The Foundry Lofts

Condos | June 1, 2010

Here is a building that had so much potential, and failed to meet my glorious expectations.

The Foundry Lofts look beautiful from the outside, but there is something about the inside that I just can’t quite put my finger on….

…..oh wait, that’s right……it reminds me of jail

foundrylofts3.jpg

This is definitely what you would call a “transitional” area!

There is a condominium at 1375 Dupont Street called “The Chelsea Lofts” which is a fantastic building.  The only issue is the neighbourhood.

The building seems to be years before its time, as Lansdowne & Dupont is a changing area.  Perhaps it’s one of these areas that represents an opportunity to get in before the masses; maybe it will be the next hot residential locale in a decade.

But for the time being, there’s a problem, and it comes in coffee form.

That’s right – there is a “Coffee Time” right across the street from The Chelsea Lofts, and as one of my readers pointed out in a blog I wrote about “The Starbucks Effect,” there is a negative connotation to the “Coffee Time” chain as it affects real estate.

I guess the larger issue is the dilapidated slum behind coffee time that has a “RENTAL” sign running down the side of the building.  The area needs to be cleaned up, but the only thing that can clean this area up is time.

Up the road on Lansdowne Avenue is a beautiful building called “The Foundry Lofts.”

The century-old building gets its name from its heritage as it was occupied in the early 1900’s by Canada Foundry Co. Ltd.  The building originally served as a manufacturing plant for electric locomotives, and then in the 1920’s it was sold to Canadian General Electric who occupied the building for the next sixty years.

For the last decade, condominium-buyers have been obsessed with “hard lofts” which are converted from old commercial/industrial spaces just like the heritage building at 1100 Lansdowne Avenue.

Simply put: you can’t make a one-hundred-year-old building, and there are only so many of these buildings in Toronto that can be turned into lofts.

Having said this, I must admit that I am not a fan of The Foundry Lofts.

In fact, I actively dislike the building.

Forget about the area just for a moment; the undefined area that has been called “Davenport Village” or “The Junction;” the area surrounded by slum-rentals and the vagrants who frequent Coffee Time.

Just look at the building itself.

At first glance, what’s not to like?  It’s a beautiful, century-old building!

But I ask all of you – have you ever been to Alcatraz?

alcatrazisland.jpg

I have!  It was awesome!  I think I was about ten years old when my family took a trip along the west-coast of the United States, and Alcatraz was probably my favorite destination.

It was the only jail I’ve ever been in, and what I remember most was walking through the corridor and seeing cells on both sides.

There were cells on the left and the right, and there were cells on the main floor, second floor, and third floor.

There was this clear foyer that we walked through, and all around us were cells.

Just like this:

alcatrazcell.JPG

This is a stock photo I found on Google Images, but it clearly shows what most jail corridors are like.

So what is my point?

Well, the very first time I went to The Foundry Lofts, it was eerily reminiscent of my trip to Alcatraz.

The corridors are wide open, and then there are small doors to cavernous little rooms on each side.

Check this out:

foundry-atrium2.jpg

Okay, I know what some of you are thinking, and you’re right if you want to call “shenanigans” on my comparison of this beautiful brick courtyard to a jail.

But just let me continue…

What I don’t like about the Foundry Lofts is that this foyer makes your condo feel tiny!

This is a 16,000 square foot atrium with gorgeous red brick, forty-foot-high ceilings, and tons of light pouring through the skylights.

But look at all those tiny little doors on the left and the right of the atrium.

When you walk through a completely open, 16,000 square foot room with 40-foot ceilings, your condo is going to feel cramped by comparison.

I’ve brought about a dozen clients through this building, and they all stated these facts before I ever chimed in with my two cents.

You walk through 16,000 square feet, and then you walk into a 625 square foot condo.  It feels cramped.

You walk under 40-foot ceilings, and then you walk into eight or nine foot ceilings in the condo.  It feels cramped.

You walk under sun-beaming skylights, and then you walk into a condo that might not have an actual window – just glass block.  It feels cramped.

I’m just giving my honest opinion here, and I don’t think I’m wrong.

Humor me for a moment and scroll back up to compare the photo of the Alcatraz corridor with the photo of the Foundry Lofts corridor.  Do you see what I mean?

Jail cells are cramped, 6 x 8 rooms with low ceilings and they feel like a CELL!

I find that the units at Foundry Lofts feel exactly the same way; they just have nicer counter-tops.

Simply put, condos at The Foundry Lofts feel like jail cells.

And that’s about as simple as I can make it.

There are other reasons to not like the units themselves.

For one, a lot of layouts have the bedroom at the front of the unit, and thus there is no bedroom window!  There is a frosted-glass or glass-block “window” on the wall that separates the bedroom from the atrium itself, but of course for privacy reasons, you can’t see through either way.  But you can sure feel the presence and see the shadow of a person as they walk through the atrium and past your bedroom “window!”  That’s got to be an eerie feeling…

Secondly as I mentioned above, many of these units don’t feature an actual window to the outside of the building, ie. opposite the atrium and unit entrance.  Some of these units have glass-block, which lets light through, but doesn’t open for air, and doesn’t provide a view.

Can anybody say, “Jail Cell?”

If you happen to live at Foundry Lofts, and you found this post by searching on Google, well, I’m sorry.

Everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion, and I find your unique home to be like living in prison.  Hopefully you don’t feel the same way after reading this.

But for the rest of you out there who have never set foot in the building, I would probably say, “Give it a shot” with regards to deciding on your own whether or not The Foundry Lofts are for you.

Wait, no, that’s a lie.

I was trying to be nice.

Ugh.  In the spirit of brutal honesty – I’m gonna say “Skip this building.  It’s awful.  If you want to buy a condo here, you may as well load up a few keys of contraband in your trunk and wait for the cops to pull you over so you can do a hard nickel in the slammer.  It’s all the same.”

I have to be honest, right?

After all, that’s why people read this blog…

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56 Comments

  1. fidel

    at 9:44 am

    Not a big fan of the barn-like exterior, but the units in this building look nice and seem reasonably priced

  2. earth mother

    at 9:56 am

    wow… who blinked and signed off on the exterior & interior design? I wonder if my grade 8 students could’ve dreamed up better results inside & out!

  3. LC

    at 10:15 am

    I looked at those lofts when they launched years ago…and I couldn’t get around the loss of so much space to that atrium. Shame.

  4. Michael Crawford

    at 2:05 pm

    I live in the Foundry Lofts and obviously couldn’t disagree with you more. Is the neighborhood in transition? Yes. The building to the North of the Coffee time is a mess and some of the people that live in that building are sketchy, some however a new to Canada and obviously the rent is cheap. In the 2 years I’ve lived in the Foundry Lofts I’ve seen nothing but improvements. There are a number of fantastic restaurants in the area (Starving Artist, Boo’s, Rush Hour, etc.) and Earlscourt park (to the immediate north of the Foundry) hosts many multicultural festivals and events throughout the summer and is full of families, seniors and dog owners enjoying the playground, running track soccer fields (one of which is going through a $1.8 million remodel to feature artificial turf) and soon to open leash free dog park. The area for the most part is populated by hard working Portuguese and Italian families with the Foundry bringing an influx of young professionals ranging from university professors, marketing executives, doctors, lawyers, trades people, professional photographers, artists, etc.

    Does the building require some finishing touches? Certainly. As a realtor I’d think you’d be much more knowledgeable about the 1st couple of years of a new building. Developers (this one in particular) often lack imagination and the desire to make a place “special”. Our condo board and several volunteer committees are working diligently to improve the rather bland lobby and atrium interior. A substantial lobby renovation is to begin this summer and will be breathtaking. As for the atrium, it is huge and it is amazing! We are also planning additions in the form of art and trees and plantings. What your pictures don’t show are the several social functions that have been held over the past year and a half. We held a Halloween party that entertained over 250 residents and their guests featuring extensive decorations, full bar service, lighting and DJ. We’ve also held a New Years Eve party where once again we had 250 residents and guests ring in the new year again with extensive decorations, full bar service, lighting and DJ and for NFL fans we’ve completed our 1st annual Super Bowl party was enjoyed in the atrium with fellow fans as it projected on the 30 foot screen suspended from the roof.

    I’d love to share the photo’s from these events and the artists renderings for out lobby renovation for you to post to this blog entry, it’s only fair that a differing opinion be shared with any potential buyer given the fact that what you’ve written has an impact on 104 unit owners and their investments.

    Sincerely,

    Michael Crawford
    905 460 5554

  5. Jef

    at 2:09 pm

    The majority of the units there are nothing like you described, most are over 1100 sq feet and enjoy 9-16+ feet ceilings and lots of windows. I’ve yet to see a block widow in the place.

    I do agree, the builder really skipped town on finishing the atrium and common space which gives it its jail like look, which is a shame… but as a resident, we are committed to changing this.

    If as an agent all you’ve seen are 625 sq ft units in a building where they are the exception, your POV while it may be honest is misinformed and perhaps well exaggerated to make a poor point.

  6. David Fleming

    at 2:26 pm

    Thanks for your posts, gentlemen.

    Consider that this entire blog is just my opinion.

    I have equally as many supporters as I do detractors.

    While some people value “community events” such as Superbowl parties and DJ’s, equally as many people want to come home to a private residence at night and have nothing to do with their neighbours. Consider how some people value building amenities such as a gym, billiard room, hot tub, sauna pool; and how many people don’t want them and would never use them.

    If buyers value the atrium and the parties and community events that take place in it, then The Foundry Lofts is a great place to call home.

    From my experience, and that is just my own and not indicative of the entire market, my buyer-clients have not liked the small, dark confines of the units at Foundry Lofts when contrasted to the large, bright, open atrium.

    It’s called an “opinion,” gentlemen.

  7. amy h.

    at 2:54 pm

    just as we have 625 sq ft units with a huge atrium, there are condos that have 400 sq ft studios with 2 story lobbys and a huge rooftop terrace with ammenities that most residents don’t regularly use.

    as an agent you must be aware that condo fees are correlated to the square footage of a unit and that there is a reason developers design a variety of floor plans with a variety of sizes.

    most of the units on the second floor are two story units that are over 1100 sq ft. with 20×20 living areas. if your buying clients want to feel like they are walking into a spacious place, there are a few of those units still available for sale.

    in the 600 sq.ft range, your buying clients will find that any of the condos they look at will not reflect the spaciousness of any lobby or rooftop they are buying in.

  8. Michael Crawford

    at 3:00 pm

    David,

    While I respect your opinion, what you need to understand is that your opinion has conveyed the belief that the majority of the units are small, dark suites when in fact over 80% of the units are as Jef stated, 1169 sq ft. (the Canadian National model) and in some cases well over 1800 sq ft. and all the units I’ve ever been in have the same large oversized warehouse style windows. I’d encourage people reading this to view the http://www.foundryloft.ca website photo gallery which features a standard Canadian National unit or a current MLS listing on realtor.ca to view what the vast majority of suites look like.

    And more importantly David, I’d also personally like to extend an invite for you to revisit the Foundry Lofts and my suite as well as many other folks that would be sure to show you around.

    Michael.

  9. marlon deogracias

    at 4:18 pm

    In most condo buildings you have one unit facing west and the other unit across facing east, OR you have one unit facing north and another unit across facing south. What separates these two units? Often times a hallway.

    Instead of a hallway the Foundry Lofts has an Atrium. It’s not currently used for much, but I’d rather have an Atrium than a hallway. Seriously! It’s beautiful, it’s unique and if anything, it provides more privacy between units across from each other.

    I’ve only seen a few units-that because of the elevation of the original building, the windows were too high to open or close with ease, I think I saw one unit that was 7ft at highest. But that’s probably 3 at most out of the 100+ units that exist in the Foundry Lofts. Would I compare the 3 units to a jail cell…I don’t know…I never been to jail, but probably NOT!

    Like many people have posted, the units in the Foundry Lofts are of many different sizes. A lot of the units are 900 square feet or more. Many of them have very WIDE and OPEN layouts, which is not very common for many other condominium buildings that seem to pack as many units in one building as possible. The majority of condos on the market in this price range are 13ft wide or less, whereas many of the Foundry Lofts units are 20ft wide.

    Yes, the area is up and coming and there has been improvements to the area in the past couple years with more to follow. The prices in freehold homes over the last 3 years in this area reflect these changes. But yes, I agree, Coffee Time has to go!

    There is a lot of buildings popping up in this area, once these buildings erect, there will be a need for local retail shops. This area is not seeing them yet, but they will come…Who know’s maybe Starbucks will grace this neighbourhood with its presence sooner than later.

    Don’t be fooled by unresearched opinions on the internet. The Foundry Lofts is a very unique property, both inside and out. It has many units that are bright with high ceilings and open and generous layouts. It’s close to the St. Clair and Bloor and is very easy to commute into the downtown corridor.

  10. George

    at 4:47 pm

    I can’t speak for the inside of the units because I’ve never seen them, but the lobby/atrium of this place really does remind me of Alcatraz (which I also thought was the coolest part of California).

    I do think that huge atrium space has the potential to be a great asset to the building, but appearing as it does in the photo, it seems like more of a liability.

  11. Foundry Resident

    at 5:49 pm

    Up and coming area = good value for money.

    What did I get for my money? A 1200 square foot 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom loft with an 18 foot ceiling in my living room (these units make up about 80 per cent of the building); and a sprawling atrium with lots of natural light and a space that has helped forge the feeling of community in our building.

    Sure, I can appreciate the comparison to a jail — I have even used that analogy myself to describe the catwalk to my unit — but I can assure you that the feel of the building is not cold, sterile or uninviting. The Foundry is a unique building in Toronto with a whopping 16,000 square foot atrium that is unlike anything in the city. It also has a tremendous history and an active community who is eager to revive and embrace that historic feel.

    I am a proud member of this community and look forward to the vision of the neighbourhood in the coming years. And, of course, a good return on my investment.

  12. Devin

    at 7:02 pm

    @ George, pics of my loft can be viewed by following the link I posted above. It doesn’t really resemble the dark small jail that was mentioned in the original post… All I can do is shake my head.

    Oh, and post pictures! Hehe

  13. Peter

    at 7:48 pm

    David, I appreciate your opinion, but have you ever been to larger, two or three-level units in the Foundry Lofts? They are quite spacious, with high ceilings, large warehouse windows, and wide open living areas. At the time of sale, you could not find as much space for as little anywhere in Toronto.

    I agree with you that the builder did not do a great job finishing the loft conversion or putting the atrium space to good use, but it is a work in progress, just like the neighbourhood. Focusing on the less fortunate who frequent the Coffee Times or are forced by the circumstances to live where they can afford is extremely arrogant and short-sighted of you, to say the least.

  14. Yorgo

    at 8:41 pm

    Here’s my “opinion”… You are right about having nothing to do with your neighbors… if that neighbor was YOU. The building thrives with its occupants… and if you could afford to /or be lucky enough be our neighbor you would quickly realize that these lofts are anything but jail cells… nor is the atmosphere…

    Maybe posting any “opinion” will get people to read your useless blog. It is also my opinion that your article is meant to slander a great building for reasons other than the truth… maybe some sort of vendetta? hidden agenda?

    A good opinion is based on fact… not what you want it to be inside your ridiculous imagination.

    This is the problem with the internet, some worthless blogger gets to publish his nonsensical thoughts about things he doesn’t know anything about and actually has the audacity to say he has followers who would agree with him…

    Shame on me for wasting my time on this blog…

    Don’t bother responding to me I won’t read it…

  15. Schnieder

    at 8:55 pm

    Why don’t you find some more affluent clients and then maybe you will see what 95% of the units look like? I thought the smallest place in the building was 720 sq/ feet? Where you found one smaller amazes me. Are you sure someone didn’t try to use you to sell their locker? With comments like the ones above you would probably be more suited to sell them…
    Good luck with your career, maybe we’ll see you at the Coffee time soon…

  16. Daniel

    at 9:28 pm

    Here is what I find most funny about this situation: The writer expresses his opinion on the building, which I happen to agree with, by the way, and one owner at Foundry Lofts then emails the other 103 owners and they all jump online and post about how great the building is, as if to show that 99% of the public loves the building. I found this post to be absolutely hilarious. If the writer were to pan the neighbourhood where I live, I couldn’t care less. And I certainly wouldn’t attack him personally with comments about his career and his knowledge. Post about my neighbourhood, good or bad, and I’ll read with earnest. I don’t always agree with everything the writer says, but that’s kind of the point of the internet.

  17. Devin

    at 9:44 pm

    Daniel: but, the writer’s opinions are insane. “8 foot ceilings” and “625 square feet” make me laugh at whoever wrote this “article”. I’m pretty sure that he has no idea what he’s talking about, which means that–by extension–I’m pretty sure that you’re pretty clueless as well. Sadly, THAT seems to be the point of the internet, more and more often these days.

    Please see my earlier replies if you have any additional moments of confusion.

  18. Roger Dodger

    at 10:16 pm

    Haha this is great. What do you expect? Remember last year when you wrote about that self-managed building on Brock and called it a “hippie commune?”
    Those residents got together that night and one at a time, posted comments that slandered you and defended there building (and ironically upholding your description of the hippie commune).
    Of course residents are going to defend their homes. Personally I like to see both sides of the argument.
    I love seeing these residents fly off the handle!!

  19. urareal idiot

    at 11:18 pm

    Roger & David I understand the owners of the Foundry reading this post, as we they were directed. But, don’t you have anything better to do then read real estate blogs by some vindictive agent? Try the news paper -I think the SUN would suit your needs. Or better yet Brad J. Lamb’s blog post I bet you worship him! He’s rolling in money and not an idiot either.

    Why you would want to shun 104 potential clients is unclear. I’m sure many of them will write to the co you represent.

    From a real estate agents point of view (HUGE mistake)

  20. earth mother

    at 8:02 am

    I totally agree with Roger Dodger — one can disagree with a blog post and try to enlighten the reader with reasoned arguments… but personal attacks on the blogger are just juvenile… So once again we are amused by the pathetic attempts of the downtrodden residents trying to defend their homes by slandering the blogger… Do they really think he doesn’t know anything at all about real estate?

  21. Loft Owner

    at 8:10 am

    Roger, I don’t believe residents are “flying off the handle,” but merely providing the other side to the story that David’s article fail to provides.

    We simply want our voice to be heard for unsuspecting buyers that may stumble on David’s blog that this is merely an opinion and there are wonderful aspects to the building.

    I’m all for freedom of speech and personal opinion, but it is in our best interest to also show the positive aspects of our home to future buyers and our community, too.

  22. sput

    at 8:41 am

    Wow, from the self-righteous tone of the residents’ comments, living here sounds like high school all over again, complete with the Halloween / NYE dance! Not something I would like to re-live.

  23. amy h.

    at 8:43 am

    i’m not sure why informing any internet blogger of their oversight is considered ‘flying off the handle’ … it really is quite simple.

    non-issues:
    =>the comparison of the atrium to alcatraz – yes the pictures posted do look similar, and quite frankly not the first time i’ve heard it…
    =>the acknowledgement that this is a transitional neighbourhood – all of the residents here are well informed and knew where they were purchasing and weighed their pros and cons

    issues:
    =>’there are small doors to cavernous little rooms on each side’ – the doors are standard doors like all the other doors in condos everywhere…
    => ‘You walk through 16,000 square feet, and then you walk into a 625 square foot condo’ – over 80% of the suites are 1000 sq ft and do not feel cramped
    =>You walk under 40-foot ceilings, and then you walk into eight or nine foot ceilings in the condo.’ – over 80% of the suites have 18 ft ceilings and do not feel cramped
    => ‘Jail cells are cramped, 6 x 8 rooms with low ceilings and they feel like a CELL! I find that the units at Foundry Lofts feel exactly the same way; they just have nicer counter-tops.’ – clearly, you have not stepped foot into the majority of the units which is why people are informing you of your misguided opinion

  24. Michael Crawford

    at 8:56 am

    @Roger Dodger – the intent is not to “fly off the handle” but provide an accurate and fair representation of the building, not a biased one sided attack. As you’ll see from my previous posts I fully disclose as do others that the building has issues (lobby and atrium decor) but to say all of the units are small, dark jail cells is not accurate or fair. David has clearly not been in any other units.

    @David, you’ve yet to reply to my invite to view other units within the Foundry, I ask that you to come out and visit a couple units and if you still feel the same way about the units then so be it, but as it stand know you’ve based your opinion on perhaps 1 unit within the entire building of 104.

  25. McBloggert

    at 9:06 am

    Don’t I feel like a Johnny come lately to the posting party! I thought the post was fantastic, at least from an entertainment perspective.

    A couple years ago I looked at places in this neighbourhood and was seduced by the ridiculously cheap prices and the size of place I could get. Ultimately I decided that it was not conducive to my lifestyle; I’d equate it almost to the urban/suburban argument, you get lots of cheap space but give up location. I fully anticipate that in time this area will up and come and be a great place to live, but as it stands now, it’s just too far off the path for me.

    Now as for the units and Dave’s criticism of it; who cares! If was in the market for a loft I would go see every option that fits my parameters and judge for myself! It sounds as though the building has a great community spirit and is finding their market niche – eclectic and community based.

    I would have zero desire to live in a building where there are community parties and other events in the hallway/atrium. My home is my sanctuary, it drives me up the wall when people get rowdy in my courtyard or my neighbour begins his tantric sex session with the loudest women in the world. I can only imagine how much would hate it if there were block parties in the atrium once a week when I was trying to relax/sleep/work. That being said I represent one demographic of which there are many others who would relish this environment. What can be said is that this building is that it is not a neutral proposition; it will appeal and to some and polarize others.

    Having worked with Dave before I can say that he is very successful in his career and his opinion counts a lot with me; but he is not always right, especially when it comes to some of the niche products out there. My advice to the bruised ego posters out there – the best revenge is good resale!

  26. John

    at 12:16 pm

    Dude who cares what these losers say. Just keep writing and don’t stop. You’ve got balls man I give you that.

  27. Kyle

    at 12:19 pm

    I recently considered buying a unit in this building as an investment. From what i’ve seen the units are a hard-loft lover’s wet dream. Tall ceilings, exposed brick and big-ass wooden beams. I actually love everything about this building, except for the location. It’s fine if you like driving everywhere or if you like riding the Lansdowne bus, but the building itself is definitely the nicest thing within miles. The building is surrounded by a railway line, and really awful looking houses and townhouses as far as the eye can see, and a little further away is the sketch-fest that is Lansdowne and Dupont. It’s blocks away from any shops, cafes or restaurants. For the glass-half-full types, this may be considered an opportunity. After all one could argue that Hanna/Liberty and Queen/Shaw were once pretty sketchy stretches too. I guess time will tell.

    As further evidence of Coffee Time being undisputed real estate kryptonite, there is a new condo project just south of The Foundry, that seems to be forever floundering, in spite of ridiculously low prices called Electric City. Hopefully for residents of The Foundry, Cheslea and the future residents of Electric City, the neighbourhood improves.

  28. JD

    at 12:29 pm

    I’ve been reading this blog for about two years and while I often remain quite I do chime in once in a while when I see something interesting.
    Now THIS is interesting!
    For those of you residents at the foundry lofts, I’m sure you feel great about yourselves having personally attacked Mr. Fleming and making comments about his career and impending failure in the business, but you fail to realize that you did exactly what he wanted you to! There are now thirty comments on this one blog post alone. And having written a few hundred words himself, Mr. Fleming has received thousands of words in response, all for free, and all improving his web site. I think there’s a reason that he lets these comments stand even when some of them suggest that he’ll be working at coffee time in the future.
    I’ve never been to the foundry lofts, but having read this blog for a while, I just assume that some of the content of this article is true, and some is exaggerated for comedic purposes.
    Okay that’s it for me. Time for a coffee.

  29. Shawn@MoneyBrick

    at 1:44 pm

    Christopher Hume gave Foundry Lofts a “C”.

    David obviously agrees… and Christopher didn’t even talk about the inside in his article: Read Article.

    Now, time for MY opinion!

    – I would also totally not appreciate parties being held right outside my front door. Some people like quiet.
    – If $400,000 for a 1,200 sq. ft. loft in that area is a good investment, then I’m scared to see what a bad investment looks like!
    – Residents are obviously attacking David, because they’re scared of the value of their “investment” going down; how many replies mention investment?! (By the way, a primary residence does not fit the definition of an investment.)
    – The developer obviously did a minimum job in updating the property… why should residents themselves be responsible for making the atrium look nice? Whose pocket is that coming out of?
    – The atrium seems to be there solely for zoning purposes (required amenity space)… especially considering that it’s basically a glorified hallway with a TV screen.
    – Lastly, a good, honest real estate agent will give you his honest opinions and not say that everything is a good buy. Imagine that? “Well, for $40,000, you can own this lovely Jane/Finch bachelor. It’s a GRRREEEAAAT investment.”

  30. Michael Crawford

    at 2:49 pm

    I’m fine with the jail comparison with the atrium, I thought it was funny, I’d ask that David post some photos of units, not just the atrium. Right now he’s about as Fair and Balanced as Fox News. Half of his rant is about units being small, dark and cell like…then prove it…post the photos and at the same time post some shots from people that actually live here.

  31. Michael Crawford

    at 2:52 pm

    People, I stated there were 3 parties…in the span of 365 days. If you can’t or don’t want to handle 3 parties with your neighbours then this probably isn’t the building for you.

  32. RPG

    at 3:09 pm

    Totally agree with Sean. I want an “honest” opinion from an agent who isn’t afraid to tell the truth. It seems that the truth here may be that there are tons of beautiful units that David didn’t see, since he seems to be talking about the small 1-bedrooms, but most realtors would just sit on the fence and say that everything is rosy. Its hard to find an agent with a backbone who will give you his thoughts for fear of talking himself out of a sale.

  33. AnthonyA

    at 3:32 pm

    @ Yorgo

    “vendetta” and “hidden agenda” ??

    Perhaps David’s ex-girlfriend lives here? Get real. You’re the one that comes off looking like a foolish child.

  34. David Fleming

    at 7:37 pm

    @ Michael

    Thanks Michael. I’d love to take you up on your offer of seeing your unit.

    I’d love to come by and take some photographs of a second or third floor, multi-level unit that I can post on my blog to show readers that there are, indeed, larger beautiful units in the building.

    I think this will make a great follow-up post and it gives residents of The Foundry Lofts an opportunity to be proved “right.”

    I’ll contact you via email.

    Thanks again for your offer.

  35. Michael Crawford

    at 8:03 pm

    Thanks David much appreciated. I look forward to your email and meeting you. Talk to you soon.

  36. Camila

    at 11:22 pm

    Polite golf clap. Well done gentlemen.

    Looking forward to the follow up.

  37. John Davenport

    at 1:06 am

    Blogs (and the conversations they subsequently elicit) are funny things. They often end up being reminiscent of schoolyard “are too — am not” debates where people seem impelled to chime in just to opine; as though the opportunity to share their feelings cannot be ignored.

    In light of this I will refrain from offering any specific point of view on what has already been discussed, despite the fact that fence-sitting is not how I generally operate in such scenarios. What I would like to offer is perhaps some information that I was able to find while doing some internet foraging surrounding this debate (this is generally referred to as ‘research’ and is an integral part of creating any piece of quality literature — whether it be an op=ed or a doctoral dissertation*).

    The link that follows is for a March 2009 Style at Home article from their small spaces issue that features, among others, a unit from the Foundry Lofts. The print version of this issue contains more photos of the unit than is present on the website, but this should offer a taste of what is possible in small spaces — far from how they are described here. There are surprisingly a number of other articles and features on ‘small spaces’ that I have come across from a variety of other sources (mostly other home decor and decorating magazines).

    http://www.styleathome.com/homes/interiors/floorplans-a-loft-of-their-own/a/20091

    The bottom line is that none of this is about the height of the ceilings, the layout of a unit or where the windows are located. In this particular example, whether you enjoy or despise the aesthetic appeal of this featured loft (which is ultimately immaterial to this discussion), it aptly illustrates what is possible in a Foundry Loft space regardless of its dimensions.

    I think we can all agree that in a city continually building upwards, smaller is becoming more and more of a reality for many homeowners, and features such as this Style at Home article show us how despite square footage any place can be comfortable, functional, and highly liveable.

    *Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I told you I’m not a neutral, middle of the road kind of person. Do you like how I modelled it after the author’s ‘oops, I just gotta be honest’ method of dissing? Dang, did it again.

    **Just to be clear I am NOT at all affiliated with Style at Home magazine or it’s publisher (which I understand to be Transcontinental Media).

  38. Krupo

    at 4:32 am

    The Junction and rail lines were mentioned… can you hear the trains from inside? And by hear, I mean, is it a “dull occasional rumble” or “loud close-the-windows clutter”?

    Just curious – that’s one thing I think about when seeing developments going up along CN/GO lines.

  39. Devin

    at 11:10 am

    I’m SW corner, no noise from trains at all. No noise period, except for the garbage and recycling truck bright and early every thurs morning! 🙂

    And good post John.

  40. PC-Cola

    at 11:50 am

    @John Davenport
    So after all of your internet foraging (the aforementioned research, which is integral to a quality piece of literature of which you consider blog posts apart of) you came to the conclusion that small spaces can be fun and functional?

    While you say that discussions about floor plans, window placement and location are not material to a particular Style at Home article detailing decorating small spaces, you are correct! However, the blog post is not about how to maximize space in your small loft, it is about a particular experience or collection of experiences at Foundry Lofts, as viewed through the eyes of a realtor; as such these topics are germane to the conversation.

    You describe yourself as someone who doesn’t like to sit on the fence; well apparently you and the author of the blog post have something in common. If you want puff pieces on where to place pillows or what backsplash fashionable there are blogs about that. If you want frank opinions about Toronto real estate as viewed through the filter of ONE Toronto agent, continue to read and debate on the site.

  41. John Davenport

    at 12:28 am

    @PC-Cola
    Thanks for your reply.

    I agree that this particular blog post is not about how to maximize space in a small unit. But when the author states that, “Simply put, condos at The Foundry Lofts feel like jail cells” I feel it is important to provide the readers with some evidence to the contrary, hence the link.

    I also understand that this post is, in your words, “about a particular experience or collection of experiences at Foundry Lofts, as viewed through the eyes of a realtor.” But I would argue that this realtors experience(s) are clearly superficial at best. How many spaces did this realtor actually visit, and if they were occupied, then were the people living in them miserable because they were confined to jail-like conditions? I would assume not.

    Essentially I would like to know where the ‘jail’ comparison came from. Outside of wanting to discuss a childhood trip to Alcatraz, I see no reason to make this comparison and subsequently slander the owners and their homes. During his collection of experiences at The Foundry Lofts did the realtor only see empty units? If so, I would argue that an unfurnished and unpainted 4000 square foot home could look pretty dreary as well. However, I wouldn’t compare it to the abandoned warehouse I used to break into and ride my skateboard in when I was thirteen.

    Frank opinions are not a problem but what I wont tolerate are opinions of any nature that are not backed with thorough evidence to validate and actually quantify said point of views. If this was a post focused solely on the shameful state of the neighbourhood or on the cavernous and under utilised atrium spaces then I would have very little reason or desire to argue. But making blanket statements deriding the spaces that people live in without having a full set of facts cannot go without criticism.

  42. Geoff

    at 9:44 am

    @ John – it’s called freedom of expression, you don’t get to ‘tolerate it’ or not, just choose whether or not you believe it. The blog author didn’t say it’s a fact that the foundry lofts is a jail, he said it felt like one. Personally I can see his point based on what he’s said, but I temper that by the knowledge that I haven’t seen it firsthand myself either.

    Just as I can say that I think Oshawa is a hellhole and I would never live there, but the people who live there presumably like it (or don’t know any better). I don’t literally have to prove that Oshawa has demons and fires of hell burning all around, it’s my opinion that it’s a hellhole. Opinion = opinion, not fact and the author didn’t bring it out as fact. Good thing he didn’t say we had bad weather today, or people who like rain/snow are going to freak out.

  43. Matt

    at 11:02 pm

    This sure is interesting!

    I looked at this place in pre build and and even a large unit over 1000sq ft when it was done and I do agree with David that it does feel weird, I just don’t get it and can’t pin point it either.. but it made me think of the building in the st lawrence market area that has the atrium and I was’nt a fan either.

    If it helps any…in Feung Shui having atriums are not recommended because it sucks up alot of energy out of a building..it creates poor energy flow. There is no balance. Chi just does’nt flow. Just sayin’…

    A couple of q’s came to mind when reading this:

    1. How effective cost wise or maintenance wise the building is. How much would a/c and heat be when it is such a large open space?Is it much more different than a regular building? I mean such a large space needs more energy I would think to control the temperature.

    2. Those who have to go through a party 3 times a year have to endure it right outside my door? It’s like mardi gras 3 times a year? So if I lived in a 700 sq foot apartment..it would be outside my door?

    There must be some noise or echo too walking in and around the hall….acoustic nightmare.

    3. I’m not sure I want everyone seeing me walk in and out of my apartment when they walk in and out too if everyone is exposed like that.

    4. If the contractor skimped on the common areas and left it bland, i wonder if they did the same in the inside or did they go all out in the interiors of the units and just ran out on the common area. If I was a resident..I’m not sure I want my dues going to rehabilitation of areas which should have been cared for initially.

    I will say this though..I do think its a great up and coming area which residents can be assured that in time their investments will reach their full potential …..and hard loft wise it is oretty cool……but I personally like waking into my building and feeling good I live there..this pride that its a great home …. but this building does give me an uneasy feeling…..

    my opinion only…

    I have to say though, I do like my agents to be very honest with me and their opinion counts, especially if i am plopping down half a mill….If I concur with him…. then I know we are both on the right track in the business relationship.
    So David, thanks for making me think each time I read your posts.

  44. Dees Nuts

    at 11:04 am

    looked at units in this building. Smells like sh!t inside…

    Space is all about how you use it. I hear if you sleep in random parks it’s very spacious as well.

    Much prefferd the smaller Garment Factory lofts.

  45. foundry resident

    at 12:10 pm

    You are welcome to stop in and check out my unit – it is 1800 square feet with a unique floor plan ideal for working at home that is difficult if not impossible to find in this city.

    It has 15 foot high north facing windows in the 1100 square foot apartment and 20+ feet of horizontal east facing windows with undisturbed view of downtown on the work level.

    Furnishings are minimal because of my own inability to commit to things but the unit is damn spectacular.

  46. lovefoundry

    at 1:08 am

    Goodness… I just saw this! I can’t get over how somebody could be so negative about such a gorgeous building. The condos on King street all look boring, cramped and suburban but this building has history and class.

    The atrium is a beautiful space. Living there I was grateful to pass through it daily – I got the sense of spending time outside even in the winter months.

    Neighbours meet in the space and catch up and those that work from home bring their laptops out for a change of scenery.

    Currently the space is sparse but the decor committee has plans for renovations in the near future which will include more lounge areas for residents use.

    The units in there are also beautiful and are exactly what you would want in a true loft conversion. I adored living in this building. Beautiful and friendly.

  47. David

    at 2:41 am

    Wow these commentators are rabid. Note to self: never buy at The Foundry Lofts. As one of the people who can be filed under the I-want-my-condo-to-be-my-sanctuary column, I try to avoid these types of overactive condo associations and residents…

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  49. Frank

    at 6:58 pm

    I visited a friend at the Foundry Lofts a couple months ago and can say I’m a huge fan of this building. I’m looking to buy a unit as the result and came across this posting doing my searches on the internet. Those photos take the Foundry space out of context and the units certainly do not feel like jail cells. That place is a massive free standing structure (probably the size of a football field) and really an architectual wonder. The community of people is great too, which isn’t really captured above.

    No matter. To each there own and hail the internet for freedom of speach.

    I’m still going to buy a unit.

  50. Penny

    at 1:01 pm

    I’m in the final phases of purchasing a condo townhouse on Foundry Avenue; however, I am not pleased with the status certificate which indicates major ongoing repairs to the roofs. Can anyone shed more light on this? Are these repairs a good enough reason to back out despite the great layout of the condo townhouse itself. Any feedback would be highly appreciated. Thank you.

  51. Bart Solomon

    at 12:03 pm

    Hmmmmm maybe you’ve only seen 625 sq ft units because you’re a plebeian real estate agent 🤔 My 1200 sq ft unit with sprawling windows and a private exit and balcony are steps away from one of the most underrated parks in the city, but I guess I just have a VIP jail cell. For such a shit building, my unit has tripled in value so clearly the market would disagree with you, and your clients should give you a pretty low rating for steering them clear of this building because they missed out on such an opportunity.

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