A Heart-Grabbing Edwardian On Markham Street

offered at $1,689,000

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Something sublime emerges when you pair elegant living quarters with location and surroundings that enhance the overall sophistication of your quality of life. Your personal urban experience should be reflected not only in the walls that encircle you, but in the laneways and streetscapes that wind around your home, connecting you to a cherished community.

If you’re seeking domestic bliss with spirit and charm both inside and out, then this Edwardian manse is worth your consideration.

Welcome to 541 Markham Street!

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Markham Street, and its sisters Euclid Avenue and Palmerston Boulevard, are a trilogy of tree-lined avenues that self-assuredly incorporate history and a quiet elegance to create much of the dynamic spirit that encircles this sought-after location. Once considered one of the wealthier pockets of Toronto – and featuring some of the oldest merchant class housing in the city – these grand homes buzz with history and charm, and, if walls could talk, they would no doubt have interesting stories to tell form decades past! Today, these streets radiate intellectual energy, mingling with style and panache, as reflected in its residents, in the evolution of the housing stock, and in the sublime amenities that encircle this location.

Located one block west of Bathurst Street north of Harbord Street in the coveted Palmerston pocket, this gracious semi-detached Markham Street dwelling under a canopy of mature trees is primely located just south of Bloor Street West, placing it within a stone’s throw of the effervescence of urban living, but just far enough removed from the hub-bub to create that sense of peace and calm that a quality residential area provides. Superbly situated, this residence is just steps to the Bathurst Street subway station, and the dynamic new redevelopment of Mirvish Village by Westbank, which will see this neighbourhood transform with “a new and complex brand of urbanism, raising the standards on many fronts, from heritage to sustainability to cycling and, crucially, urban design” while retaining the orignal Markham Street shopping concourse that will “become destination restaurants, expanded discreetly and served by a bike valet service that connects to an underground bicycle shop and service area.” Just a block north of the Harbord Street bicycle lanes that run west to Ossington or east towards the University of Toronto and Queen’s Park. A block northwest is colourful Koreatown, and a short stroll southeast lands you in the culinary coolness of Kensington Market, regarded as Toronto’s most dynamic multicultural fresh food market. And of course at the bottom of Markham Street is College Street – and to the southwest is Dundas West and the Ossington strips, which are each regaled as some of the City’s top destinations for food and culture.

Some of Urbaneer’s faves are a pleasant stroll away. Just north on Bloor Street West we love to nosh at Insomnia Café while sampling from their extensive martini menu. We’ve also found solace savouring a solid cup of coffee at the Green Beanery. Just south of this luxe residence on College Street are DaiLo RestaurantWoodlot Restaurant, and Bar Raval – three destinations for culinary excellence. For something a little different, check out Dish Cooking Studio and their innovative approach to the culinary experience – you can shop, dine, or even cook! Once you’re full of delicious offerings from one of these establishments, you can explore one of the many unique shops and alternative spaces along College Street. Music lovers will revel in the live funk and grooving beats of The Orbit Room or the vintage offerings of June Records, while movie fans will delight in art indie house Royal Cinema, located west of Clinton Street on the north side! Showing a wide range of repertory cinema, the Royal is fully renovated with state-of-the-art technology and boasts an upgraded projection system that’s also used for movie editing purposes during the day. There is a small plaza with a Shoppers Drug Mart and 24-hour Metro Grocer on the south side of College between Shaw and Crawford, and the LCBO is just east of Palmerston on the South side. Literally, everything you require for a domestic life of bliss is within walking distance of this property. And if you love board games as much as we do, there’s engaging Snakes and Lattes (with locations on both College and Bloor West) where you can play and dine to your heart’s content, using one of the thousands of games they have in their library.

Speaking of libraries, the Palmerston Branch of the Toronto Public Library is less than a five-minute walk away. When’s the last time you indulged in the guilty pleasure of a Saturday afternoon surrounded with comfy chairs and books? This kind of leisure is just a hop, skip and a jump away.

Yearn for green space? Pick a direction, and you’ll find lovely green pockets in this urban landscape. Expansive Christie Pits Park to the west of this dwelling has something for everyone: loads of wide open green space, an artificial ice rink, tobogganing hills, baseball diamonds, children’s playground, splash pad, wading pool and community garden. If you have a dog, Bickford Park on Grace Street has an off-leash area. And be assured, the Palmerston Area Residents Association (PARA) is one of the most engaged community ratepayer associations in the City, who will keep you informed of all the goings-on.

Are kids coming along for the adventure? About a 10-minute walk away is Clinton Street Junior School, serving JK through Grade Six, and offers gifted as well as special programming to accommodate children with different learning styles. The area Intermediate school, King Edward Junior School, is about a 15-minute walk away. Right around the block is Harbord Collegiate Institute, where they set a framework of “social justice, equity and the environment for a dynamic education.”

This bespoke merchant-class Edwardian manse – constructed in 1905 – offers a marriage of modern conveniences with character details which celebrate the pedigree of this bejeweled residence. Surrounded by mature trees and manicured gardens, this century home has an enchanting curb appeal; I adore the brickwork and charming deep covered porch! Immaculately maintained, the original character of the architecture has been preserved, while the mechanical components, fixtures, and fittings have been upgraded to suit a more contemporary style of living. The layout is extremely adaptable, meaning you can alter this residence to suit. For example, this property is well-suited for a multi-generational conversion, with the main level becoming a one bed suite, the lower level a space for your moody teen, and the second and third floor being converted into a 2 or 3 bed family residence. Note the east-facing rear bedroom currently configured as a generous walk-in closet could become a kitchen, with plumbing accessed from the adjoining second floor renovated washroom.

On the first level, the welcoming foyer features generous proportions with coat hooks, a built-in bench, a closet on the landing for seasonal wear, plus a discrete powder room. Here, the charm of the original architecture has been preserved in the carved paneling, the detailed wood banister and artful stained glass windows. To the right, pocket doors lead to the elegant formal living room, where the sense of history is palpable. Sunlight filters through the front bay window making the original hardwood floors gleam, while overhead – just shy of the cove ceilings – intricate plaster molding runs the circumference of the room. The real show piece, however, is the vintage fireplace mantle – this is old world charm at its best! Beyond a pair of French doors lies the elegant formal dining room. I love the wainscoting, plate rail and generous proportions! This gathering space could easily accomodate large holiday meals with your extended family. The renovated eat-in kitchen is brimming with panache, featuring shaker cabinetry, gas cooking, stone tile floors, and a breakfast area with a serene garden view. I love the connection to the outdoors; two pairs of sliding glass doors provide access to the tiered deck and landscaped rear yard. If you have children, you’ll appreciate the convenience of the adjacent mud room, where snowsuits can be donned or rubber boots removed before they track dirt through the house!

Ascending to the second floor, you’ll find four original bedrooms drenched in light, featuring a combination of wood floors and soft broadloom, and offering some clever storage solutions. The Second Bedroom – adjacent to the Master – has been transformed into a dreamy walk-in closet, while the Third and Fourth Bedrooms are currently connected as a cozy family room and office space, boasting a vintage fireplace, built-in shelving, and a bay window overlooking the Markham streetscape. Rounding out this level is a convenient linen closet and a swish spa washroom! Luxe updates include a glassed in shower with rain head and stone surround, and a spacious double vanity flanked by floating cabinets. Tucked away on the third floor are two charming bedrooms, both with wood floors and wall-mounted MiniSplit air conditioners with remotes. The larger, L-shaped bedroom has soaring ceilings, wood floors, and a closet, while the east-facing bedroom across the hall has an amazing attic atelier feel, with its dormer window and skylight! This level has a luxe 4-piece bath with a glass and stone shower, Jacuzzi tub, and skylight!

Descending to the finished lower level, past the separate side entrance, you’ll discover ample space to create a nanny or teen suite! Recently upgraded with new laminate floors, new broadloom on the stairs, and freshly painted walls, there’s a bedroom with an above grade window, a spacious recreation/media room, a 4-piece washroom with claw foot tub, a separate laundry room, a cold storage room, and a utility room! There have been several building component updates, including the removal of all the knob & tube wiring which was replaced with new along with the electrical panel in 2014. A two-stage high-efficiency furnace with ECM fan and split system air conditioner was installed in 2015, the owned direct vent high-efficiency water heater was installed in 2016, and its mixing valve replaced in 2017. The windows were replaced in 2005/06, the cedar deck and north fence in 2012, and the roofing is midlife (Back Flat 2006, Sloped Roof 2010, Top Flat 2011 & Garage Roof 2008).

Located on a generous and wide 25 x 125 foot lot, and having a detached 2-car garage with automatic door system (1 keypad, 2 remotes) – which I believe meets the criteria for as-of-right laneway housing – this century family home is nothing less than brilliant!

Could this gorgeous residence be the one for you? Contact steve@urbaneer.com for more info, or to request an appointment!

Want to learn more about this neighbourhood and its amenities? Here’s our neighbourhood pages on College Street and Little Italy and The Annex, South Annex And Seaton Village including our flavour videos, the city census data on the area, plus several past blogs on area amenities that serve this spectacular location!