Matthew Slutsky
February 2, 2010

Lofts have become a trendy style of living. Nay.. Lofts have become a trendy way of marketing…

What is a loft? Is there such a thing?

Originally popular with the artsy types, due to their affordability and versatility of space, lofts are often now anything but affordable and rarely versitile!

Builders and developers are now building brand-new condo buildings with a loft-like-feel which allows the resident to live in the downtown core far removed from the traditional loft neighbourhoods.

So, what is the difference between a hard loft and a soft loft?

Hard Lofts are generally in old warehouses and manufacturing building in transient parts of town, which have been converted into residential living spaces. Hard lofts often have the character and feel of the original building, such as brick-walls, concrete ceilings and floors, very large windows and ceilings and exposed mechanical features. These spaces are often fantastic for live/work environments (if the definition live/work is not obvious to… it is a place where you can live and work!)

In today’s marketing lingo, the term loft has become synonymous with large open concept living space with high ceilings and large windows. Many people in the real-estate industry call such living spaces “soft lofts“; they are normally finished with all the bells-and-whistles such as granite countertops, hardwood flooring, pot lights, and such. In essence, they have a “softer” feel to living in them! Developers often build brand-new buildings but market the units as “lofts”.

Where can you find some great soft and hard lofts? Check out Leslieville (map, listing).

Atria Development Corporation has done an amazing job converting an old garment factory into soft lofts in the award winning Garment Factory Lofts. Unfortunately, the Garment Factory is now sold out (if looking for a real-estate sales person for re-sale, email me at for some great recommends).

However, Atria also has a bunch of hard-lofts available for sale in the iZone Live/Work Lofts. “Originally the building was a knitting mill,” says Matthew Stone, VP of Atria Development, “but we resisted calling the project “The Knitting Mill Lofts”.

What is unique about their iZone Lofts (well, the entire building is unique) is that Atria is willing to work with purchasers to build-out the loft-spaces, giving them the feel of a new luxury unit. Maybe Atria is paving the way for Soft-Hard Lofts??

Interested in finding out more about iZone Work/Live lofts? Check out the detailed information ‘here‘ and the BuzzBuzzHome map ‘here‘.

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