114 IVY AVE., TORONTO
ASKING PRICE: $899,000
TAXES: Yet to be assessed
LOT SIZE: 17.5 by 112 feet
AGENT: Leonard Fridman (TCS Realty Inc.)
The back story
The house at 114 Ivy Ave. had been vacant for a couple of years when it was put on the auction block last year by Toronto Community Housing Corp. as part of a move to reduce its inventory of properties.
The properties are being sold over the course of two years in order to reduce a repair backlog that stood at $750-million in 2012 and continues to grow. Many of the properties are vacant and in poor repair. They have been wildly popular with homeowners and builders who aim to buy a timeworn property and renovate.
The team beat four or five rival bidders last June and began to tear apart the old interior the day after they took possession.
“It was in pretty rough shape,” says designer Mazen El-Abdallah of Mazen Studio. He teamed with builder Matthew Kosoy to bid on the semi-detached house near Greenwood and Gerrard.
Mr. Kosoy says he had missed out on other properties in the east end.
“I was trying to buy houses in this area and it was insane.”
On Ivy, the house was a maze of tiny rooms, say Mr. El-Abdallah and Mr. Kosoy, who paid $550,000 for the property.
They removed walls, plaster, wiring, plumbing and stairs in the back-to-the-bricks renovation.
The house today
Mr. Kosoy added new insulation, reinforced the joists, replaced sub-floors and built a wider staircase to the second floor.
From there, the builder added skylights and installed huge windows throughout.
“We wanted to go with the industrial window feel,” says Mr. El-Abdallah. “We like the vibe.”
The main floor is an open plan, with the living area at the front and a large kitchen at the rear.
Doors lead to a cedar deck and an enclosed backyard with a stone patio.
Mr. El-Abdallah says the aluminium-trimmed windows fit in with the low-rise brick buildings and warehouses that are part of the view from the kitchen window.
“It’s very urban – it’s amazing,” says Mr. El-Abdallah of the backdrop across the lane.
Upstairs, the house has three bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor.
The bathroom has a marble mosaic floor, walk-in shower, bathtub and a marble countertop.
The attic was renovated to create a third-floor retreat that could be used as an office, playroom or master bedroom.
On the lower level, Mr. Kosoy created a playroom, second bathroom, laundry room and guest bedroom.
“We really imagine a family with a couple of kids living here,” says Mr. El-Abdallah.
Outside, the team designed the exterior to appear unified with the other half of the semi. The front porch was rebuilt and the front and rear gardens were redone with new landscaping.
Mr. Fridman says the neighbourhood appeals to people with small children. Nearby Greenwood Park offers a swimming pool, a dog off-leash playground and ice skating in the winter.
“It’s a very neighbourhood kind of street,” he says of Ivy Avenue.
The best feature
The large kitchen was designed for avid home cooks, says Mr. El-Abdallah. It has a stainless steel chef’s-style range, Fisher & Paykel refrigerator and marble-topped counters. The peninsula also serves as a breakfast bar.