A Fresh Factory Redux In The Historic Art Deco Forest Hill Lofts

offered at $599,000

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For those seeking the trifecta of historic architectural merit, fresh contemporary styling, and proximity to green space in the centre of the city, this vintage concrete ‘n cool loft in the converted Art Deco Coats And Paton Yarn Mill on Roselawn Avenue is your quintessential solution for an idyllic urban life. Satisfying most every Buyer’s search for value, light and space – which in this unique combination will serve to elevate your quality of life – this dreamy sanctuary nestled along the greenspace of Toronto’s storied Beltline Trail presents a truly rare opportunity.

Welcome to 1001 Roselawn Avenue, Loft 435, offered at $599,000!

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The Forest Hill Lofts at 1001 Roselawn Avenue are handsomely situated in Fairbank, a neighbourhood which stands out for its laid back, authentic old world charmThis charm is neatly punctuated with original and newly built houses, steep and rolling tree-lined streetscapes, hilltop vistas with quaintly and neatly-tended front decks and yards. It is also within easy access to all the conveniences and amenities one desires for modern urban living.


The Neighbourhood Setting

This neighbourhood demonstrates generational evolution, with multiple layers of history building to its current state. There are long-established multi-cultural influences prevalent every where you look. There are Filipino grocers, Portuguese churrasqueiras and eateries serving jerk chicken along the main commercial strip. Grey-haired gentlemen congregate in the area’s Italian and Portuguese red, white and green–clad cafes, millenial mons push their strollers to the local park, while young professionals ride their bikes to the Financial District. Stretching beyond the borders of the neighbourhood, Eglinton West between Allen Road and Keele has been dubbed “Little Jamaica” for its high concentration of Caribbean take-out spots and barbershops. Looking for a quick boost of espresso to fuel your afternoon? Give Hunter Coffee a try at 423 Vaughan Road. Want to head out for drinks on date night? Bellwoods Brewery has opened itss second brewery location at nearby 20 Hafis Avenue, featuring an array of tasty offerings in its new bottle shop and tasting room. Italian restaurant Speducci Mercatto in the west-end Castlefield Design District has solidified its reputation as a quality spot whether you’re in the mood for eat-in (their cafe is fully licensed) or take-out, and they have a brilliant catering menu which features much in the way of authentic italian deliciousness.

Love design? This location is perfect for you.If your life includes staying on trend with everything housing and home, this loft is a hop, skip and a jump to the Design District. If you’re looking to infuse your new living space – or guide others in their quest for a styish decor – then the amazing collection of design shops in the Castlefield Design District is the go-to destination – being home to Ginger’s, Elte Market, Sescolite and Union Lighting stores – as well as the ArtShoppe for their remarkable array of modern furnishings. For those longing for vintage yester-year finds, give Metropolis Living a try – we adore! And if all that window shopping has resulted in you working up an appetite, stop in to long established Commisso Bros eatery for a traditional veal sandwich made on their freshly homemade bread and rub shoulders with the local contractor community – it’s been their regular lunch stop for decades!

Who doesn’t love an afternoon in a great park? Along the south border of the property is Walter Saunders Memorial Park which features bike trails, an outdoor basketball court and a splash pad – perfect for the kids! And for those who love to have close access to nature, the Beltline Trail which also borders the property to the south – is a 9 km cycling and walking rail trail situated right at your doorstep. The Beltline consists of three sections – the York Beltline Trail west of Allen Road, the Kay Gardner Beltline Park from the Allen to Mount Pleasant Road, and the Ravine Beltline Trail south of Mount Pleasant Cemetery through the Moore Park Ravine. Built on the former right-of-way of the Toronto Belt Line Railway, this linear park passes through the neighbourhoods of Rosedale, Moore Park, Forest Hill, Chaplin Estates, and Fairbank. A little further south, situated on Dufferin Street just south of  Eglinton Avenue is Fairbank Park, a 3.5 hectare park which features a lit baseball diamond, five bocce ball courts, a basketball court, a children’s playground and two outdoor pools, all at the same location as the Fairbank Memorial Community Recreation Centre.

Have you chosen to lead a car-free existence? For those occasions where wheels prove to be a necessity, there’s an Autoshare location on Vaughan Road, just a ten minute walk away and there’s an Enterprise Car Rental spot at Dufferin and Glencairn, also a short stroll – perfect for those longer trips. Plus, the Eglinton West Subway and Bus options are all within an easy walk.

Is the need for a quality public school required now, or in your future? Even if not on the immediate horizon, proximity to well-regarded public schools will go far to preserve and boost the asset value of this property. 1001 Roselawn Avenue is a short stroll to Fairbank Public School for JK to 8, and York Memorial Collegiate Institute (which offers specialized programs that include R.U.S.H “Roadmap to University Success with Honours”, Pre-AP and Advanced Placement (AP) programs, for 9-12). And for those seeking french immersion possibilities, Lycee Francais Toronto, Ecole Elementaire Mathieu-da-Costa, Rawlinson Community School and JR Wilcox Community School offer early, junior and Grade 7 extended french programs.


The Building

We LOVE Forest Hill Lofts! Completed in 2002, this complex is one of only a few factory conversions located north of St. Clair West. Situated in the 1930 portion of the Canadian headquarters of Coats Paton, a textile firm famous for its Beehive brand knitting yarn, the 137 lofts were creatively imagined within this original historic Art Deco structure. Ranging in size up to 1108 square feet, these lofts offer all the comforts of contemporary living while preserving many of the original factory architectural features. Period tile detail on the exterior, soaring factory height ceilings, exposed structural elements of steel or fluted concrete columns, and large expanses of glass all ensure the Forest Hill Lofts offer outstanding character and rare-to-find authentic industrial charm. The lobby is gorgeous, carrying the Art Deco theme right into the building. The amenities are limited – which is favoured by loft buyers – as it keeps common fees reasonable. There’s a gym, a sun-drenched roof top terrace with barbecues for use of residents and stellar views of Yonge Street all the way down to Lake Ontario, and an abundance of visitor parking. We adore how these voluminous former factory now private spaces of domesticity retain their atmospheric quality; pay homage to the building’s industrial history all the while nestled against the neighbouring green space of Walter Saunders Memorial Park and the Beltline Trail. It’s a setting that’s at once both invigorating and tranquil.


The Loft And Its Design/Build Transformation

Purchased and transformed by a pair of architect/design professionals, this loft was reimagined by stripping away the builder grade finishes and restoring it to a hard loft setting that celebrated the architectural integrity while elevating it with contemporary upgrades ideal for modern day living. Here’s how the Sellers recreated the space, in their own words:

On the original layout… The mezzanine was originally partially enclosed by a wall that encased the side of the floor deck and reached just 3 feet shy of the ceiling. Although intimate, the space was dark, and a closet truncated the usable floor area, leaving the room small, uninviting and lackluster. When we first saw the unit, a bed occupied most of the floor space with little room for anything else. Furthermore, the wall enclosing the mezzanine extended to the living room floor, removing what could be additional square footage perfect for our young son to use, while visually opening the living space and articulating the mezzanine loft as a feature of interest. Originally, one would take the stairs to the mezzanine with the sole purpose of entering a second bedroom, as opposed to accessing a second level for ‘living’. Removing the wall encasing the mezzanine and setting it behind the staircase exposed the structural steel deck of the mezzanine and freed the unique structural column, allowing it to be an architectural feature in the space. This reinforced the interpretation of the mezzanine as a separate level, as well as returning the unit to that raw, industrial loft quality. Additional space was found by pushing the former back wall of the closet to align with the face of the entrance closet below. The additional two feet provided enough room to create an intimate double bed platform with some shelving, a perfect place for some rest and seclusion. It’s a terrific guest room, or alternate third bedroom if required. Overall, these interventions allow a complete continuity from the glazing on the lower level to the back wall of the unit on the upper level.

The former open “den”, used as a dining area by the previous owner, was sandwiched between both washrooms along the corridor. This was an odd communal/gathering place, which didn’t feel welcoming among the more intimate and private zones for domesticity, including the master bedroom along. Knowing this area would better function as a second bedroom, a partial height wall was built to create privacy while allowing daylight to enter. The addition of a light well brings some sunlight from the master bedroom into this bedroom as well as creating some visual interest to the intimate space.The original kitchen and washroom millwork/fixtures felt dated and better suited for more typical suburban home than an industrial loft. Mismatched wood finishes in the kitchen, on the floors and in the washrooms made the space seem visually cluttered. The kitchen millwork was updated to a clean matte white with a monolithic porcelain backsplash and counter. The washrooms were also fully updated, one with a soaker tub and another with a walk-in shower, all done in a mix of glossy and matte whites. Omitting millwork in the bathrooms was done intentionally to have these rooms read as functional, clean and timeless.

On the design intent… Connectivity, to each family member, to the outdoors, and to history co-exists with private and multi-functional spaces creating a unique urban retreat in this former garment factory. The corridor from the main entrance to the kitchen serves as the primary axis separating the private (bedrooms and bathrooms) from the collective convivial spaces (kitchen, dining, and living room). The “floating” bookshelves along the edge of the mezzanine – made using more utilitarian materials to feel more honest and factory-friendly – create a secondary axis bridging the lower open area to the upper mezzanine area while defining them as separate spaces. At the intersection of the axis, the “nook” encloses a custom built-in sleeping area (upper level), three separate and concealed storage areas, a coat closet and the stacking washer/dryer.

The outdoor terrace is an extension of the interior space and a private sanctuary. To one side, the dark grey reinforces the continuity of the interior west wall while the plant life creates a boundary of intimacy and tranquility. On other side, the continuous glass wall blurs the physical limits of the interior and exterior spaces, its transparency allowing the unit to bask in natural light. A limited material and colour palette serves to enhance the feeling of calm and openness. The predominant use of white reflects the abundant sunlight that enters the space, acting as a blank canvas against the polished concrete floor and the raw industrial nature of the steel mezzanine and staircase. The simplicity of the architectural millwork, and lighting, the use of natural wood (maple) along with the deep grey accents serve to create balance, depth and texture within the space, while the diaphanous draperies soften the environment while filtering the west light.


What Makes This Loft Successful

How amazing to read how professionals in the fields of design explore, reconcile and then elevate an environment to make it special. One only has to look at recent sales of original units in the complex (we welcome sharing these with you, on request) to see how significant this transformation is. The level of creativity, thoughtfulness, and attention to detail undertaken is exceptional. We’d like to bring your focus to a select few key spots and features of the home which we think you’ll especially treasure!

– the graceful, sculptural and yet space-expanding aspect of the pendant lights suspended in the living area

– the gossamer quality of the light-filtering custom drapery fabric

– the dynamic colour-play between the orange of the kitchen faucet and the blue of the island’s metal frame

– the inviting coziness of the cabin bed complete with book-nook

– the light-well situated high on the west wall of the second bedroom which references the dramatic height of the ceiling, the remarkable volume of the space itself, and depending on the light, the time of day

– the kid-friendly play-space beneath the mezzanine level, ideal for exploring, creating and imagining or for a having great game of hide and seek – and also uniquely kid-sized

– the connectivity of indoor and outdoor space, the ability to transition indoor or out from living or sleeping quarters, and while on the balcony, the feel and the sound of smooth river rock beneath one’s feet

– the floating nature of the bespoke mezzanine bookcases – providing not only useful storage, but concurrently defining and connecting the mezzanine loft with the larger living space below

– the exposed structural steel frame-work of the mezzanine and stairway – and how ideally suited it is for playing with a magnetic alphabet

– the realization of how rarely one comes across a property so contemporary yet surrounded by iconic style and history.


This Loft Includes 1 Car Parking and a Generous Locker Steps from the Unit

On a practical note – a generous locker located conveniently on the same floor beside the suite (the north side of the unit is dedicated to deeded lockers so there is no adjoining neighbour on that side and, being top floor, no neighbour abode) making it perfect to access your seasonal items or your bicycles with ease. This unit also includes a surface parking spot on the south-east side of the property closest to the rear lobby entrance door making both entry and exit a breeze. Do you have a pet? Forest Hill Lofts is pet friendly, and allows 1 pet of less than 25 lbs. Here we have a property with style and panache in equal parts, which is a rarity.

Overlooking the Beltline Trail, this truly remarkable home welcomes both afternoon sun-rays and morning birdsong! With historic and authentic hard-loft character and charm, reasonable common fees of $711.46 (including city water, heating, cooling and hydro), two parking and locker, this fully reimagined light ‘n lofty unique urban space will become home to one very fortunate buyer!

Might this be the one for you?

If you have any questions, require more information, or wish to view this loft, please email james@urbaneer.com!