104 KIMBARK BLVD. , TORONTO
ASKING PRICE: $2,895,000
LOT SIZE: 38 by 186.25 feet
TAXES: $8,209.01 (2013)
AGENT: Kevin McCarthy, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd., Johnston & Daniel Division, Brokerage
Toronto’s Lawrence Park neighbourhood has much to offer. Lots of restaurants and amenities nearby. Prestigious schools, including Havergal College and Toronto French School, are within easy reach. And it’s close to both the subway and Highway 401.
But one thing in short supply is modern architecture and design. Slowly, though, this is changing.
And one example of this is 104 Kimbark Blvd., a two-storey house with a large west-facing grassy lot.
The house was a project by Arthaus Development, the baby of developer Ash Vahman and architect Shariar Moshtael.
“We wanted to build homes that we could be proud of,” said Mr. Vahman. “We want them to be unique and very design-oriented.”
“And family-friendly at the same time,” said agent Kevin McCarthy. “And family needs were top of mind when designing this home.”
The back story
Like many luxe new builds in the city, 104 Kimbark was originally a modest, one-and-a-half storey mid-century house. There was nothing really remarkable about it and it was a serious fixer-upper, according to Mr. McCarthy.
But it fit certain requirements. One of which was suggested by Mr. Vahman’s wife. “My wife was all about the location, to make sure that it was somewhere people could walk to the amenities and that there be schools and parks close by too,” he said.
Another reason why Mr. Moshtael saw potential in the house was because of its large footprint and its generous lot. By working with the existing foundation, he was able to keep the width of the house. The new 104 Kimbark is approximately 52 by 32 feet on the inside and has maximized ceiling height on each floor (10 feet on the main, nine feet on the second and just over eight feet in the basement).
The sheer size of the house is most noticeable on the main floor, which is a seamless amalgamation of the living room, dining room, kitchen and family room.
When you walk in the front door, you can at once feel the vastness of the open space but also its segmentation. A set of floor-to-ceiling closets in a rich walnut, line one wall and demarcate the foyer. Mr. Moshtael, a German ex-pat, is proud to say these closets and all the other walnut millwork – including a walnut table that is put together like a Japanese puzzle box and requires no nails or screws – were done by the adept hands of German carpenters.
Another remarkable wood feature of the home are the white oak floors, which are throughout the house and bathed in a custom oil finish that is warm and varied. On the first floor especially, the floors help keep the flow between segments coherent. Its smooth transitions make the main floor perfectly suited for entertaining.
The kitchen is sleek with Corian countertops and matching white glossy cabinets. Its large island seats four comfortably and looks out onto both the family room and the picture-frame, oversized windows, and a walk-out deck at the back of the house.
If the main floor provides the ‘wow’ element of the house, the upper and lower floors provide all of the luxuries you’d need for a family home, including four bedrooms, each with a walk-in closet and an attached bath.
The master bedroom faces the back and looks out over the greenery of the backyard. Its ensuite bathroom has a double vanity and a double, co-joint shower.
The basement has several multipurpose spaces, including an immense “recreation room” that is nearly 25 by 18 feet, a rubber-floored gym room, an extra bathroom and bedroom and access to the one-car attached garage.
After the main floor, the one room that really stands out is the den. As you walk up the floating stairs to the second floor, you notice there is a door on the first landing. In most houses, this would be a powder room, but in here, it opens up into a sizeable office-like room that has huge windows overlooking the front yard and the continuation of the walnut millwork. One whole wall is lined with custom, built-in bookshelves.
“The beauty of the den is that you’re set back from the living parts of the home so if you’re working your kids aren’t bothering you,” Mr. Vahman said. “But you have absolute command of the street and who’s coming in and out of your house.”
But the feature that Mr. Moshtael is most proud of is the sleekness of his design.
“You don’t see any duct work in this house,” Mr. Moshtael said.
There are other things you don’t immediately notice but can be subliminally appreciate. Like how the top of the marble casing of the living room fireplace lines up with the top of the floating walnut credenza in the dining room, which matches up with the lines in the cabinetry in the kitchen.
Or how the baseboards are perfectly straight and are the same size as the bottom of the wood frames of the floor-to-ceiling windows.
“The future buyer will explore all of these subtle details over the next few years,” said Mr. Moshtael. “These small little details give joy to [the homeowner] when they are found.”