New in Toronto real estate: Volta Lofts
Volta 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.
Address: 588 Annette Street
Total number of units: 19
Ground level retail units: 2
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
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.
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.
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.