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A look inside two church conversions

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Victoria Lofts interior: Penthouse family room and truss.

Pedro Ho

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The inset balcony creates a “side window,” which was a “real saving thing,” says the architect: “So all of the sudden you’ve got this side piece that you can have the bedroom off of, and you’ve got this piece that you can have the living room-dining room-kitchen off of, and that way you’re not having to deface the building and you’re meeting the code requirements for percentage of floor area for glass all in one stroke.”

Dave LeBlanc

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Architect Paul Oberst, left, and Rivet Development’s Fred Dyer.

Dave LeBlanc

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Looking up into the steeple at the former Victoria Royce Presbyterian church, built in 1890 in Toronto's Junction neighbourhood. It has been converted in to the Victoria Lofts.

Dave LeBlanc

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Victoria Lofts interior: Penthouse den with original tower windows.

Dave LeBlanc

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David Fleishman on his living room at 701 Dovercourt: “The volume of the space does a lot psychologically; the height of the living room is 20 feet,” says the furniture designer. “And the sculptural ceiling with skylights breaks up the space nicely adding contrast to the rest. If you took the same living room footprint with a low ceiling it would be a totally different feel.”

David Fleishman

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The living room from ground level.

David Fleishman

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David Fleishman on his suite: “It’s conducive for entertaining: easy to serve and clean up as the kitchen is a few steps away and open to the main space,” enthuses Mr. Fleishman. “In the summer, a group of people can be in the living room and others on the terrace, then mix it up so there’s a nice flow.”

David Fleishman

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Victoria Lofts interior: Penthouse kitchen. In some areas of the roof, engineers did models and found the massive trusses weren’t carrying “any load at all in a static condition,” says Mr. Oberst. “They only take a vertical load when the wind is pushing against the roof…they didn’t have the engineering capabilities in those days, they always overbuilt things,” he explains.

Pedro Ho

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Victoria Lofts exterior. Mr. Oberst explains that the church was finished in an “oxblood wash” originally, which tinted not only the mortar, but the brick as well. Since this has aged in a “patchworky” way over the years, it made it easier for the conversion team to ‘hide’ interventions.

Pedro Ho

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Victoria Lofts lobby with original church fixtures.

Pedro Ho

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Victoria Lofts master bedroom with new tower windows.

Pedro Ho

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Victoria Lofts interior: Penthouse second bedroom with window to inset balcony.

Pedro Ho

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Victoria Lofts interior: Top floor corridor.

Pedro Ho

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701 Dovercourt Rd., exterior

Bernard Watt

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