The Twelve Days of Art House

DAY TWELVE:

155 Cumberland Street

MLS listing description*:

The Great Architectural Ambition Has Been Surpassed! The Genius Of World Renowned Architect Philip Johnson & The Brilliant Renovation Of Jf Brennan Come Together To Create This Modernist Dream Which Could Be The Greatest Condominium Residence In Canada. Over 10,000 Sqft + 5,000 Sqft Of Terraces, Plus The Phenomenal 2-Storey Gallery Come Together In This 4 Bedroom Home With Outstanding South And North Unobstructed Views Of The City. A Spectacular Lr Overlooks An Immense Terrace And Skyline. An Irreplaceable Dining Rm + Library Complete The Estate Feel Of This Home In The Sky. A Huge Kit/Fam Rm W/Separate Terraces, A Gym, 4 Car Parking, Complete The Perfection. Asking Price: $28,750,000.

The Naughty & Nice:

This is probably the most significant condominium residence in all of Canada. Unit 1400 was once the private penthouse of the late philanthropists Rose (née Bronfman) and Noah Torno (former Seagram’s director) on top of an office building designed by the legendary architect Philip Johnson in the 1960’s.

Fast forward to 2009 and six floors were added on top of the office building where it houses new luxury condos. The Torno penthouse was preserved and renovated by builder Joe Brennan and two levels of the office building below were also converted to luxury condos. There is a total of 15 units in this development.

The Torno residence covers the entire 13th and 14th levels with an impressive 10,263 square feet and an additional 5,000 square feet of outdoor space, which is one of the largest condominium residences in the country. The entrance features a grand two-storey foyer completely covered in Travertine marble with a floating bronze staircase modeled after the one found in the Seagram building in New York.

While the original office building was designed by Philip Johnson it is unsure whether he personally designed the Torno residence. The builder faced challenges with the City during the approval of the addition where the City designated the Torno residence as a heritage property due to its architectural significance and history and also to delay the approval process in order to ensure a proper design of the development.

This unit has been tastefully renovated by Joe Brennan and sympathetic to the timeless modern elegance of Johnson’s architecture and is surely the nicest trophy condos and in the more prime real estate in all of the country.

Shortcomings are just a few. For such a significant property one would expect to be a true penthouse unit, and being a designated heritage property any future renovations or changes would be difficult — an application to build a swimming pool on its terrace was denied by the City.

This property has been on the market for the last twelve years which was originally offered for $15 million. It was asking almost $30 million earlier this year before a recent price cut to its current price of $28,750,000. 

Click here for a video intro

DAY ELEVEN:

1150 Lakeshore Road East, Oakville

MLS listing description*:

Akin To The 59 Carat “Pink Star” Diamond, Chelster Hall Is An Irreplaceable Crown Jewel. One Of Canada’s Finest Estates. 10 Acres Of Direct Waterfront On Lake Ontario Within Reach Of Toronto’s Financial District & The International Airport.A Trophy Property Of The Highest Order Designed For Both Formal Business Entertaining & Extraordinary Family Gatherings. Wine Cellars Reminiscent Of Tuscany.Indoor Pool Complex To Rival The Best Hotels. Build Your Memories! The Sophistication Of The 2-Storey Library And Private Study; Yet With The Warmth And Comfort Of The Billiard And Family Rooms For Everyday Family Living. Adjoining Housekeeper’s Residence. Second Pool By The Lake. Underground Parking. Asking Price: $59,000,000.

The Naughty & Nice:

This is currently the most expensive residence on the market not only in Ontario but in all of the country, and it is not in Toronto. It’s in Oakville!

The almost 10 acres of pristine manicured property fronting on Lake Ontario, Chelster Hall features an impressive 47,000 square foot stately brick manor that could be easily mistaken for a private school, a separate chapel, pool house, and a gate house at the front of the property that sits between two motorized gates as you enter the property.  It also features amenities like two swimming pools (one inside and one out), a bowling alley, a dance hall, a wine cellar larger than most condos, a safe room, a two-level library, a billiard room, an exercise room, and a heated garage that holds a dozen cars. The main house features 6 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms.

For almost $60 million you really must like Oakville and could care less about living in high-brow cachet neighbourhoods like Rosedale or The Bridle Path. After all if you could afford this property, you probably have your own driver that could shuttle back and forth to the city.

Click here for an impressive 7-minute video tour

DAY TEN:

36 Hazelton Avenue

MLS listing description*:

Extraordinary Multi-Level Suite At Exclusive 36 Hazelton Avenue In Yorkville. Private In-Suite Elevator, Approx 2700 Square Feet Of Fully Upgraded Space. Bathed In Light And Luxury Finishes. Building Features Include 24 Hour Valet & Concierge, Wine Cellar (With Private Wine Locker), Gym Etc. A Spectacular Space In This Beautiful Boutique Building At The Centre Of One Of Toronto’s Finest Neighbourhoods. You Must See This. 2 Underground Parking Spaces, Locker Plus Private Wine Locker In Wine Cellar, Oak Hardwood Floors, Gas Line For Bbq, Miele Kitchen Appliances Asking Price: $4,499,000.

The Naughty & Nice:

36 Hazelton Avenue is a very exclusive boutique condo building of just 18 one-of-a-kind units. Unit 2A is a large multi-level unit on the 2nd floor of the original converted school house building with direct elevator access into the unit. Located in the heart of desirable Yorkville, it is home to a number well known socialites and celebrities — Mark Wahlberg owns the 7th floor penthouse here.

The spacious open floor plan is perfect for entertaining, though the dining/kitchen and living areas are half a level from each other. Because of its exclusivity and location, 36 Hazelton is currently the most expensive condo building in Toronto (based per square foot). As you would expect, there are some impressive 5-star luxury amenities here.

As this unit is located in the original 1928 Gothic Catholic school house there is only a small enclosed balcony carved out of this space and it’s facing a brick wall, where as the units in the new addition on the floors above sports wide open terraces with nice views.

Click here for a video tour

DAY NINE:

31 Alhambra Avenue

MLS listing description*:

Stunning Custom Built Detached Home Where Art & Architecture Meet. This 3 Storey 3457Sf Total Living Space (1050Sf Fin. Bsmt), 4 Bedroom Master Piece Offers Over 9′ Ceilings On All Floors, Spectacular Spiral Staircase, Herringbone Floor Throughout, Poliform Kitchen & Wardrobes, Gaggenau Appliances, 3 Sided Gas Fireplace, Private Master Retreat With 3rd Floor Terrace And Bar, Detached 2 Car Garage, Beautifully Landscaped Backyard And Patio.”  
Asking Price: $2,950,000.

The Naughty & Nice:

This large 2,406 square foot (above grade) detached 4-bedroom home is ideally located within walking distance to Roncesvalles with its hip restaurants, shops and bars, High Park, subway and GO Up Express station (direct to Pearson airport), Loblaws, and various schools. It sits on a spacious 27′ x 142′ lot with a detached 2-car garage in the back of the property. No expense has been spared in the sleek modern interior, such as Poliform cabinets and closets and Gagganeau appliances.

The sculptural circular staircase in the middle of the home is the show stopper. At almost $3 million this home is priced out of the neighbourhood despite its impressive features. This property was previously purchased in 2015 for $1 million before the house was torn down to much of its neighbour’s dismay. Also some may find the modern exterior very austere and cold in comparison to charming gabled homes with porches that line this street.

 

DAY EIGHT:

301R Davenport Road

MLS listing description*:

A Remarkable Laneway Mews Home In The Annex, Steps To Designer’s Walk. A Crisp And Contemporary Residence In The Most Tranquil Setting Of This Bustling Neighbourhood. Sun-Filled, Open Concept Gallery Plan With Remarkable Details Throughout, Scavolini Chef’s Kitchen With Separate Pantry, Radiant Heated Concrete Floors, Private Front Garden And 2nd Floor Terrace. Dual-Master Configuration Make This Low Maintenance Home A Remarkable Option For Urban Living.
A Unique Urban Home. Gaggenau Gas Range, Fridge, Jenn-Air Ovens, Wine Fridge, Espresso Maker, Bosch Dishwasher, Electrolux Washer/Dryer, Tilt + Turn Windows, Automated Skylights And Blinds, Integrated Led Lighting, Snow Melt & Much More!
”  Asking Price: $2,995,000.

The Naughty & Nice:

This is a unique laneway house in prime Annex neighbourhood just a short walk to Yorkville and features 2,400 square feet of modern living. The laneway provides a private and quiet setting from busy Davenport Road. The interior is bright and well laid out and features clean tasteful decor with all the high end appliances and features you would expect in a multi-million dollar home.

This home has been on the market for 6 months with a $250k price cut. $3 million is a lot of money for laneway house, especially one that is a semi-detached home that has no private yard space, no garage and no basement space — there is parking pad in front and the outdoor space is not enclosed and is very exposed to its neighbours and the backside of a condo loft building across the laneway.

This is the grandest and most expensive laneway house on the market and is waiting for the right buyer.

Click here for a video tour

DAY SEVEN:

18325 Humber Station Road, Caledon

MLS listing description*:

Harris Lake – A Very Special Offering.100 Acres With Its Own Private Kettle Lake With New Dock & Floating Gazebo For Swimming, Fishing, Boating & Skating In Winter. Overlooking The Lake Is A Recently Built Elegant 4 Bedroom Country Home With Wonderful Outdoor Entertaining Areas. Large Combined Kitchen, Dining & Living Room. Private Master Suite With Stone Patio, 4-Piece En Suite & Walk-In Closet. In-Floor Heating Throughout Entire Main Floor & Garage. Guest Bunkie With Kitchen, Restored Century Barn With Workshop & Wine Room. A Rare Gem Near Palgrave. 1st Time On Market In Over 70 Years! Fire Pit & Tennis Court. Hillside Vineyard Produces 50 Cases/Yr. Back-Up Generator.”  Asking Price: $5,250,000.

The Naughty & Nice:

Day seven takes us outside of the city and to this sprawling property that could be the ultimate cottage of vacation/country home that’s only an hour drive from downtown (just north of Caledon), a much better than the 3 hours of traffic many people endure to get up to cottage country.

This property offers everything anyone could want, the listing description says it all. This could even be a great place to run a bed & breakfast or a retreat centre. As this is not that far away from Toronto and with the popularity of telecommuting, this could also be a very fine home year round.  

With 100 acres, much of it surround by forest, this is a very private property which feels you are miles away from everything. Maintaining such a property is quite a challenge, but if you can afford this home you could afford a staff to take care of it.

Just imagine spending a peaceful Christmas here with your friends and family!

DAY SIX:

1 Bloor West

MLS listing description*:

“Show Stopping Fully Custom 1424Sqft @ One Bloor W/Iconic Cn Tower, Water & City Views. Fantastic Open Concept Layout W/Floor To Ceiling Windows & Unobstructed South To West Views. Over-Sized Master W/Gorgeous 6 Piece Spa-Like Ensuite W/Heated Floors, Enormous W/I Closet. Chef’s Dream Kitchen, Xl Kitchen W/State Of The Art Upgraded Wolf Appliances, Immense Porcelain Island! Living Room Has Custom Wine/Alcohol Cabinet, Crestron Lighting & Custom Tv Wall Unit!  Asking Price: $2,350,000.

The Naughty & Nice:

The iconic 1 Bloor East is undoubtedly located in the most desirable areas in downtown Toronto, where you are steps to Yorkville and right over the intersection of the Yonge and Bloor subway lines with direct access.

This one-of-a-kind unit has been completely customized top to bottom, eliminating the rather cookie-cutter looking interiors that’s typical in this building, which is what this unit deserves as it is just two floors below the penthouse level on the 73rd floor with jaw dropping south views of the downtown core and lake. The unit comes with two parking spaces.

There are hardly any faults with this place, other than the balcony could be a rather terrifying and unpleasantly windy place to be on, being up so high.  

DAY FIVE:

 St. Regis Hotel – 311 Bay Street

MLS listing description*:

*Stunning 2 Bedroom At The Luxurious St. Regis Residences *This 1,861Sf Layout Boasts 10.5 Ft Coffered Ceilings Throughout *In The Heart Of The Financial District *Steps To Underground P.A.T.H. *Incredible 5 Star Amenities And Services* Italian Hardwood Flr, Downsview Kitchen, Miele Appls, Cvac, Solid Wood Doors, Tarion Warranty, Valet Parking, $400/Mo +Hst, Locker, Concierge, Spa, Pool & Gym. Quick Access To City’s Finest Dining & Entertainment.”  Asking Price: $2,149,000.

The Naughty & Nice:

A well welcomed and newly re-branded St. Regis this year, formerly the Trump Hotel & Residences, this building has seen some changes for the better, though the already dated exterior has remained the same (with exception to the removal of the Trump name).

This impressive customized unit on the southeast corner of the 38th floor has a restrained casual contemporary interior with impressive views of the financial district. As being in a 5-star hotel the amenities and services are impressive, especially with its revamp to the St. Regis Hotel and the impressive Louix Louis restaurant on the 31st floor. What a great place to meet your guests.

As this is a hotel-condo building, property taxes are assessed as a commercial property at almost $13,000 a year. Also, the maintenance fees are amongst the highest in the city. There is no balcony in this unit. 

DAY FOUR:

53 Argyle Street

MLS listing description*:

One Of A Kind Property Available For Sale, First Time Since 2003. In The Heart Of Trendy Ossington/ Queen West Neighborhood. The Largest Conversion From A Community Center To A Private Vast Residence With Exclusive Outdoor Patio. 6 Bedrooms, 5 Washrooms, 2 Kitchens, Elevator To Bsmt & Main Levels Only. Many Uses Allowed. Multi Use, Zoning Commercial & Residential. Fridge & Stove, Microwave, Existing Built-In Shelving & Desks, Tv. 2 Parking Spaces, Lots Of Storage Space, 2 Staircases.” Asking Price: $3,999,999.

The Naughty & Nice:

We here at Art House love unique converted buildings and this huge 4,477 square feet (plus a 1,646 square feet basement) home will surely surprise and delight all. This building which dates back to 1933 was once was a bakery then turned into a community centre and in 2004 the current owner did extensive renovations to turn it to this eccentric home for his family.
The house is located just around the corner from Ossington Avenue known for its hip shops, restaurants and bars, so the location and convenience can’t be beat.
The home has a whopping 6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms and lots of room for any kind of hobby you desire — what a fun way to greet your guests by shooting some hoops in the vaulted foyer as soon as they arrive! The backyard is a true private urban oasis with an outdoor kitchen.

There is tons of character and quirkiness in this house, which is great for those who are tired of sleek modernism, but because this was once a commercial building/community centre some may be turned off by some of the commercial features like the urinals and stalls in the bathroom, the fire escape signs throughout, and the freight elevator that only travels between the ground floor and basement. Having all these rooms and nooks & crannies means keeping track of your kids could be a challenge.

This home has just been sold conditionally at the time of writing.

Click here for a video tour

DAY THREE:

51-rear Indian Grove

MLS listing description*:

***Extraordinary Century Coach House In High Park W/Incredible Treetop Views*** Scandinavian Inspired Design W/Historic Allure Feat: Dramatic 12′ Ceilings-Main, Exposed Brick Walls, Barn Door, Slate Roof & Copper Eaves! Stunning Lr/Dr/Kitchen-Perfect For Entertaining! Fully Automated Control4 System Throughout! Impressive 10′ Loewen Bifold Doors Overlooks Garden Terrace W/Waterfall Fountain Merging Indoors W/Outdoors! Truly One Of Kind Lifestyle Experience! Miele: Oven, Steam Oven, 2 Dishwashers, Fridge. 6 Burner Induction Cook-Top, LG Washer/Dryer, Central Vac, Htp Tankless Boiler, Cac, Radiant Heated Flrs-Main/Baths, Mosro Sealed Wood-Burning Fireplace, Retractable Projector Screen & Insect Screen.”  Asking Price: $3,999,500.

The Naughty & Nice:

This is most likely the nicest coach house in Toronto. This huge, over-3,000 square foot coach house has a unique character of a modern tree house and loft. The sloping and treed property gives it a very private and serene feel.

The features and finishes is top notch with lots of custom white oak cabinetry, built-ins, and windows. There is no garage, only a covered single carport, but the current owners has an approved application to build a single car garage.

$4-million is a lot of money for a coach house (let alone any house), especially when access to this property is through a narrow asphalt driveway shared by the two houses in front, and also the sense of living in someone’s backyard or guest house.

Click here for a video tour

DAY TWO:

116 Sorauren Avenue

MLS listing description*:

Conceptualized “The Urban Barn” By Designer Nicholas Ancerl. Detached Light Filled Home Themed To Fit Within The Brownfields Of Trendy Sorauren In High Park / Parkdale Areas. Interior Open Concept. Contemporary Living With Up To 20+ Foot Ceilings. A One-Of-A-Kind Designer Home. 20 Ft Ceilings In Kitchen / Dining, Designer And Custom Lighting, Entire 3rd Floor Master Bedroom With Private Deck. Window Coverings To Discuss With Designer.”   Asking Price: $2,588,000.

The Naughty & Nice:

This pair of new detached houses were just completed almost two months ago and never been lived in. The designer/architect owns the house on the right (118 Sorauren Avenue). The contemporary “urban barn” is Instagram-worthy inside out and has been beautifully staged. The open vaulted interior truly expresses the barn theme with an impressive floating catwalk hovering above the huge kitchen & dining area which takes up most of the front of the home. The basement is finished with tall ceilings. This is a truly a show-stopping family home.

The master bathroom, though very modern and luxurious, is very exposed to the street with tall corner windows, so window shades are a must here. There is no parking. The backyard backs onto the parking lot of the church next door and there is talks of negotiating a right of way to access the church’s parking lot to get to the gated parking pad that has been built on the back of the property. 

DAY ONE:

Industrial Revolution Lofts – 676 Richmond Street West

MLS listing description*:

“True Loft Living W All The Modern Conveniences. Ceilings 20Ft+ High. Exposed Ductwork, Dramatic Skylights + Custom Built Staircase, This Bright Open 2-Storey Space W/ Private Terrace Doesn’t Have To Work Hard To Impress. This 19 Unit Building Was Converted To Lofts In 1996 By Award Winning Architect Bob Mitchell And Recently Renovated Throughout With Custom Details. See List Attached. Tucked Quietly Between King West And Queen West Neighbourhoods.”   Asking Price: $2,800,000.

The Naughty & Nice:

This loft is perfect for a family or as a live/work loft, which looks like the current owners have been using part of as an office/home business. This is a very quiet and private building with just 19 units, which serves as the perfect urban oasis in a very popular and desirable neighbourhood.
There is underground parking which is rare in a hard loft building especially of this size. Units in this buildings don’t come on the market very often and this is one of the largest and most impressive units in the building. There is even a bar with a keg fridge/taps and plenty of wine storage, perfect for holiday entertaining!

There is no elevator in the building, but there are only three floors in the entire building and this unit is on the second floor (occupying two levels).

*the MLS listing description was written by the seller’s agent and not by yours truly. Any material, spelling and grammatical errors are of that agent, and I do not warrant such information.

About us

Kensington Place, Kensington Market  -  
illustration by Kunal Chaudhry
Kensington Place, Kensington Market - illustration by Kunal Chaudhry

Alan O. Wong

Sales Representative, B.Arch, Assoc.AIA

Office: 416.504.6133

Direct: 647.963.1037

alan@livingdifferent.ca

an independently operated branch of Blue Elephant Realty

 

Tucked in a laneway in the middle of vibrant Kensington Market is Art House, a creative real estate studio catering to savvy Torontonians who embrace urban living. Art House is your alternative to the traditional real estate industry ethos. We are passionate about the city and foster trust by contributing to positive change within our community. With a focus on ethics and a critical eye, we curate unique homes and intelligent investment opportunities to fit your lifestyle.

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