Home of the Week, 85 MacPherson Ave., Toronto. Asking price: $2,275,000. Selling Price: $2,210,000. Aly Jamal found this late Victorian semi in a posh neighbourhood sandwiched between Yorkville and Summerhill, in the summer of 2006. It had small rooms, long hallways and lots of wood everywhere. ‘The older home was livable but it wasn’t what we loved,’ he said and immediately began planning for a redo of the interior to turn it into a modern, open space.
'We didn’t want to go overboard,’ says Mr. Jamal. ‘Modern can be done wrong sometimes and to do it right, it has to be done carefully.’ They brought in one of Toronto’s leading architectural firms, Superkül. ‘The house had good bones so we tried to be surgical about what we introduced,” says Superkül principal Andre D’Elia. 'Aly wanted a warm, modern design.’
The most impressive feature in the home is the kitchen. Originally, it was in its own closed-off room, but once several walls were knocked down, the space was opened up. ‘We kind of went overboard with it, but we love it,’ Mr. Jamal said.
The owner’s main specification when designing the kitchen was that it had to be big enough for multiple people to work in at the same time. So the kitchen spans a large space and has three distinct areas: a workspace along the eastern wall, a massive stainless steel island and a pantry/shelving-unit on the western wall. No expense with the appliances. There are three fridges: a main, full-sized fridge, a wine and beverage fridge and produce fridge. It also has a gas stove, a two-burner induction element, an indoor barbecue, a steamer and a wall oven.
Clean lines, 90-degree angles and no trim are key elements of the new interior.
Mr. Jamal believes he spent about $800,000 on building costs. The entire renovation took nearly a year. 'It cost a few bucks to do this renovation but I’m really glad we did,’ says Mr. Jamal.
The electrical was gutted, plumbing was replaced and two HVAC systems were installed. One controls the lower levels and the second floor. The other one controls the third-floor master suite, which Mr. Jamal said he is particularly thankful for in the summer.
In the third-floor master suite, hidden closet space was added in the hollows of the walls. ‘'We even put in a third-floor laundry where you wouldn’t expect it,' Mr. Jamal says.