Toronto Native Invests at Factory No.1 Because it Reminds him of Home

Christopher Amaral (35) and his partner Szabi Apro (35) met in their hometown of Toronto, Canada and made the move to England in 2020 after Christopher secured a job as an assistant professor at the University of Bath.

After two years of renting in Bath, Christopher decided he wanted to invest in a property and felt Bristol was the perfect place to do so. After purchasing a two-bedroom new build apartment at City & Country’s Factory No.1 development in Bedminster, the couple couldn’t be happier in their new home.

Christopher commented, “My partner and I really liked renting in Bath, but we always found ourselves visiting Bristol any weekend we could and completely fell in love with the city. When I decided I wanted to buy a place of our own and put down roots in England, Bristol was the only place I considered.”

Bedminster, a cultural hub in the city, was his ideal location. It’s close to the city centre as well as the train station for his commute to work, but most importantly it reminded him of home.

“The lively, trendy feel of Bedminster was the biggest factor in choosing to buy here, it really reminded me of home – specifically Queen Street West in Toronto, the cultural scene is absolutely incredible! The street art is better here than in any other city I’ve been to, the music scene, both in terms of the local talent at gigs, as well as my favourite record shop ‘Rough Trade’ being close by, is amazing. The coffee culture is also great here and improving quickly, my partner and I choose a new place to go to each weekend – it’s a brilliant way to explore the area.”

When viewing properties, City & Country’s Factory No.1 development on East Street, the site of the formal Imperial Tobacco Company factory, stood out.

“I’m not exaggerating when I say we saw every new build development in Bristol”, he laughed, “so when we looked around Factory No.1, it was like a breath of fresh air – the build quality, the specification and the fixtures were far superior to the other properties we had viewed. They also have beautifully converted flats, but we decided to go with a new build – we have great big windows, so natural light floods the space which is perfect for working from home.”

Christopher bought his two-bedroom apartment for £415,000 with a deposit of 25%, funded by the sale of his first home – a condominium in Toronto. He secured an interest rate of 2.54% fixed for two years. Having paid £1,175 in rent per month in Bath, the mortgage repayments work out only £62 higher per month.

“The sale of our home back in Canada meant I was able to put down a deposit on the apartment. Our mortgage repayments are just slightly more than our rent was in Bath, but we have double the space, a beautiful home in a fabulous development and it’s worth it to own the property – and now I don’t need to pay to travel back to Bristol every weekend.  I have no plans to move now and I’m definitely going to be here for the foreseeable future so it’s been a great investment for me.”

Christopher and Szabi’s dog Sammy, a thirteen-year-old half Jack Russell Terrier and half Pug, was able to travel overseas and reunite with the couple in January this year – and is also loving life at Factory No.1.

Christopher added, “The development has communal gardens which are dog-friendly which is fantastic, but Sammy’s favourite place to walk is in Victoria Park which is just down the road from us! We feel really lucky to have found a piece of familiarity here in the UK. We feel so comfortable here and I’m so happy I made the decision to put down roots in Bedminster – it’s definitely our home away from home.”

Bedminster is located on the South side of Bristol and has become popular with independent businesses, including cafes and restaurants.  A range of one and two bedroom converted and newly built apartments with a premium specification are available at Factory No.1. Each individually designed home benefits from ultrafast broadband, with select homes featuring balconies or terraces, all with access to the beautifully landscaped communal garden. The securely gated development also provides a concierge service, secure undercroft parking with electric charging points, and 400 cycle spaces.

Jennifer Rhodes-Finch, Head of Marketing at City & Country, added: “Bedminster is a trendy and culturally rich area which is incredibly popular with young professionals like Christopher and Szabi, who make up more than two thirds of our buyers at Factory No.1. Having independent businesses nearby to support and an innovative art, music, restaurant, and entertainment scene is a huge draw – the range of opportunities available means that a brilliant community is emerging here.”

The Factory No.1 Sales Suite is open daily from 10am – 5pm, located at East Street, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 4HH. Prices start from £250,000* for a one-bedroom apartment, with selected homes benefitting from allocated parking. Deposit Unlock is also available on selected apartments, allowing buyers to purchase a new home with just a 5% deposit.

For more information about Factory No 1, call 01174 535 135 or visit

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