Leslieville has long been one of our favourite loft communities along with nearby Riverside. The main stretches along Carlaw, Queen East and Broadview have seen massive development over the last decade with some of the best, authentic Toronto lofts for sale including the Broadview Lofts and the Garment Factory Lofts to name a few, along with numerous newer soft loft developments like the Work Lofts and Ninety Broadview.
Just when you thought the densification movement was starting to cool as developers move further east to the "next big thing" pockets, the boom starts all over again with a large number of Leslieville lofts in planning stages or under construction. And no other developer has branded this gem of a 'hood more than Streetcar.
Streetcar Developments has already brought us the Edge Lofts (to mixed-reviews), the Sync Lofts, the Queen City Vinegar Co. Lofts and the Riverside Lofts, and now has three new soft loft and urban townhomes in the area. We're thrilled to see Streetcar's continued focus on unique, mid-rise developments despite the challenges they've faced at City Hall (you can read more about the challenges of mid-rise Toronto condos on our partner site). And we like that these are exlusively soft lofts and loft-like towns that blend in with the industrial look that so many buyers love about Riverside and Leslieville - no cookie-cutter condos here.
Streetcar is one of those rare developers who have actually listened to their customer base and changed their approach in recent builds, learning from earlier mistakes. They have developed a strong reputation for quality in recent years and for customer service.
Here's a roundup of the latest Streetcar developments in Leslieville and Riverside.
If you've been to the corner of Dundas & Carlaw lately, you'll be familiar with Streetcar's latest new build to reach completion, The Carlaw. This building was sold out before completion and now in interim occupancy with a bunch of investor-bought units currently on the market.
This 12-storey building houses 320 soft lofts ranging in scale from small studios to 2+1 bedroom plans but at 474 sqft through to 818 sqft, the actual square footage range isn't as wide here as in some other Streetcar builds and the design is modern but minimal. What this means though is that the affordability factor is strong with many nice looking units under the $450k mark.
This is a great entry-level building for young buyers trying to get a foot on the Leslieville real estate ladder. You're steps to the best of the neighbourhood in terms of shopping, amenities and night life and you're in a really youthful and active community so it's a great little stretch of condo community (almost a micro hood within Leslieville).
Our colleagues at Condos.ca currently have a 2 bed, 2 bath unit for sale, Unit 218, pictured below.
There's a large central courtyard in the site design that can be used day-to-day by residents but also transform into an events space for use by the larger community when needed. If it's actually used by residents and local arts and cultural groups for programming, this could become the hub of the community and a great place to mix and mingle.
Also at Dundas & Carlaw, tucked in just behind The Carlaw, is The Taylor, a collection of 96 soft loft units along with a handful of multi-level, urban towns currently in construction. The two sister developments take up an entire block and really feel more like one, joined condo community with their shared courtyard and amenities.
Like The Carlaw, the seven-storey The Taylor blends in well with surrounding lofts. We like modern and minimalistic exterior design by TACT Design, including the striking extrerior cladding - Oko Sin concrete wall slats that resemble wood - adding a warm feel to the aesthetic that could otherwise feel a little cold or detached because of it's simplicity.
The interior design is to the taste level that we expect of a Streetcar-led project team. Finishes are attractive and of high quality but not luxurious to keep price points in check. Design is slick but not showy and shouldn't date quickly which is our concern in some of the more "precious" designs we've seen in other new condo developments (you know what we mean, when design reads as gimicky or like its trying too hard to win awards rather than act as a functional space for real people to live in).
We love the range of suite sizes and layouts here that offer greater choice than the sister building The Carlaw. At The Taylor, you'll find everything from 1 bed lofts to spacious two-level, 3+1 bed units along with four-storey townhomes up to 1,840 sqft.
The latest Streetcar project, Riverside Square, is in pre-construction, planned for the gateway of the Queen Street Bridge and Don Valley, the entryway to Riverside.
What's great about this project is the wide mix of suite sizes from one bedroom to family-sized, three bedroom units. We also love the green roof system but the heavy use of glass is subjective - it's great for adding in lots of natural light and integrating with the surrouding community (interiors seem to flow seamlessly to the outside courtyard) but some buyers may not like the fish-bowl feel of common areas like the gym.
The new public square that anchors the development will feature a mix of retailers, a grocery store, cafés, restaurants and commercial spaces to service the new populations and bring even more commercial activity to an already-vibrant stretch of Queen.
Occupancy is planned for Winter 2018.
The Broadview Hotel
Finally, although not a residential build, we couldn't feature Streetcar's Leslieville developments without mention of their re-development of the former Jilly's building into the new Broadview hotel. Originally built in 1893 in the same style as Old City Hall, Streetcar is preserving the character of this heritage building and bringing a new, multi-use building (hotel, restaurant, café and events space) to the area, likely to resemble the Gladstone Hotel in the west. The whole 'hood is eagerly awaiting the new development.
If you're interested in any of the above re-sale or new loft developments, reach out to one of our Loft Experts. We can negotiate a deal for you ensuring you get the best price possible and that there are no surprise buried clauses or hidden fees; it won't cost you any more to bring your own representation to the table.
All artist's renderings © Streetcar Developments.