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.

 

Factories alive with loft conversion potential

Through inspiration and hard work, developer Bob Mitchell turns old buildings into new again

By Jane van der Voort

What looks like the musty exterior of an old church or a tired inner-city garment factory shines with living potential for Toronto developer Bob Mitchell.

“One of the key things I try and do is look at the light and volume of space,” says Mitchell, owner of Mitchell & Associates, who has converted more than a dozen old buildings in Toronto into unique loft conversions over the last 20 years.

“Older buildings allow you to do that and smaller buildings have the advantage of more perimeter per volume. You have to go only, say, 50 feet to a window or outside space instead of hundreds of feet”.

His projects include The Glebe, a 32-unit loft conversion using an extension of the 1912 Riverdale Presbyterian Church on Pape Avenue just south of The Danforth.

In 1990, Mitchell created Hepbourne Hall, a 21 loft conversion, where the Maple Leafs’ Conn Smythe once taught Sunday school.

The 1989 Ontario Medical College for Women, now a heritage Romanesque Revival building, was a machine shop when Mitchell saw it in 1983. Into it he built 10 suites and restored the facade according to photos in a century-old calendar that workmen found behind baseboards.”

“Essentially I design for myself. I’m at the peak of the Baby Boom demographic curve and there’s a lot of people out there who are interested in the same things that I am.”

The developer’s latest projects were Mayfair Walk, nine townhouses at Logan Avenue and The Danforth, as well as 12 lofts at The Greenhouse Lofts on Queen Street East in The Beach, directly across from Kew Park.

Still, he’s working with small numbers that allow each suite to be tailored to its buyer.

“We were a lit bit disbelieving when Bob said we could do whatever we wanted,” says Lin Gitterman. She and husband Michael bought a top-floor, 1700-square-foot loft for $259,000 in the knitting mill that Mitchell renovated at 670 Richmond St. West four years ago. “We thought, Okay, where will he draw the line? But he didn’t ever draw the line!”

Instead, they were able to change their kitchen space by removing a powder room, moved the fireplace into a corner, ran the stairs up the side of the room instead of across, and removed all internal doors except for sliding barn doors in the master bedroom.

The downtown loft just south of funky Queen Street West is a big change for the pair who had previously been homeowners outside the city. “We look around for a house each spring when I get the garden lust,” says Gitterman, who now walks to work. “This year we’ve come to the realization that we’re not about to move because we love the community in our building and we love our home.”

Based on the work they saw Mitchell was doing in the next building, the couple bought their loft. “There were just two units left when we came so we had to make a decision pretty quickly,” Gitterman says.

All of the developer’s projects in the last decade have completely and quickly sold-out through word of month and his internet contact list. “It keeps me in touch with end user – it keeps me sharp,” he says.

He’s also kept on his toes by residents in the areas where he builds.

“What makes a neighbourhood is people. Sometimes it’s a real educational process you have to do with the existing neighbourhoods,” Mitchell says of long-time home owners disgruntled by the construction process and the increased density within their communities.

As well, he says, redeveloping buildings that past their life cycle benefits the environment. “All of our units are energy efficient with various ‘green features.’ And there is inherent energy conservation to re-developing the downtown,” Mitchell says, citing the ease of subway travel instead of a daily drive to work.”

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