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Toronto's West End Conversion From Stamp Factory to The Wallace Station Lofts!

April 15, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 117

Since the mid 90's when zoning by-laws in Toronto changed and began to allow for the conversion of older buildings into residential units, Condo buyers have been snapping up these unique lofts and in many cases paying a premium.

Older factories, warehouses, vacant office buildings and churches are being revamped and adapted into creative conversions. These vintage buildings have their own history and today's loft buyers are more interested than ever in the balance of old and new. They don't mind paying extra for the old post-and-beam construction that combines the backdrop of a historic building along with modern design and materials. The drama of enormous industrial windows and high ceilings can dominate the interior to blend with hip and contemporary clean lines of fixtures and accessories. Creative and chic loft owners are the furthest away from being cookie-cutter types and lean towards "original" styled living.

Artists have been gravitating towards empty warehouse spaces to live/work for years, drawn to their incredible space, high ceilings and nonconformist appeal along with cheap rent. This became a double-edged sword as these buildings and areas became trendy and hip with the influx of this creative community of tenants ranging from artists, writers to film makers, who first helped create the appeal then were forced out when these properties became sold to developers.

The concept of "shell housing" came after the First World War, which enabled the dream of home ownership to come alive. The shell home was finished on the outside and allowed the buyer to finish the interior to their own specifications and budget. The same concept holds true for some of the loft conversions today. A few of the developments have incorporated having a number of suites available as being sold as a shell, allowing for the owners to finish the interiors themselves. This is especially appealing to artistic types who can envision the space to fit their taste and needs.

An intimate and unique loft conversion found in Toronto's west end is the Wallace Station Lofts. It originated as a 70+ year old Canadian Glue stamp factory, along with its four coach houses and was named after a nearby train station that no longer exists today. When this building was first converted into lofts, five of the suites were marketed to the public as shell housing, allowing the original buyers to design their own interiors.

This art deco styled brick building shares an industrial cool design that is appealing to condo and loft buyers looking for unique and character in their home choice.

Like many of the authentic loft conversions found in Toronto, this building features high post and beam ceilings, exposed brick walls, wood plank and concrete flooring, exposed ductwork, sliding barn doors along with the original freight elevator. Oversized windows bring in natural light and showcase the funky industrial vibe of the lofts. The building's 38 suites are all unique in design with impressive architectural features, ranging in size from 625 to 1,869 square feet with one and two level floorplans. Many of the lofts have Juliette balconies, large rooftop gardens or terraces for outdoor space. Each suite comes with a security system and parking is inside an attractive gated area alongside the building. Wallace Station Lofts in the past year have been selling from $354,000 to $775,000 depending on size.

The Wallace Station Lofts are found in the Dovercourt-Wallace Emerson Junction area, just east of Dundas Street West and Bloor Street. This up and coming artsy-hip area is only a five minute walk to the subway on the Bloor-Danforth line. Leaving your car behind, couldn't be easier than when you're living in the hub of the city, with public transportation practically on your door-step. This amazing location is also home to the Bloor GO Station with Metrolinx plans for a route from Union Station to Pearson International Airport, stopping at the Bloor and Weston stations. Shopping, gallery and café hopping is easy from here. Drop into some of the fabulous design stores and organic eateries found in the Junction with Dundas Street West becoming another great location for strolling amongst some really cool and edgy shops.

Roncesvalles is becoming known for its new breed of restaurants and bars attracting the downtown foodie crowd. Cafés and art galleries found in Bloordale Village, are only a stroll away. Also nearby is found High Park, which is Toronto's largest with nature trails and winding paths, sporting venues from baseball to tennis, an outdoor Theatre, beautiful ornamental gardens, playgrounds, farmer's market, Restaurant and off-leash area for dogs.

Another neat element to this area is the proximity to the "West Toronto Railpath", a perfect example of an urban rails-to-trails project. This incredible multi-use pathway is found along the rail corridor and has been transformed into a public asphalt trail, ideal for pedestrians, cyclists and in-line skaters with Phase 1 starting at Cariboo Avenue to Dundas Street West and Sterling Rd. The entire pathway is a combination of artsy-urban cool combining wild plants, birds, butterflies, restored historical rail bridges and out-door art installations. Local residents are taking advantage of this incredible space that winds through an urban landscape and invites the city dweller to take in their surroundings and marvel at their incredible city. The Wallace Station Lofts offer both a unique living space in an authentic conversion and a hip area to live in for both families and singles alike to enjoy!

April Esteves is a Sales Representative for Royal LePage Real Estate Svcs. in Toronto's west end, helping her clients with their Real Estate needs since 1988. Visit her website at for Real Estate Stats, Listings, Condo & Lofts and neighbourhood information.

Source: EzineArticles
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April Esteves

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