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Home of the Week: 137 PORTLAND ST., Toronto.Elliot E. George

The listing


Asking price: $1,789,000

Taxes: $5,999.92 (2012)

Agent: Elliot E. George (Royal LePage Real Estate Services, Ltd.)

The back story

A vacant 17-by-96 lot on Portland Street, between Adelaide and Richmond, had on it a yellow school bus, an abandoned trampoline and weeds that were knee high when Greg Patterson first came to look it in 2005. But having already honed a career as a minor real estate developer – his first house was a derelict building in Beaconsfield Village purchased for $167,000 that he then sold for $800,000 after renovating it, top-to-bottom – Mr. Patterson was able to see past the junk to envision the dream home he'd build for himself, his school teacher wife, Hahn, and their two young children. Construction began soon after purchase and took two years to complete. The result is a contemporary-style detached home that soars upwards three levels to look over the hand-carved gables belonging to the quickly changing neighbourhood's remaining Victorian houses.

Custom-built for a family of four, it boasts three bedrooms, including a massive (and magnificent) third floor master retreat, which has its own en suite bathroom. The oversized windows flood the interior with natural light while the main floor opens up to a enclosed backyard . Mr. Patterson moved in with his family in 2009 but soon after decided he wanted a change of direction. After years working as an interior designer, he decided to go back to school to become a medical doctor. (Perhaps it was the home's wide-open spaces that helped expand his mind.) In any event, after recently completely three years of pre-med studies in Toronto, he has relocated to Dominica to pursue his medical degree and so the dream home is on the market.

What's new

The walls are pristine, the floors, made of engineered teak, have nary a scratch on them. Enter the white-on-white master en suite and the heated marble floors glisten in the sun pouring through a skylight in the ceiling above. The sense of clean is augmented by shiny new stainless steel appliances in the open-concept chef's kitchen and by soaring 11-foot ceilings that lend the interior a feeling of freshness.

Best feature

Mr. Patterson ran off to med school before fully completing his custom-built home. Plans were to build a spiral staircase connecting the third floor with a green roof that he had already prepared for, creating the proper infrastructure to support it. The opening to the roof now serves as a skylight that can be easily replaced by a door to the outdoors. Photographs from the potential roof top terrace are available for inspection, and they show that on a clear day one can see the possibilities that first lead the homeowner to invest here in the first place.

Editor's note: An earlier online version and the original newspaper version of this story incorrectly stated the home's lot size and the location of Mr. Patterson's first reno effort. This online version has been corrected."

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