The taste of a New York brownstone in Toronto’s Annex

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robert holowka

71 Madison Avenue, Toronto

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Ask Price: $5,189,000

do: $17,083.93 (2021)

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big size: 25 by 126 feet

Agent: Miles Slocombe and Lucille Chenoweth (Sotheby’s International Realty Canada)

backstory

Over the years, Valerie Chort and Jules Roy lived at three different addresses in Toronto’s annex, where the streets are lined with Victorian-era homes.

About 12 years ago, the couple was living on Walmer Road in a lavish home with a charming coach house, but the property needed to be rejuvenated. Instead of jumping into a difficult renovation, they began to look for another home.

Modern kitchens include wooden cabinets, a central island, and built-in appliances.robert holowka

A semi-detached home a few streets to the west on Madison Avenue was recently updated by an owner who replaced several other century-old homes in the area.

The first owner of the circa 1895 home was an industrialist named Robert Thompson, says real estate agent Miles Slocombe of International Realty Canada at Sotheby’s.

The home has an en-suite bathroom with a standalone tub.robert holowka

Ms. Chort and Mr. Roy commended the way the house has preserved many of the heritage elements while adding modern amenities.

“With some of these old houses, you lose all the character,” says Mr. Roy.

Ms. Chort says the semi-detached home reminds her of a New York brownstone: “When I moved in, it felt a mix of that Brooklyn terrace with a touch of attachment.”

The living room stands at the front of the house with a gas fireplace and a bay window facing the street.robert holowka

home today

Residents and guests arrive at a recessed front porch and original oak entrance hall.

Inside, the five-bedroom home has more than 5,600 square feet of living space and 11-foot ceilings on the main floor.

The formal dining room at the center of the home features a fireplace and paneled walls.robert holowka

The stained glass windows and the Victorian staircase leading to the second floor are still intact.

The living room stands at the front of the house with a gas fireplace and a bay window facing the street. Egg-and-dart wood trim, stucco molding and ceiling medallions are painted white.

Ms. Chaurt can open the pocket doors to connect the room to the rest of the main floor or close them to create a more secluded experience.

The couple created a reading area with built-in cabinets and a bookshelf.robert holowka

The formal dining room at the center of the home also features a fireplace and paneled walls.

The couple had oak floors in a herringbone pattern installed in the living room and dining room, explains Mr. Roy.

At the rear of the house, a modern kitchen with wooden cabinets, a central island and built-in appliances is included.

Upstairs, the primary bedroom stands at the front of the house with a gas fireplace and a bay window overlooking the street.

There is also a dressing room and a separate bathroom with separate bathroom, walk-in steam shower and a gas fireplace. The marble floor is heated.

The primary bedroom stands at the front of the house with a gas fireplace and a bay window overlooking the street.robert holowka

At the rear, Mr. Roy’s office has a roof lantern to bring light to the interior. A gas fireplace adds warmth in winter and a balcony provides access to the outdoors in summer.

The couple also created a reading area with built-in cabinets and a bookshelf.

“It gave the room a library feel because we love books,” says Ms. Chort.

On the third floor, the couple created a suite for their daughter by opening two rooms to create a bedroom with a lounge and study area at the front of the house. The attached bathroom has a glass-enclosed shower.

A door leads to an outdoor sleeping porch under the expansive roof.

Upstairs, there is a dressing room and an en-suite bathroom.robert holowka

The third floor has two additional bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms.

Downstairs, the house houses a recreation room, a home gym, and wine storage.

Outside, the backyard’s flagstone patio provides a place to relax in the summer. In winter, it can be converted into a skating rink.

Ms. Chort and Mr. Roy have seen many changes in the neighborhood over the years. Today, Madison Avenue is part of the West Annex Heritage Preservation District.

“There are some beautiful period houses that have been destroyed,” says Mr. Roy.

Outside, the backyard’s flagstone patio provides a place to relax in the summer. In winter, it can be converted into a skating rink.robert holowka

In the past, many former mansions were divided into apartments or converted into quarters for students near the University of Toronto.

These days, Mr. Roy says, many new owners are converting those properties back into single-family homes. He welcomes the renovation of many old houses.

“It’s coming back to be more and more family-oriented,” he says of couples living with young children.

Ms. Chort and Mr. Roy recently accepted an offer for $5,050,000 for 71 Madison Avenue, and the property has now been sold.

best feature

The family room adjacent to the kitchen has a bay window and doors open to the courtyard and garden.robert holowka

The kitchens have luxurious touches, including an elevator that glides between the home’s four floors.

The couple love to cook, so they make good use of the six-burner range, says Ms. Chort. For casual evenings with friends, they often serve dinner with everyone gathered around the island, she adds.

Mr Roy, who loves to cook pizza, steak and duck, explains that the couple also uses the kitchen’s wood-burning fireplace for cooking.

The family room adjacent to the kitchen has a bay window and doors open to the courtyard and garden.

The kitchens have luxurious touches, including an elevator that glides between the home’s four floors.robert holowka

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