Being a real estate broker is not only about helping properties exchange hands. It’s also about envisioning neighborhoods before they happen. It is about finding the right owners and tenants in order to help a genuine community take roots. In this next story, real estate agent David Shirazi Rad from PSR Brokerage did all that and more for a vetust industrial laneway.

This is the story of an empty and abandoned laneway called Wagstaff Drive.

“It used to be full of druggies and homeless. A rough area even during the day and very bad after dark,” recall David.

Stuck between the train tracks and a residential area, this empty industrial lane caught the attention of David while scouting for the right place for Pilot Coffee Roasters to establish their new roastery headquarters. The empty warehouse at 50 Wagstaff Dr. was not for sale but David managed to get in touch with the owners.

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“You have be creative. Every building might be for sale if you offer the right price.”

When the inventory for large industrial downtown properties got low, David went knocking on some doors and started to convince owners to sell. In the case with the warehouses of Wagstaff Drive, the buildings were abandoned and empty. “I had a good case to make to the owners, who were still paying taxes and maintenance on them!” told us the broker.

Now 50 Wagstaff Dr. is shared between Pilot Coffee Roasters and Sloane Fine Tea Merchants, also relocalized by David. He then moved his attention to another building down the lane, the also empty #36 Wagstaff Drive. The same process started to roll and a lot of phone calls later, the Left Field Brewery established its headquarters there. The Pilot Coffee Roasters guys looked proud when the Google Street view car drove by that morning!

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“I love a challenge. The fact that not so many agents have the ability to create a win-win opportunity out of pure necessity for clients makes me proud.”

Buildings like this don’t come on market often and David believes that if you can distinguish yourself by being able to go after deals like this, developers and clients will come after you organically. David Shirazi Rad is currently working on other similar leasing deals involving another building and a vacant lot on the same drive.


“I love to have an impact on a neighborhood and in this case, the value of surrounding properties went up and they now sell way faster. Toronto is a city that’s changing so fast. I often find myself driving in a area and suddenly see a new building or a project and think how did that happen!” explains David. 

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“Not everything is about a paycheck if you care about your city and want to be a proud citizen.”


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