Billionaire entrepreneur Michael Lee-Chin has joined this summer’s wave of homeowners with a yen to sell their luxury real estate holdings. The prominent businessman and philanthropist has listed his landmark Burlington, Ont., estate with an asking price of $4.985-million.
The market for high-end properties in Toronto and the surrounding areas has been sizzling in 2012. Listings and sales for houses valued at more than $1-million jumped nearly 30 per cent in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2011.
Mr. Lee-Chin is planning a return to the investment fund business this fall after selling assets in his AIC Ltd. to Manulife Financial Corp. three years ago. He is currently chairman of Portland Holdings Inc.
The house for sale at 563 North Shore Blvd. E. is set in 2.45 acres and was built circa 1926 for P.D. Carse. At that time, the property stretched down to the edge of Burlington Bay. In the intervening years, houses have been built along the shore.
The Tudor-style manor was designed by William Souter of Hamilton, Ont.-based architectural firm Hutton and Souter.
A later owner was John Rosart, who developed the Mapleview Mall and many other areas of Burlington through Rosart Developments.
Today the house provides 12,377 square feet of living space. Millions have been spent on renovations and landscaping, including the installation of a gunite pool. There is a pool house, rose garden and circular driveway.
Inside, the house is traditional in style, with a curving main staircase in the foyer and a bay large enough to accommodate a grand piano in the living room. The dining room has a barrel ceiling and built-in china cabinets. The family room is open to a large kitchen with polished limestone floor, European-style cabinetry and decor. There’s also a butler’s kitchen with a window overlooking the front garden.
The second floor has three bedrooms, including a five-star master suite with ensuite bath. The third floor provides two more bedrooms, an office and a sitting room.
The house is listed with real estate agents Christopher Invidiata and Linda Tino-Zylik of ReMax Aboutowne Realty Corp. of Oakville, Ont., who have produced a lengthy brochure describing the house as opulent, elegant and refined.
Mr. Lee-Chin will face quite a bit of competition this summer in the market for carriage trade homes near the shores of Lake Ontario: There are two nearby properties in Burlington with an asking price in the same range. There are quite a few more down the road in Oakville and Mississauga.
While the market typically slows in July, agents this summer say they’ve stayed busy right through the heatwave.