Condos In The S.L.M. – Part Three

Today I’d like to finish this installment with a look at some of the oldest, most obscure, or pre-construction condos in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood.

How about a building that is thirty years old?  What about a condominium that most people walk by without knowing it’s there?  And what is happening with new developments like Vu and King East Lofts?

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81A Front Street
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When I talk about walking by a condominium and not knowing it’s even there – I’m talking about 81A Front Street!

This is one of the most obscure “condominiums” I’ve ever seen, and it’s too bad because it’s one of the nicest!  The “St. Lawrence Lofts” are located at 81 Front Street in between the Starbucks where you get your coffee and the LCBO where you get your booze.  Looks can be deceiving as this old building looks commercial/retail but there are fifty-four condominium units in the building.

This strip of Front Street – from Market Street to Church Street, is over 140 years old and has some of the most beautiful old buildings in Toronto.

These are hard loft condominiums with 16-foot ceilings, timber beams, exposed brick walls, and gorgeous plank flooring.

The units can be a tough sell, however, as they don’t seem to move very quickly when offered on the open market.

90 Sherbourne Street
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“Imperial Lofts” is another hard-loft building in the SLM area and is perhaps one of the “hardest” lofts in the city.

This used to be home to Imperial Optical and the building at 90 Sherbourne served as the warehouse whereas the building at 80 Sherbourne served as the office.

90 Sherbourne Street is six stories and is a much “harder” loft than 80 Sherbourne in terms of the features, as 80 Sherbourne doesn’t have as much exposed brick, timber beams, floor-to-ceiling windows as does 90.

There are about sixty total units between the two buildings, and the one thing they lack is an updated elevator!  The original freight elevator remains at 90 Sherbourne where you have to actually open and close the metal gate yourself, and 80 Sherbourne is only three stories so you’d better get used to taking the stairs!

These two buildings are favorites of loft-lovers in Toronto.  They’re located just north of Adelaide Street on the west side of Sherbourne. 

80 Sherbourne Street
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This is the aforementioned “office section” of Imperial Lofts.

For my money, I much prefer the units at 80 Sherbourne Street, and not just because I hate taking the stairs…

25 George Street
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Now we start to get into the really old buildings in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood!

25 George Street dates back to the mid-1980’s as I’m not sure of the exact date, but it was constructed along with 160 Frederick Street as “Olde York Place.”

There are approximately forty total units at 25 George Street, all of which are either 2-bedroom or 3-bedroom units.  I always say, “You simply can’t find a three-bedroom in downtown Toronto,” and so far the only true 3-bedroom units I’ve found have been at older buildings like 25 George and 160 Frederick.

All the units at Olde York Place are enormous – starting at 2,100 square feet.

The one major drawback with 25 George Street is the lack of outdoor space, as NONE of the units has a terrace or a balcony.

160 Frederick Street
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Here is “Olde York Place II” as it’s known, essentially next door to 25 George Street but fronting onto Frederick.

There are sixty total units in this building, which along with 25 George Street is ten stories.

Do the math – and there are only six units per floor at 160 Frederick, and only four per floor at 25 George Street! 

135 George Street
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I’m not sure how they did the street numbering, since 135 George Street is directly across from 25 George Street, but that could be the least of your worries…

This is another early-1980’s building that certainly shows its age.  I’ve seen some very nice, updated units in here, but it’s definitely not the best place to call home if you’re 31 years old…

159 Frederick Street
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Here is another very rare, very obscure building!

There are eight floors at 159 Frederick, each with only TWO suites!  This condominium is only 16 suites in total, and it’s about exclusive as you can get unless you want an entire floor to yourself.

The average suite size in the building is 2,900 square feet, so it goes without saying (even though I checked) that there have been very few sales in the building – only two per year for the last three years, and twenty-one sales since 1995.

Vu Condos
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What’s happening at Vu Condos?

Well if you happen to be one of the unfortunate souls who bought early on in pre-construction, you’ve been given the keys to your new “home” even though the complex is only about 30-40% finished.  I plan to do an entire feature on this subject later on…

See the tower on the left of the image above?  They haven’t even finished the exterior on the top 6-8 floors here, let alone the inside, and yet they’ve given possession to all the other residents in the bottom floors of the second tower.  There will be construction here until August, 2010, and the lucky residents get to watch and listen every day until then…

275 King Street
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These are the “East Lofts” located on King Street just east of Sherbourne, and I wish I had bought here!

The project should be complete in early 2010, and the building looks great from the outside.

I’ve already inquired – there aren’t any units left for sale here.  I expect the investors to make a killing when these hit the resale market in Summer/Fall of 2010.

Market Wharf
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I haven’t paid much attention to this project because I think it’s so grossly overpriced, but I was on the roof of 80 Front Street the other day and I could see a massive hole in the ground just south of the Market.

I wondered aloud, as did my client by my side, “Is that Market Wharf?  Have they started construction?”

It looks as if they have, but don’t quote me on it.  As I said – I haven’t paid much attention to it.  With the Gardiner Expressway to the south and the subsidized-housing to the east, I’m not sold on the area.  And at upwards of $600 – I definitely don’t care for this project.

So what have I missed?

Did we cover every single condominium in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood?

I don’t consider “Spire” to be in the SLM, nor do I get into The Esplanade or Victoria Street.

I stopped short of talking about 65 Scadding Avenue for reasons which we won’t delve into, and I’m sure there are a few homeless people living in cardboard boxes that I didn’t give the proper shout-out to on my blog…

I hope the review has been as helpful as it was thorough, and if you’re looking to move to the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood, I will put my reputation at stake and tell you – you simply won’t be disappointed…

7 Comments

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  1. Rowan Marsh says:

    Hello – I am curious why you won’t delve into your reasons for not about 65 Scadding Avenue. We have owned our 3400 sq’ condo here for 20 years and love the building, the location, the eclectic mix of residents and its exceptional staff. Thank you for your input. Rowan Marsh

  2. Evenstar says:

    Fantastic piece, thank you for the detailed descriptions! Now that five more years have gone by and some of these new properties have matured more, I would love to read about how these condos fair now.

  3. Anon says:

    The 135 George St numbering seems off because that isn’t the address at all! It’s 135 George Street SOUTH! As in south of Front.

  4. condobeat says:

    east lofts is nice but comes with a hefty price tag. in the summer they were greater than $500 psqf

  5. Subhra says:

    Hi,

    Apart from condo there is one more interesting thing happening in Toronto. The city is going to have its first Indoor South Asian mall spread over 230,000 sq.ft and more than 580 stores, foodcourts and restaurant spaces. You can get everything that a South Asian can dream of and aspire for. Which they were not getting before. They will get the quality of stuff that was missing before. It has a huge potential for business owners who want to tap $9.5 billion dollar disposable income before. You can find out more by calling 416-297-3996.

  6. earth mother says:

    Thanx for the tour of the SLM condos! developers and city planners should be forced to study this area and its desirable traits before proceeding with new projects… who can argue with historic, quaint and low-rise??

  7. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for this three-parter. My boyfriend and I are hoping to rent a condo in the SLM this spring, so this is an awesome primer for us to start scoping out buildings.

    Very excited to learn more about the King East and Vu projects.

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