33 BAY STREET, UNIT 5102, TORONTO
Asking price: $3,750,000
Monthly maintenance fees: $1678.26
Property tax (2012): $13,815.89
Agent: Anson Kwok, Pinnacle International
It’s easy to feel on top of the world from 51 storeys up. Looking down from unit 5102 at 33 Bay Street – part of the Pinnacle condominium complex at the corner of Bay and Harbour Streets – is about as close to getting a bird’s eye view of downtown Toronto as you can without getting into a helicopter.
The two-storey condo is very much like a personal perch, overlooking the hustle and bustle of daily city life. But being that high up, you’re well removed from the noise of the organized chaos that streams along the Gardiner, Union Station, Yonge Street and even the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (all of which are visible from the near 300-degree view from the condo).
The back story
It’s no surprise that the CN Tower was an inspiring element for designer Kelly Cray, principal creative at the design firm Union 31, when he crafted the vision behind unit 5102.
But the near-panoramic view isn’t the only element Mr. Cray used to add character to the luxury condo.
“I wanted to create drama from the moment you walked in,” he said. “We wanted to hold your attention [as you travel through to the living room.]”
To do this, Mr. Cray gave the entrance a bit of an art gallery feel. The east wall of the foyer features a dark wood wall that has a cutout, perfect for prominently displaying a prized piece of art. But the darkness of the front soon gives way to a flood of outdoor light from the main living space that is large, open and has floor-to-ceiling windows.
He also played with light and dark with the home’s decor: The dark floors contrast with the lighter walls, there’s a black pillar that houses the double-sided fireplace and acts a visual focus point in the living area, and the furniture colour scheme is largely neutral to play off the fact that view (especially at night with the multicoloured CN Tower in the background) is a changing landscape.
The suite is laid out in such a way that it’s neatly organized into two spaces: The south side of the condo is where the four bedrooms (each with their own three-piece bathrooms) are located and the north end on the first floor contains an open space that includes a living room, study nook, dining room and kitchen. The second storey is one large lounge space, with one enclosed room tucked onto the north end.
All told, unit 5102 has over 5,000 square feet – 2,000 of which is outdoor space. There are balconies on the west and east sides on the first floor. The second-floor west-facing balcony also has an outdoor sink, barbecue and hot tub on it.
And it’s not just the sky-high hot tub that makes this penthouse different. In fact, Anson Kwok, the vice-president of sales and marketing with Pinnacle International, says the entire suite was custom built.
“This penthouse goes back to the true sense of a penthouse – we’re on top of the building but it’s a total unique experience,” he said. “There are no other units like it in the [Pinnacle development], even the finishes are different.”
Mr. Kwok also points out that with four bedrooms and a second floor – unlike a lot of penthouses, which can feel like oversized apartments – the vision with unit 5102 was to create a home-like feel for the truly urban dweller.
“Embracing city living is what this place is all about,” said Mr. Kwok.
Given that the view is breathtaking, it’s hard to deny that it tops the list as the best feature of the home. But both Mr. Kwok and Mr. Cray agree that the second-floor lounge is their favourite room.
“You have almost two-storey volume in that room,” said Mr. Cray. “It screams drama. As soon as you walk up there you can’t help but say ‘wow.’”
He added, “It’d be perfect for entertaining.”
Mr. Kwok agrees that it’d be a fantastic space to host a party but he also sees another way to utilize the space.
“I could also see the second storey as becoming someone’s office,” he said. “I do believe that the view adds to creativity.”
The flexibility in the space is something else that Mr. Kwok highlights as a favourite feature. He likes that even though the condo is very open, there are distinct compartments that cater to quieter moments.
“You have enough niches and nooks to have privacy as well,” he said.
And that’s the defining feature of unit 5102, according to Mr. Kwok: Being able to be both in the thick of things downtown but having your own private space to experience it all.