THE MORGAN, 438 RICHMOND ST. W., PENTHOUSE, TORONTO
ASKING PRICE: $5.25-million
MAINTENANCE FEES: $2,998 per month
TAXES: $14,911 (2012)
AGENT: Paul Johnston, Right at Home Realty Inc.
THE BACK STORY
The Art Deco-inspired building known as The Morgan sits just south of the iconic corner of Queen and Spadina.
For decades, the rag trade's sewing factories filled the Victorian-era buildings at the south end of Spadina Ave. In recent years, the former garment district has been rebranded as the Fashion District, with residential lofts, art galleries and restaurants filling the old brick warehouses.
The three-storey penthouse – which takes up the entire 16th floor, along with portions of the 15th and 14th floors – was custom-built when the building was under construction.
Peter Berton of Ventin Group Architects designed the layout of the 5,000-square-foot penthouse.
The elevator doors open right into the suite's long hallway. Careful attention was paid to the sightlines and elements, which allow long views in some directions and enclosed spaces in others. “It has surprise,” says Paul Johnston of Right at Home Realty Inc. “I think that the element of the unexpected is irreplaceable.”
The suite has a modern style, with Mies van der Rohe-inspired walls and floors clad in Travertine stone. “It's the sort of thing that will age gracefully,” says the real estate agent, pointing out the full-height doors and minimalist door casings. “It was commissioned by somebody with respect for a very particular classic Modernism.”
A double-sided fireplace creates separation between the living room and dining room.
Each of the three bedrooms has an ensuite bathroom finished in marble. At the far end of a long hall from the living area, the master bedroom occupies the north-west corner. “The master really does seem like a wing,” says Mr. Johnston.
A staircase of walnut and glass leads down one level to a family room and home office. Below that, the current owners use the space for a home gym but Mr. Johnston points out that the area, which has a separate entrance, could be a suite for a nanny or teenager. Mr. Johnston believes the suite will appeal to a buyer who prefers the building's relative seclusion, with a front entrance tucked away from the main streets.
The smaller building is more private than the new luxury hotel and residential condo projects, where residents are more likely to eat in the hotel dining room or hang out at the bar, he adds.
“You're living much more in an existing condo downtown than a branded five-star hotel. This is for people who like to go out to dinner, who want to walk down the street and live in the core in a much more discreet way.”
The current owners, he adds, are “avid urbanists” who like to head downstairs for coffee at Le Gourmand or out for a vegetarian Vietnamese dinner on Dundas Street West.
THE BEST FEATURE
“The most amazing thing is the quality of the sunlight travelling through here,” says Mr. Johnston.
He points out that the suite has exposure from every direction, so the sun moves through the space over the course of the day.
The various outdoor terraces, which offer views in every direction, allow lots of al fresco dining.