130 Carlton St., Penthouse 8, Toronto
Asking price: $1.95-million
Taxes: $7,135.80 (2023)
Monthly maintenance fee: $2,653.12
Agents: Paul Maranger and Christian Vermast, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada
When veteran actor Gordon Pinsent met up with his long-time friends, Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood was a favourite gathering spot.
That’s why his daughter, Leah Pinsent, thought it would be a good idea to surprise him with a gleaming new 38th-floor condo in the area.
“He tried it for one night,” she recalls with a laugh.
The year was 2007 and Ms. Pinsent’s mother, the actor Charmion King, had recently died. Mr. Pinsent suggested that the three-bedroom condo he and his wife lived in together was larger than he needed on his own.
Ms. Pinsent figured the new one-bedroom suite would allow her dad to streamline his belongings into about 700 square feet.
But after that one-night sojourn, he headed south to the Carlton Street condo he and Ms. King had purchased together in the 1980s.
“He missed home,” his daughter says. “He felt that Charm was there.”
Mr. Pinsent was born in Grand Falls, N.L., in 1930. While Canadians know him best for his 60-year career on the stage and screen, he was also a painter, poet, screenwriter, novelist, sculptor and dance instructor, among other pursuits.
Mr. Pinsent left Newfoundland as a young man and worked his way west, then served in the military for three years. He landed in Winnipeg for a time, then Toronto, where he took on radio and television parts for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and worked in theatre.
As Mr. Pinsent’s acting career took off, he and Ms. King moved with young Leah to Hollywood. Six years later, Ms. King inherited her parents’ house in Forest Hill and the family returned to Toronto.
The three of them lived in the house for a while, but Ms. King was looking for a fresh start away from her childhood home.
“My mom was really keen on having a whole new life,” Ms. Pinsent says.
The couple perused the plans of a few buildings in the works and Ms. King decided on Penthouse 8, with 2,987 square feet of interior space and a large rooftop terrace at 130 Carlton St.
“It had a lot of space and light and air,” Ms. Pinsent says.
The open-concept living area worked well when the couple invited friends over to their new downtown address, she adds.
“Everybody loved coming over.”
Ms. Pinsent says her father always stayed close to the community in Grand Falls, but he continued to make the condo his home until his death earlier this year at Toronto General Hospital at the age of 92.
“He loved Toronto,” says Ms. Pinsent. “He didn’t like Hollywood. But he loved Canada.”
The condo today
Visitors arrive to a foyer with black marble floor tiles, double closets and a powder room nearby.
A gallery with a wet bar opens up to the dining and living area with a vaulted ceiling that soars to nearly 16 feet. Bay windows overlook the park across the street and the spire of Grace Toronto Church.
“It’s such a beautiful, unique space,” says Ms. Pinsent. “That view over Allan Gardens will never go away.”
Paintings by Mr. Pinsent, who had a lifelong love of art, hung throughout the unit, says Ms. Pinsent, but many of his works of art were given to friends and family who gathered at the penthouse for a memorial this year.
One piece, hanging above the fireplace, is included in the sale.
Mr. Pinsent brought in an interior designer to make some changes in the years after the death of Ms. King, his daughter says, including updating the kitchen and living room.
Today the kitchen has stainless-steel appliances and a breakfast area in the west-facing bay window.
One room Mr. Pinsent changed very little is the third bedroom, which the couple used as a library and television room.
“That was the peppermint lounge,” Ms. Pinsent says of the room painted in a vibrant shade of red. She recalls lots of casual family gatherings in the room with a built-in bench and shelves, crown moulding and a large bay window.
The primary bedroom has two walk-in closets and a large window.
The marble-clad ensuite bathroom has a Roman tub, dry cedar sauna and a walk-in shower.
There’s a second bedroom with south views over the city and another full bathroom with a soaker tub.
As Mr. Pinsent remained established in Toronto over the decades, he also continued to work throughout Canada. He became the voice of Babar in the animated series and played Newfoundlander Billy Pretty in The Shipping News.
In 2006, he starred in the highly acclaimed Away From Her, directed by Sarah Polley. Even in his 80s, Ms. Pinsent notes, he starred in the IMAX film Flight of the Butterflies, which explored the migration of Monarch butterflies to Mexico.
“He might have been a bit of a workaholic,” she says.
Ms. Pinsent, who lived in the condo during her high-school years, says her mother wanted her daughter to do whatever she had the passion to do. Her father was quite adamant that she shouldn’t follow her parents into acting.
But when Ms. Pinsent began trying out for roles on her own, her dad recommended her for a part in The Bay Boy with Kiefer Sutherland and Liv Ullmann in 1984. Ms. Pinsent was nominated for a Genie Award and has been acting ever since.
“He’s the one who made that happen,” says Ms. Pinsent, who is preparing for a new role in the television series Murdoch Mysteries.
The best feature
A spiral staircase leads to the second-floor loft, which is open to the living room below. Doors open to a terrace with 1,086 square feet of outdoor space.
The loft served as Mr. Pinsent’s office and studio, Ms. Pinsent says. She believes the light-filled space inspired much of his creativity.
For years the shelves were covered in the awards he had collected over the years, says Ms. Pinsent.
Some of his accolades and paintings have already found their way to the Gordon Pinsent Centre for the Arts in Grand Falls, she adds. An emissary from Memorial University in St. John’s visited to gather another batch of his writings, sketches, scripts and poetry for the school’s archives.
Ms. Pinsent is glad to see many of her dad’s possessions make their way back to his home province.
“They’re really, really proud of what he accomplished, and he inspired a lot of people.”