As hard loft enthusiasts, we wish Toronto loft conversions represented a higher proportion of the overall property mix in the city. If they could sprout up at even ten percent of the pace of new build Toronto condos, we’d be golden. But the hard facts are that developers make higher profits with mid- and high-rise soft lofts or condos than they do converting historic structures into residential lofts. The investment of time, money and red tape involved in converting old churches, manufacturing buildings and warehouses into Toronto lofts for sale is off-putting for many developers.
It's no surprise though that with Toronto housing prices soaring, populations growing and the rarity of historic Toronto lofts increasing (in terms of their relative proportion within the city’s overall condo mix), hard lofts are more in-demand than ever. An influx of new conversions of old buildings, providing they’re well-designed and priced appropriately, can no doubt be absorbed by Toronto's loft-hungry community before you can say “exposed brick”.
Every once in a while, we get our loft wishes come true. Queue a slew of new loft conversions. There’s a handful of promising new/old hard loft church conversions in and around Bloor West that show real promise. Here’s a roundup of the west-ends latest Toronto lofts in the most divine of structures.
Rendering of Union Lofts exterior here and in lead image, © Windmill Developments.
The Union Lofts at Perth and Wallace sit about midway in the Junction Triangle neighbourhood, north of Bloor. The area’s still a question mark for many critics because of the overall grunge factor (still too dominant to be considered charming) and proximity to the railway tracks but we think this area’s going to appreciate really well over the next five to ten years.
Not surprising, the developers added a second soft loft building on the land beside the church to increase occupancy (i.e. profits). That's a trend we've been seeing a lot of with historic conversions. But what’s great about this particular side-by-side development is that the two buildings don’t seem completely juxtaposed; they actually complement each other quite nicely.
The project is around 70% sold but there are still units available in both the hard loft church conversion and the neighbouring soft loft new build. Definitely look at the hard loft plans first because, providing the developer delivers on their promises and the conversion is well-constructed (and that’s always a big IF with pre-con), the hard lofts should appreciate better than the next-door soft lofts.
Prices start at $409K for the church lofts which will get you around 680 sq. ft. Remember, though, that these are pre-con list prices and there are fees to add on top of this. Have a read of the post about pre-construction condos as investments from our partner team at condos.ca to get a sense of the additional costs you’ll need to anticipate.
West40 Lofts in Bloor West is a beautiful example of Neo Gothic architecture, restored to perfection. Seventeen one-of-a-kind residences were created within this historic church. Soaring cathedral ceilings (heights up to 21 feet), original brick, wood trusses, classic stone columns and gothic arches bring “character” to a new level.
Rendering of interiors of West40 here, above and below, © Dog Day Developers.
Take a look at these images and you'll understand why the project sold out. We don’t expect regular turnover here either. If you’re interested in this gem of a loft, get in touch with one of our loft experts and they’ll ensure you’re notified of any new listings.
The Sanctuary Lofts in Dovercourt were set to feature arched windows, decorative keystones, wooden trusses and pews, stained glass windows and more. All signs were pointing to a really unique church conversion of just 14 residences; all units had sold out.
Rendering of Sanctuary Lofts exterior, © Concept Lofts Ltd.
These authentic lofts, really more like hard townhomes than hard lofts, would have been a welcome addition to the Toronto loft scene but due to an unfortunate fire in January 2014, the project has, at the very least, hit serious delays.
We’ve yet to hear the final word as to the plans moving forward but it was the developer Concept Lofts' desire to continue in the spirit of the original project, despite losing parts of the historic building. For everyone involved, we have our fingers crossed that this project will move ahead with a new but complementary vision. It would be a welcome lift to the area and the original plans were really quite attractive.