Saturday, April 25, 2009

urban home: Foundry Lofts, Toronto

the idea of home is constantly evolving in cities--we live in old buildings, new buildings, converted buildings, factories, houses, apartments... right now, i'm living in a house that has been subdivided into apartments (i'm in the former attic.) across the street, there's a church being turned into townhouses, which seems to be a tediously slow project...whenever the weather is lousy, the construction crew stays home.

this week i was lucky to visit Toronto's Foundry Lofts--a site which originally produced steel railway rails, fences, fire hydrants...and rather splendid decorative dragons. the foundry company dates back to the 1870s; these buildings were mostly built in 1903. now, this main warehouse has been repurposed as lofts, with a massive communal shared atrium running down the middle of the space.
several of the buildings on the former 60-acre site have been given Heritage status, and deservedly so--the smokestack, above, built at the beginning of the 20th century, was once the 2nd tallest structure in all of Canada. several of the lofts look right out at the smokestack--including this one.

more on the evolution of the Foundry, in my series on homes in Toronto, for blogTO.

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