PRINTERS ROW LOFTS, 525 LOGAN AVE
Condo Critic: What's not to like about Riverdale? PRINTERS ROW LOFTS, 525 LOGAN AVE
by Christopher Hume
The Toronto Star. November 21. 2009
|Like many old Toronto
neighbourhoods, Riverdale has been a focus of the gentrifying hordes for
With its fine housing stock, mostly early 20th century, and downtown co-ordinates, it's not hard to understand its appeal. More than that, the area has more than its fair share of green space Riverdale and Withrow parks come to mind.
But except for the industrial structures farther south, Riverdale has remained largely condo-free. The buildings are almost exclusively lowrise residential, and there are only a few main streets running through the district. In other words, development opportunities are few and far between.
Still, the flavour has changed significantly. A good example is the recent disappearance of a convenience store on Broadview south of Riverdale Ave. It was closed to make way for a cafe, which may seem appropriate but which will exacerbate the area's lack of retail. Indeed, if it weren't for Chinatown East, there would little shopping at all.
Perhaps that's what attracts people; the nearly total residential content of Riverdale makes it feel set slightly apart from the larger community. Though the roar of the city is always audible, the source remains hidden.
This adaptive re-use scheme is one of few condo projects in Riverdale. It dates from an earlier era when a few businesses did manage to establish themselves in what is otherwise an overwhelmingly domestic precinct.
This strangely church-like structure fits so well into its context, it's just about invisible. Those who do take the time to stop and look will be rewarded with the prospect of a modest but dignified building that has simple lines and good bones.
Dating from 1911, it was constructed by Bell Telephone, which might explain the big windows and box-like shape.
But in this case, simplicity becomes a virtue. Surrounded on all sides by houses, the three-storey redbrick slab feels right at home. It also provides a welcome note of variety in a neighbourhood that tends to be architecturally homogeneous.
Best of all, perhaps, the renovated structure seems ideally suited to its new use. The transition has been made seamlessly.
MICHAEL STUPARYK/TORONTO STAR Printers Row Lofts inhabit a former Bell Telephone building which is modest but dignified. The three-storey red brick structures simplicity is a virtue.
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