*This beautiful representation of The Wrigley Lofts is currently for sale see the listing on our homepage here.
The Toronto loft market has been incredibly hot for many years now, driving prices beyond the reach of some buyers. Lofts for sale in Toronto typically come at a premium over Toronto condos because of their rarity and the fact that they offer the kind of character-filled living spaces that you can’t find in modern builds.
For true, hard loft enthusiasts who find themselves priced-out of the market with most Toronto lofts for sale, the good news is that there are affordable options out there. It just takes some patience to wait for the right units to come up. For all their personality and edge, there are a handful of Toronto lofts that probably should be more expensive than they are. These are great buildings to consider not only because you’ll get more bang for your buck now but because we think they’re great investments that will appreciate well.
Here are our top picks for affordable Toronto lofts under $500 / sq. ft. While you can find cheaper Toronto loft buildings (some are still under $350 / sq. ft.) they lack the authentic, character features that the lofts below deliver.
A live/work loft in Leslieville, the i-Zone Lofts is the only loft building along Carlaw, where there’s some serious condo density, that hasn’t appreciated to market value for the area. It’s because of the hit-and-miss nature of the spaces. This is actually several buildings combined into one and there is a lot of discrepancy in the quality of individual units.
When the building, a former knitting mill, was converted into lofts by Atria, the units were largely left “raw” with minimal finishes. They were sold or rented out with just the basics done for buyers to then renovate (or not) as they saw fit. So there’s a huge variety of styles and finishes in the i-Zone Lofts and a wide-spread in terms of their state of live-in readiness – some units are still very commercial, open warehouses and some have been fully-renovated into stylish living abodes.
That said, we’ve seen some amazing units here in the past that were priced well-below their equivalents just across the street at the Wrigley Lofts and Garment Factory Lofts. The trick is to wait for one of the units along the exterior of the building with large windows and good light. Many of the interior units have no windows and can feel rather oppressive and claustrophobic.
The fact that thirteen years late, Atria is back to re-launch the i-Zone with nine, refurbished suites with luxury finishes says that, if successful, building values could skyrocket.
A former railway complex for Canada’s Foundry company, the Foundry Lofts provide some of the best values for hard lofts in the City in an up-and-coming location that’s about to get a whole lot trendier.
Located at Davenport and Lansdowne close to the Junction (one of Toronto’s hippest neighbourhoods), the Foundry Lofts are getting a lot of new neighbours. The master-planned Davenport Village community is still expanding and includes some affordable but stylish townhomes. The new Brownstones5 towns look promising. With all of the building activity around The Foundry Lofts, more amenities are sure to follow as the area becomes a magnet for young families and first-time buyers.
The Imperial Lofts are close to St. Lawrence Market and so they don’t suffer from the same Moss Park neighbourhood stigma that the Century Lofts do. This is an absolutely stunning building that houses sixty suites with exposed brick and beam and large spaces that allow for a variety of furniture configurations.
Many units in this building offer the space and open design aesthetic that suit creative types who like to personalize their loft spaces. The wood floors and finishes also give off a sense warmth that you don’t get with lofts that are heavy on concrete.
The Studio One Lofts are truly one of Toronto’s cheapest hard loft conversions. Located near St. Clair and Dufferin, the area lacks the centrality and cache of other Toronto loft neighborhoods, hence the value for money. However, don’t write the area off without spending some time here.
It’s steps to Corso Italia which has great amenities and the trendy Junction is not far away with its popular shopping and dining strip. Plus, the St. Clair streetcar is within a few minutes’ walk. Not to mention the fact that this building offers serious wow factor with 11 foot ceilings, original Douglas Fir beams and spiral staircases in some of its two-storey units.
This one isn’t about investment per se as we think it’ll take some time for major change to come to Moss Park, if it ever does. This one’s about affordable living in the here in now. If a gritty neighbourhood doesn’t scare you off and you’re looking for a true, industrial hard loft aesthetic with a large, open space, then the Century Lofts are well worth a look.
And although we’re cautious, a return on investment above standard appreciations is not impossible if you’re in it for the long-haul. The revitalization of nearby Regent Park and rapid transformation of Corktown may cause a gentrification trend to expand out towards Moss Park. Only time will tell and so it’s best to buy here if your first priority is affordability for today versus value appreciation for tomorrow.
Like the Century Lofts, the Boiler Factory Lofts are located in Moss Park which is not an area that’s right for every buyer. However, the area is so central and the character features of the units so stunning that it’s hard to beat this kind of value in the core. The Boiler Lofts offer exposed brick, wood beams, hardwood floors and stunning rooftop terraces but while its boutique size (there are only 11 units) is a draw for residents, it means you may have to wait years for a listing to come on the market.