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The top floor of the house contains the master bedroom suite that hasa view of the CN Tower and opens on to a private deck. (Photos by peter Riedel)
The top floor of the house contains the master bedroom suite that hasa view of the CN Tower and opens on to a private deck. (Photos by peter Riedel)

Home of the Week: How neighbours make a Junction house a home Add to ...


ASKING PRICE: $749,900

TAXES: $3,316.79 (2014)

LOT SIZE: 25 by 50 feet

AGENT: Lori Bennett, broker, Royal LePage Signature Realty, Brokerage

The back story

When Erum Hasan found 76 Edwin Ave. three years ago she was in a bit of a complicated situation. A few months earlier, she had bought a place in the Upper Beaches. The other complication: She was six months pregnant.

“I wasn’t really planning to buy a house at that point,” she said. “But it was completely renovated and from the upstairs I could see the CN Tower, and I just realized that I wanted to live there.”

Plus, she was intrigued by the neighbourhood. Even though she was basically a stranger to the Junction, her neighbours welcomed her family with open arms. Ms. Hasan recalls fondly how they left her gifts and shovelled the snow so her pregnancy move was as comfortable as possible.

That was her first clue about how tightly knit her new neighbourhood was. Ms. Hasan said that soon after she moved in, she discovered the neighbours had a Facebook group. She also found that parks and cafés where truly community hot spots.

“When I first moved there, I was still new to Toronto, which can be a very lonely experience,” Ms. Hasan said. “But I built so many friendships by being in that neighbourhood.”

It also helped that Ms. Hasan fit nicely into the area’s growing demographic of young, urban parents with little kids.

“What I learned from living in the Junction triangle is that you can live in an urban setting and still be part of a community,” she said.

Lori Bennett, Ms. Hasan’s broker, describes the area as “up and coming,” and likens its vibe to that of Leslieville a few years ago, before it became one of Toronto’s trendiest ’hoods.

Of course, what makes the neighbourhood different from its east-end comparisons is that its “triangle” is a set of train tracks that criss-cross the area. But Ms. Hasan says the trains haven’t been a nuisance.

“They don’t disturb us. They’ve never woken us up,” she said. “Sometimes you hear a train whistle in the distance and it’s kind of romantic.”

For Ms. Bennett, the trains are another characteristic that give this house its urban flavour. She sees the future buyer of the house as someone who will appreciate living in a busy community, close to amenities, including, lots of new restaurants and cafes. She also thinks the next owner is someone who is looking for a house, but not the work of maintaining a house.

“I really see an urban couple living here. Someone who would rather take their kids to the park than work on the lawn,” she said.

And for those who don’t like to mow, this is a good option given that the house takes up most of the lot. There is a backyard, but it’s not huge. Ms. Bennett describes it as “functional” since it’s big enough to fit patio furniture.

But for the space the house lacks on the outside, it makes up for in the inside. The whole house was renovated just before Ms. Hasan purchased it, including the basement. The lower level acts as both a guest suite with its own three-piece bathroom, as well as a rec room when visitors aren’t over.

The first floor is all about entertaining. The living room-dining room area is laid out in an open-concept format with bamboo floors running through them. Then there’s the kitchen, with its own island for quick meals and plenty of storage space.

The second floor has three bedrooms and a full bath. Think of it as the kids’ level, whereas the top floor – which was once an attic – is now a master suite, with its own private deck.

Favourite feature

All and all, the house is a mix of old and new, Ms. Bennett says.

“It is a Victorian house, but even though it’s 100 years old it doesn’t feel like it’s that old,” she said. “It has a new feeling to it [because of the renovations], but it’s kept its integrity.”

She points to the fact that renovators balanced out the need for open space on the first floor by taking out some walls but preserved the second-floor layout.

For Ms. Hasan, it’s the new design of the top floor, the master suite, which is her favourite space in the house. The whole floor has been transformed into one big bedroom. From one end of the room you can see the CN Tower and from the other you can walk out onto your own private deck.

“It is such a private space, even on the deck. That’s because of the big trees all around you,” she said. “You don’t see anyone, hear anyone. You’re totally enclosed even though you’re in an urban setting.”

But the thing Ms. Hasan will miss the most? Her master bath, which she refers to as her “oasis.”

“I always feel calm in my house,” she added. “It’s very serene.”

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