June 2017 – Home of the Month – The Annex

Annex / South Annex / Seaton Village, Buy of the Month

Welcome to our June 2017 Home of the Month! This feature provides a snapshot of what urbaneer.com’s Buyers have recently purchased in the City of Toronto.

For some the neighbourhood known as The Annex, long a bastion for the cultural intelligentsia who celebrate its proximity to our city’s finer institutions and all places fashionably respectful, is deemed one of the most desirable areas to reside. We certainly understand. Located north of Bloor Street west of Spadina in the city centre, this area of Victorian and Edwardian row, semi and detached residences is refreshingly understated and nearly devoid of the pomp and circumstance of other venerated neighbourhoods. It is, however, not inexpensive by any means which, for anyone seeking turn-key vintage-charm can often mean cost prohibitive.

This month’s buy comes from Urbaneer team member Carl Laudan, whose Buyers set out a challenge for him that he embraced wholeheartedly.

“My Buyers are a young family with a very clear snapshot in their minds eye of what their idea of “Home” was. When I first met this special family at one of my Open Houses, on Brunswick Avenue across the street from where they would eventually purchase their home, I quickly determined what they needed. Although the Open House was appealing for its location, it didn’t fulfill the rest of their wish list.

The Buyers were willing to compromise – and even renovate – provided it aligned closely with their vision. Some must-haves for these Buyers included ample parking and spacious rooms (which was the basis for their draw towards the Victorian housing stock in The Annex). They also were interested in The Annex not just for its vintage dwellings, but for its prime amenity-rich location and because several family members already resided in the neighbourhood.

Given this family’s specific criteria, coupled with the fact that they sought to leapfrog a starter position on the property ladder to their ‘forever home’, the role we realtors abide by is one which requires equal parts patience, timing and market knowledge. That was precisely the situation here.

If there’s one trend realtors witness with greater frequency, it’s that given the sky-high property prices, the lack of low-rise housing stock and the prohibitive costs of moving, more and more Buyers are attempting to secure a ‘forever home’ as their first purchase. They’re prepared to spend at the top of their budget, with the intention of renovating or adding to the home over time as their needs change. In short, for these Buyers – and many like them – once they gain a foothold in the competitive market, their position is to nest for the long term.

It took more than nine months, viewing over thirty dwellings, and losing a few times in multiple offers for these Buyers to achieve their goal. Given their familiarity with The Annex, they pinned their hopes on securing a property on Brunswick Avenue, which is renown as an idyllic street with some of the area’s grandest residences. Here you’ll find unique architectural features like pyramidal roofs, turrets, recessed grand archways and wooden spindled porches.

In terms of elegance and history, it’s hard to beat The Annex, which is regarded as one of Toronto’s most storied merchant class neighbourhoods. Dotted with mature trees, it’s an architectural “who’s-who” for the city, with some of the most prominent Victorian, Queen Anne and Richardsonian Romanesque residences constructed between 1880 through the 1930s. Its proximity to the University of Toronto gives its urban vibe a full flavour, with the integration of campus and amenities offering a truly varied neighbourhood. To get more of a flavour of the architecture, here’s a post on Steve’s Student Mentorship site – Houseporn.ca – featuring Annex Houses By Architect E. J. Lennox.

When this elegant residence on Brunswick came to market, these Buyers were the first people to view it. And they knew at first-sight it was ‘the one’. An expansive semi-detached 4+2 bed, 7 bath home, it exuded the historical charm of The Annex both inside and out. The exterior is quietly understated, featuring full brick and a host of architectural details that enhance the visual impact.

Here’s a MASH article with more information about the house with some pics.

Somehow, partly by design and perhaps a little bit of magic, this home had everything the Buyers wanted and needed: high ceilings, large and well-proportioned rooms, immaculate design and some handsome open spaces. It also had a few other things which are rare to find, including a heated driveway and patio, high ceilings in the basement, a jaw-dropping ensuite, and a two-car garage that elevated this incredible home even more.

In a paradox that can plague search-weary Toronto real estate Buyers, the loveliness of the property combined with the knowledge that it was the “one” created some resistance. With a dwelling so magnificent the Buyers initially couldn’t believe their luck, and felt conflicted that they wanted it so much that it might not be worth bidding on, for fear of losing it to another Buyer. In a heated market, where emotions run high and Buyers are fatigued from an extensive, often turbulent property search, there can sometimes be a reluctance to commit. Eventually, reticence gave way to gratitude when they submitted an Offer which was accepted.

This purchase represents one of those great moments of real estate serendipity where the perfect property finds its ideal Buyer. Without a doubt, beyond the bricks and mortar, it really is special when you place a client in a property that will deliver that intangible sense of “Home”. Steve writes about the importance of this in his post called Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs And Toronto Real Estate For Buyers.”

Here’s some snaps of the property, courtesy of MLS:



Listed at $3,295,000, this unique urban home sold close to its list price. Congrats to the Sellers and Buyers!

Serving first, second and multi-time buyers, young families, down-scaling Zoomers, renovators and those building their investment property portfolios, our mandate at Urbaneer 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.

If you, or someone you love, has specific real estate needs, wishes and desires, and would enjoy the personalized service and a pressure-free approach, let us know – we’re here to help!


~ The Urbaneer Team
earn your trust, then your business

Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage – (416) 322-8000


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** Did you also know Steve leads a Student Mentorship and Internship Program for Canadians being educated in the field of housing? Consider visiting our sister site called Houseporn.ca


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