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Hard Lofts in Toronto

Hard Lofts in Toronto

Exposed brick and ductwork,  skylights, soaring ceiling heights, original fir beams, wood ceilings and hardwood floors, big, roomy spaces and bespoke finishes.... Who wouldn't want to live in a hard loft in Toronto?!

Hard lofts in Toronto are extremely popular among clients looking for a unique space with history and character. Exclusivity and desirability go hand in hand — hard lofts are scarce in the condo market and as a result, very desirable. Hard loft buildings tend to be smaller and contain fewer units than most modern condos, further increasing their rarity. And as that wasn’t enough driving factors, they contain features that aren’t found in most condos.

You might be wondering, what is a HARD loft?

A hard loft is a former industrial space, factory, office or warehouse that has been converted into condos. Given their industrial past, they are usually constructed of concrete or feature “brick and beam” construction depending on their vintage roots. Here are some of my favourite buildings for hard lofts in Toronto.

Toy Factory Lofts

Toy Factory Lofts sits at 43 Hanna Avenue in Liberty Village. Believe it or not, it was named after its former tenant, the Irwin Toy Factory, which was founded in 1926 and is Canada’s oldest toy company.

The building was originally constructed in 1912 as a paper factory owned by Hinde and Dauch, Toronto’s largest paper manufacturers, it was sold to the Irwin family, who started one of Canada’s legendary toy companies in the building in 1940.

The Irwin Toy Factory became well-known for making some of the coolest toys around, including hula-hoops, Slinky, yo-yos, board games and action figures. The factory embraced its role as Canada’s leading toy factory for the next 50 years.

This former factory turned loft residence now houses 218 units. The bones of this turn-of-the-century factory are solid with steel beams, Douglas fir posts and brick walls where in some sections is several feet thick.

You know when you enter the lobby that this loft residence is well maintained and truly a showpiece of hard loft living. Ceilings inside are up to 17 feet in height and the lofts range from one bedroom to three bedrooms with large open-concept layouts, stunning hardwood floors and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Candy Factory Lofts

 

In the neighbourhood of Queen West, Candy Factory is one of the most sought-after hard lofts in Toronto. The Ce De Candy Co. was launched in 1949 after third-generation candy maker Edward Dee moved his family from England to New Jersey and secured the name Smarties for his candy wafer roll. Fun fact: the candy was later called Rockets to avoid confusion with Nestle’s colourful famous Smarties.

In 1963, Dee expanded to Canada, opening a second factory on Queen Street West in Toronto. The Candy Factory is a post and beam loft conversion with 121 units, ranging in size from 700 square-foot one-bedroom units to 3,500+ square-foot two-level penthouse suites. Most of the lofts are in the 1,000-1,600sf range. Some of the building features include real hardwood strip flooring, exposed brick, mezzanine bedrooms, fir columns and beams, wood ceilings, floating spiral duct work and granite counters. Many suites feature gas fireplaces and kitchens!

Tip Top Lofts

Tip Top Lofts is located on Lake Shore Boulevard West near Bathurst Street. This beautiful historic building was originally constructed in 1929 by Bishop & Miller, as a warehouse and office facility for the Toronto clothing retailer. Then, in 2005 the property was converted into 256 tastefully refinished Toronto lofts, named Tip Top Lofts.

The new residence features 8 floors with the classic hard loft styles on the lower floors, while the new upper floors host modern soft lofts. The Tip Top Tailor building is a historic property located near Toronto's Waterfront, certain units even have a wonderful view of the yacht club.

Argyle Lofts

Argyle Lofts was originally developed in 1873, at which time the famous baker, John Dempster, owed his first bakery and grocery store. In 1919, the building was taken over by the Ideal Bread Factory. The entire ground floor was used for shipping the thousands of loaves of bread produce daily.

Argyle Lofts was converted in 2007 and contains 86 units, ranging from 485 to 1800 square feet. Some of the hard loft features include exposed brick, 12 to 16.5 ft ceilings, and two-storey lofts with wide-open plans. With only 86 Toronto lofts in the entire building, and a consequently low turnover rate, not just anyone gets to live at the Argyle Lofts.

Massey Harris Lofts

Located on the south side of King Street West near Strachan Avenue, Massey Harris Lofts is a 5-storey redbrick building. Converted in 2003 from the 19th century head office of Massey Harris farm equipment company, the heritage styled building now offers 45 Toronto lofts ranging in size from bachelor to two-bedrooms, with select soft loft penthouse suites on the contemporary rooftop addition.

The building features 100+ year old original brick walls and wood post & beams. First floor units on the West side of the building have private sunken terraces looking out at Massey Park. The penthouse units are an extension above the original structure that feature private rooftop terraces.

On the inside you will find charming finishes such as exposed redbrick, 12-foot ceilings, wood and glass-railed staircases, large office-style windows, and upgraded bathrooms. Massey Harris Lofts keeps maintenance fees relatively low with limited amenities.

Broadview Lofts

Located on the East side of the city, Broadview Lofts sit on the grounds of old Sunlight Park, which was the first baseball stadium in Toronto. The all wood structure and park were initially known as the Toronto Baseball Grounds, built in 1886.

The actual building that houses Broadview Lofts was built in 1914, and served as a Rexall Pharmacy warehouse and distribution centre for many years. The property was revitalized in the early 2000’s by adding two additional storeys made of glass and steel to tie into the warehouse windows that remain intact in the original four storey warehouse.


From value to style to authenticity, hard lofts are unmatched in the condo market. Hard lofts will always be hot commodities in the Toronto Real Estate market. If you’re a first-time buyer looking for a uniqueq space, or an investor looking to add something unique to your portfolio, lofts at these buildings, or many others around Toronto would be a solid investment. 

If you are considering the purchase of a hard loft, make sure to work with a qualified real estate agent to ensure proper research is done on the building's noise transfer, amenities, insulation, outdoor space, etc. 

I hope you found this information useful! As a realtor specializing in the Liberty Village and Toronto real estate market, I am here to help guide you through the entire buying or selling process. Grab a copy of my FREE Toronto guide by reaching out to me on the Contact page or on my social media. I look forward to speaking with you!