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Real Estate


House of the Week: $1.2 million for a Little Portugal home with a dramatic makeover (check out the kitchen!)

ADDRESS: 147 Lisgar Street

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Little Portugal

AGENT: Timothy Norman Shepstone, Century 21 Regal Realty

PRICE: $1,195,000

THE PLACE: A newly renovated Victorian on Lisgar with four bedrooms, five bathrooms, a media room and a wine cellar.

BRAGGING RIGHTS: Built in 1880, the home was in a state of disrepair before being completely redone this year. Five-inch-wide hand-scraped hardwood planks replaced grimy carpet, and original details like the trim and staircase were restored. The wainscoting in the hallway harks back to the Victorian age, but modern amenities, like heated floors and a 36-inch gas stove, are completely 2012.

BIG SELLING POINT: Right in the middle of the trapezoid formed by Queen, Dundas, Dufferin and Bathurst, the place is within walking distance of most of Toronto’s summer hot spots. You can hit Trinity Bellwoods, the Drake, The Black Hoof, Dakota Tavern, Red Light, 416 Snack Bar and Wrongbar without spending a penny on cabs.

POSSIBLE DEAL BREAKER: As you’re in the centre of so many of the city’s goings-on, be prepared for random drop-ins from friends who were “just in the neighbourhood” and needed somewhere to cool off.

• $1,195,000
• 132 years old
• 10-foot-high ceilings on the main floor
• 5-inch hardwood planks
• 5 bathrooms
• 4 bedrooms
• 3 storeys
• 2 car parking garage
• 1 wine cellar

  • KW

    WOW!!! this place is stunning. what a view! great job :)

  • Mike

    I love this Victorian reno and what a view!

  • smartygirl

    am i the only one who thinks that kitchen is fugly? no, i didn’t think so… the original had some really cute details, the black & white tile was lovely! now… blecch.

  • ChristinaD

    The kitchen is great! what a difference between the before and after photos. lovely.

  • smartyboy

    the one who like the original kitchen? you telling me you would have left it alone. i didn’t think so

  • sugarsugar

    @ smartygirl are you broken or something? cute details? maybe you need glasses.

    love the island/wine wrack combo.

  • peachy

    no no no…

  • Shan

    This is renovation at it’s best. The kitchen is a cook’s dream come true. I love the wine cellar and the master suite. The colors are beautiful.

  • samantha

    what an ugly kitchen!

  • cathie

    I love that original kitchen. Those black and white tiles with the detailing around the top, and the wall-mounted taps were fab. The new one has no originality or character and looks like it came straight from the Depot. But that’s what people want now.

  • whatwilltheythinkofnext

    i can’t wait to see which home flipping show this was on…

  • notme

    I love this house
    what a difference a good reno makes

    oh if I won the lottery ….

  • Tikifish

    Love the original kitchen, it was appropriate to the house. Those cupboards and tile were really sweet and hard to find now. Could have been cleaned up, gotten new high end appliances, redo the floor, add a fancy wine rack somewhere or whatever floats your boat… and restored into something special.

    Not a fan of the new one at all. It’s a McMansion kitchen stuffed in a Victorian home.

  • Appleby

    lovely renovation, is this overpriced now for the area, or are houses going for that price?

  • hilda

    yes it is a very incredible transformation; having portuguese ancestery I could totally still see my parents old place on Euclid (sold 5 years previously) through these pics. it’s when I seen slide 8 and noticed the Last Supper it truly blew my mind :) i actually have the same picture, although no longer hanging on a wall. well done reno.. well done!

  • Anita

    Nice reno. I love the before & after pics included. Also thrilled that they kept the stained glass windows

  • vicki

    I like the focus on the reno. I enjoy the before and after photos.

  • Gabrielle

    Absolutely stunning. But what a shame to see the exterior brick in the back covered up with vinyl siding! :S

  • re-electrobford?areyoumad

    i don’t think i have experienced a proper wine cellar with windows before? i am sure they must be insulated but can’t both temperature and light affect aging of wine?

  • Troy

    Beautiful House overall. Wine Cellar is more of a Pantry… just sayin’.

  • Mike

    This is a flip…

    I am with smartygirl (and others)–while the original kitchen was clearly in need of a redo, the charm of the original is now gone (the curved decorative trim above the sink in particular); replaced with an uninspired carbon-copy of the standard Home Depot showroom kitchen. I have no doubt most see this as an improvement, but it seems vacant and sterile to me. The garage is a lost opportunity as well, it could have had a nicer ‘face’ from the back view–with larger windows, decorative elements to mimic/connect to the Victorian facade of the home, and the presence of a little cottage out back.

    Don’t waste your money on this–if you like this look (and many obviously do), there are many dilapidated homes downtown to buy to slap this now-standard look into for less money–and at least you would know what is behind the walls in terms of insulation and wiring.

  • A.

    The existing kitchen could have been cleaned up and would probably have looked quite nice, but unless it’s a trick of the photo angle, the countertop in the original appears to be extremely narrow. Anyone who actually wants to do serious cooking would find it totally unworkable, I expect. The new kitchen is pretty generic, but certainly more conducive to actual cooking!

  • JP

    It’s only a semi

  • Gloria

    I love the renovations but it is still a small house. I don’t know the Toronto market but I find it a lot of money for the size compared to others that have been shown. Beautiful workmanship though!

  • JS

    Haha, Mike. That’s funny. You have obviously never done a renovation. After doing a reno, I would gladly pay for a house that is well done and not have to have the headache of renovating. It is an enormous commitment of time and money. Not to mention you could never live in a house during a renovation of this magnitude. It’s a great mix of old and new. If you find something you like, it’s worth being able to move right in!

  • margarets

    They should have worked with the existing kitchen, it had some lovely period (1930s/40s, not Victorian) details that made it unique. Now it’s just a generic kitchen. Blah.

  • crazy

    If only I had the money. I love what they did to this house.

  • Mike

    Not only am I have I done renovations on my past homes–I am currently doing a main floor reno including the kitchen in my current home–and living in it while it is being done with my family.

    In the current frenzied Toronto market, doing your own renovation isn’t only smart in knowing what you’re living in, it’s financially smart. I bought my first home in Riverdale 15 years ago, updating and improving along the way. I now live in a 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom home in North Toronto with a post-renovation valuation of $1.6-1.75M.

    I am not saying the house (yours?) is shoddy in any way. On the contrary, from the photos posted here, it does look well executed. I am only saying it is soul-less reno (imo) and that buyers have other options available to them–not only to craft their dream home, but solid personal net-worth as well.

  • Me Thinks

    Gorgeous reno. I know houses on Manning and Euclid listing for and selling at at LEAST $725K without the reno work. Kudos to those who had the vision to polish up this gem, stage it tastefully, and turn it into a pearl. Nicely done!

  • Catarina

    I have chills from looking at the “before” photos, as my uncle owned a Victorian near Landsdown and Dundas, very much like this house’s before photos. The yard, the attic, the living room, just like the before pictures. My uncle’s place still had (at the time) knob and tube wiring, and an oil tank furnace in the basement. Would love to have seen some more before photos and details on the reno. This is very inspiring to anyone considering buying an older home.

  • Deb

    Having been born and raised in little Portugal I still find completely surreal when I see houses in that area with asking prices in the millions.

  • Symon Demers

    It would be nice to see a full list of updates (electrical, plumbing, heating, insulation; would hope the plans are included) but otherwise a clean job. As for the kitchen, a different style would have been preferred ( think industrial french ) but it is certainly a huge improvement over the previous one. Nice touch with keeping the grape vines in the back.

  • Amanda Kuder

    It’s absolutely beautiful! What an amazing remodel!

  • YY

    House was purchased around 629K Jun 2011. After flip, it is worth double the price… Maybe I should invest in flip business, huge profit margin.

  • John

    As Mac D would say… “I’M LOVING IT !!”…very nice indeed…true downtown living.Picky me : the dining table is so close to the window , put up blinds as you are looking right into your neighbours house while eating your lovely dinner from The Drake! :)

  • moonshake

    wow. Only $1.2 million for a semi in the downtown west end. what a bargain! (insert eye-roll here)

  • jonathan

    wow, its so amazing how affordable toronto is! In new york (where I live) 1.2 million gets you a small 1 bedroom apartment , maybe I should consider moving, lol


    Moving slightly further into the city and Hitting the High Life in Yorkville a row attached town that needs work goes in competition for 1.0 Million and is back on the market at 1.6 – 1.8 Million.

    There is a pent up and Incredible demand for life in the City