Surreal Estate: $8.5 million for Norman Jewison’s former office loft

Surreal Estate: $8.5 million for Norman Jewison’s former office loft

What mid-rise in an alley would be complete without a carriageway, original pine ceilings, a truck-size fireplace and a penthouse with a view?

This office loft on Gloucester lane if the former workplace of Norman Jewison.

Neighbourhood: Church-Yonge Corridor
Price: $8,495,000
Size: 11,739 square feet plus a finished basement
Storeys: 5
Bedrooms: 2 (in the penthouse)
Bathrooms: 10
Real estate agents: Don Mulholland and Stephanie White Willitts, Bosley Commercial

The place

A five-storey heritage tower in a Yonge Street alley that once belonged to legendary filmmaker Norman Jewison. The place is a mixed-use building currently configured with offices on the first four floors. It also comes with a 1.5-storey, 2,500-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bathroom penthouse.

Sitting on Gloucester Lane overlooking Norman Jewison Park (of course), the home is within walking distance of Yorkville, U of T, Church-Wellesley Village and half a dozen subway stations. And motorists are a short drive from the DVP and Rosedale Valley Road.

The history

This building was originally designed as a furniture factory. Jewison purchased it in the mid-1970s, after the release of Jesus Christ Superstar, as a production office and pied-à-terre. Though the offices have undergone several renovations over the decades, the living quarters have remained virtually untouched. Now, Jewison’s children are putting the property on the market.

Related: $12 million for a Georgian manor in Rosedale with a hall of mirrors

The tour

First, the view from Norman Jewison Park. The exterior has been fully restored, including new windows and a period-inspired iron gate.   

The towers stands in an unassuming alley off Yonge.

Here’s a closer look at the façade. The entrance on the left used to be a carriageway. 

A closer look at the facade.

Today, the space is used for storage, not horses. The first floor has been zoned for a restaurant, so future owners may wish to transform the lane into a romantic outdoor dining room. 

This space, currently used for storage, used to be a carriageway.

In the lobby, large windows illuminate the original pine panelling and exposed yellow brick.

The entire building is defined by its exposed brick and original pine ceilings.

The main floor is currently being rented as an office. Those windows overlook the carriageway, and there are two bathrooms down the hall.

The first floor office, which is zoned for residential as well.

Here’s the second-floor office—occupied by an ad agency—equipped with a conference room, two washrooms and a kitchenette.

This space is currently occupied by an ad agency.

This reverse angle shows the room’s versatility. The original pine beams are a nice touch. 

The space can be divided into many pockets.

Original stained glass windows add to the eclectic vibe.

Those stained glass windows are original.

Another view of the funky space. 

Note the massive pine beams.

A quick ride up the elevator reveals Jewison’s 1970s playground penthouse. It comes with a huge fireplace, three pairs of nine-foot oak doors, 12-foot ceilings and groovy carpeting.

Jewison's former office is pure 1970s nostalgia.

The room has wide windows on three sides.

The office gets natural light from three sides.

Here’s the lounge and dining area, with the kitchen in the background. 

Here's the open-concept living and dining area.

One imagines Jewison perusing storyboards and striking deals at his desk, which sits at the front of the building. 

Here's where the director would work and strike deals.

Yes, that’s a portrait of Jewison with former US president Bill Clinton on the left.

Yes, that's Jewison with President Bill Clinton on the left.

In the kitchen: Spanish tiles, floral wallpaper, two sinks and a striking candlestick chandelier. 

The funky kitchen.

Finally, a bird’s eye view of the property, dwarfed by Toronto’s ever-expanding skyline.

The exterior of the building, dwarfed by Toronto's ever-expanding skyline.

Have a home that’s about to hit the market? Send your property to [email protected].