We recently did a comparison between South Riverdale-Leslieville lofts and their west-end equivalents on our sister blog on condos.ca. Now, our MrLOFT Team loves both sides of the Yonge Street divide and there’s no denying the allure of west-side living. Popular buildings like the Tip Top Lofts, the Candy Factory Lofts and the Madison Avenue Lofts remain top of many buyers’ wish lists when looking for Toronto lofts for sale. But Toronto loft buildings in South Riverdale-Leslieville typically offer better values and appreciate higher than their west-end equivalents – a trend we expect to see continue.
We took a look at three of the most popular east-end Toronto lofts versus their west-end equivalents and here’s how the numbers stacked up:
The Wrigley Lofts (top) and Robert Watson Lofts (bottom) both offer soaring ceilings and gritty, hard loft features in open concept spaces that give them an artists’ studio-like feel.
We compared the Wrigley Lofts to the Robert Watson Lofts because they’re both hard lofts in former manufacturing plants and share many original factory-features. And both neighbourhoods offer comparable amenities and states of gentrification – developed but still edgy. What’s markedly different is cost and value. The Wrigley Lofts are 12% cheaper per sq. ft. on average than the Robert Watson Lofts and they’re appreciating at almost double the rate.
Many of the interiors in Leslieville’s Garment Factory (top) and Trinity-Bellwoods Chocolate Co. Lofts (bottom) share a similar design aesthetic. There’s a balance of industrial design features like exposed ductwork tempered by modern touches like light wood floors that warm up the factory feel.
These buildings have both experienced a slower but steadier value increase over time and are a little more established than some of the others on our list. They’ve never experienced the dramatic value peaks and valleys that some lofts in Toronto have and that makes either of these lofts a safe bet.
But we need a winner and, ultimately, the Garment Factory Lofts gets the prize. It comes down to the opportunity for further gentrification. Because this area of Leslieville at Dundas and Carlaw is changing so rapidly, it stands a better chance of appreciating at a rate above a more mature area like Trinity-Bellwoods where the Chocolate Company Lofts are located.
There are already three new buildings beside the Garment Factory – the pre-construction Carlaw Lofts and Towns by Streetcar, the recently opened Work Lofts and the Flatiron Lofts. And just across the street on Carlaw, the i-Zone Lofts are re-developing their sparse, live-work units into luxury suites. We believe that the Garment Factory still boasts the nicest units and architecture of the lot though, which puts it in good stead as an investment.
The Broadview Lofts in South Riverdale (top) and the Toy Factory Lofts in Liberty Village (bottom) both offer sought-after features like exposed ductwork, original factory windows and wood ceilings that create a warm, almost cocoon-like atmosphere.
These are two of our favourite lofts in Toronto and the toughest match-up of the lot. But the gold medal for value goes to the Broadview Lofts over the Toy Factory Lofts. Not only are the Broadview Lofts a good value proposition today but we believe they’ll continue to appreciate above average in future thanks to developments happening in nearby Corktown and the new project, Riverside Square, planned for Broadview and Queen.
Another indicator is the local housing market. The prices we’re seeing in original condition houses for sale in Toronto South Riverdale are quickly on the rise. These fixer-uppers are being snapped up by both investors as flips and end-users who are priced out of North Riverdale and willing to put in some sweat equity. When you start to see these trends in the housing market, you know that the local loft market is in great stead. Now, an increase in new and updated housing stock can, in some situations, negatively impact the values of older properties. But not so with the Broadview Lofts. Their quality construction and timeless appeal along with the overall rarity of hard lofts in the City will keep your investment secure.
Our end verdict? While we love our west-end Toronto lofts, our east-end contenders clobbered the competition in this particular face-off. We suspect a future re-match (west side won’t take this lying down).