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Toronto Loft Conversions

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Modern Toronto Lofts

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Unique Toronto Homes

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Condos in Toronto

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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.

 

Tag Archives: urban renewal

Liberty Village highlights poor planning

Christopher Hume – Yourhome.ca

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t is the best of neighbourhoods; it is the worst of neighbourhoods. Despite its successes, Liberty Village illustrates everything that’s wrong with planning in Toronto.

The former industrial district, which then became a favoured area for artist studios, is now being gentrified at a fast and furious rate. Although some of the individual projects are excellent, the city has failed to ensure that they add up to a genuine neighbourhood.

 

King Street West

King Street West

Wandering the streets of Liberty Village, one is saddened to encounter one huge parking lot after another; they suck the life out of the precinct and give that hardscrabble look you might expect in an industrial park.

Speaking of parks, there is virtually no green space anywhere here; perhaps the city should finally grapple with the issue of Lamport Stadium, which is so rarely used it could easily be demolished to make way for a park.

But to add insult to injury, one of the Liberty Village developers has built a strip mall in the area. What can be said about such rank stupidity? In the 21st century there’s no excuse; why the city would let it happen is beyond comprehension. To make matters worse, the mall sits beside a one-storey Dominion that could be anywhere, let alone in a downtown neighbourhood. So what chance does Liberty Village have in the face of such ignorance and thoughtlessness on the part of the city and developers?

Sad to say, but it’s already clear that Liberty Village will never become the neighbourhood some hoped for. And what could have been a model of urban renewal has instead been turned into a bit of a mishmash, nothing that need be taken seriously.

On the other hand, there are wonderful examples of warehouses and factories that have found new life as residential lofts and commercial buildings.

None rates as an architectural masterpiece, but recycling these old structures ensures a level of integrity and sustainability vital in an age of global warming. Certainly these former industrial buildings stand head and shoulders above their modern counterparts, which in Liberty Village tend to be even worse than the usual.

Though there are instances of excellence in Liberty Village, it’s becoming an example of how out-of-control developers are laying waste to the now-desirable inner city. Is it any wonder the development industry is so widely mistrusted? Toronto desperately needs tougher planning rules before the damage is irreversible. Civic propaganda would have us believe Liberty Village is a shining example of urban vitality; if that’s true, for the most part it’s in spite of what has been allowed to happen here.

 

Liberty Village

Aerial view of Liberty Village

Condo Critic – TOY FACTORY LOFTS, 43 HANNA AVENUE

This is it, a spectacular case of an undistinguished industrial heap being transformed into a thoroughly urban residential/commercial, live/work loft complex. Everything about this loft conversion project makes sense and is well done. Old and new are seamlessly integrated. Even when the landscaping was unfinished and much of the building is still under construction, it already feels right. There’s none of that ersatz architectural detailing that make so many new lofts a bad joke. The Toy Factory Lofts has a robustness and unpretentiousness that are refreshing, even bracing. The designers have not tried to hide the fact this was once a factory. The result is a Toronto loft building that’s honest, compelling and successful.

Grade: A

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

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto Realtor with Century 21 Regal Realty. He did not
write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who are
interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.

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