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.


Buyers praise heavenly loft conversions

By Derek Raymaker – Globe and Mail

If there is a higher power, would he or she prefer hardwood floors or granite countertops? And would he or she want to pay $20,000 for a parking space?

In the first half of the 20th century, the upright citizens of Toronto the Good distinguished themselves as among the most god-fearing in the Great Dominion, enthusiastically jamming into pews every Sunday.

If Torontonians observe the same devotion to the divine currently, they do so quietly and usually in the privacy of their own homes. This has left a lot of clergy and parish elders in a great quandary: Do they continue to preach to thinning ranks of worshippers, or do they merge into a tighter circle and offer up their prime real estate to the dark but necessary forces of commerce?

The land may be enticing, but church structures themselves are of limited use when it comes to anything other than the Lord’s work. But since 1999, when loft conversions went into full swing around Toronto, some underused churches have been reborn as loft residences.

These are not slam-dunk loft conversions when it comes to construction or sales. Reconfiguring the often angular and rounded shapes of a church to suit the needs of buyers requires architectural finesse, which does not come cheap, and there are almost always some ugly surprises to deal with after construction begins. This could be anything from termite control to new masonry to being forced to get rid of splendid stained-glass features for the greater good of maintaining structural integrity.

All of these alterations are expensive, and these costs are in turn passed on to the buyer. Unless an addition is included, most church structures can’t really host more than 25 or 30 suites, meaning that the costs of an expensive restoration and conversion can’t be spread out over a large number of buyers.

On the buyer side, a church conversion is really a specialized niche product. Many buyers may find bunking down in a former House of God to be something of a novelty, but in resale terms, these products often don’t have certain features that help sustain the unit’s value, such as terrace space, common amenities and parking.

While these church loft conversions might have a lot of risks associated with them, they are not without their unique features, not the least of which is that they are often in residential areas known for their peace and quiet. Suites are also often more likely to have two levels and unique layouts.

Those who do buy these suites are almost exclusively end-user residents – meaning they’re not going to rent out the units to tenants. This personal commitment helps maintain a seamless aesthetic quality.

The most recent of these conversions to come on the market is The Church on Dovercourt Road between Bloor and College streets, which will involve the creation of 28 lofts in the handsome neo-Gothic edifice of the former Centennial Methodist Church.

Two blocks north, an unknown builder has yet to begin its conversion of a more austere 1910 church into a 23-suite loft conversion project, the Westmoreland.

A little further west, on Sunnyside Avenue in High Park, another Gothic revival Methodist church has been transformed into The Abbey, which recently completed construction. All large, these lofts range in size between 1,025 and 1,787 square feet.

There is also Bob Mitchell’s Church Loft on Claremont, just north of Queen West. Another of his converted churches is The Glebe, likely the first of all Toronto church lofts. St. George on Sheldrake is the luxury loft of the bunch, with suites going up to almost 4,500 square feet with price tags close to $3 million. And there is the Victoria Lofts near Keele and Annette that is set to start construction soon. And there is a rumour that the church on the corner of College and Palmerston is about to have its own conversion facelift soon…


Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information

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