UNION LOFTS, THE JUNCTION, TORONTO
DEVELOPERS Windmill Development Group, Cornerstone Lofts Ltd., One Development
SIZE 550 to 1,200 square feet
PRICE $300,000s to $629,900
SALES CENTRE 243 Perth Ave., north of Bloor Street. Open weekends from noon to 5 p.m.
CONTACT Phone 416-929-5264 ext. 203 or visit unionlofts.ca
A century ago, Perth Avenue Methodist Church was a landmark destination where religious followers would gather for decades to follow.
Though the congregation has grown and moved on, a trio of developers found a different crowd to worship the space as a new loft conversion project in the Junction.
“There’s a very strong demand for these older buildings because the spaces are unique and the building itself is beautiful with all this wonderful history,” says Alex Speigel, a partner at Windmill Development Group, which is co-developing Union Lofts with Cornerstone Lofts Ltd. and One Development.
“Fifty per cent is sold, which we’re really happy with and we’re set to start construction in August.”
Part of the project’s popularity also lies in the rarity of loft conversions in the area, much less modern, eco-friendly ones like this with 40 lofts within a Neo-Gothic style church and a four-storey addition to the north designed by Caricari Lee Architects.
“It’s a melding of many things: the union of old and new; and it’s the union of historical, cultural things with environmental things; and the union of an existing neighbourhood with a new development,” Mr. Speigel explains.
“Historically, it’s a very blue-collar neighbourhood where a lot of people worked in the factories that used to be there, so [Union Lofts] is a name that works on many different levels.”
Situated at the northeast corner of Perth and Wallace avenues, the heritage building’s red brick exterior will be preserved and a concrete and steel wing – called the Vestry – constructed to the north to house loft-style suites.
“There are all kinds of unique conditions – units in the turrets and units in the arches – so there’s a huge range of floor plans,” Mr. Speigel notes.
“In the Vestry building … the floor plans are more standardized and rectangular.”
Plans generally offer open layouts with nine-foot ceilings, one or two bedrooms with optional dens and staircases with hardwood treads and glass railings in the case of two-storey units.
Soft lofts will feature floor-to-ceiling windows, while hard lofts retain original openings outfitted with upgraded windows and private patios, terraces and balconies where possible.
“Units on the ground floor have terraces, which are accessible from the street,” says Mr. Speigel.
“And some units in the church that happen to be located where there is an existing door will have their own front door through a beautiful Gothic arch.”
Kantelberg Design devised three interior finishing packages with different colour schemes, complete with FSC-certificated white oak plank wood floors, custom Scavolini kitchen cabinetry, island and Caesarstone counters.
This project will also strive to earn the highest green certification with Energy Star appliances, energy recovery ventilators and high-efficiency, geothermal heating and cooling systems, among other things.
“All our Windmill projects to date are all LEED Platinum, which is a significant achievement,” states Mr. Speigel, who added buyers will enjoy long-term health and monetary benefits of going green. “It’s actually a luxury feature.”
Monthly fees will likely be more than 50 cents a square foot given the absence of recreation facilities on site, which is steps from a park, West Toronto Railpath and Bloor Street shops, businesses, TTC and GO Train stations.
“It’s a very stable neighbourhood, but one that’s gentrifying, which has strong appeal,” says Mr. Speigel. “It’s a quiet residential neighbourhood, so it’s not like living on a main street or downtown.”
There will be lockers and bicycle storage, as well as a limited number of parking spaces for $25,000.
Move-in dates are slated for November, 2014.