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Home of the Week, 805 Glenleven Cres., Toronto. The 1960s modernist home situated on a private half-acre lot backing onto the beautiful Rattray Marsh belonged to the same homeowner for 30 years until sold last June.Mike Black

805 Glenleven Cres., Mississauga

Asking Price: $1.999.9-million

Taxes: $9,821 (2011)

Agent: Scott Sheehey (Right at Home Realty)

The back story

This 1960s modernist home situated on a private half-acre lot backing onto the beautiful Rattray Marsh belonged to the same homeowner for 30 years until she sold it last June when downsizing to a nearby condo.

Negotiations were ongoing with a builder who offered to match any offer and then some if she would sell on the understanding that the home would be sold as a tear-down to be replaced by a new multi-storey home, as is the current trend in Mississauga. But a deep-rooted fondness for her home ultimately lead her to reach an agreement instead with the present homeowners after they promised her they would preserve the property while updating it into a contemporary family residence.

"We saved yet another 1960s architectural gem from the wrecking ball," says agent Scott Sheehey, who co-owns the home with his partner, the interior designer Robert Hockley who specializes in renovating modernist homes. "She had an agreement in place with a builder, but we were able to close the deal in part because of her desire that the home be preserved rather than torn down to make way for another stucco McMansion. In the end, we offered her a short closing which the builder couldn't match, and so the house became ours."

What's new

While the home's finishes looked tired and dated, Mr. Sheehey and Mr. Hockley could see the potential.

"It offered many architectural features that are signatures of the Sixties era, including a Hollywood staircase, skylight cut-outs and a sunken main floor living room with soaring cathedral ceilings and a 15-foot-high stained glass window," Mr. Sheehey says.

The plan was to completely renovate every facet of the property – interior, exterior and landscaping. The project took a year to complete and the finished home now features six bedrooms and three bathrooms in just over 3,600 square feet of living space.

Nothing was spared in the renovation. The outside was refinished in a combination of brick, stone and cedar materials to give it visual continuity, front and back. The landscaping was also rebuilt, including new retaining walls, driveway and interlock pathways. The 110,000-litre concrete pool out back was resurfaced and converted to salt water.

On the interior, all the mechanicals were updated, the windows and doors replaced, and walls torn down to create an open-concept plan.

"Natural light floods this home, and all rooms enjoy either a garden or ravine view," Mr. Sheehey says. "Open concept was the best approach to take advantage of the natural landscape just beyond the home's walls."

Best feature

Given the proximity to the Rattray Marsh, the home is surrounded by large, leafy trees and wildlife. It's not uncommon to see small groups of deer trekking through the backyard.

To emphasize the home's connection to the outdoors, Mr. Hockley created a front enclosure that houses a private garden. At the rear, he added a rear deck accessed just off the kitchen. "It's the perfect place to enjoy a morning coffee," Mr. Sheehey said.