Home of the Week: Victorian Cottage Has A Modern Sensibility

Globe & Mail

July 17, 2015

By Carolyn Ireland


441 Ontario Street

Asking price: $1, 359,000
Taxes: $4,706.37 (2015)
Lot Size: 25 by 123 Feet

Designer Paul Kenning Stewart and architect David Jesson were living on Ontario Street in Cabbagetown when they noticed a “for sale” sign up the street about 13 years ago. The pair found their existing house disconcertingly open to passersby. But the Victorian-era cottage at number 441 was set 53 feet in from the street and sheltered by a front garden.

Records show the house dates to 1887, but Mr.Stewart believes it may be even older. It would have been surrounded by a larger tract of land before they neighbouring houses gradually filled in around it and a street-scape was created. “When this was built in the late 1800s, this was the country,” Mr.Stewart says. When they purchased the house at 441 Ontario St, it was dark and hadinterior rooms painted in a multitude of colours. They began an overhaul which saw them replace the floors, windows and cabinetry, There’s a new kitchen and bathroom and the outdoor spaces have been redesigned “There hasn’t been one thing untouched,” Mr.Stewart says. The pair are very much into simplicity and modernism, Mr.Stewart says, but they also wanted to preserve the home’s character.

Throughout the house they’ve used such materials as strip hardwood floors, bead board and pine. In certain places Mr.Stewart has used imported stone from Mexico for added texture and interest. Guests arrive to a front entrance hallway created by enclosing the original porch The floor is river rock set in concrete. In the dining roomthey added a large window and a door that opens to an outdoor dining terrace. The living rom has a large bay window facing the front garden.The large Bauhaus tilt-and-swing windows allow the breeze to flow though the home. “We have a very open house,” Mr.Stewart says. At first the kitchen was cluttered in appearance and did not function well. Since the couple moved in early during the month of December, Mr.Stewart says, he considered it a Christmas present to remove the butcher-block shelves lining the room. “I got the screwdriver out, took all the shelving off the wall and it was 100-per-cent improved.

”The home’s new kitchen has cherry wood cabinets and Silestone countertops. The large waterfall island – which gives guests a place to congregate – is also made of Silestone. French doors swing out of view to leave the space open to the back garden. Deciding on a material for the stairs to the second floor is one choice the couple grappled with before they decided to go with their original choice of zebra wood. “The staircase and upper hall took us eight years.”Upstairs, one bedroom overlooks the front garden and one the rear, In the centre, a third bedroom was turned into a large bathroom. The bathroom mixes modern features, such as a glass-enclosed shower, with antique elements, such as the home’s original clawfoot tub.

A few years ago the couple held a wedding reception at the house. Guests were able to circulate between the principle rooms and three outdoor living spaces. The carport was converted into a bar.In 2013, the property was a stop on the Cabbagetown Secret Gardens and Private Spaces Tour. The low-maintenance gardens at the front andthe rear have mainly serene white blooms against a backdrop of climbing hydrangea, icy, sweet woodruff and tall evergreens. “We wanted to keep the simplicity of the house and we wanted to be more in tune with nature.” The trees, fences and shrubs also create a feeling of seclusion. “The privacy is unbelievable.”


Toronto Star: What They Got (Rosedale)

Toronto Star

July 11, 2015

By Allison Harness

Rosedale-Moore Park

300 Bloor Street East, Unit 1108

Asking price: $719,000
Selling price: $719,000
Maintenance fees: $783.12 per month
Size: 1170 Square Feet
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Days on market: 1

This two-bedroom downtown condo unit with an underground parking spot and locker sold for the full asking price in one day.

“Located in a spectacular building called The Bellagio, this unit featuresa desirable split floor plan with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Highlights of the unit include a wrap-around balcony with city views, bright open concept living and dining rooms, hardwood floors throughout, an eat-in kitchen with granite countertops, and a master bedroom with a walk-in closet and a luxury ensuite with a soaker tub and glass shower,” says listing agent Daniel Bloch.

Located in the core of Toronto the building is a short walk to two subway stations, Yorkville, the Toronto Reference Library, many shops and restaurants. Amenities in the building include 24 hour concierge, an indoor saltwater pool, a gym, sauna, party room and guest suites. The maintenance fee includes hydro.

Listing Broker: Harvey Kalles Real Estate (Daniel Bloch and Liora Tal-Bloch).