More and more condo buyers have turned away from looking at conventional styles and are zeroing in on a more creative and imaginative space. One that will reflect their personality while suiting their needs, and this can be found in a “hard” loft, in Toronto.
Lofts originated in Paris during the mid 19th century as the workshop for artists, where high ceilings accommodated the over-sized paintings that were the norm of that time. The starving artists of SOHO, in New York found abandoned warehouse spaces to live and work in the early 1940’s and by the 1970’s, so many of these illegal spaces were being renovated and populated that the city had to rezone the area from commercial to allow for the residential element.
What is a Hard Loft?
If you’re looking for a “hard” loft in Toronto, it’s a building that was originally a vintage warehouse, factory or sometimes a church, and has been converted to residential use. They still have an edgy finish, usually with exposed original brick, wood posts, beams, floors, exposed ductwork and ceiling heights of over 10 feet high. Many will feature the original and dramatic large window styles that allow for lots of natural light, making this type of living so popular with artists. The most common style of these lofts will be completely open-concept, allowing for a creative design balancing old and new. A contemporary approach can be taken using the backdrop of a historic building against abstract art and furnishings, when decorating. Only some hard lofts will include the bedroom separated from the main area, sometimes on a different level.
Why do people love “Hard” Lofts?
There’s versatility in design that can’t be found in typical condo suites with defined rooms. Eclectic pieces can be combined with modern to create a personal statement against the vintage original elements in the loft. Creative types adore the originality and history contained within their suites. No cookie-cutter types living here!
Unique and original living space, usually not duplicated within the building.
Large windows with natural light
Open concept floor plans with few interior walls and easily adapted to living or workplace areas.
Coveted loft features include exposed brick, pipes, beams & posts along with high ceilings.
Some lofts include terraces, decks or roof-top gardens or at the very least a short walk to the nearest park.
Toronto's Loft Lifestyle
Hard lofts attract a certain type of buyer…unique and creative are some words to describe this loft dweller. They usually want easy access to urban nightlife, theatres, museums, galleries, eateries, cultural events, cafes, great shopping along with ethnic diversity.
If living in a hard loft defines the individual, words such as hip and cool would certainly be attached to the description. Most surrounding hoods are either already trendy or are on the cusp of gentrification.
Neighbourhoods such as Roncesvalles, Junction, High Park, King West, West Queen West and Liberty Village are just some to mention, with their unique shops, restaurants and boutiques, that are drawing Loft buyers to live here. Having that cafe down the street and fruit market is an essential part of living here. Public transportation is another important factor to accessibility along with Zip Cars for easy eco-friendly options.
Toronto's urban landscape includes local parks. Usually not too far from the lofts will be a green space for hanging out with the kids or walking the dog. It's all part of the lifestyle of living carefree in a hard loft!
Hard Lofts are condominiums, with monthly maintenance fees and common areas. Some hard lofts include elements of soft lofts, with newer areas added to the restored buildings.