Nestled in the centre of Toronto's Junction Triangle neighbourhood, at the unassuming intersection of Wallace and Perth Avenues sits the shell of a building that started off as Perth Avenue Methodist Church. Built in 1913, the church became associated with the United Church of Canada, and more recently was a Seventh Day Adventist Church. Two years after being a listed heritage property by the City of Toronto, the church was deconsecrated and sold for redevelopment to a partnership of Windmill Development Group Ltd. and Cornerstone Lofts Ltd.; with Windmill focusing on marketing and design, while Cornerstone was overseeing construction.
Windmill Developments filed for Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments in October 2011. This would see the construction and conversion of the former church into residential condominiums with a 4-storey addition, totalling 43 units with 16 parking spaces below-grade, and 3 surface parking spaces. Designed by Caricari Lee Architects, the project was initially named Union Lofts, and was marketed with the slogan "Praise the Lofts", to the displeasure of some unamused locals.
Church conversions are difficult, and surprises in older buildings are common, so not everything went according to plan during initial construction. After many delays and setbacks, the contractor walked out. With occupancy dates consistently being pushed further into the future, purchasers at Union Lofts became frustrated. With costs much higher than anticipated for the development, Windmill was forced to drop original plans for the development and refund the purchasers. Those initial homebuyers are being given first priority and a $20,000 discount in the now relaunched project, although prices of the units have had to rise substantially.
With marketing being taken over by Paul Johnston, Arch Lofts suites now start in the mid $300s. Units in the church and the 4-storey addition have separate names; Church Lofts and Vestry Lofts, respectively. The now 40 units range in size from from one-bedroom to two-bedrooms plus den. Parking now includes 17 spaces below grade, and 2 surface spaces. 46 bicycle spaces will be provided, split between underground and surface level. Overall, the gross floor of the development is 3919 square metres.
Located less than half a kilometre northeast of the Dundas West subway/Bloor GO/UPX Station, and less than a full kilometre away from the ambitious Galleria Mall redevelopment, the project will attempt to achieve LEED Platinum certification.
The project is now expected to be completed sometime in mid 2017; three years after the initial date of November 2014. For now, we will keep you updated as construction recommences. Our database contains additional renderings of Arch Condos. Want to share your thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment in the space provided below, or join in the conversation in our associated Forum thread.