The Place: A 1906 mansion near Casa Loma, designed by the famed architect Eden Smith.
Sale of the Week: the $2.6-million new-build that proves contemporary homes can have lively interiors
The Property: This custom build sets itself apart from other modern homes with its use of wood materials, which warm up the interior colour palette. Also unusual: an open-concept design that splits the main floor into multiple tiers. A winding staircase leads to the bedrooms, each with its own en suite washroom.
The Place: A two-bedroom pad with a large balcony and lots of luxurious touches, including kitchen cabinetry and a double-sink master vanity by Scavolini.
The seller: David Young, a 45-year-old manager at Bombardier.
The property: A 1,000-square-foot two-bedroom off Royal York Road, where the recently divorced David and his five-year-old son, Andrew, had lived for just nine months.
The story: Young bought the house to give his son a backyard and himself a chance to use some of his handyman skills. It was perfect for the two of them. Then things between Young and a new girlfriend started getting serious, and they were talking about living together. Since he had Andrew and she had a seven-year-old son, they needed a bigger house.
The prep: They found a place in Mississauga—three bedrooms, twice the square footage—but with finances stretched to the limit, Young needed to sell the old house fast. His agent priced it at market value, and they got only one serious offer in three weeks. Frustrated, Young went back to the agent he bought his first house with, Andrea Bock. She dropped the list price by $30,000, painted the kitchen wainscoting white, switched the dining room furniture with the living room furniture for better flow, upgraded some light fixtures, threw down some area rugs, and washed the windows. “It was staged so nicely,” says Young, “we almost didn’t want to move.”
The offers: Bock held two open houses on a weekend in September, baking apples to infuse the place with a homey scent. By the following Tuesday, they had three offers, the highest $40,000 over asking (and $10,000 more than the previous agent’s list price). After some haggling on the closing date—Young wanted it snappy—the deal was done the same day.
Sale of the Week: the $380,000 condo that proves Regent Park’s revitalization has started to take effect
The Property: This two-bedroom unit in the One Park West building rises over Regent Park’s eponymous six-acre green space. It features large living and dining rooms, plus two balconies facing northwest.
The Place: A two-bedroom apartment on the fourth floor of a two-year-old building at the centre of Liberty Village. The unit faces north, giving it a view of a little park, rather than the Gardiner Expressway to the south.
The Place: Industrial designer Marco Pecota’s west-end loft takes up the second and third floors of a Dundas West building. (His showroom, Pekota, currently occupies the main-floor commercial space.)
The Property: This freehold rowhouse is Victorian on the outside, modern on the inside. The recent reno spans four levels and includes two master-sized bedrooms, the larger of which has its own walkout to a large rooftop terrace. The property is on a dead-end street with a view over recently refurbished Barbara Hall Park.
The economics of Toronto real estate in 2014 meant even completely average places could (and frequently did) sell for seven-figure sums. Despite all the craziness, though, some homes that hit the market this year truly did justify their often-astronomical prices. Over the course of 2014, we documented dozens of these standout properties as part of our recurring Sale of the Week, Condo of the Week and House of the Week features. Here, we’ve collected 15 of the most beautiful, most spacious and most jealousy-inducing of those homes in one photo gallery. You may not be able to afford them, but you can spend a few hours gawking at them. And that’s not nothing.
The Property: This three-storey, six-bedroom home across the street from High Park requires work. The bones of the structure are in good condition, and some of the original fixtures are worth saving, like the leaded and stained-glass windows, high baseboards and fireplaces. The rest, though, is in poor shape. The property was sold as-is.
The Place: A two-bedroom unit on the first floor of a mid-rise building at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac.
—The percentage of Toronto condos that are owned by foreign investors, according to a new report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The actual rate of foreign ownership has long been assumed to be much higher, though, and it’s not clear how accurate this new number actually is. The CMHC didn’t use hard data—which, for this type of thing, is difficult to come by. Instead, the agency polled a representative sample of building owners and managers.
Tower of Power: who lives where at One Bedford, the new downtown address of choice for uptown potentates
In the three years since it was completed, One Bedford, the 32-storey monolith above, has become de facto HQ for tastemakers in business, media, arts and politics. Chalk it up to its location at the nexus of three high-rent neighbourhoods, which allows residents to self-identify as posh Yorkvillers, U of T brainiacs or quinoa-munching Annexers as needed. One of the latest big-name tenants to join the party is the mayor. Here’s who he calls neighbour.