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New in Toronto real estate: Volta Lofts

Posted by Robyn Urback / March 14, 2013

Volta Lofts TorontoVolta Lofts is "loft-inspired" living set to arrive at Annette and Runnymede. This project is modest in scale with fewer than 20 units, with its greatest amenity set outside its front door. Yes, fresh pies and specialties cheeses just steps from its entrance. While this condo will surely appeal to those backing low-rise living and west-end personality, its roomy suites are limited only to those with grandiose pocketbooks to match. Here is a closer look at Volta Lofts.

Volta Lofts TorontoSPECS

Address: 588 Annette Street

Floors: 5

Total number of units: 19

Ground level retail units: 2

Elevators: 1

Types of units: One bedroom plus den, two bedroom plus den

Unit sizes (in square feet): 812-1313

Ceiling heights: 9.0'

Prices from (available units): Mid-$500,00's

Maintenance fees: $0.28

Developer: Terra Firma Homes

Amenities/building features: Computer entry access, rooftop solar panel system

Expected occupancy: 2014

Volta Lofts TorontoTHE GOOD

Annette Street is a little west end gem that's not typically given the love it deserves. It has a charming almost small-town feel complete with people who actually smile to each other on the sidewalk, offering a nice alternative to the, "Hey buddy; stop leaning on my bike," that you might find on, say, Richmond Street. Volta Lofts inhabitants will have everything country-chic at their doorstep, including a cheese shop and market food store, a place to pick up fresh pies, a mom & pop pizza shop, an organic butcher shop, and lots more. So, in terms of community, this address is great. Other location perks include proximity to High Park, Bloor West Village and the Junction, along with Runnymede subway station about a 15-minute walk away.

The building itself seems to do its best to not disrupt the delicate ecosystem of Annette. Space for two retail shops means it will offer something to the area beyond a handful of new neighbours, and while I don't find the architecture to be particularly stunning, Volta Lofts does come off as fairly inoffensive. Now, the suites themselves do deliver in terms of dazzle, outfitted with walk-in closets, spacious terraces (some with a private master suite terrace), kitchen islands with double-basin sinks, and some with washrooms equipped with separate bathtubs and shower stalls. Naturally, however, you get what you pay for, and Volta Lofts is far from a $300,000 shoebox in the sky.

Volta Lofts TorontoTHE BAD

What is this — a kitchen for ants?! Okay, that's not totally fair (buyers can customize their kitchen packages, after all), but Volta Lofts' kitchen rendering looks as though developers took a regular-sized kitchen and scaled it down for Fisher Price size. I'd wager it'd be a huge hit for kids. In any case, the big drawback of Volta Lofts floorplans seems to be with its two-bedroom and two-bedroom-plus den units. In short, only one bedroom (the master) gets a window. The other (or others, in the case of an extra bedroom plus den) is typically relegated to a corner of the suite, blocked off from natural light and usually equipped with a simple sliding door. It's not ideal, to say the least, for a buyer spending upwards of $750,000; at the very minimum, he or she should be guaranteed a window in every bedroom.

The other drawback, of course, is price, with Volta figures sort of steep compared to other properties in the area. If you head a couple blocks north you can find three-bedroom detached homes priced in the $500,000 to $600,00 — options which, notably, come with a little bit of land and freedom from mandatory maintenance fees.

Volta Lofts TorontoTHE VERDICT

Great location. You'll get more room, sunlight, (and potentially, return on your investment) with a house a few blocks north, but those private terraces and master bathrooms sure are purdy.

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

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doug / March 14, 2013 at 10:17 am
i wouldn't move here...the people are giants...compar ethe mto the doors !!!!
revolta / March 14, 2013 at 10:35 am
What a hideous, hideous facade.

The architects should be embarrassed. Then fired.
... / March 14, 2013 at 10:53 am
Haha! Thought the same thing.
steve / March 14, 2013 at 10:54 am
The unit layouts are decent, kitchens look useable. It is a small building, 19 units (does that include the two commercial spaces) that could pose a problem with maintenance fees. How adequate will they be to maintain the building now and in the future. You may end up with high fees or a neglected building requiring special assessments every few years.
cathie / March 14, 2013 at 10:55 am
Typical long and narrow, bowling alley units. They cheaped out because there could have been windows on the end units on the 3 top floors. Instead its a solid brick wall. And any room with no window is nothing more than a closet or a home theatre. Although I see the building is 60% sold, there is absolutely nothing appealing or interesting going on here.
Archimetect replying to a comment from cathie / March 14, 2013 at 11:25 am

The reason they can't put windows on the side of the building is more to do with building code than desire or finances. There is a limiting distance from the adjacent property line that dictates the amount of openings any wall in a structure can have.

Still, there could have been a lot more donw with that facade to liven it up...
Developers / March 14, 2013 at 12:11 pm
Leave the west end alone!
Warren / March 14, 2013 at 12:11 pm
I can't wait until the people that live here go eat at The Grillway.
fred replying to a comment from Archimetect / March 14, 2013 at 01:56 pm
also i think most building in toronto will be built as such there will be no space between them rendering the windows if the building next door ever grows...
John / March 14, 2013 at 03:42 pm
At least it's not another 20 story all glass behemoth with 'views of High Park'.
HHH / March 14, 2013 at 04:01 pm
Giant people are invading the West End!!! -or- Tiny buildings are the hippest thing!!!

Either way, terrible rendering. The layouts are okay, but the material choices and the images just makes me really question the design taste of the architect/developer. Looks like it feel off the ugly tree, and hit every branch on the way down.
Charles marker / March 14, 2013 at 06:32 pm
With just one elevator, what happens when it's being serviced or when there is a move?
Aaron / March 14, 2013 at 07:59 pm
Wow, another stellar design. A brick-shaped blob!
morp / March 14, 2013 at 09:37 pm
the render people are GIANT! they're taller than the doorframe! they coming to getchya.
Simon Tarses / March 14, 2013 at 10:05 pm
Just like a residential building SHOULD be, low enough to fit into the city, not like what we've been building else place in downtown Toronto. I'd move into these if I could.
CM / March 15, 2013 at 11:59 am
It looks like that family is looking over their shoulder and laughing at the giant freak lady.

Daphne / March 17, 2013 at 11:44 pm
Yet another jail cell for twits to inhabit, leaving them with no money to live with. And debt for the rest of their lives. Don't buy into Conservative "mega-prison" living. This is unacceptable. Humans can't live in these condo cages.
TG / April 11, 2013 at 12:30 am
Its about time something decent is being built in this neighbourhood. Boutique building that fits in perfectly with the surrounding properties. GREAT terraces and balconies! I understand that the kitchen is "LUBE" imported from Italy and high end stainless steel appliances. Great buy, too bad if you missed out.
Jackie / April 16, 2013 at 04:43 pm
Is this development actually happening??
Tg replying to a comment from Jackie / May 6, 2013 at 10:54 pm
Yes it's happen at this very moment
Duncan / February 18, 2014 at 05:26 pm
the builder (Terra Firma Homes) should be ashamed of this design. It is a throw back to the industrial design of the 70's!!!! disgusting.
Maria / February 26, 2015 at 11:05 am
I think the building melts in very nicely into the busy neighbouring houses. The builder could have built a cheap all glass monster instead of a brick building. Look at the neighbouring houses, they are 100+ years old, their bathrooms are extremely small, rooms squired with bunch of walls all over, very narrow living spaces, dark inside, the available space used so poorly that you can't do anything with it and yet they cost close to one million. It's a joke! I am looking forward to see more modern, affordable homes like VOLTA in this neighbourhood. The interio I think is nice and modern and it is what the purchasers asked for, you can choice from a variety of interior design options, some wanted these type of finishes, it's their choice.
Nina replying to a comment from Maria / February 26, 2015 at 11:11 am
Have you seen their new building on 441 Jane? It's the same builder. I wonder what are the neighbours' thoughts on that one.
Nina replying to a comment from Maria / February 26, 2015 at 11:16 am
I agree with you - Maria.
I bet you in less than 5 year the 2 buildings on both sides will rise to the height of this new one for sure. West-end is on demand and there are too many buyers vs purchasers and this pushed the home prices to unrealistic amounts.
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