Toronto Through My Lens

The Tip Top Lofts

At 637 Lakeshore Blvd. West just west of Bathurst Street sits the Tip Top Lofts. Just behind it lies Lake Ontario. This building has a long and prominent history in Toronto. Formerly known as the Tip Top Tailors Building, it was constructed in 1929 and housed the manufacturing, warehousing, retail and office operations of Tip Top Tailors Ltd., a menswear clothing retailer founded in 1909 by Polish-Jewish immigrant David Dunkelman.

The building was designed by Bishop and Miller architects, incorporating the Art Deco style. In 1972, the building was designated as a heritage structure by the City of Toronto.

In spring 2002, Dylex (the company owning the building) sold the property to Context Development, who converted it into condominium lofts. The conversion was designed by architects Alliance of Toronto. The conversion included the addition of six stories on the roof. The neon Tip Top Tailors rooftop sign was retained and given a slant. Inside, there are 256 beautifully renovated lofts.

A few notes on the interior lofts courtesy of the website condos.ca:

Offering “hard” and “soft” lofts: When the building was converted into lofts in the early 2000’s, Context Developments was smart-thinking to create both hard and soft lofts. What that means is that Tip Top Lofts offers both the classic, exposed brick and woodbeam “hard loft” style, as well as more modern “soft loft” styles that will feel like a contemporary condo.


A Few Historical Photos

Courtesy of the City of Toronto Archives and torontolofts.ca, here are a few photos tracing the history of this magnificent Art Deco building:

1926
1930
1940
1980: Tip Top Tailors building in the background with a Joy Gas Station in front
1985

2 Comments

  1. David

    Thanks Marvin. A building that every Torontonian has seen at some point. A beautiful structure indeed.

  2. Despina Kyraleos

    This is a special post for me Marvin as my father worked in this building, right past when the company was called Dylex, I remember him calling it that.
    I was always so proud of him working there, and now my niece and nephew are proud of their grandad when they take the Gardner and see the sign.
    My dad used to have his lunch in the summer on a picnic table next to the building, and I picked him up, dropped him off, at the door at the left side of the building, where the pressers worked.
    Thanks for this Marvin

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