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Real Estate


The Chase: a young couple finds a place to party in the west end

The BuyersThe Buyers: Joel McConvey, a 33-year-old freelance writer and producer, and Amy Butoiske, the 33-year-old manager of the Worldwide Short Film Festival.

The Story: McConvey and Butoiske, who lived in a small apartment at Bloor and Ossington, never thought they’d be able to afford a house in Toronto. Then, about a year ago, McConvey finished work on The National Parks Project, a popular documentary series, and the couple found themselves with a windfall (he got paid, unusually, for all 13 episodes at once). “We thought, ‘Who knows when this will happen again? Let’s put the money into a good investment,’ ” McConvey says. The couple loved their neighbourhood, with its cool bars and restaurants, and hoped they could find something nearby. They wanted a place big enough for McConvey to have an office (he works from home) and with a good-sized backyard for hosting summer barbecues. The couple set a budget of $465,000 and started their first-ever house hunt.

Davenport Road (at Dufferin)OPTION 1
Davenport Road (at Dufferin). Listed at $399,900, sold for $450,000.
McConvey and Butoiske stumbled onto their first open house during a weekend bike ride. The place had three bedrooms and was perched on a hill with a view of the CN Tower. They were charmed by the backyard, which had a big patio and a vegetable garden, and the black and white ceramic tiles in the kitchen. They put in an offer of $420,000, but it sold to a higher bidder.

Edwin Avenue (at Dupont)OPTION 2
Edwin Avenue (at Dupont). Listed at $399,999, sold for $410,000.
At first, the couple was impressed by the size of this 1,000-square-foot two-bedroom home. But it didn’t make a lot of design sense. The giant bathroom came at the expense of a tiny second bedroom, and the massive kitchen overshadowed the living space. It hardly had a yard—just a deck and a parking spot. “If you’re not using the space well, what’s the point?” says Butoiske. They didn’t bid.

Lansdowne Avenue (at Dupont)OPTION 3
Lansdowne Avenue (at Dupont). Listed at $437,200, sold for $440,000.
McConvey and Butoiske loved this house the minute they saw it. “My first impression: this is a great party house,” says Butoiske. It felt huge, thanks to a recent extension to the back. It was also full of unexpected bonuses: a finished basement with cold storage where they could put a wine cellar, a full bathroom on all three floors, a gas stove in the kitchen and extra storage space in the two-car garage. The big deck had pretty grape vines overhead and seemed like the perfect place for hosting barbecues. It needed a few minor cosmetic updates, but otherwise it was move-in ready. The bidding process went smoothly, and McConvey and Butoiske were able to snatch the place up for $440,000.

(Image: Couple by Liam Mogan)

  • K

    They choose a great neighbourhood! :)

  • Paul

    Wide buy, not overpriced and over the asking, hence they must have had a good realtor!!

  • ugh

    ugh too bad its right on lansdowne

  • Karina

    I guess since your 20s you’re still considered an adolescent, in your 30s you are now a young adult.

  • Reality Check

    33 and still partying hard.


    (at least until the baby bump arrives)

  • Ruberlania

    These are such gorgeous shots of Tusca and her flamiy! The ones of Tusca with the little boy brought tears to my eyes the love and trust between these two is so beautifully captured. Sniff, Sniff! Well done, Shell you have caught the moment so perfectly.