Redevelopment of the Wallace-Perth Church property (Union Lofts)

Original post to this thread:
Just noticed some for sale signs at the Church. Anyone know what the zoning allows in that location?

The church has been sold and a residential developer is hoping to put in a set of condos, re-using the existing church building and adding a new one. Will keep this forum updated with news.


Other links:
Some old plans for a loft conversion for this space. No longer relevent.

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Construction Issues Perth Wallace

Church at Perth Wallace update. So many folks have been annoyed with the construction trucks on the sidewalks, blocking the street, and the deliveries by large trucks during to and from school hours. There have been quite a few calls to the police (like a week ago when a truck was parked in the center of the intersection for 40 minutes at 4pm. The police came close to charging the driver.) Today by chance I ran into an inspector from the Ministry of Labour who said they had received complaints as well and that he was now actively involved in monitoring the project. He will be visiting the site on a regular basis from now on.There was many things he was not happy about and will be ordering them to stop deliveries during the morning and afternoon school walks and correcting the unsafe storage of building supplies. This inspector has the power to shut the site down so we should see some improvements.

Perth/Wallace Church "Praise the Loft"

Apparently there's a petition circulating in the neighbourhood regarding the "Praise the Loft" slogan.

Though I think the slogan is kind of cheesy (and cheeky!), the reaction is kind of hilarious....

The Villager has an article:

tree removal in progress at Perth & Wallace

A company called Central Tree Care is at Union Lofts this morning taking down trees on the property, and I'd like to make sure they have the proper permits to do so. I got the company's contact info from one of their (friendly) staff on site:

Mike: 416-436-5118 /
Andrew: 416-896-5293 /

The person I spoke to suggested I call Andrew. Andrew was also friendly, and told me the plan is to take down all but the large maple on the south (Wallace) side of the property. He offered to put me in touch with his contact at the developer, but I haven't heard back from him yet. One of the other staff on site said they will be putting in three trees for each one they take down, according to city(?) policy.

Anyone have thoughts as to what else to do (if anything) to make sure no more trees than necessary are taken down?

Had Permits

Patrick and I did hear back that they did have permits. 2 of the trees are basically dead. The developer will have to put in 3 trees for everyone taken out. Its good for people to be aware of tree removal as we have had some non-permitted removal and when they are gone.....

Tree Permits; Potential Issue

Actually there seems to be some confusion about these permits that has lead to Forestry and the Planning Department looking into this. What the issue is is unclear but all the trees we were told were coming down have not and I guess we await to see what happens next.

excavation in prog. at Perth/Wallace church damaging tree roots?

Though no further trees have been taken down, today they're digging up the concrete around the ash tree on Perth (and perhaps later near other trees on the property) using an excavator. I wonder whether this might seriously damage root systems. Is something to be concerned about? If so, what to do--call the city's tree inspection team (seriously--you can do this via 311)?

Perth/Wallace Church in The Star

The Toronto Star has an article about this re-development:

Praise the loft
Windmill Developments plans to convert a red-brick, Neo-Gothic church at Perth Ave and Wallace Ave. into a condo that it has christened Union Lofts.
Windmill Developments plans to convert the red-brick, Neo-Gothic church at the northeast corner of Perth Ave and Wallace Ave. into a condo that it has christened Union Lofts.
By: Ryan Starr Staff Reporter., Published on Thu Mar 28 2013

Perth/Wallace Church in The Globe

The Globe & Mail has an article about this church conversion:

Sign Up

The sign is up. Calling the project Union Lofts. Website:
Also heard some construction noises from inside and a dumpster out front. Excited to see this project start.

Perth-Wallace Church

For what it's worth, I'm overall supportive of this project. I'm glad the church building will be re-used with minimal exterior changes.

The developer has accommodated some of the community's concerns and ideas from the last meeting. There's still some work to do, and I hope that all issues can be sorted out (though no matter what, someone will probably not like the outcome).

The neighbours immediately north of the site will probably be the most affected by this, and they came to the meeting with plenty of good, well-reasoned and educated questions (actually, was that you, MattD?). Privacy, shading, and construction impacts would be my concerns if I lived there too...

Like all community meetings, the traffic and parking issues seemed to take the main focus. To be honest, I'm not too concerned about the traffic and parking impacts from this development. I would expect that many people who move in to this development will likely use transit, walk, or bike to work, as a large portion of people in the neighbourhood already do. I'm surprised that the developer/owner of this site (and the Glidden site owner, too) didn't really play up the GO/Bloor/Bike options, as other developers have (e.g. Castlepoint on Sterling). I think the laneway access into the site is fine, though they will have to do something about the snow.

The opportunities for streetscape, sidewalk, and road improvements at Perth and Wallace should be taken advantage of too.


Yup that was me.

Yup that was me.


I feel the same way,

If they accomplish what they say they want to based on the plans and design, it's a plus for the area and will add that range of new owners we need, of all age groups, and family configurations

This IS considered downtown TO and our little area has been blessed with no high rise condos when that is what other areas are getting (whether they like it or not), perhaps it's our limited road network that saved us from the intensification that others get, yet we can and will benefit from the increase density

I think its a good addition and much needed


As a clarification, the

As a clarification, the church redevelopment is NOT rental units as stated on page 17 of the Official Plan Amendment and Zoning Amendment Application, this was cleared up at the community consultation meeting held on Feb. 21

I have several concerns with

I have several concerns with this project, the major ones being:
-the proposed plan is 34 RENTAL units, 30 one-bedroom units and 4 two-bedroom units. We were initially told the build would be condos.
-this will bring a lot of transient singles into a neighbourhood that is increasingly attracting families and does not contribute to the needed development of inner-city housing for families.
-the height of the new building is 3.35m above the zoning of 12m for a total of 15.35m. The adjacent residences are 9.35m, so the proposed plan is not in keeping with other existing residences in the area
-the size of the new building is also not in keeping with other new builds in the area.
-the back of the building is not in line with those of other houses on that side of the street.
-the proposed reconstruction of the heritage building will include terraces that overlook many peoples houses and backyards - this is accomplished by removing the roof of the church and drastically changes the character of this historic structure.
-garbage, compost and recycling collection: will a truck have to block the lane way to accomplish this?
-overall traffic congestion on Perth Avenue and parking issues.

All the above information was obtained from


Good points Matt although I dont think we should be too hard on "transient singles" since this area has had a large number of renters for the last 30 years. I think I was a "transient single" once myself and I turned out OK. : )

Of note you are correct about the "Tenure Type" being rental and that is a huge concern. I wonder if that was a mistake as I thought this would be a condo project. Can somebody at the meeting clear that up for us who cannot make it ?

As a clarification, the

As a clarification, the church redevelopment is NOT rental units as stated on page 17 of the Official Plan Amendment and Zoning Amendment Application; this was cleared up at the community consultation meeting held on Feb. 21

I was not trying to be hard on transient singles or to suggest that they are inherently bad for a neighbourhood. Rather, I meant to suggest that a development of 34 small rental units in an area that is trying to improve the local school, library, parks, etc. seems incongruent with the overall aims of this community. Happily, I can report that the rental/condo confusion was corrected.



Positive / Negative

Positive and negative comments, as well as signed-in and anonymous comments, are welcome here.

Though I'd appreciate it you turned off your capslock key, as SHOUTING isn't welcome here, especially by anonymous critics of anonymous posters :)

Code of conduct

Good work Vic. I admire your

Good work Vic. I admire your restraint given that the majority were not anonymous and the SHOUTER was. : )

Opportunity for Perth Wallace

I think that the redevelopment is a great opportunity to help the Perth and Wallace corner become something much better. There is a great need to narrow the intersection to stop all the people who dont stop at the stop sign as they use the corner as a Symington shortcut and to make the corner safer for all pedestrians as traffic is only going in to increase. In the east end a lot of bad corners have been tamed using corner punchouts (which do not reduce parking by the way) and they really have made some corners much greener and safer. I hope that the developer sees this potential and decides to participate.

Perth Avenue Church

Firstly, I appreciate the positive comments. I have rehabbed several historic properties and I look forward to the re-adaptation of the church. However, I wish to clarify a misconception in one of the comments. The church will NOT be covered in stucco and was NEVER even considered as an option. The brick is generally in good condition and, after restoration, will shine!. Thank you for letting me clarify.

Great news, I never would

Great news, I never would have imagined you'd want to cover century brick with cheap stucco, not only a unnecessary expense but will take away the purpose you wanted a old church to convert, it's original beauty,

I'm happy to see this proposal move forward, I'm confident you will beautify the building and intersection, by restoring the old charm in the old building & complementing it with a new modern designed homes to north, I love that combination of the old and new,

looking forward to the buildings & the additions to our neighourhood

Thx for keeping us informed

Stucco Treatment

Thanks very much for the clarification and assurance that there is no stucco treatment planned for your development. The picture included on your signs around the property show a beige, uniform treatment on the outside of both buildings. There is not a brick in sight on the drawing which is creating the impression you are planning stucco finish.

Wallace-Perth Church Update

The developer of the former Perth Wallace Church site sent a letter updating their process and some of the changes they have made to their plan. They have submitted an application and there will shortly be another public meeting.Here is their update:

"January 12, 2012

Dear Neighbourhood Resident

On April 28, 2011, you participated in a community meeting with respect to the church redevelopment proposal at Perth and Wallace Avenues, Cornerstone Lofts. We appreciated your attendance and the support shown for your neighbourhood. We heard many thoughtful neighbours express their support for Cornerstone Lofts as well as some of their concerns. As you may remember, the presentation plans showed the renovation of the existing church structure into 23 residential condominiums, construction of an underground parking garage and a new 4-story 14 unit residential condominium building on top of the garage.

On October 20, 2011 we submitted our formal application for the redevelopment of the property. In the plans submitted, we addressed concerns expressed by the neighbourhood and the planning staff. I wish to bring you up to date on Cornerstone Lofts. The following is a summary of our changes that were submitted in our application.

Comments were generally related to the project as a whole (particularly parking), the church or the new building. The church renovation and elevations were generally well received and there was much support for this phase of our plan. We subsequently made minor changes to the church plans and submitted substantially the same plan as presented to you.

Most of the concerns expressed related to parking, the size of the units and the height of the new building:
1. The number of units – some expressed concern about the number of units in the proposed project. In our presentation, the church had 23 units and the new building contained 14 units for a total of 37 units. Under our application, the number of units was reduced by almost ten (10%) percent: 22 units in the church and 12 units in the new building for a total of 34 units.

2. The size of the units – some expressed concern that the proposed units were small and wished the new units to be similar in size to existing homes. The average size of the units in our presentation, although not small, was approximately 825 sf in the church building and 771 sf in the new building. There were 3 units over 1,000 sf. Under our application, we increased the average size of the units in the church building from 825 sf to 965 sf and in the new building from approximately 771 sf to 909 sf. There are now 10 units over 1,000 sf.

3. The height and west elevation of the new building – some expressed concerns relating to these issues. Our presentation plan showed the building as 3 stories with the 4th floor setback approximately 3 ft from the 3rd fl. The 4th fl covered approximately 67% of the 3rd floor with setbacks from the 3rd floor on the west, north, east and south sides of 5’, 5’, 5’ and 5’ respectively. There were no setbacks for the stairwells Under our application, the 3rd floor is now setback from the 2nd fl. by approximately 5 ft. and the 4th floor is further set back from the 3rd floor by over 16 ft. The revised 4th floor has been incorporated into the 3rd floor units making them two levels. We also reduced the footprint of the floor from 67% to 40% of the 3rd floor; eliminated the need for the 2 staircases and elevator shaft to go the the 4th floor thereby reducing the mass of the building; increased the west, north, east and south building setbacks to 16’-5”’, 13’, 13’ and 6’ respectively. This significantly reduced the massing and impact of the 4th floor

4. Parking issues and the number of parking spaces - some expressed concerns about availability of parking. As a gesture of goodwill, we have left the parking lot open to neighbourhood use at their own risk until construction starts. However, we caution our neighbours that the lot is NOT open to the storage of vehicles and boats, etc. The parking plan as submitted did not change from our initial presentation Our traffic engineer prepared a report with respect to traffic and parking and submitted same with our application. The engineer’s analysis indicates that with the ready availability of public transportation, the use of car share spaces and availability of on street permit parking, the plan as submitted meets the requirements of the city. A copy of his report is available.

I thank you for the opportunity to bring you up to date and we look forward to meeting with you again at the next public meeting. You should receive notice of same shortly.

Thanking you in advance, I remain

Cornerstone Lofts Limited

Mark McGroarty

Cc: Ana Bailão"

Shame there's no smaller units...

Dang, I've lived in this area for almost a decade as a renter, and was hoping that this redevelopment would have some smaller sized units as well. ie: 600 square feet mixed into those bigger 800 and 900+ units. While I agree that family housing is important, this is a neighbourhood made of mostly detached family homes, so I don't really feel there's a shortage of it. The opportunity to look into a nice smaller unit in a historical building would have been great.

Wallace Perth Church Development

It is great to see the developer has taken some of the nieghbourhood concerns into account. One issue that I think needs to be addressed is the stucco treatment planned for the outside of the church. Not sure why anyone would bother buying an old brick church building just to cover it up? All of the buildings in are neighbourhood are predominantly brick exteriors. Even the newest developments in the area are brick. This project should also be done in brick rather than a cheap finish like stucco.

I agree that the developer

I agree that the developer should go with brick to stay with the look and feel of the neighbourhood.

This will be a great

This will be a great development for the community! Hope it gets swift approval :)

Perth-Wallace Church meeting notes from Bloordale Press

The Bloordale Press has posted an article about the April 24th meeting:

Comments about the Perth-Wallace church meeting?

Curious to hear peoples' comments, especially those that might be directly affected by it due to close proximity.

I didn't take notes, but I'll post a few thoughts soon.


Perth Church Early In The Process

Nice to see Councillor Bailao there this early in the process. Great of the developer to be there early in the process and to quickly let locals have a say instead of the usual snow job that developers give.

Everything presented was preliminary and has not even been submitted to planning yet so there could be many changes down the road.

Overall I like the direction they are going and welcome more neighbours next to me and life and energy it will bring to the area. Density within reason is a good thing and having the church walls and towers remain helps keep some of the history of the area. Density always means more, building new homes like the ones built in 1913 would be a bad environmental idea and is not economically viable. Here are a few points that crossed my mind.

--The new 4 story building in the north Parking lot seems a bit large, especially for the people directly north. I think setting back the top floors on the west and north side would reduce the obvious effects on the people next door.

--The church roof would be replaced by 2 stories of glass floors. I like the look but am a bit concerned that these floors will be looking into a lot of backyards. Maybe a reduction of a floor and a setback will help. This would also be a sizable change in the church motif which I think is something that people would not want.

--The parking will be underground but not enough for all units. The idea of promoting units without parking for a car free lifestyle (there would be two zipcar spots) is a trend in North America right now BUT if it is true that there may be a change in the municipal law that would allow the units without cars to buy on street parking then that would be an issue for two reasons. One there will already be reduced parking because all of the people who have been freeloading by using the church parking will in theory now have to park on the street day and night. 2. You are now also adding a further number of church resident cars and their visitors to the mix. This could make the Perth Wallace corner very congested.

--Some people at the meeting went on about how bad parking is in the area at this time and frankly thats a load of baloney. For some reason people always think things are worse than they are.Despite Not having a garage or alley I have never experienced any problem parking anytime (except church day) in 10 years. Rarely do I have to park more than 4 spaces away from my front door and often over night there are 5 or 6 spaces at Perth and Wallace. This could change a bit because of allowing church residents to get street parking and I warn everyone that if this law changes then the people at 351 Wallace and at the future development on the north side will be asking for the same thing. There needs to be real clarification on how this will play out. I dont think parking is an issue right now but I wonder how bad it could become. Remember too....what will the impact be on parking closer to Bloor when the Metrolinx "mobility Hub" is completed? I can see part of Perth becoming one way and there being i hour daytime parking for non permitees to control traffic and parking.

--Visitor Parking is 4 spaces if I read the map correct and that is not enough. With 351 Wallace we got them to expand visitor parking and there is still not enough. My experience has been that traffic planners live in a dream world. I think they need more visitor parking and a method to stop residents from using it (which is an issue at 351).I think they could squeeze a few more parking spots in the underground. We all know how many the church got in there so I think there is definitely room for improvement.

--Some people thought the units were too small but they are very similar to the sizes in other condos that I have seen. I dont think there is any issue with this considering that many homes in our area have 3 units, each the same size as the smaller condo sizes. Housing diversity is a good thing and over time its not just young people who live in small condos. Many urban people retire and downsize into small condos. Some people worried about families but this area has been undergoing a boom of new families over the last 5 years and some of the housing stock is reverting to single units; I dont think we will run out of families soon. The development on the north side of Wallace when that happens could be a better place to insist on some family size units (although that does not mean that families will live in them).

--Some people had issues with the use of the alley to enter the building. I think its a great idea because it will reduce cars on Perth and provide more green space on Perth. With the developer giving up some land to widen the alley as needed I dont see any issues, it would be where it should be, at the back of the building where all the other garages are.

To Councillor Bailao I have suggested to the city for a few years that the sidewalk at Perth and Wallace should be changed to the narrower cutout style that you see in the east end. I have really noticed a massive increase in speeding traffic and cars not stopping at all at the PW corner. A cutout would be safer for walkers and slow traffic down.I think we have an opportunity to actually work with the developer to make the entire intersection more green and safer.

Again this is all early and the developer has said he will come back and meet again as the process develops so I encourage people to submit their thoughts and be part of it.

It sold for $2,000,000 Plans

It sold for $2,000,000

Plans for a loft conversion were drawn up a few years ago ... 22 units, if I remember correctly. No idea why it didn't fly at that time.

Although I'll be sad to see the congregation leave, I'll at least be able to park on a Saturday!


That icx listing is offline now - does anyone have pics of the inside of the church elsewhere? Would love to see what it looks like.

Most of the congregation now

Most of the congregation now lives up near Steeles so most will not miss the drive. The few that still live downtown have told me they will commute to the new location.

The church will be a loft

The church will be a loft conversion. The sale took a while as they had to make sure that it could pass muster at City planning. It will be cool to have new people around but keep some physical history of the past. The church replaced the smaller original church at Ernest Avenue and Perth in 1913. Hopefully the Adventists will enjoy their new home.

It's pretty hard to dig

It's pretty hard to dig through the City's online Council documents, but with a little work I found that an application in March 2008 to include the church in the City's Inventory of Heritage Properties was approved in June 2008:

Could be an interesting loft project, I imagine...

Church Sale

I know the sale has been bitter sweet for some attendees. They are going to miss this great church and neighbourhood location but are looking forward to a new and bigger place with better parking facilities.

Church has been sold

The "sold" signs went up on the church a couple of weeks ago. Everyone keeps asking me about this, but I don't know any further details about it. So I thought I'd just revive this forum topic and see if anyone else knows who bought it, what's happening with the site, etc.

Any ideas / insights?

ICX listing for Perth/Wallace church

Church Zoned R2

This land is zoned R2 (residential) at a density of 0.6 and with a height allotment of approx 3 stories (the church is higher than that already). Obviously the zoning changed long after the church was built.

No matter what happens to the church, whether it is converted to lofts, or is torn down (It does not have a historical designation) and townhouses are built, the new owner will have to apply for some kind of rezoning and generally speaking the City will be in favour of increasing the density level for the site which makes sense.

In terms of the church sale itself that may be tricky as they are asking for a 2007 price (they have been trying to sell since then) but we now have 2010 interest rates. I am just guessing but the 2.3 million dollar may have to come down a few hundred thousand to make this enticing enough for a developer.