A Sun-Kissed Contemporary Loft In Riverdale’s Printers Rowoffered at $1,198,000
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It’s the dwelling of domestic dreams for many: an airy sun-kissed contemporary refuge with garden vista terrace, situated in an intimate boutique building of architectural interest, located in a quiet leafy neighbourhood in the heart of the city, just steps to cafes, culture and community.
But do dreams like this really ever come true?
Why YES they do!
Welcome to Loft 105 in Printers Row – 525 Logan Avenue – in Riverdale!
This unique contemporary lofty residence is situated two streets north of Gerrard Street East and one block east of Broadview Avenue in lush verdant Riverdale on the central east side of Toronto. Coveted for its convenience, community, and charm, I can personally attest it’s everything you want in a neighbourhood!
For starters, the location of this Swell Dwell is amenity-rich. One of the best features of the original City of Toronto – long regarded as ‘the city of neighbourhoods‘ – is how the fabric of our urban landscape is like a colourful patchwork quilt of domesticity. Each neighbourhood pocket, woven into the threads of the others surrounding it, has its own unique qualities that have evolved over time, creating the patina of character that makes each of them special and Toronto so vibrant. Surrounded by Playter Estates & Danforth Village to the north, Little India to the east, Leslieville, Chinatown East & Riverside to the south, and Corktown, Regent Park & Cabbagetown to the west, when you live here it feels like all points radiate from Riverdale!
Although John Cox Cottage located at 469 Broadview Avenue is the oldest known house in the city dating from 1807, the majority of homes in Riverdale date after the neighbourhood was annexed by the City of Toronto in 1884. Boasting an eclectic mix of family-friendly Victorian and Edwardian vintage row, semi and detached dwellings ranging from working-class cottages to elegant merchant class manses, the lush canopy of mature trees amidst this rolling hillscape is a beautiful setting for this collection of charming residences.
Despite this residence’s proximity to arterial roads and major highways (a 4-minute drive to the Dundas onramp to the Don Valley Parkway north & a 5-minute drive to Lakeshore East and the Gardiner Expressway), and the intangible value of good public transit (a 3-minute walk to Gerrard Street to catch the 24/7 Route 506 streetcar or walk north up Logan to the Chester Subway Station – thus the Transit Score of 93) almost everything you require is within walking distance!
Need bread? Throw on your coat and walk 2 blocks north to the Alpha Variety which is open from 8:30 am to 10 pm. Meeting a friend for lunch? Three blocks north is the Riverdale Perk – a lovely neighbourhood cafe and community meeting place. Connecting with a bestie to stroll through nature? The Rooster Cafe on Broadview Avenue opposite Riverdale Park East makes a great latte en route to crossing the pedestrian bridge to the Riverdale Farm in Cabbagetown. Love to dine out as I do? Just around the corner at 744 Gerrard East at Howland Road is the french cuisine of charming Batifole, while 4-minutes east you can enjoy a taste of the Caribbean at renowned The Real Jerk! And brunch is beautiful at Lady Marmalade on Broadview Avenue.
This is what the pedestrian lifestyle is all about!
Running errands for everyday necessities? Just walk east on Simpson Avenue one block to beloved Jeff’s No Frills and Loblaw Pharmacy at 449 Carlaw Avenue, the LCBO around the corner next door at 932 Gerrard East and, at Gerrard Square Mall (1000 Gerrard East) everyone’s favourite big box stores for necessities: Walmart, Home Depot and Staples!
Looking for more specialized fare? Chinatown East just a short stroll west on Gerrard is one of the best enclaves in the city for culinary creatives seeking fresh produce, but if you’re not in the mood to cook try the standout Dine and Dim with its stylin’ decor and, get this, one of the few dim sum restaurants in Toronto that still offers cart service. In the same block, some of the more recent additions to the street have earned my patronage like Soul Chocolate for those with a sweet tooth, Pop Music for lovers of vinyl records, and the Farside Bar for its cool vibes and tasty libations. Feel like switching it up? I love shopping for the vibrant fabrics and economical housewares sold in Little India on Gerrard East just east of Greenwood – a 12 minute streetcar ride – where for over 30 years I’ve enjoyed the city’s best vegetarian samosas at MotiMahal Restaurant! And if you feed your health and wellness with organic, walk directly north up Logan Avenue to the Danforth and one street east where everything healthy & organic is available at Carrot Common.
And don’t forget, the new 15.6-kilometre, 15-stop Ontario Line will include the Gerrard Station at Carlaw Avenue just one block east! Running from Exhibition Place, through the heart of downtown (including a stop at DeGrassi and Queen East), and all the way to the Ontario Science Centre in a span of 30 minutes. The new Gerrard Station will provide easy transfers to both streetcar and bus routes just steps from station entrances. An estimated 3,300 people are expected to use Gerrard station during the busiest travel hour, with 2,000 transferring between the Ontario Line and local streetcars and buses. This will make travelling especially easy for the 1,100 households in the area that don’t currently own a car.
You’ll love venturing up to the Danforth on weekend afternoons to take advantage of the myriad of sundry, design and fashion retailers, plus cafes like Broadview Espresso, great pubs, and eateries like Allen’s and Mihali’s Place! Nights out are a blast in Leslieville – just a few blocks south – with Queen Street East being home to some great bars like Goods & Provisions, restos including Tabülè Middle Eastern Cuisine, and cafes like Pilot Roasters/Te Aro Cafe (not to mention boutiques and purveyors of great home design furnishings – like Guff!) This is urban living at its best!
In addition to urban amenities, relaxing in nature and increasing your heart rate with recreational activities is an integral part of city life. Fortunately, 525 Logan Avenue enjoys proximity to two of Toronto’s best! 18-hectare Riverdale Park East is popular for winter tobogganing and the panoramic views of the downtown Toronto skyline. It features two ball diamonds, three multipurpose sports fields, a running track, seven tennis courts, an artificial outdoor ice rink, and ball hockey pad, a picnic area, a children’s playground, and an outdoor pool. There’s a naturalized area at the north end of the park, a bridge over to Cabbagetown’s Riverdale Farm, and links to the Don Valley – and Evergreen Brickworks – for cyclists. (We love getting around the City on two wheels; check out our enthusiasm for cycling here!)
Four blocks north of Printers Row is lush & enchanting Withrow Park! Sprawling over 8.5 hectares, this multipurpose park boasts ball diamonds, a multi-purpose sports field, tennis courts, a volleyball court, a wading pool and a children’s playground. There’s even an ice hockey rink in the winter and a weekly summer farmers’ market from May to October. Plus, the community’s dog owners adore the off-leash area – as this pet-friendly building allows one pet per unit. There’s also space for dogs at the Gerrard Carlaw Parkette, which is even closer – just a four-minute walk south-east!) I was strolling through Withrow with a friend just yesterday; Spring cannot come soon enough!
Printers Row Lofts
The building that now houses Printers Row Lofts – located at 525 Logan Avenue – was originally built in 1911. Designed by architect W. F. Carmichael, the building was constructed as the Bell Telephone Company’s world headquarters. Built for utility and purpose, red brick – the most abundant and economical building material in Toronto at the time – was used to build 18-inch exterior walls while the 12-inch floor plates are layers of concrete, brick and stone. The spatial configuration of the building comprised two floors each containing double-height spaces plus a lower level with generous ceilings.
Architecturally, the popular Edwardian fashion and flavour of the day followed the foundation of classical proportion, which is very much evident in the facade. The scale and rhythmic placement of the large vertical windows balance the brickwork, while the centre inset of the three panels comprising the front facade and the arrangement of the brick corbels each add some depth and dimension. The significant red stone stylobate (both in dimension and weight) delineating the two top floors from the lower level breaks the verticality of the building, visually anchoring it to the site while the understated wood cornice on the parapet frames this compositional confection. Although there are no specific dates, Bell Telephone eventually vacated to a location around the corner and the building was occupied as the ABSO Blueprint Factory until it was purchased in 1998 for its conversion into loft condominiums.
Along with permission to sever the 25×110 foot parcel on the south side of the building for the construction of a new freehold dwelling, the development was approved to expand the structure ten feet south to accommodate parking and storage in the lower level with outdoor terraces above as well as permission to add a mezzanine addition with roof terraces on top of the existing roof. This resulted in the first level having five 2-storey and one 3-storey unit (which includes a portion of the lower level on the streetside of the building), and six 3-storey lofts with roof terraces on the second and new mezzanine level. Each of these 12 units has secure deeded parking.
Completed and registered as a condominium in 2001, this boutique walk-up called Printers Row was converted by Bob Mitchell of Mitchell & Associates. Launching his business in 1982, I tip my hat to Bob because from day one his focus was on retrofitting and converting adaptive reuse buildings into one-of-a-kind loft condominiums, and he accomplished this by offering the original buyers the opportunity to custom-design and craft their property purchase to suit their own personal wishes, wants and needs. Over the span of 3 decades, Bob’s project portfolio includes many of the smaller less-than-twenty-unit adaptive reuse conversions located in the central city including, amongst others, 41 Shanly Street, 75 Markham Street, 289 Sumach Street, 110 Hepbourne Street, 34 Claremont Street, 670 and 676 Richmond Street West, 525 Logan Avenue and 660 Pape Avenue.
I first met Bob in 1991 when I was completing my research on adaptive reuse conversions as part of a Graduate Degree in Environmental Studies at York University. He was very generous in mentoring his time, knowledge, and guidance, including teaching me how the art of conversion requires a blend and balance of pragmatism and imagination. He also became a client after I launched my real estate career, hiring me to sell and market several existing and pre-construction lofts. In fact, I personally placed six of the 12 original Buyers here in Printers Row, in addition to the Buyers of the house constructed next door at 523 Logan Avenue.
Printers Row is a well-executed example of how ingenuity, time, capital and hard work can take a utilitarian near-obsolete place of industry and transform it into an inviting near-new place of domesticity. For those coveting these unique urban homes, sadly units in existing conversions are extremely rare to market because they don’t turn over very frequently (this is the first time this has been offered for sale on MLS), and any potential or possible adaptive reuse conversion sites remaining are garnering sale prices that no longer make retrofitting an existing building economically viable. Instead, most century-old buildings are considered obsolete and prohibitively expensive to retrofit, meaning the only option now is to demolish them for replacement with new construction. It’s unfortunate, because the philosophy of the adaptive reuse conversion market has, as its core values, a commitment to respect and preserve the existing urban fabric of the site and the community it surrounds, the tacet understanding that the retention, retrofit and restoration to respecting a site’s structural resilience, environmental history, architectural integrity, and local vernacular results in rewards that are more sustainable, collectively beneficial, and rooted in community and place.
I Heart Loft 105
Wrapped in the roots of history while boasting the conveniences of modern living, Loft 105 in Printers Row is the epitome of stylish urban living. Having around 1154 square feet of indoor/outdoor living, this elegant voluminous space has 979 square feet spread over 2 levels inside, and an exceptional 175 square foot south-facing terrace with gas barbecue hook-up, electrical outlets and water line!
Comprising two irregular rectangular floor plates anchored by a visually-arresting 2-storey volume with near 16-foot-high ceilings, the loft is delineated into a series of cleverly designed living spaces. The first level is dedicated to collective engagement and celebration while the upper level serves as a private sanctuary for rest and contemplation.
Substantially renovated from top to bottom in 2011, the comprehensive retrofit designed by Coz Design introduced a space plan that maximizes efficiency, a selection of materials that are of a high standard, and an aesthetic that is both contemporary and timeless. The result is a loft that is warm, welcoming and visually cohesive!
The foyer offers utility and function, with a coat closet, stacking laundry, and a stylish powder room for your guests. It leads into a bespoke entertainment area thoughtfully designed into zones that optimize everyday functions while using materials, like the Scandi plank floors, that create a harmonious unified environment. For example, the custom walnut veneer kitchen features exceptional appliances (a hidden refrigerator/freezer, gas cooktop with exhaust hood, convection oven with inserts for rotisserie, microwave & dishwasher), ample storage hidden behind expansive panels, and the preferred ‘work triangle’ favoured by resident chefs. Stone counters, open shelving, and elegant modern pendants by Bocci elevate the space so it doesn’t read as overtly ‘kitcheny’ while the expansive island enhances its functionality. It also cues your guests to not get underfoot but to relax and enjoy the culinary show.
I love to entertain, so if you’re like me, what will truly grab your attention is the generous built-in dining banquette with storage underneath that lines the wall opposite the kitchen with its solid cherry table (add the extra leaf to get 10 guests gathered around)! It’s served the Seller well this past decade, whose priority was to ensure she could gather her substantial collection of friends and family around her table to feast with ease. It’s both comfortable and effortless!
There’s no question the two-storey living area with floor-to-ceiling glazing is an architectural show-stopper. It is perfectly proportioned and features a thermostat-controlled gas fireplace, a mounted flat-screen television, multiple custom walnut veneer built-in units, a glass-panelled staircase that reflects light, and a stunning George Nelson pendant light fixture. It’s polished without pretense and an extremely comfortable place to lounge. It also directly connects to the sun-drenched 10 by 17-foot terrace. Beautifully situated, the south sightline has a pretty vista of lush landscaping, mature trees and the unique architecture of the immediate neighbourhood. It’s private, tranquil and rejuvenating. And the abundant birdsong is magical. It’s easy to forget you’re in the centre of the city when the French doors are open on a Spring day.
Up the stairs (which has lots of storage underneath, so check it out!), the private sanctuary of the mezzanine level enjoys a lovely birds-eye perspective of the entertainment space, while benefiting from the expansive fenestration that bathes the space in light. Designed for flexibility as a study and primary bedroom, this elongated open-plan zone can be repartitioned into two rooms as required. In fact, a former door from the study to the washroom remains in place should you wish to restore it. Just pop out the inset mirrored storage cabinet opposite the vanity!
The sleeping sanctuary, as I like to call it, is truly sublime. It has all the qualities of a cocoon, with natural light filtering in from both the south and the north sides of the building, wrapping you in its diffused rays. The dimensions are lovely, with plenty of room to navigate around the bed, and when perched in recline lounging with your laptop the lovely long sightline is truly divine and extremely unusual.
I highly recommend the next buyer refrain from dividing the space until they’ve experienced living in a floating slice of domesticity as unique as this. It isn’t an opportunity available to many people occupying conventional Canadian shelters, and until you’ve enjoyed it you simply don’t know what you’re missing. Off these spaces is a spa washroom with quality fixtures and fittings, a soaking tub, a generous vanity with storage, and a frosted panel of glazing facing south. It connects to a walk-through gallery of custom closets, drawers and shelves that has a pretty north-facing peak-a-boo vista. How charming is that?
In addition to the magic and splendour of this bejewelled treasure chest of domesticity, although the owner has access to the communal parking garage where the waste and recycling bins are located, this unit enjoys the only private deeded garage with remote controlled garage door accessed directly from the lane at the rear of the property! How incredible is that?! It’s a value-added bonus to pull in and out with ease, and it offers sufficient length to serve as additional storage.
This place is special. Nestled in a progressive village of forward-thinking pro-urbanites, the engaged residents of Printers Row collectively nurture and preserve its historic envelope of Edwardian architecture while ensuring it has all the functional benefits of a turn-key condominium. In fact, the building will soon be undergoing a refurbishment of the common halls including the addition of brick feature walls, new flooring and paint. Just like the neighbourhood, community spirit is very much alive and in focus at Printers Row. Fully owner-occupied at this time, it’s a lovely place to call Home.
If you’d like to arrange a viewing or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org!