Hard Lofts Vs. Soft Lofts in Toronto

Hard Lofts Vs. Soft Lofts in Toronto

If you were to ask the majority of condo buyers, many would probably opt for a loft in Toronto. Unlike typical condo apartments made up of drywall and windows, a condo loft has a unique appearance and vibe. One of the main reasons why so many people yearn for a loft is because they are a bit pricier and less common in Toronto, making them desirable for their aspirational lifestyle aspects. Old Toronto, which makes up a significant portion of the city's downtown core, is home to most of Toronto's lofts.


The most desired type of loft in Toronto is the hard loft conversion. However, since there aren't many industrial buildings left to convert into condo lofts, this market is finite. As a result, there is always demand from Toronto condo buyers. Hard lofts usually feature exposed wood and brick, high ceilings, and a few walls dividing the space. Some of the larger units have been modified to include additional rooms, making them suitable for families seeking a SoHo-like lifestyle.


On the other hand, soft lofts are shaped like lofts but have a modern, progressive feel. The ceilings are typically higher than those in a standard condo, and the developer may have used poured concrete floors and walls to replicate an industrial look. The windows are often floor-to-ceiling, giving the unit a unique downtown, urban feel. Soft lofts were first seen near advertising and design agencies on King Street West, mimicking the appeal of SoHo living here in Toronto. This is another great option for buyers seeking a distinctive urban lifestyle. Check out my other blog post with a list of soft lofts in Toronto!


Built in 1907 and converted into residential units in 1999. This historic building was originally a sweets production facility for 25 years and is one of Toronto's first major loft conversions. The Candy Factory Lofts have 121 units spread over 6 storeys and come equipped with amenities such as an exercise room, party/meeting room, guest suite, and visitor parking.
The Candy Factory Lofts at 993 Queen Street West

A loft conversion project that was completed in 2008. This building, which was built in the 1900s, has 218 units spread over 8 storeys. The building comes equipped with several amenities such as a gym, party room, rooftop deck, sauna, guest suites, concierge, and visitor parking. The Toy Factory Lofts are located in the buzzing Liberty Village area and offer high ceilings throughout the building and low maintenance fees per square foot.
The Toy Factory Lofts at 43 Hanna Avenue

Built in 1914 and converted into residential units in 2007. This building was originally a warehouse for the Rexall Pharmacy, a drug distribution company. Two additional floors were added atop the heritage structure. The Broadview Lofts have 154 units spread over 6 storeys and come equipped with amenities such as a party room, rooftop deck, concierge, visitor parking, and more. Each unit has an open-concept layout and 12-ft ceilings!
The Broadview Lofts at 68 Broadview Avenue

A historic building that was built in various stages from 1910-1949 for the Simpson's department store. Later owned by Sears Canada after Simpson's demise, the Merchandise Building is over 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) and one of the largest buildings by floor area in downtown Toronto. Converted into residential units in 1999, the building has 480 units spread over 13 storeys and offers amenities such as a pool, sauna, gym, party room, rooftop deck, concierge, visitor parking, and more.
The Merchandise Lofts at 155 Dalhousie

A unique building that was built in the 1900s and converted into residential units in 2003. The building has only 2 units spread over 4 storeys and offers amenities such as a rooftop deck and concierge. The Brock Lofts were once home to the Eureka Refrigerator Factory, a bakery, and the Canadian Symphonola Talking Machine Company.
The Brock Lofts at 27 Brock Avenue

A loft conversion project that was completed in 1998. The complex consists of two historic buildings, one served as a warehouse for coffee and spice merchants, and the other an Art Deco factory and office building for the Surgical Supply Co., later Imperial Surgical. The building has 65 units spread over 6 storeys and offers amenities such as a gym, party room, rooftop deck, and concierge.
The Imperial Lofts at 90 Sherbourne Street

Built in 1907 and converted into residential units in 2005. The building comprises six storeys and contains 144 units. Residents can enjoy amenities such as a gym, party room, rooftop deck, and concierge. The building was formerly the Paterson Chocolate factory and all units feature exposed duct work, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, 10.5 ft concrete ceilings, and polished concrete floors.
The Chocolate Company Lofts at 955 Queen Street West

Built in 1929 and converted into residential units in 2006. The building consists of 11 storeys and contains 256 units. Amenities include a pool, sauna, gym, party room, rooftop deck, concierge, visitor parking, and more. The building was previously used as a manufacturing, warehousing, retail, and office facility for Tip Top Tailors Ltd., founded in 1910 by Polish immigrant David Dunkelman.
The Tip Top Lofts, situated at 637 Lakeshore Blvd West

Originally built in 1919 and converted into residential units in 2008. The building is five storeys tall and contains 44 units. The building amenities include a party room. It was previously used as a down duvet manufacturing facility among other light manufacturing purposes. The majority of the floors have 11 ft ceilings while the penthouse level boasts soaring 14.5 ft ceilings.
The Feather Factory Lofts at 2154 Dundas Street West

Built in 1873 and converted into residential units in 2007. The building is six storeys tall and contains 86 units. The building amenities include visitor parking. It was previously home to the Ideal Bread Company and each level has its own unique large window design, reflecting the original separation of the bread production processes by factory floors. Later, the building was used as a bakery until 1957.
The Argyle Loftsat 183 Dovercourt Road

A 5-story red brick building that was converted in 2003 from the 19th-century head office of Massey Harris farm equipment company. The building features 45 Toronto lofts ranging in size from bachelor to two-bedrooms with select soft loft penthouse suites on the contemporary rooftop addition. Canderel Stoneridge was responsible for restoring the building, and it has original brick walls and wood posts & beams. The penthouse units are an extension above the original structure that feature private rooftop terraces. The lofts have charming finishes such as exposed red brick, 12-foot ceilings, wood and glass-railed staircases, large office-style windows, and upgraded bathrooms. With limited amenities, Massey Harris Lofts keeps maintenance fees relatively low, which is appealing to many loft-hunters.
Massey Harris Lofts at 915 King Street West

A Church that was converted in 2008 by ERA Architects, a firm known for their heritage conversions, the 24 units retain the historic details of the former Methodist Church. The suites at the Abbey Lofts range from one to three bedrooms, with sizes starting just shy of 1,000 square feet and going up to 2,889 square feet. The lofts feature vaulted 17-foot ceilings, gothic stained glass windows, and exposed limestone walls, and some of them have a 98-foot tall bell tower. The Abbey Lofts is located in the residential neighbourhood of Roncesvalles, which is one block away from Roncesvalles Avenue and has a friendly collection of boutique shops, delicious restaurants, and cafes. One block west of the Abbey Lofts is High Park, which has hiking trails, sports fields, and even a zoo.
The Abbey Lofts at 384 Sunnyside Avenue

This loft's former life was the CBC’s prop warehouse and design studio. Converted in the late 1990s from the former 19th-century brewery that surrounds it, the building features unique layouts with polished concrete floors, large concrete pillars, 14-foot ceilings, and massive windows that go around like a glass band on each floor. The lofts have a great sense of community, and everyone seems to know everyone. There are over 100 units in the building, and some lofts are nearly 4,000 square feet. The penthouse suites come with their own private rooftop terraces and split-level floor plans. The lofts have a museum-like lobby and common spaces featuring old props and photographs from the CBC archives. It is a rarity to see a suite on the market for sale.
The Brewery Lofts at 90 Sumach Street

Originally a three-story printing press warehouse in the early 1900s. It has been converted into one of Toronto’s most sought-after hard lofts, with the addition of a five-story modern glass tower, rising eight storeys. The building features large live/work spaces, with two-story suites retaining their original industrial skylights. The lofts have exposed ductwork, concrete ceilings, and polished concrete floors. The glass tower has two and three-bedroom corner units equipped with large wrap-around balconies. The lofts also have a small selection of stacked townhomes along Boston Avenue, which come with large terraces. The area of Dundas and Carlaw in Leslieville has recently become known as Toronto’s Heritage Plaque District for its many heritage buildings, including The Printing Factory Lofts.
The Printing Factory Lofts, at 201 Carlaw Avenue

Originally an industrial garment factory, but has been transformed into modern hard lofts that seamlessly blend the old and new. The lofts range in size from 430 square foot studios to spacious two-bedroom plus den units with nearly 1,200 square feet. They feature open-concept layouts with exposed 11-foot concrete ceilings and floors, original mushroom columns, and large windows that flood the space with natural light. The building also includes soft lofts in a four-storey add-on that features glass, steel, and brick design elements with a modern twist. Soft loft residents enjoy the added bonus of balconies and large terraces.
The Garment Factory Lofts, at 233 Carlaw Avenue

Converted in 1998 into highly sought-after hard lofts. The five-storey building houses just 88 lofts and was originally built in 1916 as a Wrigley gum factory. Buyers, many of whom were creatives seeking live/work spaces, were able to customize their suites after the factory was decommissioned and sold off. Today, the units feature open-concept layouts with oversized industrial windows, concrete mushroom columns, and high 14-foot ceilings. While some micro units are available, most suites are large, with one-bedroom units offering over 1,000 square feet of living space and the largest units boasting 3,000 square feet. To explore these lofts and others for sale in Toronto, visit the website.
The Wrigley Lofts, at 245 Carlaw Avenue

Originally built as investment suites, Derby Lofts now stands fully owner-occupied. With 16-foot ceilings in the living/dining areas, all units feature 2 bedrooms and parking, some even offering terraces and wood-burning fireplaces. Located close to the trendy Distillery District area, this building remains a great investment opportunity.
Derby Lofts - 393 King Street East

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