Home of the Week
270 Withrow Ave., Toronto
Asking price: $1.249-million
Taxes: $5,562.35 (2011)
Agents: Irene Kaushansky and Philip Brown (Keller Williams Advantage Realty)
The Back Story
In 1926, the operator of a Riverdale-based cartage business built the three-bedroom house in cottage style at 270 Withrow Ave. A coach house at the rear offered plenty of room for his carts and horses.
Years later, the coach house became the warehouse facility for online retailer Grand River Toys, says current homeowner Pam Pocius.
When Ms. Pocius, who lived in Vancouver in the past, first saw the coach house across a red brick courtyard, she immediately thought of the funky design studios and art galleries of Vancouver's Granville Island, which have moved into the factories and warehouses of the island's industrial past.
Today, Ms. Pocius designs and manufactures her own line of jewelry in the two-storey coach house.
The House Today
Ms. Pocius launched into a thorough renovation when she took over the house 11 years ago.
The main floor had small, closed-in rooms and the decor dated to the 1950s. Her main aim was to open up the rear of the house to more light.
She had the tiny kitchen replaced with a combination kitchen and dining room with a sliding door to the deck. A carpenter built the painted cabinets and hutch in a style in keeping with those that might have been found in the early 20th century.
Ms. Pocius consulted with an architect in the neighbourhood, who suggested ways in which to restore the home's original cottage style. Ms. Pocius added trim and mouldings around the doorways and had a new mantel built for the fireplace.
Upstairs, Ms. Pocius transformed the bathroom with a slipper tub and a walk-in shower with marble surround.
Real estate agent Irene Kaushansky of Keller Williams Advantage Realty points out that the house has lots of corner windows which make it unusually bright.
The Best Feature
The 2,700-square-foot coach house offers 12-foot high ceilings on the main floor. That unfinished space still has the original barn doors that allowed the carter to bring his horses inside. Ms. Kaushansky says the space would likely appeal to an artist, crafts person or auto enthusiast.
When she bought the property, Ms. Pocius says, the upper level was just a loft with open ceiling joists.
She refurbished the space in a rustic style. Today the second floor offers a living room with pine floors and a wood ceiling. Two steps down lead to an area currently used as an office. There's also a bedroom, bathroom and a room currently set up as a kitchenette.
During the renovation of the main house, she lived in the coach house.
"We tiptoed across the driveway - even in winter - to use the kitchen."
Ms. Kaushansky says the coach house and house provide a secluded courtyard on a quiet, leafy street.
She adds that Withrow Avenue is popular with families because it's close to Withrow Park and just a few minutes' walk from shops and restaurants.
"You feel like you're tucked away but you can walk to the Danforth."