Filter

Best Toronto Lofts in the Junction Triangle

17 Mar 2015
Best Toronto Lofts in the Junction Triangle

As its name suggests, the Junction Triangle is a triangular-shaped neighbourhood. It’s enclosed by three sets of railway tracks, running between Dundas and Lansdowne from College north to Dupont. Recent years have seen the development of many industrial lofts and urban townhomes in this area, attracting a wealth of young professionals.

All of this developer attention isn’t surprising given its location in the middle of everything. It’s close to High Park, the Bloor GO station, the new Bloor-Dundas station for the Union-Pearson Express (part of Metrolinx’s Big Move project) and the revitalized Bloordale Village shopping district. Plus, it’s within walking distance of the subway. Junction Triangle property values have benefited not only from these features but from the booming real estate market of The Junction, it’s neighbour to the north.

Ten years ago when major residential development first began, it was a gamble to buy into the Junction Triangle. It was still seen as little more than a struggling industrial wasteland with grungy railway tracks that would always be there, no matter how much the area gentrifies. The railway tracks aren’t going anywhere, that’s true, yet “Blansdowne” has changed dramatically. Not so blah and bland anymore, doubters.

Trendy new bars, restaurants and businesses flocked to the area after the first wave of Toronto lofts and townhomes drew in a more affluent demographic to the area. Buyers who took the risk on early Toronto lofts for sale in the Junction Triangle have for the most part seen their investments grow far above market averages. But is the Junction Triangle still a solid investment or has all the hype outpaced actual gentrification?

The answer to that is, there’s no one answer. Some lofts and condos are overpriced in our opinion while others still offer exceptional value. Trendy, up-and-coming neighbourhoods like this are really no different than any other Toronto neighbourhood–most properties are priced at market-value, some are outrageously overpriced (playing on buyer fatigue in a market short on listings) and yes, there are still deals to be found if you’re patient and work with a knowledgeable Toronto realtor who understands the Toronto loft market.

Here are our top picks for the best Toronto lofts and condos in the Junction Triangle to buy into now.

 

Best New Community

Illustration of Perth Street townhome © Castlepoint.

If you’re keen on a small-village feel in the big city, take a look at the long-anticipated Perth-Sterling project. It’s as focused on community development as it is on the condos and towns themselves in no small part due to the heavy pushback developers received early on, resulting in much community-consultation.

For years, developers Castlepoint Numa had been floating plans to turn the area around Sterling and Perth, south of Bloor, into the next Liberty Village or Distillery District. Finally, after years of debate and negotiations with the City, local businesses (in particular, Nestlé) and neighbourhood committees, the project was green flagged back in May 2014.

Transformation of this eight-acre site into a mixed-use community includes the construction of new condos and townhomes, office and retail space, the restoration of the 1919 heritage Tower Automotive Building and new parkland. The masterplan includes a focus on drawing in arts and digital media industries to the area; it’s a move that Liberty Village has seen some success with but they’ve never managed to brand the area a “media mecca”, leaving room for the Junction Triangle to swoop in and claim the title.

 

Illustration of a proposed interior in the Sterling Condos © Castlepoint.

This should be a lovely community to live and work in once it’s completed but it will take years and so it’s only right for buyers who are willing to wait. We’re typically very cautious about buying pre-construction as units are often overvalued for today’s market (and you should buy based on today’s values, not anticipated values when doors open). Plus, there are a ton of risks associated with buying on spec. However, this particular project has piqued are interest and we’ll be watching its development closely. Buildings will include the Sterling Condos, pictured above, the Perth Street Condos and the Perth Townhomes. You can read more about the development here.

 

Best Overall Value

The Wallace Station Lofts, pictured in our lead image and above, has a bit of an unfortunate past. It had one of those rare and awful starts that still make the industry (and unlucky early buyers) cringe. The original developer went bankrupt which left those who bought pre-construction paying phantom rent for over five years. The good news is that that nightmare is long over and the Wallace Station Lofts offer outstanding value for a hard loft of this quality and design.

Unusually, the building is named for a nearby railway station that no longer exists and not its historic use (it’s a former glue factory so fair enough, not the most desirable brand image). Located near Dupont and Lansdowne, the Wallace Station Lofts are beautifully finished with true hard loft, brick and beam character. You’ll get a ton of character and quality here for the price tag at an average of $468/sq. ft.

 

Best Investment

The Foundary Lofts on Lansdowne north of Bloor offer some of the best prices of any hard loft in the city, coming it at just $411/sq. ft. on average. The value here is particularly incredible considering it’s a heritage building.

The Foundary Lofts were once a railway complex for Canada's Foundry company back in the early 1900s. They have stunning character features and the largest central atrium of any loft building in the city, pictured above. Perhaps the biggest draw for buyers is that it’s smackdab in the middle of the development boom north of Bloor where a number of new Toronto condos and towns are opening their doors.

In 2014, the Upside Down Condos and Upside Down II opened with per square foot prices already tracking above the Foundary Lofts. They’re on average anywhere from 6-16% more expensive than The Foundary Lofts per sq. ft. Remember, Toronto lofts are typically more expensive than condos and so this gives you a sense of the Foundary’s value proposition.

Yet another hallmark of the area’s transformation, pre-construction buildings in Davenport Village, just slightly to the north of the Junction Triangle, are selling fast including Fuse II. But any time you invest in a transitioning neighbourhood, it’s a roll of the dice. That said, with all of the development activity surrounding The Foundary Lofts, buying here is a pretty safe bet.

 

 

comments powered by Disqus