A CONDO WE LOVE: A light-filled loft in a former Laura Secord factory

A CONDO WE LOVE: A light-filled loft in a former Laura Secord factory

Housed in a former Laura Secord factory, The Lofts at 120 Holland Avenue are massive, open-concept spaces flooded with natural light from the nearly floor-to-ceiling industrial-style windows. Fifth-floor units are particularly coveted, and Jeremiah Bartram designed his to promote what he calls “visual silence,” or a feeling of calm that defies the street noise below. The resulting aesthetic is serene and airy, the views are lovely and private, and Bartram feels very close to the sky and the weather.

By Riva Soucie

Abundant space allows for two distinct work areas. Bartram does his creative writing surrounded by magnificent morning light. Photography by Christian Lalonde / Photolux

NAME: Jeremiah Bartram

OCCUPATIONS: Consultant and writer/blogger

HOME: Open-concept, 1,300-square-foot loft

BUILDING: The Lofts at  120 Holland, Routeburn, 1998. (The original two-storey factory was built in 1956, with floors three, four, and five added about 10 years later.)

I CHOSE THIS CONDO BECAUSE: “I was initially attracted to the architecture. This is a really unique space,” Bartram enthuses. “I love the gallery [the long hallway that leads to the main living space], and I love the open space.”

PREVIOUS HOMES: In the ’80s, Bartram owned early-20th-century heritage houses, first in North Vancouver, then in Edmonton. He lived in an apartment near the canal before purchasing this condo.

FAVOURITE FEATURE: Location. Bartram moved here in 1999, before the area really took off, but he loves that it becomes more like a quartier each year, with lively street life, small boutiques, local restaurants, and specialty food shops. Plus, the neighbours are great. Bartram says that with only 16 units, residents support one another, bringing meals when someone is sick and throwing parties to celebrate important events.

LEAST FAVOURITE FEATURE: Noise from the street drove him crazy when he moved in. Now, he says, he doesn’t even notice the sound of Wellington West’s busy daytime traffic. “I’m in a city, after all,” he reasons. “I find the noise reassuringly human.”

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Outdoor parking is a nuisance in winter. Also, the huge windows let in light and views but also contribute to temperature variations both in winter and summer.

CONDO-LIVING QUOTE: “Living is living,” Bartram says. “But the one difference with a condo is that when I travel for business, I don’t have the same security issues as with a house.”

A trio of skylights provides warm counterpoints to a quartz-topped island and elegant silver cabinets. On the advice of Ernst Hupel from 2H Design, Bartram installed grey Marmoleum throughout to create a floor that virtually disappears from sight. Photography by Christian Lalonde / Photolux


The unit’s single hallway (running nearly the length of the unit) is referred to as “the gallery” on the architect’s sketches. Bartram has taken this idea to its full potential. Photography by Christian Lalonde / Photolux
For consulting work, a wall of the sleeping area is fitted with Italian shelving and a modern desk surface. Religious figures lend a touch of piety to Bartram’s decor. The crucifix was purchased on a trip to Mexico. Photography by Christian Lalonde / Photolux
A long view of the space shows just how many windows — and how much light — Bartram enjoys. Photography by Christian Lalonde / Photolux

This condo was one of five living spaces featured in the September 2011 edition. See more photographs in the print edition.