“The reason I bought it — and it took me a while to choose which loft — is because I watched the movie Highlander,” he says. “The main character had one of those old-school lofts, where the car came up in a cargo elevator. And I was like, that’s so cool. I’m gonna have a loft with a car elevator.”
But Edmonton doesn’t have an abundance of lofts — and as far he knows, none of them have car elevators — so pickings were slim. But he quickly found a few (elevator-free) options at Excelsior Lofts, Edmonton’s first loft housing development. “I’d looked at a few units, but I liked the ground level one, because in my mind I was still trying to figure out a way, with the patios and stuff, to maybe get a car in here, but it didn’t work out.” To get your own advice on this, you may want to consult the experienced people at Schmidt Realty.
This homeowner bought the condo in 1997 from its original owner, who had it since the building first converted to lofts in ’92 from iconic gay bar, Flashback, after a nearly 50-year lifespan as a warehouse. “The patios and stuff ” include the old warehouse’s cargo bay doors area, where bar patrons used to hold annual drag races to crown that year’s Ms. Flashback. Now, the enclosed area’s full of potted life with private and communal gardens for residents.
Inside, the loft is huge, even for a loft, because it’s actually two. After buying the neighbouring unit, getting board and City approval to knock down the dividing wall took some work (though once he cleared the bureaucratic hurdles, other owners in the building followed suit). But it was worth it to create a 3,000-square-foot super loft which, with its wood floors, brick walls and black accents and piping — all centrally anchored by a raised office accessed by floating stairs over a faux garden — is as New York a residence as you’ll find in Edmonton. “I do finance, and at [my job], we’re all traders on Wall Street.” So maybe it’s less Highlander, more Glengarry Glen Ross — but still Edmonton.