HOME OF THE WEEK 21 NASSAU ST., UNIT 407
Asking price: $659,000
Size: 1,300 square feet, plus rooftop deck
Taxes: $3,206.79 (2013)
Agent: Paul Johnston, Salesperson, Right at Home Realty Inc., Brokerage
It was the ceiling height that first captured Anne Creaser’s attention.
This was back around 2001 when the Kensington Market Lofts had just been built. Ms. Creaser strode through the doors, and with the light streaming into the penthouse suite, illuminating the 141/2-foot-high space, she felt an instant connection.
“There is just something about the volume of the space,” she said. “When you walk in, every time, you get a spa-like feel of stress melting away.”
The back story
The Kensington Market Lofts building on Nassau Street is in the heart of Kensington market. It’s set back enough from Spadina Avenue that the busy hum of the street is dampened. Ms. Creaser’s unit faces southwest, further reducing any intruding downtown noise.
It’s also very bright; A wall of windows to the south and west means it gets both the midday and late afternoon sunshine, even in the winter.
“With some conversion buildings, they can be quite dark … and like tunnels – they’re long and narrow,” said Paul Johnston, from Right at Home Realty Inc. “People crave natural light and to be unobstructed on the top floor with west light, south light is as good as it gets.”
Twenty-one Nassau was a school in the 1920s and then a campus of George Brown College. In 1999, the building and its back-door neighbour at 160 Baldwin St. were converted into lofts by Context Development Inc., the same group that did the Tip Top Tailor and Loretto Abbey conversions.
According to Ms. Creaser, the demographics of the building are mixed, much like the neighbourhood, but most residents are creative professionals; architects, university professors or doctors.
It’s also full of people who appreciate being in the heart of one of Toronto’s most famed marketplaces. Kensington is known for its vast selection of produce, meats and cheese, as well as hip hangouts and quaint coffee shops.
“Living right in a food market is a pretty extraordinary thing,” said Ms. Creaser. “Getting up in the morning and getting fresh eggs, fresh bacon for breakfast – that’s a real treat.”
Since moving in, Ms. Creaser also made the loft her own with a series of renovations. Over time she added new maple floors, custom cabinetry, upgraded her taps, sinks, dryer and washer and added additional washroom facilities on the upper sleeping area.
The biggest change, however, was to the kitchen. The original kitchen was “nothing to write home about,” said Mr. Johnston. But Ms. Creaser changed that.
Inspired by the artistic ethos of the building, she invested in a custom Scavolini, fire-engine red kitchen, with a matching dining island. She also purchased high-end Miele appliances.
“I’d describe the kitchen as very modern and playful,” she said. “I went with red because the appliances are steel. Steel is very cold and the red really sets it off.”
Beyond making the kitchen beautiful, Ms. Creaser also made it practical.
“When everything is in the right spot, it affects the amount of time that you’ll cook,” said Ms. Creaser. “If you’ve got a pleasant space, you’ll use it.”
While her kitchen is her favourite renovated space, Ms. Creaser and Mr. Johnston both agree that the crown jewel of Unit 407 is the super-sized rooftop deck that is bathed in sunlight. As such, it was ideal for gardening and Ms. Creaser took advantage of that, using it to grow her own lettuce, tomatoes and herbs.
Beyond some massive planters, the deck also has a water connection and a brand new Azek deck that Ms. Creaser installed, meaning the future owners won’t have to worry about rotten wood ever again.
“The rooftop really sets this unit apart from anything else in the building,” said Mr. Johnston. “To have that kind of square footage with the ideal exposure in the heart of the market is ultra-rare.”
And Ms. Creaser says that’s what makes leaving her loft so difficult.
“I’ve come to realize how fortunate I’ve been. It’s so quiet up there and I love listening to the birds,” she said. “I really loved this loft.”
The loft sold last week for the asking price.