90 SUMACH ST., UNIT 319, TORONTO
ASKING PRICE: $619,000
TAXES: $3,296.28 (2013)
MONTHLY MAINTENANCE FEE: $510
AGENTS: Sheila Gallagher and Tiffany Sly, Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd.
The back story
Last year, the Corktown building known as "Brewery Lofts" was rechristened "Lofts at 90 Sumach." The name change makes sense, says owner Daniel Langer-Hack, since the seven-storey building was never really a brewery at all. The hard lofts were created in the late 1990s from the conversion of a 1950s warehouse. For decades, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. used the building for studios, rehearsal space and storing props.
The brewery name dates back to the 1800s, when the Dominion Hotel opened on Queen Street East in 1889, serving ales and lagers from the attached brewery. Those buildings have largely been converted to other uses, but the nearby Dominion on Queen still operates as a beer parlour.
Ninety Sumach today reflects that Corktown heritage with its massive pillars, exposed pipes and slightly industrial hallways. Reminders of the CBC's design days still exist in the massive windows, and the many members of the arts and creative communities who occupy the live-work lofts.
Daniel Langer-Hack, who purchased unit 319 in 2009, works in advertising. His fiancée, Karen Cleveland, is a writer.
Real estate agent Tiffany Sly of Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd. says the building is one of the few true hard-loft conversions in Corktown. The common rooftop terrace gives residents access to the outdoors and views toward downtown Toronto.
She points out that the surrounding area is rapidly being transformed, with Regent Park, the Distillery District, Leslieville, River City, West Don Lands and St. Lawrence Market all nearby.
"You're in the middle of all those areas. It's amazing," Ms. Sly said. "You can walk to St. Lawrence Market."
The unit today
Mr. Langer-Hack wanted to create more defined spaces in the 1,145-square-foot loft, which was almost entirely open-concept when he bought it.
The previous owners had used two antique armoires as room dividers, but Mr. Langer-Hack decided to create a bedroom by raising it a half-level higher than the main floor and enclosing it with half-walls. The change also allowed him to create an entryway and add lots of storage, he says.
The floors throughout the loft are polished concrete, but Mr. Langer-Hack used oak hardwood for the stairs and bedroom to further break up the space and create warmth underfoot.
The bathroom, which had been "tired and dark," was updated with new tiles, a large mirror and a marble-topped vanity.
The main space has windows that take up most of the north-facing wall. The ceiling is 14 feet high.
Mr. Langer-Hack rebuilt the kitchen with new cabinets, an under-counter wine fridge, a breakfast bar and granite countertops. Mr. Langer-Hack and Ms. Cleveland both like to cook, he says, so the improved layout and counterspace make it much easier for them to work together.
The best feature
Mr. Langer-Hack enjoys the combined kitchen, dining area and living room. The space is flooded with light during the day and offers a great open layout for entertaining in the evening, he says.
A tall bookshelf in the living area has a rolling ladder. The dining area allows for a table long enough to accommodate a large group, he adds.
"I love the north exposure because you get indirect light all day."