1549 DUNDAS ST. E., TORONTO
Asking price: $1,187,500
Lot size: 25 by 125 feet
Agent: Ali Fadhil, Century 21 Innovation Realty Inc., Brokerage
Building a luxury modern home is a risk. Especially in a neighbourhood that still boasts a lot of 40- and 50-year-old homes. But that didn’t deter G Elrayyes.
Mr. Elrayyes has a background in retail and commercial construction. But eventually he made the leap to residential and began building infill homes. The house on Dundas Street East is his second solo venture and with it, he decided to go bold.
“Everybody opens up a modern home magazine and says ‘wow,’” Mr. Elrayyes said. “But no one is willing to take that risk to build it … to just put on the market and see.”
The back story
Mr. Elrayyes found the property in spring of 2013. Back then, a 1970-era bungalow sat on the lot. And in Mr. Elrayyes’s opinion there was little to keep of the existing structure except for the foundation.
“Typically your foundation wall is eight inches by code and people don’t tend to go beyond that. But this one was a foot. It is extremely solid,” he said. “So the first eight feet are the original walls.”
From that foundation, Mr. Elrayyes went on to build a modern house with a typical cubic exterior and an open-concept interior. But it’s the small details inside that make it stand out: all of the lights are LED, there’s a pot-filler tap in the kitchen and the wood for the floors was stained on site to ensure consistency.
Another example of how Mr. Elrayyes added to the house is his use of skylights. There isn’t a single room in the house (with the exception of the basement bathroom and mechanical room) that doesn’t have a source of natural light. That includes two boxed-in rooms on the upper floor. To give them light, Mr. Elrayyes added generous skylights with solar-powered blinds.
The house is also very airy thanks to an open main floor. At the front door, the room unfurls in front of you. And with its 10-foot ceilings and the absence of any walls, pillars or posts, it feels much larger than its 656.5-square-foot imprint.
“This layout is very flexible,” real estate agent Ali Fadhil said. “Say 20 or 30 years down the road, whoever buys this house can easily modify it to fit their own needs.”
The openness doesn’t just lend itself to rearranging furniture. It’s also ideal for parties, said Mr. Elrayyes, who once hosted a 70-person event in the house.
“There is a lot of space for standing and sitting,” he said. “Plus there is lots of countertop space too.”
The outdoor space and finished basement are also prepared for entertaining. Mr. Elrayyes roughed in everything you’d need for a gas barbecue and a hot tub.
The basement is about 850 square feet of open space that is roughed in for a kitchen or bar. With its own bathroom and separate entrance, it could also work as a rental unit, Mr. Fadhil said.
Another feature of the house that adds to its modernity is its “brain.” The home is fully automated, meaning you can control lights, fireplace, music, TVs and security cameras all remotely from an app on your phone.
Both Mr. Elrayyes and Mr. Fadhil agree that the master suite is their favourite feature.
It’s not an outlandishly big room. A king-sized bed feels appropriate, not lost. Flanking the bed are floating bedside tables and a boxy light fixture that runs the lengths of the headboard and can change to a number of colours, including lavender, baby blue and orange. These are attached to an accent wall made out of exposed pine, warming up the otherwise clean space.
“The master bedroom looks really slick, clean and updated,” Mr. Fadhil said. “And plus the closet has ample storage space, which is a huge bonus.”
The suite also has a walk-out balcony that overlooks the backyard and once the foliage comes in, it’s largely secluded from neighbouring yards.
Mr. Elrayyes’s favourite feature of the master suite is the bathroom, whcih is a mix of old and new design ideas. It’s got the separate water closet for maximum privacy and the traditional double vanity. But it also has a luxurious double shower, each with its own rain showerhead and a hand-held shower wand, and a stand-alone tub.
“The master ensuite is my pride and joy,” he said. “I wanted to make it like something you’d see in a magazine but more functional.”
In many ways, that is what he hoped to accomplish throughout the house and he trusted the market would appreciate it. And it did. After just a few days on the market, a buyer snapped up the home, cutting a deal for $41,500 under asking.