Rosedale

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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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The Informer

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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The Informer

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]

The Informer

Real Estate

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House of the Week: $2.4 million for a contemporary home on Rosedale’s northern edge

ADDRESS: 211 Glen Road

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Rosedale–Moore Park

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

PRICE: $2,350,000

THE PLACE: A modern four-bedroom house at the northern tip of Rosedale, near the walking trails of Chorley Park and down the street from Summerhill Market.

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The Informer

Random Stuff

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Which Toronto neighbourhood has the most cheaters?

(Image: ashleymadison.com)

Ashleymadison.com, the “infidelity dating site” (and, it would seem, Centreville zoo fan) has revealed that, in Toronto, the Beaches, Forest Hill and High Park have the most people looking for a little extramarital action. (All three are blue chip real estate neighbourhoods: coincidence?) According to data compiled from the adultery-enabling website’s 400,000 GTA users, Rosedale, Etobicoke, Downtown, North York, Midtown, Leaside and Scarborough round out the neighbourhoods with the most cheaters. Other tidbits: Leaside members had the most affair partners, while Etobicoke had the fewest, and Scarborough members had the most overall encounters. We’ll bet that, right now, someone in the Beaches is snooping through their spouse’s computer history.

The Goods

Street Style

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Street Style: 19 looks at the women of Rosedale

Welcome to The Goods’ brand spankin’ new street style segment, where we ditch hackneyed questions like “How would you describe your style?” and infuriatingly meaningless answers like “rockabilly-meets-schoolmarm-meets-zoologist-chic.” Instead, every second Friday, we’ll be deconstructing the stereotypes that have come to characterize a Toronto neighbourhood, shooting subjects in the urban wild to determine whether the prevailing style myths are actually bona fide truths. This week, we look at the women of Rosedale, who have traditionally been viewed as the Dowager Countesses of Toronto—complete with entitled, upturned chins, Whole Foods status totes, “it” handbags, tennis skirts and a variety of Ugg-like footwear (when they just can’t bear to wear their Louboutins). But is the Rosedale woman the status-hungry, label-wearing matron she’s presumed to be? The truth is so much more interesting than that.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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House of the Week: $1.7 million for an Arts and Crafts home with a first-rate reno in Rosedale

ADDRESS: 16 Inglewood Drive

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Rosedale–Moore Park

AGENT: Kara Reed, Chestnut Park Real Estate

PRICE: $1,679,000

THE PLACE: Alan Tregebov of AJT Architects overhauled this large house, which was originally built in an Arts and Crafts style. Tregebov usually works on corporate projects, but the persistent homeowners persuaded him to take on this residential challenge.

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The Informer

Features

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The Anti-Ford: Kristyn Wong-Tam believes Toronto is in better shape than you’re being told

In her first year on city council, Kristyn Wong-Tam hogged the spotlight with proposals to ban shark fin soup, save bike lanes and found a municipal bank. She’s a charismatic lesbian immigrant art lover who once lived on the street—the exact opposite of our mayor in every way

Kristyn Wong-Tam | The Anti-Ford

(Image: Naomi Harris)

The first time Kristyn Wong-Tam clashed with Rob Ford, she lay down on the carpet outside his office in protest. It was March 2008, and Ford was a councillor from Etobicoke, an outspoken character on the fringes of city politics with a talent for alienating his colleagues. Earlier that month, Ford had famously delivered a rambling speech in support of the economic advantages of holiday shopping hours that could have been cribbed from a 19th-century pamphlet about the Yellow Peril. “Those Oriental people work like dogs. They work their hearts out. They are workers non-stop. They sleep beside their machines,” Ford said on the floor of council, punching the air with his fist for emphasis. “I’m telling you, the Oriental people, they’re slowly taking over.”

That last phrase rankled Wong-Tam. At the time, the 36-year-old Chinese-Canadian was a successful realtor with no ambitions to become a city councillor, a job she saw as demanding far too much time for too little compensation. She did, however, have a long history of rabble-rousing—for gay rights, for women’s equality, for immigrants’ rights—and she believed that Ford’s comment was a xenophobic stereotype that needed to be corrected. She decided to ask for an apology.

After her emails and phone calls went unanswered, Wong-Tam brought a group of around 20 Asian protesters down to city hall. Showing a talent for media-friendly political theatre, they walked down to the press gallery wearing white dress shirts and ties, what Wong-Tam called the “Asian office uniform,” and announced they were looking for Councillor Ford. “Essentially, we’re a group of people who are working very hard,” Wong-Tam quipped, walking to Ford’s office as members of the press trailed behind her. When they found that Ford wasn’t in the building, the group brought out various contraptions—blenders, sewing machines, toasters—and lay down to sleep beside them. Cameras flashed. The video ran on loop on CP24 all afternoon.

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The Goods

Homes

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Great Spaces: a pair of empty nesters trade their spacious Rosedale home for a bright condo in Summerhill

Great Spaces: In Living Colour

In the 1990s, Joe Gonda and Christine Turner lived in a 6,000-square-foot Rosedale home with five children—four from Turner’s first marriage, one from Gonda’s. When the kids headed off to university, the couple downsized to a 3,500-square-foot house nearby. But that soon felt too big as well. “There were empty bedrooms, and we never went to the third floor other than to look for the cat,” Turner says.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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Condomonium: $849,000 for a Rosedale condo that’s actually the top floor of a house

ADDRESS: 80 Crescent Road, Unit 3

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Rosedale-Moore Park

AGENT: Eleanor Bohm and Evan Sage, Sage Real Estate Limited

PRICE: $849,000

THE PLACE: A two-bedroom penthouse in a South Rosedale mansion that recently went condo. Each floor in the house is now a separate unit, and there are plans for a green roof and other landscaping flourishes around the property.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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House of the Week: $5 million for a Rosedale Victorian mansion with a nine-seat movie theatre

ADDRESS: 50 Elm Avenue

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Rosedale-Moore Park

AGENT: James Warren, Royal LePage, Johnston and Daniel Division, Brokerage

PRICE: $4,995,000

THE PLACE: A historic gated Victorian home—with an actual turret—in the heart of Rosedale.

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The Informer

Features

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Almost Rich: an examination of the true cost of city living and why rich is never rich enough

An income of $196,000 places you in the country’s top one per cent of earners. But does it make you wealthy?

Almost Rich

The Western world has become chastened and frugal. The reasons are many: corporations crouched in fear of another, much worse recession; penniless governments a-toppling; and Europe, for the foreseeable future, mired in a debt debacle. But you wouldn’t know it from life in Toronto, where a luxury condo opens its doors every week and we queue for hunks of exotic chocolate at the new Maple Leaf Gardens Loblaws. We’re bouncing along in a prosperity bubble.

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Read profiles of five Toronto households and how they spend their money »

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The Informer

People

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Toronto’s well heeled celebrated The Obamas author Jodi Kantor at Victoria Webster’s Rosedale home

Gabe Gonda, Jodi Kantor and Victoria Webster have a party for The Obamas (Image: Tom Sandler)

Fabulous Rosedale homes are meant for more than just real estate porn and housing Toronto’s aristocracy—they also provide a great backdrop for parties. Toronto Life contributor Victoria Webster and her husband, Gabe Gonda, weekend editor at the Globe and Mail, opened their home Friday evening to New York Times correspondent and The Obamas author Jodi Kantor. Complete with a question-and-answer period, libations and a book signing, this party was a proper toast among friends. Find out what Kantor had to say about Michelle Obama and who took his shoes off (when no one else did) after the jump.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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Year in Review 2011: the best houses, condos and cottages of the week

Let’s face it: taking a peek through a stranger’s home gives us all a voyeuristic thrill. But aside from when a place goes up for sale, it’s pretty well impossible to get inside without breaking windows (and the law—an open house with a realtor is one thing; gaining access with a crowbar is completely another). That’s why we take such delight in scouring the city every week to find the most opulent, outrageous and storied church conversions, summer getaways and stately mansions on the market. Here, our 10 favorite houses, condos and cottages of the week from 2011 (with a yurt thrown in for good measure).

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Weekly Lunch Pick: a perfectly elegant sandwich at a perfectly elegant Summerhill pastry shop

The daily sandwich and a flaky banana-coconut croissant at Nadège (Image: Renée Suen)

Sandwiched between Summerhill’s five thieves, Nadège Nourian’s second outlet is a jewel box of pretty confections and carefully constructed pastries. The midday crowds, however, line up for the freshly made and affordable gourmet sandwiches stacked in the shop’s glass display cases. Seasonal fruits and vegetables, along with fine meats and cheeses, spill out from halved homemade croissants or slices of spongy, loose-crumbed bread.

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