I got asked this question the other day – why is 90 Sumach called the Brewery Lofts when it is, in fact, a former CBC studio? Funny how we take for granted that a building’s name had, at some point, a connection with its original function.
Well, there is a connection here. Sort of. But it’s not an obvious one.
Converted into live/work lofts back in the late 90s, the Brewery Lofts are home to many artists, designers and other creative professionals today which is appropriate given the building's artistic roots. What’s perplexing is that this wasn't ever a brewery.
It’s actually named after the original, surrounding buildings, part of a brewery complex from the late 1800s that were purchased by the developer first but never converted to residential. And so its name is really a nod to its former neighbours rather than its own history. But the Brewery Lofts have a long and storied history nonetheless, as home to Canada's most beloved media outlets.
Originally a warehouse in the late 1950s, the Brewery Lofts soon became a design studio and prop warehouse for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation where such renowned and respected artists as Glenn Gould, Jim Henson and Lorne Michaels once worked.
History buffs will appreciate this building's lobby where you’ll find an old lighting prop, pictures and plaques in honour of its CBC heritage. There’s now a great video, The Story of 90 Sumach, well worth watching. It features both current residents and former CBC employees and their personal stories about the building's heritage.
Interestingly, you’ll find that some people refuse to use the name “Brewery Lofts” even though it’s catchy because they see it as a misnomer of sorts and prefer to use the physical address, calling it The Lofts at 90 Sumach or 90 Sumach Lofts.
This is hands-down one of my favourite Toronto lofts. Here’s why.
With units ranging in size from 738 to a sprawling 3,695 square feet, these are some of the most spacious lofts in the city. Plus, they're really well designed with functional layouts. There's more of a sense of separation of space here than you find in most Toronto lofts for sale while still being open concept, i.e. even though it's open concept, the large spaces make it so that the living room feels like a living room and not part of the kitchen, etc.
Not only do the units at the Brewery Lofts have gorgeous, historic hard loft features, the split-level floorplans with elevated bedrooms overlooking the main living area give these Toronto lofts a true "lofty" feel.
Stunning Industrial Features
One of the area's only authentic, hard loft conversions, 90 Sumach offers soaring, 14-foot ceilings, massive concrete pillars and lots of original, warehouse windows.
If your budget affords you a penthouse loft, these are some of my favourites in Toronto with stairs leading to private rooftops - be forewarned that these are some of the most coveted Toronto lofts and rarely come on the market.
Awesome Community Vibe
Pride of ownership and sense of community at the Brewery Lofts is palpable. Many owners are original to the 1999 conversion and turnover is very low here. You can connect with this loft community on their 90 Sumach Facebook Group.
It’s Dog Friendly
Many owners have dogs and the community is pretty excepting of furry friends. There’s a fenced in dog run just and the building’s within a short stroll to the amazing new parks being erected both in Corktown and Regent Park.
Interested buyers should note that, while the cost per square foot is very reasonable here for what you're getting and maintenance fees are low, the large unit sizes make the total sticker price prohibitive for some. Even the smaller units here are considered quite spacious in comparison to new build standards today and so you need a decent budget to buy into the Brewery Lofts.
Most residents tend to be mature buyers or couples with dual household income who are looking at this purchase as their forever home versus just another step on the property ladder. But score a great unit here and it may just be your loft for life.
As of date of publishing, there's one listing in the Brewery Lofts, Listing for Unit 309, Brewery Lofts at $869,000, pictured here. If this building is out of your price range, check out the Imperial Lofts and the Broadview Lofts which are both authentic lofts not too far away and offer a greater range in entry prices.