In 1925, the Granite Club, an athletic and social organization established in 1875, purchased a plot of land on St. Clair Avenue West near Yonge Street. The 3-storey Greek revival structure that was built there housed the Club’s many sporting activities and gave an impression of solidity and permanence. However, by the 1960’s the building was in need of major renovations. In 1969, the Club decided to move, eventually settling into its present home on the west side of Bayview Avenue, north of Lawrence.
By 1980, a new condominium, “Granite Place”, had been built on the real estate formerly occupied by the Club. Designed by WZMH Architects, the two towers of the project are joined by a glass-covered garden which houses the common lobby. The buildings are set at the back of the lot, and the space between them and the street is dedicated to a private park. Winding paths and full-grown trees create a zone of quiet between the apartments and St. Clair Avenue West. The south sides of the buildings overlook St. Michael’s Cemetery. Granite Place has as close to a “forever view” as can be had in a large city where development, re-development and in-fill projects are a constant fact of life.
61 and 63 St. Clair Avenue West have 18 and 19 floors, respectively. The units are divided between one and two bedroom layouts, with many one bedroom apartments also having a den. Amenities include an indoor pool, a sauna, a gym, visitor parking and impressive concierge service. Pets are permitted with restrictions. Dogs must weigh no more than 25 lbs. Recent sale prices range from under $800,000 to almost $3 million, with an average of $1,300,000.
Toronto has grown larger since 1925. With Lake Ontario providing a boundary preventing expansion to the south, the growth has been in concentric rings. This phenomenon means The Granite Club is now situated “mid town,” in spite of occupying what was once considered a suburban location.
The Granite Place residential towers afford residents close proximity to the St. Clair Subway Station. David Balfour Park is a stroll away. Nearby, the St.Clair Centre has a grocery, two coffee shops and a pharmacy. On Yonge Street, shopping and dining are all a short walk from the lobby.
Granite Place over the years has proven a prudent investment in condominium living. It is set on one of the most desirable tracts of land in Central Toronto. Developers today must chose from locations that are not already developed. The cost of land now makes including luxurious quantities of green space with new development economically unviable. New projects are often wedged in between existing store fronts and have no exterior grounds whatsoever.
Location, Location, Location. This is the enduring appeal of Granite Place. Many Buyers are more than happy to gut and renovate the original apartments in order to have a “new” apartment in an incomparable setting.