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…
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?
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:
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:
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?
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