Why I Love Toronto
Old buildings in Toronto are difficult to modernize. Some developers think the cost to bring them up to code in order to make them liveable or workable is too high. Therefore, these buildings are either abandoned (usually those that are protected by Toronto heritage laws) or are torn down. Other times developers will spend the money to preserve these old historical buildings and partake in what I have dubbed the Heritage Modernization Movement, where instead of demolishing old buildings, developers restore and incorporate them in to retail space or liveable quarters.
The Massey-Harris Lofts are an example. Constructed in 1883 in a Georgian style, the building served as the headquarters for the Massey Harris Company which was famous for its agricultural equipment, more specifically tractors. A heritage property since 1973 the building is one of the last industrial buildings to sit on that portion of King Street West. It wasn’t until 2003 that the building was converted to lofts.
The building is exquisite and I love the fusion of old and new - the old, being the original structure, and the new being the penthouse suite addition on the roof. The bay windows on the first floor are so beautiful and I love how the exterior remained relatively the same. However, like most buildings the interior was modernized, but people living in the Massey-Harris Lofts can still experience so the old buildings charm with exposed brick walls and high ceilings.
This is one of the earliest Heritage Modernization Movements I have made mention of on my blog, but as you can see the thought to preserve our heritage properties and repurpose them has been around for over a decade and as we see today with some projects, this movement still lives on.