59 Leisure Lane, Richmond Hill, Ont.
Asking price: $1,780,000
Taxes: $8,770 (2012)
Lot size: 178 by 142 feet
Agent: Jocelyn Proulx, Royal LePage Your Community Realty
The back story
Dawn Miller knows Richmond Hill inside out, having lived there for nearly a quarter century. So it was obvious to her when she bought it several years ago that this 1950s bungalow on a maturely treed, corner property near a popular local landmark, Mill Pond Park, was a prime location.
“It’s an established older area where people have larger lots and there’s nice space between homes,” she says.
“And there are lots of animals and lots of birds. We have a big porch where you can sit out in the backyard and you can hear the birds in the morning, which is quite nice.”
When she bought it, the house was due for a makeover on the main floor, but once Ms. Miller began renovations, more deficiencies surfaced, from old wiring to uninsulated walls.
“Once we thought about the amount of work we had to do, we thought we should just make this a home for families who want more bathrooms, bedrooms and family space,” says Ms. Miller.
With some home renovation experience already under her belt, Ms. Miller spent about three years transforming the three-bedroom and two-bathroom bungalow into a luxurious, 3,859-square-feet residence with five bedrooms and five bathrooms.
“There are parts of the foundation and wall left on the main floor, but it was basically a brand new house,” says agent Jocelyn Proulx.
“When you consider the owner’s design and exceptional attention to detail – along with the uncompromising quality and workmanship – there is quite frankly, no other house quite like it in the Mill Pond [area], or, for that matter, beyond the Pond.”
The yellow brick shell was replaced with an Owen Sound limestone blend, cedar shingles, solid mahogany front door and a covered cedar porch that wraps around to the rear.
“It’s a new home, but it looks like it’s been there forever,” adds Ms. Proulx, who praises the mix of styles from Mill Pond, Lawrence Park and Muskoka. “Great care was taken by the owner to ensure that the home would blend in with the natural beauty of the Mill Pond neighbourhood.”
Two main floor bedrooms remain, but three more were created upstairs, including one with a gas fireplace, walk-in closet and five-piece bathroom. “The master suite on the second floor is a retreat, it takes up half the second floor,” says Ms. Proulx.
The 1,947-square-foot basement was also overhauled with an open kitchen, games room and sunken media room with a second walkout to the grounds, plus a hobby room and bedroom.
The biggest effort went into designing an open entertaining, dining and cooking area not just with oak hardwood floors, crown mouldings and pot lights nine-feet above, but an upscale Town & Country fireplace flanked by windows and walkouts on three sides, an 11-by four-foot island with quartzite counters and Viking Professional Series appliances.
“We like to entertain a lot … so the idea of a big open family room and kitchen area really appealed to us because I could be cooking, chatting and be part of the family activities at the same time,” Ms. Miller explains.
“It’s very bright with a lot of garden doors, so this living space I’m sitting in right now is what I’m most proud of.”