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New in Toronto real estate: Lighthaus

Posted by Robyn Urback / November 30, 2012

Lighthaus TorontoLighthaus is not your cookie-cutter Toronto build. This luxury townhouse complex (can I say "luxury" again?) features 20 sprawling, natural light-optimized spaces, complete with private underground parking and all the finest finishes. And for a million bucks plus, you better expect a soaker tub. Planned for Brockton Village just northwest of Dufferin and Queen, Lighthaus is sure to bring a little green (of course, I'm referring to the landscape design work) to Toronto's west-end downtown.

Lighthaus TorontoSPECS

Address: 51 Florence St.

Project type: Townhouses

Total number of units: 20

Types of units: Three-storey three-plus-den, three-storey three-bedroom

Unit sizes (in square feet): 2,195 - 3,380

Unit widths (feet): 13 - 20.5

Prices from: $1,149,990

Parking: Most units include two parking spaces. Some units include one

Storage: Included

Maintenance fees: $0.13/sf

Maintenance fees exclude: Hydro, gas

Developer: Great Gulf

Architect: STAMP Architecture

Interior Designer: Cecconi Simone

Expected occupancy: November 2014


What with the extra, oh, 2,500 square feet as compared to typical condos featured in the series, it only makes sense to dedicate an extra few words to Lighthaus' description. These townhomes, simply, have it all. Starting from the ground up, each unit has room for one or two parked cars, plus bike parking, a basement storage area, a basement bathroom, and a laundry room.

The main floor is open-concept and optimized for natural light, with built-in cabinetry, integrated Miele appliances, a double under-mounted sink, and a standard kitchen island. Up one floor you'll find two bedrooms and, where applicable, a den, with a balcony and a washroom complete with a full bath. The third floor hosts the master bedroom, master ensuite, and "dressing area," which is somewhat like a walk-in closet but equivalent in square footage to most downtown bachelor condos.

Lighthaus TorontoEach townhome features a so-called "lightwell," which is essentially a skylight that feeds from the third-level roof all the way down to the main floor. The complex will have two visitor parking spots, a shared courtyard, and gas hookups on each terrace. Buyers can also choose from a variety of finishes and features, and are advised to pay no attention to the envious, curious blogger peering through their back windows after the occupancy date.


Um. I've been analyzing 475-square-foot pint-sized condos for the past few months. Forgive me while I try to find the proper perspective. Yes, Lighthaus is wonderful in the way that master dressing rooms and 140-square-foot ensuite bathrooms can't help but be, but of course, a million-dollars-plus certainly pays for such perks. So, lets all put on our "Engaged to a venture capitalist" caps (pft... as if I ever take mine off) and look at Lighthaus from a value perspective.

Is Brockton Village a million-dollar area? Maybe. But I suspect Lighthaus is more the catalyst than the benefactor of the area's great leap forward. (Related: What would Mao do?) Brockton Village has become a target area for first-time homeowners and young families in part because of its (relative) affordability. It's also enticingly accessible with easy access to several main drags, and ripe with lingering Little Portugal culture on Dundas and Parkdale's trendy haunts to its south. Last month, (October) the average price for a home sold in Brockton Village was around $630,000 and change, which is certainly a few pennies short of $1.2 million (and up).

Lighthaus TorontoBut there are a few key characteristics that help explain the discrepancy. First off, a Lighthaus town will inevitably be larger than most of the potential sale properties in the area, which, of course, merits a higher price tag. Lighthaus is also entirely new, compared to the Victorian rows, semis, or renovated properties that, while charming, never bring in as much money as a new construction.

On the flip side, however, if a fully detached, updated, freehold Brockton Village home has trouble breaking, say, $850,000 or $900,000, to be generous, why should a single property in a 20-home complex — one that also demands hundreds of dollars in monthly maintenance fees — cost an additional $400,000 or more?

Lighthaus TorontoThe obvious conclusion is that you're paying a premium for new, luxury, cutting-edge, and that fancy skylight lightwell. Are Lighthaus buyers getting a steal? No. Will they be moving into an up-and-coming area? Perhaps. But most likely, they'll be the ones pushing Brockton Village from "up-and-coming" to "there" — leaving the real win to the smart (lucky?) cookies who bought in the area before Lighthaus opened its sales centre.

Lighthaus TorontoTHE VERDICT

Any investment banker types looking for a roommate? I'll be generous; you can have the master.

What do you think? Would you live here? Add your comments to the thread below.

Read other posts in this series via our Toronto Condos and Lofts Pinterest board



Kelsey / November 30, 2012 at 09:12 am
I would live here in a heartbeat.

Yes, there will be criticisms that it's simply TOO modern and feels so "un-homey" or uninviting, but I absolutely love the modern look.

It is clean, fresh and the natural light is such a bonus.

Sign me up!
No / November 30, 2012 at 09:21 am
Come buy your haus at LIGHTHAUS

It's hau you will become kool.

Kill me now.
Big Fuckin Mega Boat / November 30, 2012 at 09:27 am
I understand linear kitchen designs are an ideal way to maximize space in a small unit, but when you've got 2,000 plus sq ft to play with? I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say my last condo, which was a whopping 450 sq ft, had a more useable kitchen than these. Nice otherwise, even if the bathroom does not appear to have a toilet.
SousedBergin replying to a comment from Big Fuckin Mega Boat / November 30, 2012 at 09:48 am
Rich people do not go to the bathroom.
the lemur replying to a comment from Big Fuckin Mega Boat / November 30, 2012 at 09:58 am
In what way does this kitchen appear less useable?

I'm guessing the bathroom pic is the view from the toilet.
the lemur replying to a comment from No / November 30, 2012 at 10:00 am
There needs to be a moratorium, or maybe an additional developer fee, on new condo developments with 'haus' in their name or other nonsensical pseudo-Euro affectations (I'm looking at you, Gläs).
Golly Wog / November 30, 2012 at 10:01 am
If I had a million dollars...

I still wouldn't be able to afford one.
Big Fuckin Mega Boat replying to a comment from the lemur / November 30, 2012 at 10:26 am
I'm not a huge fan of linear kitchens even at their best, but here the island is essentially your only counter top space. I would reconfigure some of the adjacent cabinets/fridge for some extra counter top. I don't really care for the sink being on the island either, as it means having to constantly spin around between it and the stove top/oven. Minor gripes, I know, but I've had a kitchen similar to this (albeit, smaller) and just didn't find it ideal for someone who likes to cook a lot, as I do.

Thankfully, if I had the money to purchase one of these, I'm sure I'd have enough to renovate it to my tastes :)
Dizzy replying to a comment from Big Fuckin Mega Boat / November 30, 2012 at 11:25 am
I guess if you can afford one of these you're not eating in (and therefore needing counter space) very much :)

I agree with you by the way, that's be the first thing I would change.
marcus / November 30, 2012 at 11:56 am
I walk my dog by the planned plot for these and I'm not sure if people who move into these will realize it is Parkdale, until it's too late.
DL replying to a comment from SousedBergin / November 30, 2012 at 12:21 pm
Exactly. They just crap into the hands of the servants.
mike / November 30, 2012 at 01:03 pm
LOL ya the sales center is over at ossington and queen (westqueenwest), but the location is in deep parkdale. sorta reminds me of those town houses that went up at beverly and cecil for 850,000 each, but they were made out of plywood for the most part and look pretty crappy compared to a real house made out of real building materials in that area. anyways, good for the neighbourhood to have rich people around, they usually plant trees and pressure the government for transit improvements.
TypicalTO / November 30, 2012 at 01:12 pm
The fact that this mediocre crap is being lauded as 'modern' and selling for a million dollars shows what a provincial backwater Toronto really is. You can buy style but you can't buy taste.
The Time Travelling Victorian Lady / November 30, 2012 at 02:09 pm
I have spent much time, over varying epochs, next door to this project and plan on keeping the builder on his toes at every turn. Michael Cho painted the home next to the lot where the project will be built, a beautiful relic of the past. This lot had been home to wildlife of all sorts, and it will be sad to see such an urban oasis vanish. It was a fine place for skating as well for a period of time as there had been a pond there. At what density will the builders stop? Must things become so dense in this city that we live snout to bottom and suffer all of the ills therein entailed?
Scroll down to the blue tinged painting at the bottom. The space on the left is where the project will be built.

Evil Wildlife Killing Pond Stealing Developer replying to a comment from The Time Travelling Victorian Lady / November 30, 2012 at 02:59 pm
Bring it. You should have bought the property yourself if you're so fond of what was there before. Developers owe you zip. In any event, this project is FAR less dense than say, a 40 storey tower would have been. Anyway, carry on crying every time new housing is build in the city, I won't be shedding any tears for you.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from The Time Travelling Victorian Lady / November 30, 2012 at 03:52 pm
I wish that this kind of development could be built in suburban Toronto, myself-all that these things do is mess up the character of old Toronto, and they will make it less appealing for tourists and anybody else with a sense of history. If all of the city was like downtown, I wouldn't mind, but only one part of Toronto looks like this, and we have to preserve that part a lot better than we do now. A lot of the buyers of these places could live in homes and apartments in the suburbanized parts of Toronto without missing anything in downtown, with most of it accessible by public transit; we don't need developments like these clogging up downtown. I much prefer the older type of apartment complex that was built in the 70's and 80's-at least they didn't tower over everything and were solidly built
The Time Travelling Victorian Lady replying to a comment from Evil Wildlife Killing Pond Stealing Developer / November 30, 2012 at 03:54 pm
Tsk-Tsk. In every form, way,and manner, our posts speak for themselves, for they not only give hints as to character, but intellect as well. Good Day.

Resident Bitch Slapper / November 30, 2012 at 04:00 pm
HEY Evil Wildlife Killing Pond Stealing Developer, in response to your attack on the The Time Travelling Victorian Lady. YOU are a moron.
The word you are looking for is 'built' not 'build'. Is that what they taught you at 'build' school? You are a fucking idiot and I can't believe someone gave you a job, if you do in fact work in this area. My guess is that you are simply a douche.
Also, with that kind of dumb ass reaction to a comment it is obvious that you suck.
I went to the community meeting for this project and I can actually picture which one of the douche bags you could be. Believe me, there were a lot of super douches there.
If you really are involved with this build, I hope that I see you around so I can take a dump on your ugly and moronic head the way you crap all over Toronto. If you can actually read, The Lady wasn't crying about all the new building, just this piece of shit on Florence. And quite frankly she wasn't crying, she was merely reminiscing.
Also, I am sure that many people would have loved to purchase this property, but they could not afford to. Especially when you had to pay off the (drunk driving) city councillor to change the zoning laws, and the guys in the industrial lot behind it, to not work on the days that the environmental/sound impact studies where being conducted.
I cannot speak to all developers in the city, but you sir are a terrible terrible person and if you are working on this project you should be immediately fired. You are a bad spokesperson for developers and a bad example of humanity.

Guess I just brought it, eh douche bag?

Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Evil Wildlife Killing Pond Stealing Developer / November 30, 2012 at 04:07 pm
Excuse me, but why the frack should she have to buy land that she cares for and has lived near? Why the frack don't you and all of the other greedy motherfrackers keep this crap in suburban Toronto where it really belongs? Better yet, why don't you make these developments of yours fit the places you and all of the other developers are building these things on?
Evil Wildlife Killing Pond Stealing Developer replying to a comment from Resident Bitch Slapper / November 30, 2012 at 04:25 pm
Very intelligent, profanity laced, reply. Well done. I shall go hang myself now over my typo.
Resident Bitch Slapper / November 30, 2012 at 04:45 pm
"The Lord requireth not the death of a douche, but rather that he repent and be cool."
-Florence 51:1
downtowner / November 30, 2012 at 06:46 pm
so there's CONSENSUS? Everyone loves these houses?!

Great. Now we can get back to reality.
Lz / December 1, 2012 at 05:24 pm
Stuff like this is so disappointing.
I know a bunch of people that work down the street at the Wood studio coop. Its such an amazing space, full of really incredible and talented furniture makers and craftspeople. Im sad to hear that they're going to have to move on and find studio space elsewhere soon to make way for poorly planned, cash and go architecture.
Lz / December 1, 2012 at 05:26 pm
even if it is supposed to be 'luxury'
oops. / December 1, 2012 at 07:10 pm
It looks designed by IKEA.
kn / December 3, 2012 at 11:52 pm
hey kind of looks like what the TCHC and the city are promising for public housing at atkinson coop. communism does work.
Jake replying to a comment from Lz / January 20, 2013 at 07:03 pm
Great! Let me know where the displaced artists go, as that'll be the next up-and-coming hood in TO. Although there really are none left anyways so..
me / January 20, 2013 at 08:14 pm
Artists? Or "hoods"?
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