Building amenities aren’t for everyone. Lower monthly fees are often correlated with less (or a lack of) common amenities, most notably pools and 24/7 concierge (gyms have a very minimal impact on fees). Some people prefer to keep the extra pocket change, while others are unshakably enthralled by the perks that come along with living in certain buildings—and we don’t blame them.
For the latter types (or anyone who’s curious), we’ve rounded up a list of the
Thanks to its enormous size, Cresford Developments had plenty of room to outfit The Merchandise Lofts with amenities during its conversion in 1999. The 480-unit building, a former warehouse for Simpson’s department store at 155 Dalhousie Street, has a pool, sauna, gym, an enormous rooftop patio (with a designated dog walking area), parking, and even an indoor basketball court.
While the smaller scale means there’s no basketball court to be found at 363-369 Sorauren Avenue, the cozy, 153-unit former candy factory known as the Robert Watson Lofts has just the right amount of perks. Residents can enjoy living in a true industrial conversion, plus they have access to a gym, party room, meeting room, ample parking, and a rooftop patio with barbecues.
Canderel Stoneridge literally made it rain when they created these soft lofts at 1030 King Street West. The building is equipped with a rain room—a cost-efficient way of keeping residents cool during summer months. Rather than charge higher maintenance fees for the upkeep involved with a swimming pool, the rain room is cheaper to maintain, and possibly even more fun.
Peter Freed’s soft lofts at 621-629 King West & 38 Stewart Street are more than just homes. Homeowners living at the Thompson Residences have access to a state-of-the-art gym and yoga studio, a conference room, and a concierge service available 24 hours a day. On top of all this, they have VIP access to the amenities at the Thompson Hotel (just around the corner), which includes a rooftop bar, lounge, and infinity pool. Plus, when residents feel like living it up, they can call up the room service, house keeping, or laundry services used by hotel guests.
Built in 2013, these soft lofts at 8 Dovercourt Road feature some of the most ground-breaking and eco-friendly amenities we’ve ever seen. Besides the loading dock that doubles as an event venue (go figure), the building also features a green roof and charging facilities for electric cars. Oh, and did we mention the Art Condos also have a movie theatre, games room, rooftop terrace, hot tub, barbecues, and a gym?
As you can see, many of the buildings on this list are soft lofts. This is because hard loft conversions, authentic and character-filled as they may be, don’t always have the space for the same “extras.” Developers can pre-plan with modern homeowners in mind when designing soft lofts, meaning they can ensure there is ample space for more than just homes. That said, amenities are a personal preference and some simply find them frivolous.
For those who can’t live without both historicism and the comfort of added amenities, authentic conversions like the Robert Watson Lofts and the The Merchandise Lofts offer an important lesson: if you do enough digging, you never know what you might find.