Welcome to the April 2018 Home of the Month! This feature provides a snapshot of what Urbaneer’s Buyers have recently purchased in the City of Toronto.
This month’s real estate buy comes from Urbaneer team member James Ormston, who assisted our Buyers in securing a contemporary masterpiece in a Triple AAA city neighbourhood!
Our buyers, a young couple – both handsomely established in their respective professions – came to us with the express desire to make a move up the property ladder. Although they were ready to say goodbye to their stylish (but increasingly cramped) one bedroom concrete ‘n cool hard loft conversion they, like many long-time loft residents, recognized that having become accustomed to soaring ceilings, open plan living, and an airy clean lined aesthetic, moving into most traditional city housing would feel too oppressive and confining to their spatial sensibilities. Instead, they sought the hard-to-come-by unique urban space that offered all the benefits of loft living, except with multiple bedrooms, outdoor space and parking. Furthermore, they wanted it to be in a centrally located neighbourhood that was both walkable, engaging, and within a quick commute to their respective jobs in the heart of the business district. Ideally it would be low maintenance (given the demands of their busy careers), turn-key, and requiring few, if any, changes in part due to one partner’s recent (and somewhat-trying) experience with the home renovation of a family member.
With Urbaneer’s roots spearheading the loft conversion market back in the 1990s, we have 25 years of experience in the search, sales and marketing of our City’s most rare and unusual of housing types. In fact, Urbaneer’s purveyor Steve Fudge positioned his real estate expertise as Toronto’s “Innovative Space Specialist” back in 1992, which included architect-designed dwellings, low-maintenance living, vintage coach houses & corner stores, and the emerging loft conversion market. So it made sense that, after actively searching for well over a year to no avail, these Buyers would be referred to our services by an existing client. Which was fortuitous, because it’s critical to know where these unique urban homes are located. Why? So when the address appears on our real estate Hot Sheets as ‘new to market’ we, as real estate matchmakers, can instantly identify the property’s potential suitability for our clients and alert them immediately. After all, with Innovative Spaces representing one of the smaller shelter niches, the chance they’ll sell quickly is exponentially heightened.
After establishing the client brief of wishes, wants, and needs, the first property which aligned with their vision – and which we really like – was located in the conversion of a former 1958 office building located on Dovercourt Road just north of College Street. Retrofitted and expanded into 12 residences by Curated Properties in 2016, the interiors – designed by Kevin Chan of Nivak Remas – were contemporary and fresh. However, the property stumbled in being ithe right match for our Buyers. Although the lack of a powder room on the entertainment level was considered a nuisance, it was the washroom configuration on the second level which caused reason for pause. Basically, the two bedrooms shared a jack and jill washroom containing 2 sinks, 2 toilets, and shared a single and shower. In the design, each bedroom has its own dedicated sink and toilet, while the single tub with shower zone – delineated by frosted sliding glass doors on each side – was contained in the centre of the washroom. In other words, when you entered this washroom from either bedroom, it appeared to be its own ensuite having a sink, toilet and fosted glass tub + shower enclosure. However, you soon realized that the tub and shower could also be accessed from the other bedroom, hence the jack and jill configuration. Unfortunately, because the frosted doors did not go to the ceiling, although there was some visual privacy between the two zones, there was no sound proofing – making it clear to us that only one person could realistically be in the dual-equipped space at any given time. Although it was visually arresting, when it came to functionality it failed (you can see a photo of the washroom just below this paragraph). However, the real deal-breaker was the entertainment level which, although flooded in natural light from expansive glazing and generous in ceiling height, was too compact in its size, rendering the ability to fit both a comfortable lounge area and a dining table impossible. This was a real pity, as the property was so close to “perfect” (especially given its city vista roof terrace!).
Listed at $1,385,000 it sold for $1,300,000.
For those seeking Innovative Spaces, Toronto really lacks in a sufficient opportunities. Back in the 1990s, Steven’s real estate career included launching the sales and marketing of several adaptive reuse loft converions (including The Button Factory on Clinton, The Banquet Hall on Claremont, The Movie House on Euclid, The Baseball Glove Factory at One Columbus, and The Monarch Building on Wellington West, amongst others), but Toronto is not a city that has lots of unique urban dwellings. In fact, our housing stock is quite conventional and repetiitve in its housing types and styles. Because of this, finding the right Innovative Space requires patience and timing. For example, if you’re keen to be in one of the smaller conversion complexes say, with less than 20 units, there’s less than 30 developments across the central core of the city. That’s a pretty small number given the size of Toronto!
Fortunately, a truly rare and unique dwelling came to market that ticked all our Buyers boxes, which they promptly viewed. Architect-designed and purpose-built to take full advantage of the available lot area, this newer infill property was a condominium of just two units, built on a former site of two puzzle-shaped houses. Situated in Little Italy near Trinity Bellwood Park, this contemporary residence represents a new hybrid of housing in our city centre. Spearheaded by the Saskin sons – who appear to be doing everything the opposite of their real estate mogul father Alan Sakin of defunct Urbancorp – this architecturally stunning townhome is a veritable rubik’s cube of stylish, efficient, and low maintenance living situated in the prime Little Italy/Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood – long one of our favourites in the city, and one which was at the top of the list of those preferred by our purchasers.
Here are just a few highlights of this stellar abode:
• Soaring 19ft cathedral ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glass with remote controlled electric blinds in the living area
• Modern open concept chef’s kitchen featuring Caesarstone counters, breakfast bar and Wolf gas range
• Dramatic open and skylit staircase leading all the way up to a commanding 3rd floor master retreat with his & her walk-in closets, a luxe 6-piece spa-like ensuite & huge windows letting in an abundance of natural light
• Generous second and third bedrooms, with the third incorporating a striking glass feature that overlooks the entertainment zone below
• Rear main floor den/office area with adjacent ultra-convenient 2-piece powder room
• Private landscaped back garden with gas line to make barbecuing with freinds a breeze
• Detached garage with custom heightened door frame for larger vehicles
• Finished basement with a recreation room including gym area, a wall of custom built-in storage & a smartly laid-out laundry room with top end AEG washer & dryer;
Incredible! Given all of this was within a short stroll to College Street, Trinity-Bellwoods Park, Queen West, Ossington Dundas & mere minutes to downtown, our Buyers recognized the rare opportunity for what it was, and pounced with an offer! Unsurprisingly, as is often the case with downtown Toronto real estate, other Buyers also pursued the dwelling, creating a bidding war. But through much strategic negotiation, our clients came out on top!
The result? A stand-out residence, purchased for 30k over list, that provides and perfectly balances the comfort of every day living with true style and sophistication. This modern urban oasis in one of the most highly sought-after neighbourhoods of Toronto gets a big thumbs up from us! And now they call it ‘Home’!
How fantastic is that?
Here are some photos from MLS which showcase the magic of this unique urban home:
List: $1,580,000 / Sold: $1,610,000
Congrats to our delightful and intrepid buyer couple! Offered for $1,580,000, and attracting several offers in competition, we successfully negotiated and secured this Home Sweet Home for $1,610,000!
Serving first, second, and multi-time buyers, young families, down-scaling Zoomers, renovators and those building their investment property portfolios, our mandate is to help our clients strategically secure the best real estate on offer, while ensuring their purchase best serves their practical needs and their dream of ‘Home’. We identify a property’s best qualities, features, and insouciant charm in the context of the future target market while meeting your own wishes, wants, and desires.
Check out our Neighbourhood Pages to explore many more of Toronto’s desirable neighbourhoods, including College Street/Little Italy! They feature flavour videos, city census data on the area, plus past amenity blogs!
Curious to see what the Urbaneer Team sells? Here’s Toronto’s Best Houses & Condos Of 2017 By Urbaneer, which showcases our expertise across the original City!
If you, or someone you love, has specific real estate needs, wishes and desires, and would enjoy the personalized service of someone Celebrating Twenty-Five Years As A Top-Producing Toronto Realtor who subscribes to a pressure-free approach – and a specialty in unique urban homes – please know we are here to help!
– Urbaneer Team
Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage – (416) 322-8000
– we’re here to earn your trust, then your business –
*Like what you’ve read? Did you know we were recently listed as one of The Top 25 Toronto Real Estate Agents To Follow On Twitter! and The Top 50 Blogs On Toronto? Consider signing up in the box below to receive our FREE monthly e-newsletter on housing, culture and design including our love for unique urban homes and other Toronto real estate!
*Love Canadian Housing? Check out Steve’s Student Mentorship site called Houseporn.ca which focuses on architecture, landscape, design, product and real estate in Canada!
Buy Of The Month