394 EUCLID AVE., UNIT 101, TORONTO
LISTING PRICE: $679,900
TAXES: $3,625.89 (2014)
MAINTENANCE FEE: $464.38/month
UNIT SIZE: 1,100 square feet
AGENT: Jim Killoch, sales representative, Urbaneer.com, Bosley Real Estate Ltd. Brokerage
The back story
Steven Fudge remembers the day the Movie House lofts at 394 Euclid Ave. went on sale. That was back in 1997.
“The phone rang off the hook because everyone in the neighbourhood renting had no option to buy. This was the first condominium in the area,” he said, adding that the bulk of the units were purchased within four hours of being on the market.
Mr. Fudge has over two decades of experience in Toronto real estate, as both an agent, a designer and most recently as the founder of Urbaneer.com, a “boutique” division of Bosley Real Estate Brokerage. But even back then, he knew that snapping up one of the remaining lofts was a good investment. And he did just that.
Mr. Fudge purchased unit 101, which is the last in a series of units that face Euclid Avenue and have large Palladian windows. His loft is three storeys and spans about 1,100 square feet. Originally, it would have been part of the auditorium area where the theatre seats sat.
After the conversion, the unit originally came with the “builders’ grade” look of the time: flat maple cabinets, white appliances, white tile and laminate countertops.
“It was sort of unadorned,” Mr. Fudge said.
In 2011, he invested close to a $250,000 to meticulously renovate the entire loft.
“This renovation was an exercise in scale and proportion and … having it complement the historical exterior,” he said.
To give the space a classic feel, Mr. Fudge added very thick crown moulding around the edge of the ceiling.
“Putting in the moulding was a new thing for me but it was this idea of rhythm. Part of it elongates the space but it also allows it to be its own focal point,” he said. “It also bridges the gap in terms of the history of the building but it’s not too over-embellished.”
Adding to that Victorian elegance, he put silver-leaf wallpaper on the 20-foot-high ceiling in the main space. Where the ceiling drops, the living room segues into the dining room and the staircase divides that large entertaining area from the kitchen.
The kitchen is agent Jim Killoch’s favourite room in the house.
“It may not be very large but everything works so well,” he said.
The key to that room’s efficiency is the cabinetry. There is not only an abundance of above- and below-countertop cabinets, but Mr. Fudge also had an all-in-one wardrobe built on the other side of the kitchen, which acts as a front closet (with multiple shoe drawers), an appliance garage and a pantry.
But both Mr. Killoch and Mr. Fudge agree that the crowning jewel of the modern, minimalist kitchen is the bar area, which is sneakily tucked away into a cabinet that actually reveals itself to be a home for a wine fridge, a small counter and even a pull-out cutting board so you can wedge your lime right there.
The other part of the home that features extensive built-in storage is the master suite on the second floor. It peers out onto the living room and street but still manages to feel secluded because of the two art-deco-inspired wardrobes that line either side of the open end of the bedroom.
There is also a chest of drawers and a media console in the room.
“All the buyer has to do is bring in their bed. The storage is taken care of,” Mr. Fudge said.
In total, he believes the custom millwork cost him about $50,000, representing the biggest single cost of the renovation.
“I’ve never spent this kind of money on that level of detail before,” he said.
But it was worth it since the master is his favourite room in the house.
“It’s this Rubix cube of precision,” he said. “I find that scale and proportion was really important in this room. With all of the built-ins, you’re not too squished or confined. It worked out quite well.”
The other aspect of the loft both Mr. Fudge and Mr. Killoch love is its location, which is in the heart of Little Italy, sandwiched between restaurants and shops on College Street and semi-detached houses on Euclid Avenue.
“I pinch myself every day I wake up and say, ‘Wow, how lucky am I to live in this area,’” Mr. Fudge said. “Until I moved here, I had never truly appreciated this level of convenience – being two steps from the liquor store and an organic food store and having a Starbucks in your building.”
As such, Mr. Killoch sees the unit appealing to vast set of buyers, including the young professional couple, business travellers who want a downtown pied-à-terre and downsizers who want to experience something other than the suburbs.
“I think there is an emerging market that is not about square footage but about quality of life and how to celebrate the urban life,” Mr. Fudge said.
But regardless of whoever buys it, Mr. Fudge is happy to pass on a turn-key loft that is unique in its history and design.
“I think whoever ends up buying this place will be in for such a surprise,” Mr. Killoch said. “They will have to live in the space first but it will dawn on them how well this loft was designed, how there is a place for everything and that the craftsmanship is top-notch.”
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