52 Amelia St.
WHAT: A detached brick Edwardian home, circa 1920, boasting a detached two-car garage, a Cabbagetown rarity. Previously a duplex, the three-storey house has been converted back to a single family residence. It offers approximately 2,600 square feet of living space (excluding a 900 square foot finished basement) with three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms.
ASKING PRICE: $1.049-million
TAXES: $6,598.90 (2009)
AGENT: Bosley Real Estate Ltd. (Richard Silver)
A patch of water in the backyard of 52 Amelia St. that has frozen over is an ice rink only a squirrel could love.
Odd, perhaps, given the profession of homeowner William Thompson. As Chief Executive Officer of Skate Canada, the nation's governing body for figure skating, Mr. Thompson is used to rinks as long and wide as his entire Cabbagetown street. The ones in Vancouver, for instance, where Mr. Thompson is now rink-side in support of the Canadian Olympic figure skating team.
As the team's official spokesman, he addresses the media on the skaters' behalf.
"My role here is very challenging," says the 44-year old former national-level pairs skater who was an Olympic judge in singles and pairs during the last Winter Games in Torino.
"In a way, it was a lot easier being a judge. That job was specific and well-defined. Here, you never know what's going to hit you on a given day. A medal? An injustice? The game changes by the hour."
Given the pressures of his job, Mr. Thompson has made sure that his home is a skating-free zone.
There are no blades on display. No medals and no rink to speak of -- save the frozen-over pond in the yard.
It is, in Mr. Thompson's words, a home as urban oasis, where he and his wife and small daughter retreat to get away from it all.
"Because I'm in skating all the time, I like an escape," Mr. Thompson says, adding that in his home he has eschewed skating memorabilia in favour of contemporary Canadian art and Chinese artifacts that reflect his adopted daughter's heritage.
"It's a home that's a really comfortable place to live. "It's got a warm and homey feeling to it. It has little to do with skating at all."
The relaxed atmosphere came with the property, which Mr. Thompson and his wife, a corporate lawyer, purchased just a year ago after relocating to Toronto from Ottawa where Skate Ontario also has offices.
The previous owner had initiated a full scale renovation that involved converting the Edwardian-style house back into a single family residence after years as a duplex.
The modernizing reconstruction introduced all new electrical and plumbing, plus the addition of a bathroom to the finished basement and new radiant heat tile flooring in the foyer.
But while updating the home's infrastructure, the renovation also preserved some of the home's vintage details.
These include a curving wooden banister on the staircase linking the main floor with the home's two upper levels and pine trim decorating the windows in a second floor sitting room. There is also an original hand-carved wooden mantel featuring an elaborate design of symmetrically placed urns that decorates one of three fireplaces.
Being a former duplex, the home once had two kitchens, one on the main floor and one on the second.
The previous owner fully renovated that second floor kitchen, adding new black appliances and also custom wood cabinetry with etched glass panels whose antique style evokes the overall heritage feel of the house.
The main floor kitchen, on the other hand, was removed to make room for a large home office with a walk-out to the landscaped garden.
Mr. Thompson presently uses the office for his own needs. It is sparsely decorated: a desk, a chair, a painting on the wall.
But that might change should Canada's figure skaters bring home a medal this week.
"Yes, if we win, I think I would want to put out a framed photograph of that," Mr. Thompson says. "It would be a memory for me of an incredible time."