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.

 

Freed fashions a following

Olivia Stren, National Post

King of King Street West, Peter Freed, real estate developer laureate to the downtown hiperati, is (I’m told) having a very busy day. But he couldn’t seem more laid-back if he were sitting dockside with a cocktail. At 39, he has colonized the neighbourhood with hyper-stylish condos, each tailored to the kind of buyer who greets the day with a breakfast meeting and closes it with a caipirinha.

“We cater to a downtown, design-oriented, play-hard work-hard fashion-savvy buyer,” says Mr. Freed, ostensibly describing himself, in his classically low-key way. (He has none of the flash and pomp you’d expect of the stereotypic deal-closer; he’s so understated and soft-spoken, you’d never imagine he’s basically been driving the area’s fashionable rebirth.)

Raised in Toronto’s Forest Hill (his father was a real estate lawyer; his mother, Hazel, now works as his personal assistant), Mr. Freed started in the business as a labourer, eventually making his way into developing subdivisions.

“The emphasis wasn’t on design,” he says of his professional beginnings. “I’m much happier in the city.” While he spent his 20s partying in various local (and defunct) quaffing grounds, he always loved the prospect of developing the (then-sketchy) area.

“I used to come to Rotterdam and 606 and the Mockingbird and always noticed all the beautiful buildings and how close they were to the downtown core,” he says. But at the time, the neighbourhood was decidedly less choice. “Everything changed when Barbara Hall rezoned the area, allowing for a mixture of commercial and residential use.”

A rebuke to those early design-deprived subdivision years, Mr. Freed’s current stable of properties place the emphasis aggressively on style. (His very own property is no exception. Living the brand, Mr. Freed occupies a spectacular, light-glossed 3,300-square-foot penthouse in his inaugural building, 66 Portland; his equally expansive 3,300-sq.-ft. terrace – all sunshine, loungers and streamlined swankery – looks like it might have been purloined from a boutique hotel in South Beach).

Also under the ever-growing Freed umbrella: the Philippe Starck-designed 75 Portland; 550 Wellington (an haute-glam Thompson Hotel) slated to open this December; the 17 penthouse lofts at 500 Wellington St. and Fashion House at King and Portland. He’s also behind Muskoka Bay, a billion-and-half-dollar development in cottage country.

Mr. Freed and I are sitting in the presentation centre of Fashion House (freeddevelopments.com), which is about as gleamingly, blindingly white as, say, Hollywood tooth enamel. Even more, well, fashionable will be the condo itself. Occupying a 160-year-old heritage building, the LEED-certified Fashion House (designed by Core Architects) will boast a 10th-floor infinity pool, with suites panelled in floor-to-ceiling windows.

But most noteworthy: In celebration of Canadian design, Mr. Freed has invited 12 Canadian fashion designers (a who’s who including Smythe, Jeremy Laing, Jay Godfrey, Greta Constantine, Joeffer Caoc, Mikheal Kale, Bustle and Wayne Clarke) to dress up the building’s common areas. Granted carte blanche, each designer will be assigned his own floor and a 200-sq.-ft. glassed-in wall space as a canvas.

Design darlings Andrea Lenczner and Christie Smythe of Smythe Vests – a five-year-old line of infallibly tailored and impossibly fetching jackets available at such retail dreamscapes as Holt Renfrew, Saks and Intermix – are planning to divine a giant fabric wall as their installation. When designing their collections, Ms. Lenczner and Ms. Smythe craft a sort of vibrant and tactile storyboard – a collage of swatches that serve as inspiration.

“They’re often so beautiful to look at and so colourful, we’re often a little sad to dismantle our fabric walls,” says Ms. Lenczner. “We like the idea of creating a bigger version for Fashion House. It’ll be a way of creating a time capsule of our design process.” For them, this will a second foray into the world of interior design; they designed wool-silk blend rugs for rug company Source UK, playing with the iconic image of a Greek key.

Shawn Hewson, who co-owns Bustle with his wife, Ruth Promislow (she’s a lawyer by day), is more secretive about his plans for Fashion House.

“We’re thinking of playing with the idea of vintage sport, which is very Bustle,” says Mr. Hewson. Their first collection (dubbed Cabana) was tennis-and-croquet inspired, and featured white seersucker suits (the kind of crisp Brideshead Revisited-style vestments that made you want to eat finger sandwiches). Vintage travel has also long been a source of sartorial inspiration. For their Steamer Trunk collection, Mr. Hewson unearthed old (and wildly inaccurate) world maps, using their images to line linen and cotton-twill blazers and trench coats.

“But in terms of translating that into something people want to look at every day, into something permanent, is a challenge,” he says, “but a fun one!” About the details, he remains mysterious. A stylish approach, that; mystery will never fall out of fashion.

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