17265 Mountainview Rd., Caledon, Ont.
Asking Price: $7,980,000
Taxes: $6,972 (2023)
Land Size: 47 acres
Agent: Carolyn Scime, Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd.
Quinn and Christopher Sargent had little idea of what to expect when a real estate agent arranged for the couple to visit a country estate in the rolling hills of Caledon, Ont.
The agent was preparing to list the 47-acre property for sale, but photographs weren’t available yet and the house was hidden from the road by a copse of mature trees.
Shortly after New Year’s Day in 2016, the Sargents drove up the long drive until the view opened to a clearing with a stone and timber house surrounded by gardens.
“When you emerge from the forest, it’s almost a country club setting,” says Mr. Sargent. “We knew we were going to buy it before we even got out of the car.”
The couple were living in Los Angeles at the time but, with roots in the Toronto area, they decided to return to Canada with their two young sons.
They settled on the Caledon area, north of the city, to be close to extended family.
Ms. Sargent recalls losing out on one house to competing buyers. The couple called the listing agent to let him know they were still keen on the area known for historic small towns, dairy farms and horseback riding trails.
The Sargents learned that the Mountainview Road property was once owned by the family of Sir Robert Borden, who served as prime minister from 1911 to 1920. A prominent Toronto-based family purchased the house in the 1980s.
The house, designed by architect Ian Nicoll and completed in 1977, had been expanded in previous years with a large sunroom and a new wing for the primary suite.
The building and a detached garage and guest house were well-maintained but in need of some modern updates, says Mr. Sargent.
The couple struck a deal to buy the property before it hit the market and began planning the renovation.
The house today
Mr. Sargent has a career in film and Ms. Sargent in fashion, so the creative couple made the design decisions between them.
They kept the existing footprint for the house with three bedrooms and five bathrooms.
The aim was to revamp and modernize the interior without knocking down walls.
“It was already a beautifully flowing house,” says Ms. Sargent.
At the centre of the home stands a wood-burning fieldstone fireplace 1 1/2 stories high. The open-concept living room has hand-hewn log walls and a vaulted ceiling with a skylight running along the roofline.
At an angle to the living room, an open staircase rises to the second floor.
The Sargents reclaimed stone from the backyard terrace and placed it over radiant heating to create new floors in the kitchen and mud room.
For the millwork and floors throughout the house, the couple chose various species of wood from Mennonite suppliers. Where the original ceilings were not clad in wood, they added cedar. The floors throughout the principal rooms are maple.
“We were looking for something timeless,” Ms. Sargent says of the design choices that blend a traditional country house feel with modern Japanese influences.
The kitchen cabinets are made from teak and walnut. There’s a built-in wall unit with an integrated refrigerator and coffee station.
In the combined family room and dining area, the couple opened up the ceiling to expose the post and beam construction. A wall of sliding glass doors and windows open to the outdoors.
The den, just off the living area, has walls clad in wood from hand-hewn logs. A geometric window opening designed by the original architect provides views of the tree canopy outside.
The Sargents designed built-in shelves to hold books and art. They often share a large desk while working on their laptops.
“It’s really a creative room,” says Mr. Sargent. “It’s my favourite room in the house.”
In the primary bedroom suite, a wall of wood-trimmed windows and doors overlook the garden. The vaulted ceiling is clad in cedar.
Ms. Sargent says many of the design choices in the house are quite masculine but the suite has more of her feminine influence.
There’s a dressing room with custom-designed cabinetry and a gas fireplace.
In the ensuite bathroom, a walk-in shower has a teak floor and double-height walls topped by a skylight.
There’s also a stand-alone tub with a wood surround and a vanity with a pink onyx sink and countertops.
Upstairs, there are two additional bedrooms with walk-outs to a terrace.
A second-floor loft has a secret toy room for the couple’s sons, Otis and Isaiah, hidden behind a bookcase.
The couple recently remodeled the basement with a recreation area with wood floors, a bar and a three-piece bathroom. The home gym is set up as an indoor hockey area where Otis and Isaiah practice shooting pucks.
The room is always an attraction for visiting kids, says Ms. Sargent.
“When we’re entertaining you can’t even hear them down there,” she says.
Outside, the property has a detached two-car garage with a guest suite above.
The Sargents say the surrounding area provides lots of opportunities for recreation. The Devil’s Pulpit and Paintbrush golf courses are nearby. The Caledon Ski Club is a short drive away.
The Bruce Trail winds through the area for hiking.
The best feature
The expansive property reaches an elevation of 1,440 feet above mature woods, manicured trails and four ponds.
Over time, the couple revamped the outdoor entertaining area with an inground pool and hot tub and stone terraces. There’s also a bocce court.
Each winter Mr. Sargent makes an outdoor ice rink.
During the warmer months, the boys search for frogs and turtles in the fen close to the house.