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And Condo Slew Abell…

condo_sales_centre.jpgSince there’s been so much coverage of condo development in the media lately, particularly concerning the Queen West-West area near The Drake, we’re surprised we haven’t really seen any discussion of the ghastly new West Side Lofts sales centre that’s getting set to open at Queen and Abell. After three months construction, the worst condo sales centre in the world is soon to be open for business, selling the stacked townhouses that are already being built behind 48 Abell.
botllepeople.jpgIf this is the developer’s idea of “artsy,” what does it say about the direction in which the neighborhood is headed, or the developer’s respect for the hood and the artists who already live there? Thankfully, some less traumatizing bottle art is now up outside the building.
And thanks to the photos and writing of Jill Murray, everyone can enjoy this post.


  • bh

    Boy, that sure is a cutting edge little flash movie. I signed up toute suite because I couldn’t bear the thought of being a LOSER like that couple who are left out of the terrible little dance club.
    “Right across from the Drake Hotel”: is that a selling point or a disclaimer?

  • Blaine

    Best promotional video ever.

  • Gary

    You failed to mention that the ugly condo centre was designed by Will Alsop, famed architect responsible for the lovely OCAD floating shoe box.

  • Jeremy Wilson

    What I find particularly offensive is that this disgusting monstrosity is suituated directly next to Wolfitt’s, an art store.

  • Jill

    It’s actually IN Wolfitt’s parking lot, so this would likely be with their consent, and to their profit.

  • chris

    i actually think the sales centre is an impressive piece of work – if it wasn’t a sales centre for the god damn abell lofts. it’s light, playful, interesting, and thought-provoking – i wish more buildings in the city had some whimsy to them, but dollaz is dollaz. wouldn’t it be great if it was a daycare, or a youth centre, or a something like that – a function that suits the building? after all, architecture isn’t just designing a building – it means being sensitive to the environs (arguable here, but i’ll not be too critical – it’s friday), and matching the structure to function (here it sucks). and it makes me sad that it’s a temporary structure when so many worthy groups in the city would kill to have some infrastructure like that.

  • Jill

    It’s not totally temporary. That sucker is going to last. Maybe you’re right and it will stink less as time goes on and it is repurposed.

  • mongo

    Nope. As winter thaws, it’s just gonna stink more and more — just like those suburban houses being built behind it. Repurpose? Maybe as a fireman’s training building or an old age home for retired clowns.

  • Alison

    “Old-age home for retired clowns” is definitely a niche that this city needs to fill.

  • Jill

    “Old-age home for retired clowns”
    That is the awesomest thing I’ve read all year.

  • bh

    Let’s hope that someday Tony Ianno takes up residence… OHHHH LOL.

  • justto

    i thought it was a building that was well thought out. it related well to the neighborhood building (at least in height).
    i am all for well thought out contempory building. tall is fine if it bring context to the street level.
    how many boring stack townhomes can toronto take?

  • Jason Paris

    I think it’s the best condo sales centre Toronto has ever had! Moreover, it will be used permanently and isn’t just a temporary trailor.
    The massing is perfect for the area and the funkiness is completely in keeping with West Queen West. Moreover, how many cities get to have condo sales centres designed by Will Alsop.
    What is your problem?

  • mongo

    first, trailEr, not trailOr
    second, i’m sorry i insulted your hero.
    third, one man’s “funkiness” is another man’s “yikes-what-the hell-is-that-rainbow-monstrosity?”
    de gustibus. . .

  • Jill

    I think it’s this contrived idea of “funkiness” itself that’s offensive. It’s really quite fake.

  • Jeremy

    fake? god… who cares? so its not subtle, so it doesnt scream “medium flavour” so it doesnt blend in with everything in this city. at least someone has some balls to do something differently for a change… so sick and tired of people complaining about how the neighbourhood is lost… its called change, deal with it. yer entitled to your opinion as is everyone, but c’mon give a little… townhouses suck yes, but at least this doesn’t look like every shitty boring sales centre… i’m not “on the list” and i don’t care, but i do like looking at that building because its different.
    p.s. ocad is the most interesting floating shoe box i have ever seen

  • Jill

    I meant that the idea of funkiness is fake. The building itself is very much real.
    Excuse me while I return to my morning bowl of medium-flavoured oatmeal and quiver in fear as time marches on.

  • mongo

    um, the very real building we’re talking about has many very real colours and patterns that clash in a very real way. not my cup of tea, but if you like clashy, it doesn’t get any better, right? sort of like your embarassing aunt who used to be funky but still wears a lot of ’80s crap and is clinging to the look out of misguided pride or desperation. alls i’m saying is it’s fugly . . . to me.
    what’s the list?

  • Jeremy

    the condo company asks if you are on the list on billboard or poster somewhere near the building.
    what im tryin to say is that the building might look hidious but at least its done its job as proper architecture should- to make people respond to it, like it/hate it, at least you felt it to some degree…
    the ocad building might look ugly but its a shoebox on stilts, as an idea, thats pretty amazing… especially for an art school
    and thats as far from fake as i can see

  • Jason Paris

    first, trailEr, not trailOr
    Indeed, pardon my spelling mistake, but it was 02:45 in the morning.
    second, i’m sorry i insulted your hero.
    Hero may be a strong word, but I’m definitely a fan. Moreover, when I think back to all the negative reaction when OCAD was first proposed compared to its now (nearly) universal acclaim. I can’t help but think that this “sales centre” will soon be loved as a part of the neighbourhood as well, probably more-so once it becomes a retail space once the sale centre is no longer needed. Also, all of us in Toronto should look up to Alsop as he’s actually openned an office in our fair city (his North American H.Q.) and now currenly boasts about what a wonderful place Toronto actually is.
    third, one man’s “funkiness” is another man’s “yikes-what-the hell-is-that-rainbow-monstrosity?”
    You could say that about any piece of art or anything the least bit artistic. Nobody will like everything and if they did, it would probably be pretty boring.
    In final, this building is perfectly suited to West Queen West. It’s well built (concrete frame, which is rare for a building this size in T.O.), its massing is in keeping with the street, its use can easily be re-zoned, it makes a statement of an artistic nature and its by an international architect who truly believes in Toronto’s renaissance.

  • jeremy


  • M.Evans

    I would never own a condos from West Side Lofts! Did you know that the security guy in the commercials “are you on the list?” has been charged & convited of drinking & driving as well as assault charges? Not my kind of neighbourhood that would have him on the list.

  • Josh Rachlis

    Put a green roof on the thing and let it clean the air we all breathe and cool the oppressive summer heat. And then I don’t care what the building looks like. But as long as it’s just another block of concrete, yah, it’s not adding anything at all to make this city any better.

  • Sam

    Hey guys, the WEST SIDE LOFTS could potentially become a Queen/King West Landmark. The builders and architects are keeping the west art theme by building something totally different, understood by some… not by others, and liked by some, not by others … just like ART! … but besides art, the rooftop is gonna be all grass, which gives back to nature … and the building will feature many cool amenities … yoga/pilaties studio, gym, pool with waterfall, party room, BBQs, even a tanning area.. haha. Now what lofts/condo building has a grass rooftop and a waterfall by the pool area ? IT’s totally different and i think that people who are hating on the building are just jealous that they can’t live there …. haha, kidding. but anyway, it’s gonna be a positive change for the area … for sure!