Asking price: $1.699-million Taxes:$7,588.00 (2012)
Lot size:30.5 by 134.3 feet
Agent: Cynthia Newton (Coldwell Banker Terrequity Realty)
The back story
New Toronto was once an area known for a small batch of pleasant houses near the lake and a gritty industrial area – including an odoriferous Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. plant – closer to the major highways.
But in this part of the Greater Toronto Area today, a stretch of Lake Shore Boulevard West and the nearby residential areas are often called Lake Shore Village. Most of the industry has moved away, and developers have built townhouses on the former brownfields.
Real estate agent Cynthia Newton of Coldwell Banker Terrequity Realty says she often hears from people who want to live on the water instead of owning a cottage. This pocket tends to be more affordable than areas along the water in Oakville, Mississauga and Toronto’s east-end Beaches, she adds.
“There’s a ton of really interesting people down here,” Ms. Newton says. “People are really starting to notice the West Beaches.”
Ms. Newton adds that Colonel Samuel Smith Park to the west offers walking trails and beaches. In the winter, the park also has an artificial ice rink that allows skaters to meander along a trail instead of skating around a traditional hockey rink.
Humber College also has a campus nearby.
A local park, Rotary Peace Park features walking paths, tennis courts and an outdoor swimming pool.
“You see young mothers walking their kids to the pool with their bathing suits,” Ms. Newton says.
Owners Joelene Huber and Allan Okrainec are both doctors who purchased the four-bedroom house about five years ago.
Dr. Huber, a pediatrician, and Dr. Okrainec, a surgeon, are sometimes on call for downtown Toronto hospitals.
“We could still enjoy nature and the cottage life with our family but quickly get to the hospitals downtown if we needed to and just as quickly get back to our family to enjoy time together,” says Dr. Huber.
The house was built in the 1950s and then expanded about five years ago with three levels above ground and lots of areas – indoors and out – that take advantage of the water views.
“It’s a really amazing house for entertaining because it has multiple decks and terraces,” Ms. Newton says.
The open-plan main floor has a large kitchen with a huge centre island and a six-burner gas range with double ovens. The living and dining area has double doors leading to a deck overlooking the lake.
A study at the front of the house has a window overlooking the street.
Upstairs, there are two bedrooms for the kids, a bathroom and a large family room with a fireplace and doors opening to a Juliet balcony. Ms. Newton points out at the room could also be used as a master bedroom.
Above that, on the third floor, the master suite has a bedroom with a walk-out to a deck and a bathroom with a walk-in glass shower enclosure. There’s also a wall of built-in cabinets.
While the small house had already been significantly enlarged, the couple had the lower level renovated and added above-grade windows. Now there’s a large recreation area for their two young children and the four levels add up to nearly 4,000 square feet of living space.
The best feature
The owners can set out by kayak or personal watercraft right from the landing at water’s edge, Ms. Newton says. For larger boats, the Lakeshore Yacht Club is nearby.
Dr. Huber has photographs of all the activities that take place right in front of the house on Lake Ontario. Family albums include snapshots of people kayaking, sailing, Jet Skiing, kite boarding, tubing and surfing, she says.
Stairs at the rear of the property lead down to the landing and a sheltered stretch of shoreline.
“It’s unique because there is this little cove,” Ms. Newton says.
Conservation rules governing the shoreline don’t allow for a dock that juts out into the water.
“You’re not going to have a Muskoka dock out here,” the agent says, but she points out that small craft can be launched straight from the pebbly shore.
At ground level, a large deck provides a place to sunbathe or hang out under the shade of the willow tree. Fences and a gate enclose the upper level and prevent children from heading down to the lake on their own.
During the summer months, people walk over to the neighbourhood pool in their bathing suits and flip-flops as if they are at a resort, Dr. Huber says.
“I’ve heard visitors say it feels more like Malibu or the Florida Keys because it is a small community where people know each other and stop for a glass of wine on each other’s decks in the spring, summer and fall evenings, while out for a stroll,” she says.
Dr. Huber adds that she feels every day as if she arrives home to a cottage.
“We sit on our deck on Sunday evenings thankful we aren’t sitting in cottage traffic,” she says.