Toronto’s Heritage Apartments

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Anyone who knows me well knows that, after theatre & vintage things, my third biggest obsession/passion is real estate. Particularly heritage buildings. Maybe it’s because I’ve lived in 11 (going on 12) different places in the past decade. Or maybe it’s the idea of living in a place that is an antique itself, something that surrounds me in the vintage style I love. Whatever the reason, I have spent far too much time not just wandering neighbourhoods here in Toronto & in New York, dreaming about the antique doorknobs and lighting fixtures I could collect to adorn these places, but I have now spent WAY too much time documenting some of the best heritage apartments in Toronto.

I was surprised when I searched and could not find a site or blog dedicated to listing exclusively heritage buildings. I could find the odd apartment by using search terms like “art deco”, “Victorian” or “character”, but it was a painfully slow and inconsistent process. So here, for all you apartment-hunting, vintage-obsessed Torontonians, is a list of some of the best rentals the city has to offer.

*for this list, I stayed away from old buildings (eg. factories) converted into apartments as well as houses turned duplex/triplex and any that have become condos available for sale rather than lease. Here you will find low and mid-rise rentals that have always been residential apartments.

Fleetwood Apartments
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Built: 1939
Neighbourhood: Deer Park
Address: 64 St. Clair Ave. W
While I’ve read stuff that suggests the Fleetwood is as wonderfully Deco on the inside as it is out, I haven’t been able to find pictures to support that. Still, given how many times its been featured in real estate articles I’m inclined to believe this one is a gem.

Benlamond Suites
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Built: c.1909
Neighbourhood: Beaches
Address: 47 Benlamond Ave.
I couldn’t find the exact date for this building but another home just a few doors down was built in 1909, so I think it’s safe to say it’s from around the same time. The outside of this place really doesn’t do it justice; check out that wood paneling.

Epitome Apartments (originally Mid Maples)
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Built: 1913
Neighbourhood: Between Kensington Market & Baldwin Village
Address: 160 Huron St.
My first bachelor apartment was in the cramped basement of this building, in something clearly not meant to be lived in; no vents, pipes along the walls, constant blasting heat. It certainly wasn’t glamourous but I did love the outside of the building and the location (just off-campus). After a year I moved upstairs with my then-boyfriend into the main floor apartment you can see from the front of the building, on the right. It wasn’t big enough for two people really, but I did still find it somewhat charming. That was back in 2009-2010. Now the building has been revamped and is much more modern inside, and I suspect considerably more expensive. Nonetheless, it’s an interesting heritage building, and one with a somewhat unique history.

The Maitlands
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Year Built: 1900
Neighbourhood: The Village
Address: 32 Maitland Ave.
This classic luxury low-rise shows up on all of the city’s blogs about the best heritage rentals. While the suites maintain their original hardwood floors and leaded windows, the apartments have been well maintained and feature modern kitchens and bathrooms.

Broadview Mansions
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Year Built: 1927
Neighbourhood: Riverdale
Address: 569 Broadview Ave.
Another building that has had quite a few upgrades the mansions have at least maintained their deco charm on the outside.

Kew Beach Mansions
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Year Built: 1929
Neighbourhood: Beaches
Address: 2163 Queen St. E
I’m not sure what company manages this building now, I had trouble finding information on it and I’m not sure what it looks like on the inside. But that front door alone is enough to warrant it being on this list.

Claxton Manor
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Year Built: unknown
Neighbourhood:
Address: 1592 Bathurst
The inside is sadly not as lavish as some on this list; no beautiful oak trim or built-in bookshelves. However, I’m really digging the cute retro bathroom. I was unable to find the date for when this was built, but I’m going to guess it was mid-late 20s.
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Mallory Gardens
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Year Built: 1931
Neighbourhood: Deer Park
Address: 8 Mallory Gardens
The outside of this building might not be terribly impressive, but the suites have maintained their charm by keeping the original built-in shelves & deco tile in the kitchen& bathroom. I wish I could find better photos; I’ve been in one of these and the pics don’t do it justice.

 

Grenadier Mansions
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Year Built: unknown
Neighbourhood: High Park (Swansea)
Address: 1942-1956 Bloor Street West
The rental site looks almost as though it hasn’t been updated since these were built, with some very cluttered & dated photos that are used for every sized apartment. But look behind the mess and you do see some nice details like fireplaces and wood trim. Not sure when these were built, likely sometime between 1920-1950 when the area was being built up.

Heath Park
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Year Built: unknown
Neighbourhood: Cedervale
Address: 22 Tichester Rd.
Another Trivest building means more poorly photographed interiors, but there does seem to be some original trim and tile. I’m always suspicious of buildings that give incentives like “free tv!” to lure in renters, especially when it’s one as central and affordable as this, but I am easily swayed by vintage charm.

North Gate
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Year Built: Unknown
Neighbourhood: Forest Hill
Address: 1532 Bathurst
Trivest again! Very similar to the last few, I suspect all of these were built in the 1920s or 30s.

Clarendon
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Year Built: 1927
Neighbourhood: Forest Hill
Address: 2 Clarendon Ave.
Whereas most updated heritage apartments have included modern elements, especially in the kitchens and bathrooms, this luxury residence has preserved the classic styles of the era in which is was built. The lobby is drool worthy and I can’t tell you how much I love that 20s style sink.

Claridge Apartments
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Year Built: 1929
Neighbourhood: Forest Hill
Address: 1 Clarendon Ave.
Another stunning Forest Hill heritage building the Claridge is very similar to the Clarendon listed above.

Mount Pleasant Suites
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Year Built: 1927
Neighbourhood: Mount Pleasant
Address: 649-667 Mount Pleasant Rd
This one is unique on the list as the apartments are all above stores. Not many photos to be found, but apparently some still have their original clawfoot bathtubs!

Du Maurier Apartments1325799431_070918DuMaurier005

Year Built: 1930s
Neighbourhood:
Address: 5 Du Maurier Boulevard
This building boasts about it’s 30s styled lobby, high ceilings and tall baseboards. While the apartments are updated, there are still hints of vintage charm in those elements.

 

Mayfair Mansions
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Year Built: 1931
Neighbourhood: Forest Hill
Address: 398 Avenue Rd.
The exterior and common areas of the building have far more of a vintage look than the individual suites, still, the leaded windows are a cute touch.

Am I missing some? Leave links in the comments.

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2 thoughts on “Toronto’s Heritage Apartments

    • That’s what I was finding. I never saw them listed and looking up the address didn’t help much, you really needed to know the name of the building and in some cases that had changed throughout the years. That’s why I figured we needed a list where you could actually link to the different building’s rental info – and I will keep updating as I find more! 🙂

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