Alright, we admit it. This week's post is really just an excuse for us to spend some time gleefully going through our most "wow" loft photos. And the Toronto loft building that tops our list for breathtaking suites is, and always has been, the Candy Factory Lofts.
Here's why this sweet building holds one of the top positions in our favourite, authentic lofts list.
Historic lofts are becoming a smaller percentage of Toronto's overall condo mix as new build condos and soft lofts continue to outnumber conversion projects. The reality is, it's not as profitable for developers to convert an historic building as it is to start from scratch and it often presents an off-putting amount of red tape at City Hall.
For true loft enthusiasts, Toronto's original hard loft stock holds a special place in our hearts - the Candy Factory Lofts in particular. It is, arguably, the conversion that started Toronto's love affair with lofts and one of the most iconic residential buildings in Toronto today.
Located at 993 Queen Street West, the building was originally the Ce De Candy Company dating back to the 1930s. Nostalgia lovers will appreciate the building's roots as home to the makers of the iconic Rockets candy, a Halloween favourite.
In the late 90s, the Metro Ontario Group converted the factory into 121 residences. The project is considered one of the best examples of respectful and tasteful conversions that the City's ever seen.
Rather than fight the aging materials and design quirks, the developers embraced the soul of this building, bringing out its original brick and beam character and highlighting the beauty of the original factory windows.
While we love a really industrial, gritty hard loft space, too much concrete and steel is not to everyone's taste as it can feel cold and unwelcoming. But the Candy Factory Lofts, with its warm wood ceilings and soft patina of the sandblasted brick feels warm and inviting even with the high ceilings, exposed ductwork and open concept design which is often at odds with "cozy".
That's a very tricky balance to achieve in a hard loft and not every developer manages it quite so elegantly.
You just can't find materials like this today, even if you could afford to outfit a new soft loft development with salvaged wood.
The beauty and patina of the original wood ceilings and beams is unmatched by virtually any other Toronto loft building, with the (debatable) exception of the Broadview Lofts (and of course if budget is no issue for you, you have high-end buildings like the Stonecutter Lofts and 40 Westmoreland). But no other building seems to match the "accessible" charm of the Candy Factory Lofts.
What I mean by that is that even in the highest end units here, it still feels like a place you can plop down on the sofa and be comfortable in. There are no airs and graces yet these are still very quietly sophisticated spaces. And that abundant use of warm, worn wood is the key to achieving that balance of elegance and edge.
As we loft lovers know, a larger loft in a well-appointed, vibrant Toronto neighbourhood can be every bit as much a forever home as a detached house with a yard. If you appreciate the perks of turn-key living and being located steps to one of the most vibrant stretches of Toronto - West Queen West - then the Candy Factory can offer you a forever home.
Units here are very spacious - up to whopping 4,273 sqft. The smallest suite is 920 sqft (that's like two of today's new build micro condos put together) and there are many units in the 1,500 - 2,000 sqft range which is most popular with buyers looking for an edgier and easier to care for alternative to a freehold home. You can see from the photo above that these are very spacious suites, open enough to fit a large dining table for entertaining in addition to the long kitchen islands.
You'll find that owners here are long-time occupants and there's a strong community vibe. It's also a popular building with dog owners being steps to Trinity Bellwoods Park.
Do you love the Candy Factory Lofts as much as we do? Tell us why, below!