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Breaking Down Barriers Transforms Niche Building into Destination for Tech and Creative Sectors


A building structure that posed a challenge for securing tenancy

Colliers’ Chris Fyvie, Toby Tobiason and Taylor Tobiason were tasked in the first quarter of 2020 to devise a go-to-market strategy for 20 Leslie, an attractive, 53,800-square-foot brick-and-beam building in the Toronto East neighbourhood of Leslieville. At the time of engagement, 20 Leslie housed 500 to 1500-square-foot live-work suites; the current layout and usage of the building raised concerns as to how best to position it, and to which target tenants.

These concerns, combined with marketing the building in the middle of a pandemic, added up to a significant challenge for the Colliers team.

Seeing past the challenge to envision the building’s optimal design and tenant mix

The challenge was no match for the team’s vision, however. Upon visiting the site in March 2020, Chris, Toby and Taylor saw the opportunity 20 Leslie presented, and to whom. Taking in the building’s individual live-work spaces, high ceilings, large windows, concrete floors and location right on the cusp of Toronto’s Studio District – and seeing past its dividing walls – the Colliers team recognized that by highlighting the property’s sought-after features and strategic address, and converting its live-work suites into contiguous, studio-style space, 20 Leslie would appeal to and serve the needs of companies in the tech, creative and marketing sectors.

The reimagining of 20 Leslie began.

Bringing the 20 Leslie vision to life

Erin Dwyer, Jennevieve Virata and Johnny Hasleham from Colliers’ award-winning marketing team were instrumental in bringing to life the vision for 20 Leslie. Putting their strategic approach, marketing expertise and design prowess to work, the team created high-impact marketing pieces that effectively conveyed the offering of the re-envisioned 20 Leslie – subsequently dubbed “The Station”: fully-renovated 500 to 20,000-square-foot boutique studio suites, convenient access to multiple transit options, a rooftop patio, on-site parking, and more – all in a vibrant neighbourhood poised for significant growth. Using a primarily digital marketing strategy, the team worked with FastOffice, a Colliers Proptech company, to create 3D renderings of the space that illustrated potential configurations, from bench-style seating to designated private offices.

Securing the ideal tenant, now and in the future

The marketing campaign targeting ideal tenants and the brokerage community was a success, ultimately resulting in Stoopid Buddy Stoodios calling The Station the site of its future Canadian headquarters. The Los Angeles-based stop-motion animation company has leased 27,000 square feet of space at The Station, a transaction that was initiated – and promptly completed – at the height of the pandemic.

The renovation of 20 Leslie is well underway, with the Colliers team expecting other production companies to lease the remaining 27,000 square feet of available space.

The Colliers team’s vision, strategy and creativity enabled them to see beyond obstacles and recognize the potential and value of a property deemed difficult to market, as well as pinpoint the companies that would readily call it home.

Stoopid Buddy Stoodios occupying 20 Leslie marks the beginning of the renewal of production space in the area. Renovations at The Station are expected to complete in Q2 2021.

For More Information, Please Contact:

Chris Fyvie

Vice President, Sales Representative

Toronto Downtown

Driven. Engaging. Dedicated. I offer clients a no-nonsense approach to achieving optimal results when finding new office space or renewing current leases. As an innovative strategist in the commercial real estate industry, my work ethic is founded on integrity, commitment and a deep understanding of tenant and landlord needs and wants. I provide unparalleled loyalty for clients in the technology, advertising, media and Internet industries (TAMI) while tracking amazing loft and brick and beam office space solutions. Using a unique search-source-disseminate-conquer process (SSDC), I lead a unified, knowledgeable team to locate ideal office space. We help negotiate leases and seek on and off-market office vacancies. Using our acquired insider knowledge in the TAMI sectors and an extensive industry network, we put unique spaces on our clients’ radar. My fundamental philosophy for success: deliver on your promise; communicate reality; save everyone’s time; and meet goals with confidence and clarity.

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Toby Tobiason

Senior Vice President, Sales Representative

Toronto Downtown

Toby has been a real estate professional with Colliers International for over 30 years following graduation from York University.  Toby’s strengths include a balance of marketing and relationship-building.   As an experienced sales representative, Toby brings a perceptive and strategic approach to any real estate situation, such as relocation and repositioning.  Foresight and careful planning are crucial elements in his success and in representing and protecting the business interests of his clients.


He’s been a trusted advisor to the tenant and landlord community in the GTA market, such as Canadian Diabetes Association, Evton Capital Partners, Northam Realty Advisors and Toronto Transit Commission.


Toby specializes in working with landlords and tenants to provide tenant representation services.

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Taylor Tobiason

Senior Sales Representative

Toronto Downtown

Taylor is a Commercial Real Estate Advisor working in the Toronto office leasing market. Taylor provides insight and guidance to  clients that align real estate needs with long and short term goals. As a member of the Colliers International Acceleration Program Taylor has  learned from a reputable and recognized program while working alongside some of the most skilled and experienced Advisors in the Commercial Real Estate Industry. While  working closely alongside Senior Vice President Toby Tobiason and Associate Vice President Chris Fyvie, who hold a combined 45+ years of experience, Taylor  focuses on providing service excellence for the clients he represents. 

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