Living in Toronto means you’ve got access to the most authentic selection of lofts in this city. But what are the lofts? And what makes them different from condos?
Toronto Lofts are single units that can be one- or multi-storied structures. The street floor in most of the Toronto lofts is occupied by local businesses. It seems the word ‘loft’ comes from the old word ‘lopt’ which means the upper chamber. For those who are not obsessed with living in modern shiny high-rise towers of Downtown Toronto, there are tons of Toronto lofts for rent and sale available in the Toronto real estate market. This article tries to introduce you to the features and beauties of Toronto Lofts.
What are the lofts exactly?
Lofts are generally known as flowing open-concept floor plans which have adaptable and flexible layouts that can be easily converted. The main features of lofts can be found in their high ceilings with tons of natural light, exposed fixtures and a lack of interior walls. These are the main reasons for the high appeal of the loft lifestyle. Most of these popular Toronto lofts are located in old Toronto. A high concentration of lofts can be found in industrial areas because these lofts are in fact adapted industrial structures. The question is what is the difference between the lofts and condos?
Lofts vs. Condos
The condos are private residential units surrounded by commonly-owned areas. However, the lofts are a large and flexible space that has been converted into residential units mostly found in urban settings. Condos and lofts are different in size and layouts, location, functionality and price. For example, there are studio size condos that are small units, but lofts are large, open and airy. Unlike condos which have specified spaces divided by walls, lofts typically have no interior walls.
Besides, Toronto condo owners are free to make any change they want inside their condos. Toronto Loft owners need the building regulations completion certificate before making any change. Otherwise, the owner and their Toronto real estate agent cannot market the loft conversion when they want to sell their loft.
The important tip is that there are two types of lofts in Toronto: the hard lofts and the soft lofts. But what is the difference between these two types of lofts?
Hard vs. Soft Lofts
You can choose one of the two types of hard or soft lofts to rent or buy in Toronto based on their features and your personal preferences for living in.
Hard lofts are exactly those historical lofts with concrete or red brick walls and oversized windows which everyone imagines in mind. Hard lofts were mostly old warehouses or factories converted into living spaces. They have a unique interior space filled with history and character and most of them have a nickname. You can still find traces of its history in the original posts, beams, floors and hard edges. There are even some of the old churches and schools being converted as part of neighborhood revivals.
On the other hand, the soft lofts are constructed as residential buildings designed with loft-style features. So, they are newly built structures that recreate the high cement ceilings, large windows and brickwork as hard lofts. As a result, despite the hard lofts which are former industrial buildings, soft lofts are originally designed to be lived in. Due to all the conversions on the hard lofts, they have higher prices compared to newly constructed soft lofts.
Toronto Lofts Amenities
Since Toronto hard lofts have no concierge and fewer amenities than same-size condos, their maintenance fees are lower. However, Toronto soft lofts feature more modern finishes. For example, they are more energy efficient than old hard lofts. But the beautiful distinction of hard lofts is that the bones of such historic buildings have served in both industrial and residential concepts.
There is a list of the best lofts in Toronto available for rent and buy. Some of the most popular ones include:
- The Merchandise Building is located at Dalhousie St, which was once Simpson Sears’ store warehouse. Now it has 526 units, in 11 stories with amazing amenities and a stunning rooftop terrace offering a unique view of the downtown skyline.
- The Candy Factory Lofts is located in Toronto’s Queen St West neighborhood, which was once the home of the Ce De Candy company. Now it has 121 hard lofts in a six-story post and beam building. These lofts have 12-14 ft ceilings and beautiful sandblasted exposed brick walls.
- The Chocolate Company Lofts is located in Trinity Bellwoods neighborhood, which was once the Patterson Candy Company’s factory. These days, this lovely 6-story building hosts 146 hard lofts designed with 12-foot ceiling heights, original wooden or steel posts and beams.
- Another interesting one is Massey Harris Lofts located in Toronto’s Distillery District neighborhood. This 5-story redbrick building was once the head office of Massey Harris farm equipment company. The +100 years old Massey Harris now offers 45 Toronto lofts and penthouse units. The private sunken terraces of this building have a beautiful view of Massey Park.
If you are interested in renting or buying Toronto lofts, you better know that hard lofts don’t come on the market very often. So, in case you are looking for the best option or you have any questions about available lofts, it is recommended to find a professional Toronto real estate agent to help you find your perfect Toronto loft.