Toronto Loft Conversions

Toronto Loft Conversions

I know classic brick and beam lofts! From warehouses to factories to churches, Laurin will help you find your perfect new loft.

Modern Toronto Lofts

Modern Toronto Lofts

Not just converted lofts, I can help you find the latest cool and modern space. There are tons of new urban spaces across the city.

Unique Toronto Homes

Unique Toronto Homes

More than just lofts, I can also help you find that perfect house. From the latest architectural marvel to a piece of our Victorian past, the best and most creative spaces abound.

Condos in Toronto

Condos in Toronto

I started off selling mainly condos, helping first time buyers get a foothold in the Toronto real estate market. Now working with investors and helping empty nesters find that perfect luxury suite.

Toronto Real Estate

Toronto Real Estate

For all of your Toronto real estate needs, contact Laurin. I am dedicated to helping you find that perfect and unique new home to call your own.

 

A bird’s-eye view of add-on housing

The Perch provides an interesting precedent in the ongoing intensification of downtown living spaces

John Bentley Mays – Globe and Mail

Residential density in downtown Toronto comes in several sizes. At the largest end, there are new condominium towers, changing the skyline and inviting many thousands to live in the core. Then there are the loft conversions that have transformed many a hulking old factory or warehouse into dwellings for hundreds.

While not as conspicuous as high-rises and lofts, single-unit additions are also playing a part in broadening the housing options for people who want to live downtown. In this category are Victorian laneway workshops that have been changed into homes, and the often architecturally exciting new houses one can also find in the city’s alleys.

One of the smallest and least obtrusive expansions of our luxury building stock that I’ve come across, however, is the one proposed for 34 Rowanwood Ave., on the Yonge Street edge of Rosedale. This pleasant development is called the Perch, and it’s exactly that: a modernist 1,600-square-foot crow’s nest resting on a three-storey, century-old condominium building. It is now for sale, fully finished, for $1.8-million.

Designed by Toronto architect Jennifer Turner, the rectangular suite is pulled back from the parapet that runs around the building, a move that gives the Perch a retiring look from the street. The interior layout is basically that of a two-bedroom apartment with a den, with an emphasis throughout on light and views.

A sweep of floor-to-ceiling glass on the south façade opens toward the deck and the treetops of Rosedale’s urban forest, while the tall windows on the north side, where the master bedroom is, give on to the trees of a nearby tennis club. Skylights and clerestory windows brighten the apartment, and panes of translucent coloured glass around the top of the fire escape admit sunshine into the middle of the suite, always the darkest part of a Toronto house.

The Perch provides an interesting precedent for intensifying the margins of Rosedale and other built-up parts of the city. While we probably wouldn’t like to see self-contained flats such as the Perch sprouting on top of most dignified family homes in Rosedale, the revenue-earning power of numerous low-rise condominium and rental apartment buildings in the neighbourhood could be enhanced by such an addition. I certainly don’t think the Perch is the last proposal of its kind that we’re likely to hear about.

Speaking of intensification, and switching to the large-scale end of the matter: Many observers of the Toronto real estate scene are keenly awaiting news about what the Toronto architectural firm of Hariri Pontarini is planning for the southeast corner of Bloor and Yonge streets.

As you may recall, an 80-storey tower was proposed for the site by Bazis International, the Kazakh-based real estate developer. Citing financial difficulties, Bazis pulled out of the project last year, and the place eventually passed into the hands of the Great Gulf Group of Cos., which now aims to put up a 65-storey tower designed by Hariri Pontarini. (A hotel, which was to have been part of the Bazis tower, has been eliminated in Great Gulf’s plans.)

According to a schedule submitted by the developer to the city earlier this month, the building will feature 687 units on top of a two-storey, 104,000-square-foot retail podium. But renderings of the structure have still not been released by the architects. Until they are made public, we wait and wonder.

The site, at the centre of Toronto’s urban geography and historical sense of itself, is far too important to waste on another routine condominium building. Not that Hariri Pontarini has a reputation for doing routine things. On the contrary: The office has an impressive record of making buildings that matter architecturally and artistically, and we should expect nothing less than that at the intersection of Bloor and Yonge.

Indeed, Toronto deserves nothing less than that. Though the city has not been the beneficiary very often, we live in a remarkably inventive, fertile moment in the international field of skyscraper design. New imaging and construction technologies have made possible tower schemes more daring than anything so far attempted in the history of tall buildings. It is time for Toronto to reap the benefits of these advances in design. Before too long – perhaps as early as next month – we will be able to see the tower Hariri Pontarini has in mind for the city, then decide for ourselves whether it measures up to the prominence Toronto has achieved in so many realms of the mind and spirit.

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Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information  –  416-388-1960

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