101 GARFIELD AVE., TORONTO
ASKING PRICE: $2.250-million
TAXES: $13,604.62 (2013)
LOT SIZE: 50 by 125 feet
AGENT: Courtney Pfaff (Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.)
THE BACK STORY
Sarah Nadherny’s memories of life on Garfield Avenue date back to her childhood.
“We all have fond memories of playing with a skipping rope on the road,” she says, gesturing toward the street beyond her living-room window.
She was Sarah Gooderham when she grew up on the street after her father, Peter Gooderham, purchased the house at No. 66.
The Gooderhams had long been established in Toronto: The clan built many of the city’s landmarks, including the Gooderham & Worts Ltd. distillery, which was built near the Don River to make use of the surplus grain from the family’s mill at the river’s mouth.
The Gooderham Building – also known as the Flatiron Building – on Front Street housed the firm’s offices.
The York Club, where Sarah Gooderham married Douglas Nadherny, was originally the Annex mansion of her great-grandfather, George Gooderham.
While the family empire created such notable businesses as the Bank of Toronto and Manufacturers Life Insurance, subsequent generations of Gooderhams went on to establish a quieter presence on Garfield Avenue.
Not long after their wedding, the Nadhernys bought a small house near Moore Park’s Whitney Junior Public School. In the early 1990s, they moved a couple of blocks north to 101 Garfield Ave.
The traditional brick Georgian-style house had been built in 1925 with four bedrooms and large principal rooms in a centre-hall plan.
A few doors down, Ms. Nadherny’s father still lived in the family homestead.
Around the same time her brother, also Peter Gooderham, bought on Garfield as well.
Ms. Nadherny says it’s a pattern they’ve seen in other multi-generational families amongst their neighbours.
“Everybody moves back,” she says.
THE HOUSE TODAY
Mr. Nadherny remembers deciding to buy the house on Garfield almost the moment it went up for sale.
The owner at the time was realtor Arthur Parks of Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd. In those days, a “bidding war” was a novel occurrence.
“The day it went on the market, there were two people bidding and we were one of them. We won,” says Mr. Nadherny, who had a career on Bay Street at Toronto-Dominion Bank.
Mr. Parks had already overhauled the house to give it new plumbing, wiring, insulation and mechanical systems.
When the Nadhernys and their two children took over, they put on a large addition at the rear of the house.
On the main floor, the house still has a traditional living room and dining room. In both rooms, bay windows were added – mainly so the dining-room table could be extended to accommodate a family of 14 for dinner.
At the rear, the Nadhernys have a renovated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and a breakfast area overlooking the back garden. The adjoining family room has French doors leading to a covered deck.
“We like the open concept in the back,” says Mr. Nadherny, adding that the family still congregates there. The circulation between rooms provides good flow for parties, he adds.
Upstairs, the addition gave the house a large master bedroom with walk-in closets and an ensuite bathroom. Three additional bedrooms and a bathroom are also on the second floor.
Downstairs, the lower level was dug out to create a recreation room, a playroom and lots of built-in storage for hockey equipment and other sports gear. There’s also an office and a third bathroom.
THE BEST FEATURE
The couple says the traditional sense of community is the aspect they’ll miss most when they downsize from their large house.
While the area is about a 20-minute walk from Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue, it feels like a more secluded neighbourhood than many in downtown.
When the three Gooderham families lived so close together, they’d often gather for a drink before dinner.
“Every day at 6 o’clock the phone would ring – which house are the drinks at tonight?” recalls Mr. Nadherny.
More recently, when they lost power for three days over the Christmas holidays during December’s ice storm, neighbours invited them and visiting family over to use their hot showers and have coffee.
Moore Park is known for reputable schools: Following their time at the popular Whitney school, the Nadherny kids went to the nearby private schools Branksome Hall and Upper Canada College.
Ms. Nadherny says Garfield Avenue is still the usual Moore Park spot for street hockey and other outdoor games because the street does not have through traffic. Kids learning to ride their two-wheeled bikes practise on the gentle slope.
“You do actually see kids playing in the street because it’s safe,” she says.