The Place: A one-bedroom unit on the second floor of the historic Victoria Lofts, a 19th-century church turned condo building in the Junction. We featured another unit in the building back in 2012.
In a city where space is at a premium, tiny condos are the new family home. Learning to survive in 700 square feet
Shannon Bury was 27, with a marketing job in the 905 and her own condo in Burlington, when the big city came to fetch her. The company she worked for was acquired by a larger firm, Pareto Marketing, which moved her job to Toronto. She moved along with it and traded up, selling her place in Burlington and buying a 607-square-foot, one-bedroom-plus-den unit in Charlie, a 36-storey tower proposed for Charlotte Street near King and Spadina. She got the unit pre-construction for less than $300,000, which was a steal, because really she’d purchased much more than space: she bought the dream Toronto and its developers have been selling throughout this decade-long boom. She was single in the city, blonde and svelte, with a well-paying career-track job and, soon, a condo on the edge of clubland. Toronto would be at her feet and at her service. It was the spring of 2008.
Then she met a guy. A great guy, Paul LeBrun, a Winnipeg native who’d landed in Toronto with a Bay Street securities job. They met at a mutual friend’s condo in February 2010, at a party to watch the Vancouver Olympics men’s gold medal hockey game. (The running joke among their friends is that Paul still doesn’t know who won; he was too busy wooing Shannon.) Before long they were living together at Yonge and St. Clair, with an eye to moving into her condo later that year, once it was finished. But the construction fell behind schedule, and their life together began to outpace the cranes. They got married in the summer of 2012, and when they moved into Charlie that November, they were already planning their family. “We figured it would take eight months or so to get pregnant,” she says. “Then there’d be nine months of pregnancy, so we’d have time to enjoy condo life before the baby arrived.” She conceived by Christmas.
The Property: Unit 120 in the Tip Top Lofts building spans three levels, but comes with the singular drawback of having only one unwalled bedroom on the second storey—a sticking point for buyers. The space sports raw details like concrete flooring, iron hand rails, exposed cinder-block walls and a (thankfully, sealed) elevator shaft in the dining area. It’s also the only loft at Tip Top to have direct access to its two underground parking spaces, via a lower-level exit.
Condo of the Week: $760,000 for a two-level loft in Moss Park with a spiral staircase and a trap door
The Place: A two-storey live/work space in the Evening Telegram Lofts. The unit has its own private rooftop terrace and two entrances and exits: one in the master bedroom on the ground floor, and another in the dining room on the upper level.
—The number of homes sold in the GTA in May 2014, according to new data released by the Toronto Real Estate Board. That’s a new record for the month, despite the fact that the number of sale listings was almost nine per cent lower than it was in May 2013.
House of the Week: $2.4 million for a High Park home previously owned by the editor of Good Housekeeping
The Place: A recently renovated century home in High Park, loaded with original details.
The Place: Built in 2012, this massive, 6-acre compound on Lake Rosseau has 490 feet of south-facing shoreline, 5 bedrooms, 6 washrooms and a three-slip boathouse.
The Property: This three-storey home avoids most of the drawbacks of townhouse living with a location in a tight-knit community, end-unit positioning, three parking spots and freehold status (meaning, no condo fees). Six visitor parking spots are shared between 56 West Avenue and the other eight units in its private cul-de-sac complex. Plus, the home itself has been extensively renovated. It has a finished basement, and a walk-out deck on each level. One of these is located on the roof, where it provides a private retreat for the adjacent master bedroom.
The Metro Theatre, near Bloor and Christie, closed late last year, ending its 35-year run as Toronto’s most prominent (and eventually, last remaining) porno theatre. Its co-owner, Karim Hirji, had been trying to sell it for years, and had listed the building for $3.59 million as recently as 2011. Now we know it ultimately didn’t fetch quite that price.
Anyone with a significant amount of money to spare could become the owner of a Toronto landmark, because, as the Globe reports, the Royal York Hotel is up for sale. Its owner, Quebec’s public-pension manager, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, is exiting the hospitality business. In addition to the 85-year-old Royal York, the Caisse is unloading the Hotel Vancouver.
There are a couple things people wanting to jump-start their historic-hotel collections should know, though. For one, the reason the Caisse is selling the hotel is that hospitality is considered a relatively risky business, at least compared to other types of real-estate ventures. Also, it may not be possible for the new owner to slap his or her name on the facade immediately. Fairmont holds a long-term operating contract.
99 Sudbury, the former glass factory just east of the train tracks near Queen and Dufferin, has a weird history. In the past decade or so, it has housed an after-hours club, a film studio, an art gallery, an oyster bar and an MMA school. This year, the multi-purpose event space began hosting the Toronto Underground Market. Now, it looks like another change is in the works, and this one’s a biggie. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
The new Fort York library, which will have its official ribbon-cutting on Thursday, will be Toronto Public Library’s 99th branch. (It would have been the 100th, had the city not shut down the Urban Affairs Library during 2011’s initial rush of Ford-induced budget panic.) Aside from being just generally good-looking, the KPMB Architects–designed building adds 16,000 square feet of community space to a burgeoning condo district whose residents have, until now, needed to walk a couple kilometers up Bathurst Street in order to get their library fix.
Appropriately, construction was funded with a combination of development charges and Section 37 money, meaning the bills were paid by some of the very same developers that filled the neighbourhood with new residents in the first place. The library is even located right at the base of one of those new residential towers, the Library District Condos, for which the long-anticipated opening of the branch has been a selling point. As amenities go, a brand-new, $9.2-million learning space is potentially a hell of a lot better than a party room.
Click through the gallery for a sneak peek at the interior. The new Fort York library will open to the public after a 10 a.m. ceremony on May 29.