71 ALBANY AVE., TORONTO
Taxes: $7,847.94 (2011)
Agent: Ophira Sutton (Sutton Group-Associates Realty)
The Back Story:
One of the current owners of this Annex home is a professor at the nearby University of Toronto, which is largely why he and his wife, an environmental consultant, purchased the three-storey home with a finished basement and apartment in 2006. A century home, the house is within walking distance of the campus. The couple have three young children and that was also a motivating factor. "We wanted our children to grow up in this neighbourhood and go to Palmerston School," says the owner, who wished not to be identified. The property was in good shape when they bought it, the owner says, and boasted 10-foot ceilings, exposed brick walls and an expansive dining room with a library and sitting area. The home was renovated to improve its innate flow and function; rooms were added as opposed to taken away to make it a comfortable family home.
The biggest renovation involved the sky-lit kitchen; there, the couple added granite countertops and a built-in sitting bench. They also upgraded the main floor powder room and put in a new kitchen in the basement. The laundry room they moved up to the third floor and in the master ensuite bathroom they added new glass shower doors and opened up the walkout to the third floor deck.
Here the couple have a difference of opinion; he loves the gorgeous backyard with its lush greenery in summer and pond creating an oasis of calm in the centre of the city; she loves the living/dining room "not only because the built-in bookshelf is the most stunning feature of the house, but because the dining place is perfect for having parties and family dinners. We love to entertain and have friends and family over all the time. This has been the perfect house in which to do it."