Thanks to its industrial past, Toronto is rife with stunning converted lofts — here’s a few we’ve seen and loved.
Hard lofts are an integral part of Toronto’s architecture — and in the past few decades, many underused loft buildings have been converted into residential spaces (thankfully, as Toronto is still seeing a housing shortage). Over the years, we’ve profiled some of our favourite loft renos that turned cold, unforgiving concrete architecture into airy, bright and comfortable living spaces.
Tura Cousins Wilson infused a functional philosophy into this loft, keeping his interventions to a considered, purposeful minimum. After deciding to keep the kitchen as is, he picked a simple, unfussy but highly textured palette – concrete-look porcelain and light woods, as in the storage unit under the stairs, and the white oak guardrail that turned the once barely there banister into a sculpture. He enclosed the mezzanine with a wall of glass and broke the master bedroom into two, giving homeowner Omar a now much-used home office–slash–guest room, as well as two upper bathrooms.
Some spaces are deceptively large. You just need the right tools to unlock them. For owners Anahita Azrahimi and Diederik van Liere, that meant a radical rethink of their 106-square-metre loft on the east side of Roncesvalles. “It’s not a small space, but it felt small because you couldn’t live efficiently,” Azrahimi says. This renovation by Creative Union Network changed that.
“I’m always happy to experiment on myself,” says architect Tamira Sawatzky, describing the 140-square-metre open-plan industrial loft she shares with her wife and business partner, filmmaker Elle Flanders (the two run Public Studio, an art and architecture practice).
When entrepreneur Andrew Peek and interior designer Stefanie Koerner – then affiancéd – bought their Candy Factory loft conversion in 2018, they loved its sky-high, wood-planked ceilings and rough-hewn columns and beams. However, they didn’t love the corner unit’s seemingly inverted layout or its Arizona-inspired decor. Studio AC‘s renovation unscrambled the plan of their “terracotta pot” apartment and turn it into a serene, bright urban escape.
One way to gauge the success of a client-architect relationship is to ask either party if they remain friends post-project. As testament to a job impeccably done, partners Shaun Moore and Todd Caldwell speak almost daily with Tamira Sawatzky, the architect of their 185-square-metre hard loft on Geary Avenue, and frequently have dinner with her and her wife, filmmaker Elle Flanders, who also live across the hall in their own version of the loft (see above).
As one half of the design duo Brothers Dressler, who are known for their zero-waste furniture lines, Jason Dressler has infused his own West End loft on Campbell Avenue with sustainability. The building, which also houses an industrial dry cleaner and art gallery Georgia Scherman Projects, is completely unpretentious and effortlessly blends artistic with factory-rough elements.
A young family of three was looking not only to renovate their 106-square-metre, two-bedroom loft (Pape Loft) in the city’s east end, but also to change up their lifestyle. “I started to learn more about minimalism and to think this would be a better fit for us,” says homeowner Corina Chevalier. They gave StudioAC carte blanche to renovate their unit, turning into a serene haven without any clutter.
For more loft interiors, check out Get Inspired.