55 STEWART ST., UNIT 501
ASKING PRICE: $729,900
TAXES: $4,155.78 (2013)
MAINTENANCE FEES: $737.44
UNIT SIZE: Approximately 1,200 square feet
AGENT: Julie Kinnear, salesperson, Keller Williams Neighbourhood Realty, Brokerage
Roberto Marcogliese was looking to put down some roots in 2010, having moved to Toronto from Montreal. So he did what any young professional does – went condo shopping.
At the time, Freed Developments had finished the Thompson Hotel and its adjoining residential building. And one of the floor plans in 55 Stewart really caught Mr. Macrogliese’s eye.
“I wasn’t looking for that size of a unit but I just fell in love with the floor plan,” he said.
The back story
For Mr. Marcogliese, the most alluring aspect of the layout is that there is no wasted space. There are no pillars, no unnecessary corners and, unlike other condos, there is no long hallway eating up a lot of space.
Instead, the unit is divvied up into private living areas on the corners: The den is in the northeast end, the guest bedroom in the northwest end and the master suite (complete with a walk-in closet and four-piece bathroom) along the southeast end and the balcony is the southwest corner. The rest of the space houses a living room, dining room and a German-designed kitchen.
“There are separate rooms as much as it is open concept,” said real estate agent Julie Kinnear.
Combined with the roominess, the layout gives the condo the feeling of being a detached home compressed onto one floor.
“I can actually see myself living here, it’s very livable,” Ms. Kinnear said. “It doesn’t feel like a little shoebox.”
Instead, living at 55 Stewart feels a lot like living in a hotel. The lobby and hallways are sleek and moody. And the residence is full of different-sized, different-priced suites, with unit 501 being on the bigger, more luxurious end of the scale.
Mr. Marcogliese says the building’s demographics are also quite diverse, with a few semi-retired couples, some renters but mostly owners who are young professional or childless couples in their early thirties to mid-forties.
One of the perks of the unit is that it’s housed in a building that shares amenities with the Thompson Hotel. Residents of 55 Stewart have access to the gym, yoga studio and the crowning jewel of the luxury hotel: its rooftop bar and pool.
And Mr. Marcogliese points out, you can also pay for the hotel’s room service to be delivered to your door, or have their cleaning staff pick up after you. Plus there are three restaurants at the bottom of your building: the Thompson Diner, Scarpetta and Wabora Sushi.
“The hotel has world-class amenities,” Mr. Marcogliese said. “But even if you’re not home a lot, you can appreciate that [living here] is a turn-key solution.”
Beyond being a special hotel resident, there are a number of features within the unit that Mr. Marcogliese really loves, including the den. In a lot of condos, a den is just an indentation, barely large enough for a desk. But in his condo, the den (and its adjoining three-piece bathroom) is as big as the second bedroom.
“You could use this den as a third bedroom,” Mr. Marcogliese said. “It easily fits a desk and pullout bed as it is.”
Another feature that really stands out is a décor detail that Mr. Marcogliese added: an accent wall. He chose a metallic, texturized wallpaper for the wall that separates the second bedroom from the dining space. And unlike most wallpapers, this doesn’t look like a giant sticker. It looks like the wall is made out of iridescent gravel, adding glamour to the space.
It also ties together its sleek dark hardwood floors and the industrial-feeling concrete ceilings.
But for both Ms. Kinnear and Mr. Marcogliese, the biggest bonus that the condo offers is its layout. With the bedrooms being off in opposite corners of the unit and the centre of the home a big, communal space, Mr. Marcogliese says it’s a perfect condo for entertaining.
“You don’t have a ton of excess space in the master bedroom that takes away from the entertaining area,” he said. “It’s a very well-proportioned space.”
And Ms. Kinnear agrees and says because of this, the condo passes an important livability test.
“I like the fact that you can have a dinner party,” she said. “That’s my one criteria for condos: hosting a dinner party. It’s the only way you can live there long-term; otherwise, you’ll want to move.”