Rosedale

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Gone Girl: I was a private school kid from Rosedale—until I ended up on the street

She had loving parents and all the opportunities and privileges in the world. Then she discovered drugs

Gone Girl: Emily Wright

The author in kindergarten, in her Havergal uniform (Image: courtesy of Emily Wright)

M

y parents gave me a great chance at life. I grew up in a three-bedroom house in Lawrence Park, where I spent weekends riding my bike and making mud pies with my younger brother. At Christmas, my parents took us on vacations to Hawaii and London and Kenya. In the summers, we rented a cottage in Muskoka, where we built teepees and chased frogs. One year, knowing how much I loved acting and tap dancing, my parents sent me to an elite arts camp in the Catskills.

In 1992, when I was seven, we moved to a sprawling Edwardian house in Rosedale, effectively upgrading from middle class to nouveau riche. My father had risen from a working-class childhood in Montreal to the upper echelons of Bay Street finance. The new house was his prize for all he’d accomplished, a way to show the world what he could do for his family. Growing up, I was provided with unconditional love and support. My mother made a point of encouraging my artistic side, making me costumes for dance recitals and driving me to extracurricular activities.

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The Dish

Coffee and Tea

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White Squirrel coffee is coming to Rosedale 

The popular Queen West café is branching out into slightly yuppier territory with a new outpost at Yonge and Roxborough. Signage is reportedly up outside Earth Rosedale’s old space at 1055 Yonge Street, directly across from one of the neighbourhood’s existing coffee institutions, Caffe Doria.

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Random Stuff

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St. Mike’s Hospital ranks the relative health of 140 Toronto neighbourhoods (with predictable results)

(Image: Courtesy of Urban Heart @ Toronto)

(Image: Courtesy of Urban Heart @ Toronto)

For health nuts who wonder if they’re settled in the best possible part of the city, St. Michael’s Hospital has answers. Urban Heart @ Toronto, a new study by the hospital (in partnership with a bunch of other organizations) evaluates the relative healthiness of 140 Toronto neighbourhoods.

Researchers made colour-coded maps to show how areas are performing in 15 health-related categories, including everything from premature mortality, to proximity to green space, to access to stores that sell healthy food. The end result is pretty much as you’d expect: Toronto’s richest neighbourhoods are the healthiest.

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Politics

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Reaction Roundup: the seven top responses to yesterday’s Liberal victory in the Toronto Centre byelection

chrystia-freeland-linda-mcquaig

“Liberal candidate wins in Liberal stronghold” is not a very exciting statement, but you wouldn’t know that from reading the avalanche of coverage from yesterday’s byelections in Toronto Centre and three other ridings.

Sure, the turnout in the downtown district was only 38 per cent, and sure, history shows that byelections are rarely harbingers for future polls, but that didn’t stop the flow of opinion. Pundits and columnists seem to agree that last night was a victory for Justin Trudeau (although not a huge one), while party hacks continue to read the byelections’ entrails for glimmers of hope for their party.

We read through all the commentary on the races so that you don’t have to. Here, the seven key takeaways.

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The Goods

Stores

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Store Guide: Ani and Wren, a new Rosedale boutique for fashionable moms and moms-to-be

Store Guide: Ani and Wren
Name: Ani and Wren
Sells: Contemporary womenswear, maternity clothes, shoes, accessories, beauty products, baby clothes
Contact info: 1172 Yonge St., 416-944-1260, aniandwren.com
Hours: Tu, W, F, Sa 10–6, Th 10–7, Su 12–5. Closed Monday.
See it on a map »

It’s hard to tell at first that Ani and Wren is a maternity boutique—which is a very good thing. Sisters-in-law Lani and Lauren Levy’s new Rosedale shop targets Toronto’s hordes of stylish moms, who wouldn’t be caught dead in a pastel tent-dress. Embellished sweaters, blazers, totes and leather boots from lines like Rebecca Minkoff, Vince and DVF hang alongside maternity brands, making the place feel more like a trendy boutique that just so happens to have a kick-ass maternity section.

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Restaurants

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Belmonte Raw opens a second location inside 889 Yoga

Belmonte Raw

(Image: Facebook)

In a new age dream, Belmonte Raw, the popular east-end raw food restaurant, has united with the posh Rosedale yoga studio so that the affluent and limber can get their stretch on and eat organic, vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free food that’s never heated above 47 degrees Celsius in a single space. Try the camu camu smoothie after a sweaty vinyasa flow class. Transcendent and refreshing.

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Real Estate

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House of the Week: $3.5 million for a sunny coach house in Rosedale

House of the Week: 80R Crescent Road Address: 80R Crescent Road
Neighbourhood: Rosedale-Moore Park
Agent: James Strathy Warren and Ben Higgs, Royal LePage/J&D Division, Brokerage
Price: $3,495,000

The Place: With two bedrooms, four bathrooms and a finished basement, this Rosedale coach house is a lot grander than the average outbuilding. 

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The Goods

Homes

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Extreme Makeover: a designer brings old Hollywood glamour to a drab Rosedale home

Before and After: 1930s Homage
Interior designer Theresa Casey lives for large-scale projects. So when she and her husband, graphic designer Robert Gray, began a house hunt, her goal was “to buy a box and make it our own.” A 1930s brick Rosedale home with a forgettable interior was the ideal big, messy job. Among its dysfunctions: a cumbersome wall divided the main floor down the middle, and Moroccan arches made rooms heavy and funereal. The sole, tiny bathroom was at the top of the stairs. After the space was gutted, Casey sourced all-new decor and had much of it custom made. She explored a period design, mixing traditional elements with 1930s modernism. The master bath now has smoky, Old World glamour, with black glass and Negro Marquina marble, cherrywood accents and vintage brass faucets. The petite kitchen is modelled after the galley in a cabin on a luxury ocean liner, with Statuario marble and unlacquered brass. Casey brought in vintage hardware and custom cherry doors for all the entranceways. The dining room’s grillwork is salvaged from the Eaton’s College Park building (now the Carlu), another dramatic art deco touch.

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New Reviews

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Review: John and Sons, a new people-watching pub and oyster bar in Rosedale

(Image: Emma McIntyre)

SEE ALL FIRST REVIEWS

Rosedale’s new oyster bar is all sideways glances, double kisses and how-do-you-know-so-and-so’s. The seafood-centred pub standards are almost as good as the people watching.

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Real Estate

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House of the Week: $3.5 million for a Summerhill townhouse that used to be a church

ADDRESS: 12 MacPherson Avenue, Townhouse 5

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Yorkville

AGENTS: Christian Vermast, Paul Maranger and Fran Bennett, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Brokerage

PRICE: $3,495,000

THE PLACE: One of just five units in the ultra-exclusive Macpherson Church loft conversion, this three-bedroom townhouse has luxurious touches like heated marble floors, cathedral ceilings and an elegant staircase that spirals through all three floors.

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Real Estate

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House of the Week: $6.5 million for an architectural landmark designed by Barton Myers

ADDRESS: 51 Roxborough Drive

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Rosedale-Moore Park

AGENT: Donna and Nick Thompson, Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage

PRICE: $6,500,000

THE PLACE: A glass-and-steel house by acclaimed architect Barton Myers. The Wolf House (named for Lawrence and Mary Wolf, the couple who commissioned the home in 1974) sits on a roomy ravine lot in Rosedale.

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Features

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The Collector: How Ash Prakash became the preeminent art dealer for the country’s wealthiest families

A look at the reclusive art collector renowned for his connections, his discretion, and his secret stash of multi-million-dollar masterpieces

The Collector: How Ash Prakash became the preeminent art collector for the country’s wealthiest families

One evening last November, at the Sotheby’s auction in the ROM’s Currelly Gallery, Ash Prakash entered into a heated bidding war with David Loch, a Winnipeg-based art dealer. The coveted object was a dreamy, impressionistic early-20th-century canvas by the Quebec artist James Wilson Morrice entitled Evening Stroll, Venice, which depicts a moody twilight scene of women bustling past the gondolas on the lagoon. Prakash wanted the painting for his personal collection, and put in several bids. He paused as the price soared over a million—he hadn’t expected the piece to be so dear. He knew through the grapevine that Loch was bidding on behalf of a client, which only hardened his resolve: he was spending his own money, and he was determined to win.

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The Goods

Homes

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Great Spaces: a Rosedale couple fills their condo with curios gathered over 51 years together

Great Spaces: a Rosedale couple fills their condo with curios gathered over 51 years together

Great Spaces: a Rosedale couple fills their condo with curios gathered over 51 years togetherAlan Hanlon and Andy Body rarely entertain at home. They prefer socializing at the Ritz-Carlton or La Société, and reserve invitations to their 1,800-square-foot Rosedale condo for the closest of friends—who are given an unforgettable lesson in gracious living. Now retired, Body spent his career as a choreographer and as a television director with the CBC. Hanlon worked for Rothmans, building its corporate art collection and organizing travelling exhibits for galleries like the AGO. The two of them have mixed and mingled with some of the most influential talents and talked-about people of the 20th century—Andy Warhol, Pierre Trudeau, Liza Minnelli—while travelling the world. Their home is an intensely personal reflection of their 51 years together. They can effortlessly recall the backstory of every painting, rug or chair. They’re both around 80, but the tales they tell make them seem like mischievous teenagers. Standing in front of a small etching, Body lowers his voice to a whisper. “I almost never show this to people. They think it’s just a sketch. They say, ‘Nice drawing.’ ” Turns out it’s a Rembrandt.

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People

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Party Pages: Artists, philanthropists and Margaret Atwood at the Art of Time Ensemble Salon

We’re fairly sure that having a piano quartet playing in the living room is a normal after-supper digestive for many Rosedale households. Having Gemini award-winner Nicholas Campbell read a monologue from the War of the Worlds, is likely more of a rarity. That experience, however, was part of the fifth annual Art of Time Ensemble Salon this past Wednesday night. Held at a private mansion (the kind with a lion-shaped door knocker and a tennis court-sized kitchen), the fundraiser for the venerable music ensemble drew creative types (painter Rundi Phelan, actor and Paul Gross sweetheart Martha Burns, director Daniel Brooks), philanthropists (Jim Fleck, CAMH chair Ana Lopes, Donald and Gretchen Ross) and the generally fabulous (James Stewart, the mathematician/text book writer who built possibly the most opulent residence in Toronto).

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Politics

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Toronto has another new car app—and this one summons regular-fare taxis

(Image: screenshot from the iTunes store)

Toronto has yet another new smart phone app to help stranded urbanites find a ride. Tap’n Ride, the brainchild of Rosedale Livery’s current president, Craig McCutcheon, allows users to order either a limo or a regular-fare city taxi from their phone or web browser. (Since apps like Winston and Uber already allow those with significant expendable funds to order up luxury vehicles, we’re betting that Tap’n Ride’s taxi function will get the most play.) The app is free, and unlike Beck Taxi’s iPhone app, it’s peer-to-peer, meaning it eliminates the need for a call centre and dispatch. Users confirm their pick-up address directly with the driver by text and keep tabs on where the car is while they’re waiting (approximately 10 minutes). At the end of the ride, it’s charged to the on-file credit card registered during the initial sign-up. [Tap’n Ride]

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