Skip to main content
home of the week

Wisam Mshati

367R Euclid Ave., Toronto

Asking price: $1.289-million

Taxes: $5,963.49 (2021)

Lot size: 18 feet by 64.5 feet (irregular)

Agents: Paul Maranger and Christian Vermast, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada

The backstory

The former crash pad on the ground floor is a 650-square-foot apartment with one bedroom, an open plan kitchen and living area, and one bathroom.Wisam Mshati

In 2001, Christopher Heyerdahl was living near Toronto’s vibrant College Street strip and building a career on the stage and screen.

Over the years, his roles ranged from performing Shakespeare at the Stratford Festival to playing a vampire leader in the Twilight franchise.

“That’s the beauty of this kind of lifestyle – it’s the variety of the roles you get to do.”

At the beginning of his real estate search, Mr. Heyerdahl thought he would buy a hard loft in a converted warehouse or factory.

“I didn’t want a regular house – I wanted something with a history,” the actor says, adding that his work wouldn’t allow for the upkeep that comes with a backyard. “With my job I come and go all the time.”

Just around the corner from his apartment in Little Italy, he came across a laneway house created from a circa-1890 stable.

  • Home of the Week, 367R Euclid Ave., TorontoWisam Mshati/Wisam Mshati

    1 of 36

The walls were built from yellow triple brick on a stone foundation. The owner at the time was a Hungary-born immigrant who said the solid construction reminded him of castles in Europe.

Mr. Heyerdahl was also captivated by the character of the Victorian-era stable.

“There was so much warmth in the building already and I didn’t even know its history at the time.”

After Mr. Heyerdahl struck a deal to buy the house, he visited the city archives.

He learned that the structure was built to shelter the horses that delivered milk for Coopers Canadian Dairy.

Mr. Heyerdahl could still see the trappings of the structure’s original purpose, including the bricked-in opening where workers once brought in the hay.

“The delivery wagon would come in and the horses would go up a ramp,” Mr. Heyerdahl explains. At the top of the ramp, a row of small windows lined the horses’ stalls.

For the next several years, Mr. Heyerdahl lived mainly upstairs while an informal crash pad on the main level often accommodated friends and actors who came into town for a role.

Mr. Heyerdahl turned the space where the wagon was stored into a workshop on the ground floor, where he would rehearse and hold readings. He and his friends in the arts also spent many hours on pursuits such as carpentry and painting.

“Having this type of space is very inspiring for the creative at heart,” he says.

The house today

Two large skylights bring light from above into the kitchen and living area.Wisam Mshati

Over the years, Mr. Heyerdahl found he was travelling more often to sets in Los Angeles and Vancouver. Between 2012 and 2015, he was spending long stretches of time in and around Calgary filming the television series Hell On Wheels.

With so much time spent away from home, in 2015 he decided the time was right to undertake a major transformation of the old stable.

He also wanted a financial cushion in case he hit a dry spell.

“Being an artist, you never know when your next gig is coming,” he says.

For years he had envisioned turning the old wagon storage area into an intimate laneway theatre.

Instead, he hired the architectural firm Sustainable T.O. to reconfigure the interior of the building.

“My practical self got the better of me so I decided to make it into more living space,” he says. When the lean months come, I can pay the mortgage.”

The architects divided the existing building into two suites with separate entrances. They bulked up the insulation and sound proofing throughout the building and repurposed materials when they could.

Now the former crash pad on the ground floor is a 650-square-foot apartment with one bedroom, an open plan kitchen and living area, and one bathroom.

The warm yellow brick is exposed in parts and the mark where the ramp was once affixed to the wall is still there.

“I thought I don’t want to cover that up – it tells a story.”

The former workshop has been turned into a ground floor home office with stairs leading to the upstairs suite, which Mr. Heyerdahl uses as his pied-à-terre in the city when he’s not travelling for work or at his cottage north of the city.

The upper level has two bedrooms, a large kitchen and a living area.Wisam Mshati

The upper level has two bedrooms, a large kitchen and a living area. The bathroom with a soaker tub is lined in white subway tile. Together with the office, the unit is 1,400 square feet.

Mr. Heyerdahl chose not to cover up the hefty 19th-century beams exposed in the office.

“How often do you see that kind of history – that timber from that time period?”

Upstairs, two large skylights bring light from above into the kitchen and living area. Mr. Heyerdahl had new windows installed in the row of openings that gave the horses a view.

“They all allow this wonderful quality of light on the second floor.”

Stairs lead to a rooftop deck where Mr. Heyerdahl created space for a barbecue and dining area. Another portion was used as the setting for an inflatable wading pool where he cooled off under the canopy of a large tree.

“It was just perfect on summer nights to feel like you have your own infinity pool. It’s lovely and there’s a beautiful view of downtown,” he says.

Mr. Heyerdahl says being tucked away in a back lane is particularly appealing because he enjoys his privacy but he also likes to stroll to all that Little Italy has to offer.

He walks or cycles to Kensington Market to buy supplies at the many markets and small shops. He can grab a burrito on College Street or linger in a restaurant over a five-course meal.

“It’s a cozy hideaway and yet I love the buzz of the city. When I come around the corner into the lane, it all just disappears.”

Mr. Heyerdahl’s dry period hasn’t arrived yet: his most recent work, the series Peacemaker, dropped last month on HBO Max and he has two upcoming films.

These days, when he’s not working, Mr. Heyerdahl is spending more time at the cottage. He says the old stable could be turned into a single-family home again but he believes the renovation makes the most efficient use of the space.

“I hope whoever buys it will love it just the way it is,” he says. “These things get into your skin in an interesting way.”

The best feature

The former workshop has been turned into a ground floor home office with stairs leading to the upstairs suite.Wisam Mshati

An open staircase built from repurposed construction beams leads from the upstairs unit to the rooftop deck above. Simple angle brackets add to the industrial feel.

“The staircase is the pride and joy of the transformation,” Mr. Heyerdahl says.

“It’s really quite a unique addition.”

Your house is your most valuable asset. We have a weekly Real Estate newsletter to help you stay on top of news on the housing market, mortgages, the latest closings and more. Sign up today.