, bar, café, boutique, and entertainment venue you need. 

Any complaints?

The units were originally sold as blank slates, leaving each owner to design the units to their specifications. This can be a plus for some, but potentially frightening for others!

Check out our featured condo and loft buildings right here.

Sanctuary at St. Leslieville Church Lofts – 175 Jones Ave.

This unexpected conversion located on Jones Avenue in Leslieville was once St. Clement’s Anglican Church. Now known as The St. Leslieville Church Lofts, 14 converted units make the most of the gothic revival architecture of this 1913 building. The developers painstakingly preserved the beautiful characteristic of the church with respect for its original purpose, resulting in units featuring an unexpected combination of hardcore industrial loft aesthetics carefully blended with original details like gothic windows. The building itself is still a church to most passersby with its two original arched wooden front double doors, bell tower and arched walls. 

Picture this:

  • Individual private wine lockers in the common area – cheers!
  • Original massive gothic church windows for killer character
  • Original salvaged items such as church chandeliers – you don’t see that everyday
  • Original exposed brick and hardwood floors, common but lovely
  • Two-storey units

If you’re all about unique living, this is the loft for you, where you’ll be in the thick of Toronto’s east-end-best in an area increasingly known for its mean-girl level rivalry with hip areas like Queen West. 

Any complaints?

You might find awkward areas that feel noticeably retrofitted. Some call it quirky, others call it an eyesore. 

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Push All the Right Buttons at Button Factory Lofts – 200 Clinton St. West

If you like your lofts understated with a sense of irrepressible charm, the Button Factory Lofts are for you. We wager you’ll walk right past this little beauty and have to retrace your steps since it lacks a front door. This is a classic boutique style loft, offering only 13 units in a century old building. It often gets overlooked as one of Toronto’s premier original lofts, but it was ahead of its time as a groundbreaking housing project back in 1993!

Despite its name, this wasn’t an actual button manufacturer, but instead a factory that made uniforms. So, what’s with the button reference? It’s rumoured children earned a penny for every rogue button they found on the factory floor. Cute or call the labour board? Regardless of how you take that little tidbit of info, these lofts are a rare find. 

Despite the lack of a classy foyer, you might find this conversion does you one better, with Dickensian side alleys leading to each unit’s door. We think it gives it a private, distinctly historic vibe and a sense of seclusion suited to its seemingly random location among the homes on Clinton. 

Picture this:

  • Original fir beams 
  • 10 to 24-foot soaring ceilings featuring the original wood – 24!
  • Exposed brick 
  • Some multi-level lofts 
  • Outdoor gardens or terraces for quiet contemplation or sipping your prosecco 
  • Guest parking (a bonus considering parking in the area is hard to find)

All this is made even more attractive thanks to arguably one of the most original amenities: a gated, secure private 275-foot walkway from Clinton Street to Jersey Avenue creating a quiet mews free of traffic where birds sing and gardens bloom. 

Any complaints?

Seriously, it can be hard to find fault with this one because it’s just so darn original! If we had to complain, good luck sticking to your healthy diet here with an outrageous number of local restaurants wafting heavenly food aromas towards that private terrace you just purchased! Courage! 

Read more about Button Factory Lofts here.

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Getting Reel at the Movie House Lofts – 394 Euclid Avenue

Built as a meeting hall for Toronto’s Orangemen (a group of uptight colonial dudes) this building was first transformed into the Euclid Theatre in 1989, before becoming lofts in 1998. The theatre BTW was quite controversial at the time, known for alternative/independent film screenings and festivals like the Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival of Toronto and Inside and Out. 

Another Little Italy gem, these lofts maintain the grand façade of the building, complete with the large arched window and neo-classical columns, cornice, and dentils. With just 18 units, the heritage building has lofts ranging from 730 square foot one bedroom one level units to the premium 1,300 square foot two bedroom on three levels. 

Picture this:

  • Large windows, and/or skylights streaming with natural light
  • Mezzanine bedrooms overlooking the living space below
  • Top-level units with rooftop terraces 
  • French doors with a two-story transom leading out to main floor garden patios
  • Up to 16-foot ceilings in most unit living/dining areas

This is a loft experience like no other, as the lofts almost feel like they’ve always been homes designed more like prominent townhouses with a distinct, almost historic London town feel. But you’ll know it’s totally legit loft-wise. 

Any complaints?

There’s no elevator for upper units (it’s just one flight) and if you’re considering a lower unit although you have multi levels, the lower floor is below ground so you might find it a little dark. Oh, and no parking. 

Mass Appeal at Massey Harris Lofts – 915 King St. West

This is the last of our picks, and we think it’s beyond charming. There’s something terribly quaint about this building, perhaps because it was an office building for Massey Harris as opposed to a factory. As the oldest building in our trendy loft list, you’ll notice a distinct difference in all the original features since they date back to 1885. The original four-storey building has a new addition for the top floor which does take away from its historic feel. However, we think with 45 lofts including bachelors, one bedrooms, two bedrooms and eight “soft” loft penthouse suites, it’s that just-right size building to feel homey. 

What we like about this choice for the single gal is that it is pet-friendly for your furry chum if you have one, has low condo fees for Toronto standards making it more affordable to carry on a single salary, and somehow feels a little more, dare we say “feminine” than the typical brawny hard lofts of Toronto. 

Picture this:

  • Preserves over 90% of the building’s traditional Georgian exterior including the charming red brick
  • Exposed brick walls softened by authentic stone detailing
  • Original wood beams
  • Massive bay windows
  • Cornice trimmed pillars
  • Unexpected unit specific details such as the original cast iron frame from the office vault or the original large doorway arches filled in but still visible 
  • Original grand vintage staircases in common areas
  • Some units overlooking Massey Harris Park
  • Even the lower levels that are partially below ground have lovely light streaming in through the windows

To add to the building’s intrigue, it was designed by renowned Toronto architect Edward James Lennox, who later designed the City Hall. Flex! Located in King West, and just a hop, skip and a jump from Liberty Village, you couldn’t ask for a better neighbourhood to call home.

Any complaints?

Really, it’s just that penthouse addition that kind of ruins the charm and history of the building. It also has no-nonsense halls that feel a little drab, but the lovely units more than make up for it.

Read more about Massey Harris Lofts here.

The Thing Is…

… there are so many trendy lofts sitting quietly on the streets of Toronto, it’s impossible to list them all here. These sweet finds don’t come up every day, so you need to have someone like us keeping an eye out for opportunities. Suffice it to say getting your Jimmy Choo’s in the door for one of these babies will provide all the lofty things your heart desires. 

If you want access to incredible lofts in Toronto, you need to work with the best Toronto real estate team to watch the market, ready to pounce when something truly awesome appears. Call The Christine Cowern Team at 416.291.7372 or email us at hello@christinecowern.com with any questions or to set up a call. We’d love to work with you!