The listing: 2095 Lakeshore Blvd. W., unit 317, Toronto
Asking Price: $1,905,000
Taxes: $7,051.09 (2021)
Monthly maintenance fee: $2,001.82
Agent: Michael Cambridge, Keller Williams Portfolio Realty
John and Susan Sabine had been living in Oakville, Ont. for more than 30 years when they decided to make a fresh start in a waterfront condo just west of Toronto’s downtown core.
They found a bright and airy unit with more than 2,000 square feet of living space facing Humber Bay on Lake Ontario.
“We serendipitously found a place we really loved,” Mr. Sabine says.
The couple needed to rejuvenate after their cherished home where they raised their four children was destroyed by a fire.
The Sabines had been at their vacation home on Lake Huron one winter night when they received a call from their son, who was sitting in a police car as the Oakville house burned to the ground.
To add to their distress, a massive blizzard was sweeping across Southern Ontario at the time and their drive through the night was agonizingly slow.
The Sabines were thankful that no one was injured but their home was gone.
“We lost everything,” Mr. Sabine says. “We were so unnerved by the whole thing.”
The home today
The couple lived in temporary digs in Oakville for a while, then Ms. Sabine suggested that they look at condos closer to Toronto, where Mr. Sabine practiced law at a large Bay Street firm.
The Sabines decided to make Waterford Towers on Humber Bay their home while they thought about their next steps. They rented unit 317, which offered two bedrooms, three bathrooms and a den.
They both loved the view of the lake and Ms. Sabine was drawn to the architectural elements, which include cove ceilings and crown mouldings.
Mr. Sabine found it was usually a smooth drive to the financial district along Lakeshore Boulevard.
“It made the commute for John a lot better,” Ms. Sabine says.
About three months into the 12-month lease, the landlord told the Sabines that he intended to sell the unit. Facing the prospect of more upheaval when the lease was up, they decided to buy the unit themselves.
“In the end I was delighted we did,” Mr. Sabine says.
The couple made some cosmetic changes, including having new hardwood floors installed in the bedrooms and painting and decorating.
“The whole place was beige when we bought it and I’m not a beige girl,” Ms. Sabine says.
Once they were ensconced in the boutique building, the couple appreciated the convenience of having a semi-private elevator that opens directly into the unit.
The entry foyer, with marble floor tiles, stands between the bedroom wing and the living and entertaining areas.
The living room has doors opening to a large balcony with a gas barbeque. The view from the balcony extends to the CN Tower and the city skyline to the east and looks over parkland to the west.
During the Canadian International Air Show, their kids and grandkids like to watch the action from the balcony, Mr. Sabine says.
The kitchen, which is partly open to the living area, has an island, built-in wall ovens and a wine fridge.
A double-sided gas fireplace brings warmth to the living room and the den, which Mr. Sabine uses as a home office.
Retired from practicing law, he sits on corporate boards in the mining sector.
Ms. Sabine, who taught kindergarten before the four kids came along, is also retired.
Today visiting family members stay in the guest bedroom with an ensuite bathroom.
The primary bedroom has a large, marble-clad ensuite bathroom with a soaker tub and a walk-in shower. Doors open to a balcony which overlooks the boutique building’s interior courtyard and greenspace.
“It’s a lovely garden and the flowers are beautiful,” Ms. Sabine says of the courtyard where they can walk their dog without leaving the grounds.
These days the Sabines are spending more time at their Lake Huron home and they plan to keep a pied-à-terre in Oakville.
Mr. Sabine says the experience of the fire was a severe shock at the time but it also taught the couple about resilience and rebuilding.
“You do learn that you can recover from it.”
The best feature
The surrounding area provides walking trails through the park that juts out into Lake Ontario. Herons and egrets fish in the nearby wetlands, and there are sailing clubs, beaches and a boat launch at Humber Bay West.
The Martin Goodman Trail, which runs past the condo building, is a destination for visiting grandchildren.
“It’s a great place for them to come with their bikes and rollerblades,” Mr. Sabine says.
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