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Real Estate


The Sell: finding a homebuyer who will honour an Annex classic, not obliterate it

Two sisters search for the right buyer for their parents’ place, a 19th-century Annex coach house with a mid-century modern interior

Listed for: $1.099 million. Relisted for: $999,000. Sold for: $960,000

The Sellers: Joan Bosworth (below), 60 years old and now retired, was formerly general manager of Opera Atelier and director of development for Canadian Stage. Her sister, Susan Hammond, is a 62-year-old classical pianist and six-time Juno winner.

The Property: A 2,000-square-foot, 19th-century coach house on Kendal Avenue near Spadina Road. It belonged to Bosworth and Hammond’s parents, Bess and James A. Murray, an architect.

The Story: The sisters inherited the place when their mother died suddenly last year (their father had died two years earlier). They rented it out for a year before putting it on the market.

The Prep: Murray had completely redone the interior in a mid-century modern style, and it was immaculately maintained. Bosworth’s agent, Ophira Sutton, recommended nothing more than a few paint touch-ups. “From the outside, it looks like a little coach house,” says Bosworth. “But the inside has almost a Frank Lloyd Wright feel.”

The Offers: The sisters first listed on October 13. Though there were many curious visitors, the offers were few. A month later, they reduced the price to $999,000. In all, they received five offers, including a decent one from a builder who saw the teardown potential of a small house on a large lot. But they wanted to sell to someone who would honour the house, not obliterate it. In the end, they picked the highest bid—$960,000—from among the buyers who liked the house the way it was.

(Photo of Bosworth: John Cullen)

  • East of Yonge

    Would love to see some interior photos.

  • intheannex
  • Clayton Oliver

    Pretty neat little house.

    After looking at the interior photos from the link above I feel that the ceilings are too low. It’s like the every room seems like you’re in the basement.

  • nobody

    Lord I wish there was a way to shut off that profoundly annoying fake Twitter feed.

  • YongeandBloor

    Are we supposed to care that an overpaid bumbling general manager and her pianist sister had a hard time shifting their parents old (and RIDICULOUSLY OVERPRICED) coach house in the Annex? How BIG of them to accept $960K from someone who would HONOUR the house…ha! Not much to honour in that dinky little dollhouse…least of all that hideous 1980′s el-cheapo kitchen. It is just AMAZING the price they got without even tarting the place up a bit.

  • Big Slick

    Hey YongeandBloor…YOU obviously care. Judging from the language of your comment, it’s as if these sisters did something to pi$$ you off.

    As for the house, the living room looks like it came out of the Brady Brunch and the kitchen looks cheap. Otherwise, it’s cute. It’s expensive, but probably not overpriced since it’s on a large lot in downtown Toronto.

  • KGH

    As a motivated buyer, we visited this property several times. It was unique and adorable albeit I thought that the original price was too high given, for us, it needed more than paint [kitchen / dining / master updating minimum]. I’m glad someone purchased it and will keep the original structure intact. The sellers could have sold out to a developer and likely a multiplex would have been built in its place without consideration for the history in the neighbourhood. What a nice way to honour their loved ones.

  • Andrew Marshall

    The right person to respect the house was the one who knew how to keep their trap shut and not tell of their true intentions. Nobody wants their childhood or parents home developed. That is in all likelyhood what will happen. $960k for the lot is what they bought. teardowns north of the 401 near Yonge are going for $700k

    Big lot, inner city, a bargain. Could even be a semi.


    Mr Murray should have approved given how many buildings he would have torn down for his new designed buildings. From the pictures, I’m surprised that it was more modernist, it looks like50′s recroom design. All the stuff that the current generation is riping out and replacing. Just like Mr. Murray’s generation.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens over the next two years.

  • bigjiggy

    I will take bets that this pile is gone within 5 years.

  • Ryan

    Sounds like an operatic drama if you ask me. If they really wanted the place to stay as is they should have continued to rent it. Thats the only way they’ll ever know its going to be kept as is. Now they’ve given up that right, and for that they don’t deserve to have a say in what happens to the million dollar property. I imagine a good show when they tear the place down. Maybe one of the sisters will play a little concerto to accompany the demolition while the other bellows poetic memories of Sunday dinners? I’d pay $5 to see that.

  • danielle

    Wow, there are some nasty people in this city with nothing better to do than dump their sour grapes on others. Anonymously of course.

  • Bob

    “the inside has almost a Frank Lloyd Wright feel.”

    Good Lord, no.

  • Daniel

    Always amazed at how much negativity follows these articles.

  • Natalja

    Very beautiful and light space, would only re-do the kitchen, and add some flair to the stair-case. The backyard and patio has huge potential.

  • Eva

    $960K for a beautifully renovated home (with the exception of the kitchen) in the ANNEX? That is amazing. The house looks gorgeous. I can only dream right now :)

  • Max

    I have now realized that prices are NOT going to go down, the Marxists who control the government with secured very high paid jobs, and all the other high net worth individuals realize that their countries are going bankrupt by increasing credit and printing empty money. These people are in the know and know a catastrophe is coming and want to protect their net worth so they are going to buy up as much real estate and other commodities that they can while they can, so after the major cash/credit catastrophe happens they will still have things to barter with and they will be the ones who own a major portion of all modernized country’s wealth after that time. No one until then will be able to afford these high prices except people in these society and government jobs if they wish to live in Canada. Many will leave Canada because of this. The globalist Marxists caused all this to happen and will bring in a one world cashless government after the catastrophe happens. It was all foretold. If you want to stay a little bit ahead of what is coming and own real estate outright in Canada right now, sell it off soon, then move out of the country to an affordable location to live out the rest of your life in a less controlled, less paranoid place, only there buy real estate at a much more affordable amount and live off the rest.