More Canadians are choosing to work from home. StatsCan’s 2008 study showed 11.2% of employees work from home, an increase from the year 2000, and that percentage has no doubt increased again seven years on as Canadians seek greater work/life balance and, millennials in particular, take on two or three smaller jobs versus the traditional 9-5 with one employer.
For most who work from home, an extra room or nook in a residential unit suffices as a home office but for others, their loft has to serve a dual purpose as home and a commercial space. For those buyers, a dual-zoned live / work Toronto loft is a great option.
The growth in live / work lofts for sale in Toronto and other urban centres was kick-started by artists but has now been embraced by many other industries. Here are just a few of the many live / work Toronto lofts for sale to give you a glimpse into what's available in the city. If you’re interested in learning more about live / work Toronto lofts, feel free to reach out to one of our Toronto Loft Experts.
Liberty Village is one of the more popular communities for young media professionals because of its long history with Toronto’s artistic communities. Its artistic seeds were planted in the early 90s when Artscape opened over 40 affordable artists’ studios and since that time, Liberty Village has become a magnet for the media industry.
The Liberty Village Market Lofts at 5 Hanna are a popular choice for both fine artists and work-from-home digital media designers. These popular Liberty Village lofts boast an onsite art gallery, a tool and utility room where artists can work and a fully-loaded business centre including internet access for small business owners. There’s also a lounge with wet bar and party room that can be used to entertain clients.
The Work Lofts on Carlaw have quickly become one of the east side’s more popular condominiums. A soft loft developed by Lamb Development Corp., this building contains authentic live-work lofts and commercial studio lofts.
One of the biggest draws, besides its popular Leslieville address, is that it offers such a wide range of suite sizes from 378 sqft studios to suites over 2,000 sqft. Price points vary widely as well and so if the address and design aesthetic interest you (lots of concrete here), then a suitable listing is bound to crop up with a bit of patience.
Being a new build, soft loft, you’ll also find more amenities here than in most hard loft conversions yet maintenance fees are still below average for the city – in fact, they’ve gone down since 2013.
We currently have Unit 802 for sale in the Work Lofts, pictured above.
A former knitting mill and warehouse space, the i-Zone Lofts are located in Leslieville just steps from the Work Lofts. The building was converted in 2002 and, up until recently, was considered one of the cheaper but not always cheerful live/work option in the city. Finishes were basic and you couldn’t find a lot of extras here but for those on a budget or creative types looking for a blank canvas to customize, the i-Zone Lofts have always been worth a look.
Things are changing here though as the area as blossomed in recent years with multiple new developments, attracting new demographics and driving property prices up. The original developer Atria has returned to transform many of the units into high-end residences - some priced well into the seven figures - as you can see from this listing for Unit 127 pictured below (you’re buying off of spec with these although it’s arguably less of a risk than pre-con as the shell is built which you can see and inspect).
While this building is extremely popular with photographers, artists and designers, units here are hit and miss. The location is stellar and units tend to be spacious with very high ceilings. But this is a complex of two buildings that are combined (one with a Carlaw address, one on Dundas) and not all units are created equal.
There are some really great ground floor spaces lined with windows along Dundas but all of that space and natural light comes at a cost – with the massive transformation along Dundas and Carlaw in recent years, there’s noise bleed from the street and corner bar in these ground floor units.
Further into the centre of the building you'll get the quiet but you don’t have windows and many of the units feel tomb-like. Atria is aiming to change that with skylights and rooftop terraces, pictured below, but these centre units without windows will probably always feel a bit like a storage container.
That said, there are great units that pop up from time to time in this building. It just takes time and patience to wait for the right location within the complex.
Located in the podium of the Westside Gallery Lofts in the artsy district of West Queen West, Artscape Triangle Lofts are specifically for artists in a partnership between Artscape, the City of Toronto, Active18 and condo developer UrbanCorp. This development includes 68 artist live/work units and a 1,100 square-foot gallery on the ground floor.
From the Artscape website: “A non-profit initiative, the Artscape Triangle Lofts were created under a new self-sustaining development model that permits opportunities for both rental housing and live/work ownership, encourages a mixed-use community, and supports a range of incomes in the arts community in perpetuity.”
If you’re an artist and interested in learning more about the opportunities to rent or own at Artscape Triangle or any of the other Artscape residences, click on the link above. You can also read more about the history of this particular project on the Artscape DIY website.
Image credits: Renderings of Unit 127, i-Zone Lofts, © Atria. Photo of Artscape Triangle Lofts courtesy of Artscape.