Large churches struggle to find alternative uses once they no longer serve as houses of worship. Whether located in a small town or a large city, too many churches sit empty and abandoned. Once in a while you’ll come across a success story. This church in Toronto has been converted into condos. Take a look at the photos and let me know what you think.
A bit about the Victoria Lofts:
Converted from a turn-of-the-century church into 38 gorgeous units, this building is beautiful, rooted in history, and ideally located. Boasting soaring ceilings and gorgeous architecture including a dramatic sloping roof, a copper-trimmed steeple, romanesque arches and curved brick columns, suites range from 600 to 1800 square feet over one or two storeys. Originally the West Toronto Presbyterian Church, this stunning building has been a vital part of the Junction neighbourhood since 1885, when it first opened its doors. Renamed the Victoria Presbyterian Church to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897, this structure is one of several historic buildings in the area. Located near the West Toronto Rail Path, a multi-use 4km path that links several Toronto neighbourhoods, the Junction is well-connected and a haven for any one seeking to reduce their carbon-footprint. Spend an afternoon checking out the Junction Arts Festival, a neighbourhood display of music, dance and visual art, or take a fifteen-minute stroll south to High Park.
Apparently, converting churches into lofts is a thing in Toronto. Check out this post and this post. Do you want to live in a church? What do you think? A good idea? I’d like to see the inside. But, from the outside it looks pretty good. The windows would be better intact, but perhaps that wouldn’t work for the residences. In that case, the structure remains as a landmark in the neighborhood and it is legible.
Do you have a church in your town that could serve as a residence?
12 thoughts on “Church Turned Condos in Toronto”
They’re doing this to a church in my town, which is about 2-3 hours east of Toronto. I kind of have mixed feelings about it (it seems like everything is either being turned into condos or demolished to make room for condos…) but when it comes down to it, you do get to keep the building as a landmark. I guess I’m conflicted because converting a church requires such a drastic change to the interior space, and it also means a formerly public building is now private.
I like your point about the drastic change to the interior, and the public space becoming private. (And I did notice the crazy amounts of condos in Toronto – more than in Montreal, even!). But, better than demolishing the building or disfiguring it.
Oh yes, I totally agree it’s better than demolishing it! And, given the choice between buying a condo in a brand new building or a converted church, I think I’d probably choose the latter 🙂
When push comes to shove I would always rather see a building saved, especially one like this. However, it is hard to imagine condos inside! I bet they get some really good light 🙂
Agreed. I’d love to see the inside. I’m having trouble picturing it.
This is happening to a church in my town, but rather than condos, it’s becoming offices. Luckily the windows will remain – probably easier since it isn’t going to be living space. I think this is really creative. While not “prefect” preservation, it’s great to put a historic building back to use rather than let it sit vacant and ripe for new development to move in.
Windows are essential, good to hear they will remain on the church in your town. “Perfect preservation” – now there is a good conversation topic!
This is a very interesting story! I agree that they did a pretty good job with the exterior but I really want to see the interior. Can you visit and get some interior shots for us? : )
Oh, I wish I could. I don’t live anywhere near Toronto, however – I was just visiting. There are some photos here: http://www.condominiumtoronto.com/victoria-lofts-152-annette-st though it could be in the addition. It’s still hard to picture!
Not sure if you noticed when you visited that former church but there was another converted church just 300 or 400 feet west ! That’s actually my general hood. Toronto is littered w/ these conversions. Mixed feelings.
I did notice that about Toronto. It such an interesting city. Clearly hit by Urban Renewal. No wonder why Jane Jacobs was so inspired!