Skip to main content

Michael Peart

The listing: 216 Rusholme Rd., Toronto

Asking Price: $1.899-million.

Taxes: $7,591 (2018)

Story continues below advertisement

Lot Size: 30 by 147 feet

Agents: Scott Ingram, Century 21 Regal Realty Inc. and Ian Busher, Sage-Fox Marin Associates Ltd.

The back story

In the living room, a couch is tucked away into its own nook with a lowered ceiling and porthole window.

Michael Peart

Playwright and film and TV screenwriter John Krizanc has an IMDB page filled with credits related to a good deal of the Canadian content viewers have enjoyed in recent decades: Due South, Men With Brooms, Dieppe, Caught – even episodes of Traders and Da Vinci’s Inquest.

His breakthrough work was a play called Tamara, an experimental theatre piece launched in Toronto in 1981. Critics describe it as 10 plays in one that happen in separate rooms all at once with the audience wandering through, catching snippets of what’s happening, with no viewing quite the same as the one before. With the backing of TV impresario Moses Znaimer, the play had long runs in New York and Los Angeles. Even though he has modestly claimed it never made any real money due to the difficulty in staging a play in a theatre with small audiences, he jokes that 216 Rusholme is the house that Tamara bought.

“Before we reached the door, my wife turned to me and said ‘This is the place we’re buying.’ The sun was streaming in through the dining room and it had a sort of a magical feel,” he said of his initial house-hunt in 1995. “It’s not a box house: it’s full of little surprises. You come around the corner and there’s a room you didn’t expect or an angle. It’s small in spaces, big in spaces, it has different environments depending on your mood … it’s got that certain grandeur.”

In 2013, his wife and long-time partner, artist Carolyn Armstrong, passed away. He made efforts to renovate and change the spaces they occupied together, but it still has a lot of echoes of the past. He has a new partner now, and while he’s far from retired – he has written a few episodes of the new Archie Panjabi show Departure and is working on a spy drama with his long-time creative partner Paul Gross – he’s hoping to buy a house in Spain and travel more in the coming years. For his part, Mr. Gross has told Mr. Krizanc he doesn’t believe the move will stick.

“He doesn’t believe it: ‘You’re such a Toronto guy, it’s not going to happen.' He thinks its just all bluff on my part. To be clear, I’m moving to Creemore [he has a farm there] and we’ll try to winter abroad. It’s not like we ever get to retire; I just have this compulsion to tell stories.”

Story continues below advertisement

The house today

The backyard is almost 80 feet deep.

Michael Peart

216 Rusholme doesn’t have a “front” door, but once you climb a short staircase to the front porch you find the deck extends around to the right where the main entrance is on the side. From the foyer you can turn left into the front sitting room, straight ahead is the stairs to the upper levels, and on the right is the dining room which passes through to the kitchen and rear deck.

Mr. Krizanc’s description of the house’s angles and nooks is immediately obvious from the foyer. In the living room there is a couch tucked into a seating area with a slightly lowered ceiling and its own little porthole window. Underneath the stairs is a deep closet, and the turn to the dining room makes you recalculate the space because the north-facing wall bows out slightly (the vintage sliding pocket door separating this space from the front hall is still functional).

The kitchen has a decent amount of space.

Michael Peart

The kitchen is separated from the dining room, and is in need of updating, but has decent amount of space even with the washer-dryer hidden behind doors in the seating nook, which is framed by almost floor-to-ceiling windows and glass door. The backyard is almost 80 feet deep and 30 feet wide. There’s no garage, but some of the neighbours’ recent buildings suggest how one could be added without much sacrifice.

The light-filled master bedroom looks out over the backyard.

Michael Peart

On the second floor, the bathroom lies straight ahead and has been recently updated. The master bedroom is to the left, with another window nook that looks out over the backyard. It is a large light-filled space with a gigantic walk-in closet and a door to a small roof deck. The other bedroom on the floor is smaller, a second bedroom that was Mr. Krizanc’s main office. Mr. Krizanc was a bookseller before his writing career took off, and to get the house ready for sale crates and crates of books have been sold and donated and shipped off in the kind of purging Marie Kondo would approve of. There’s still a wall of books upstairs in this room though; just a taste of what was.

The third floor loft could also be the master, if you don’t mind angled ceilings and more of those quirky nooks (including a huge attic space behind a short door.) This floor’s bathroom has a new soaker tub and a little more isolation from the downstairs.

The third-floor bathroom is a bit more isolated from the rest of the house and features a new soaker tub.

Michael Peart

The basement contains a bonus: a potential income or in-law suite thanks to a fully separated rear entrance. Mr. Krizanc’s late wife used it as a studio, and while the ceiling is a little lower than the main house’s grand 10-footers, it is clean and compact with a bedroom, condo-size kitchen and a generous living/dining space.

Story continues below advertisement

The basement, with its separate entrance, could be used as an in-law suite.

Michael Peart

Scott Ingram, one of the listing agents, dug up a trove of details about the house’s history. It was built in 1905 by architect John Wilson Siddall, who also built the the semi-famous Brunswick House south of Bloor and contributed to the 1902 updating of the St. Lawrence Market South Building. The street has several houses of similar vintage; some are even a little bigger. Mr. Ingram estimates the lot-coverage allowable in the area would give potential renovators another 381 square feet of yard to expand into.

Favourite feature

A small space between the first and second floors is now used as a nursery.

Michael Peart

Between the first and second floor is a small 10-foot-by-7-foot room that faces the front of the house just off the stairwell landing. Transformed now into a nursery to entice family-oriented buyers, this unusual room is alone on this half-floor. It has a skylight and an antique leaded window with diamond-shaped panes. It’s one of the smallest spaces in the house, but it played a big role in Mr. Krizanc’s career.

“I have an actual office with a big writers desk, but I find I did most of my writing curled up on a chair with my feet on a daybed in that room. I just liked sitting there and watching the street traffic,” he said.

The things he will miss most are the neighbours, the easy walks to High Park, Dundas West restaurants and the short stroll to Bloor. The decision to sell the grand ole pile on Rusholme was not without struggle.

“I would drive up to my farm and say, ‘I’m not selling this farm,’” he said. “Then I’d drive back into the city and say, ‘I’m not selling the Toronto house.’ I went back and forth for two years mulling what was the best play. Now, I’ve finally pulled the trigger.”

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.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct

For sale in this area

View similar listings below. Clicking on the map will take you to the listings below.

Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
799000.00
#507 -45 DOVERCOURT RD, Toronto, Ontario
HARVEY KALLES REAL ESTATE LTD.
Bedrooms
2
Bathrooms
2
Building Type
Condo/Strata
Property Type
Single Family
Welcome To Cabin,A Soldout Intimate Collection Of Warm & Contemporary Living Spaces. Live Above The Tree Tops Tucked Away In A Quaint Pocket Of Queen W. Unit 507 Is A Combined 1416 Sqft Of Living Space In A 2-Storey Ph Suite Featuring 2Br, 2Wr & High End Finishes Well Above The Average Condo. Main Level Balcony Plus A Large Private Rooftop Terrace W/Unobstructed Views Of The Cn Tower. W/Just 25 Units In The Building This Cabin In The City Is A Truly Rare Find**** EXTRAS **** Electrical Black Out Blinds Throughout. S/S Sink, B/I Refrigerator, Gas Cook Top, Oven, B/I Dishwasher, B/I Microwave, Exhaust Hood. Bbq Hook Up On Rooftop. 25K In Upgrades. 1 Parking Spot, 1 Large Locker. (id:31729)
Listing ID C4963680
Salesperson AARON GONSENHAUSER
Brokerage HARVEY KALLES REAL ESTATE LTD.
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
1795000.00
#503 -45 DOVERCOURT RD, Toronto, Ontario
SAGE REAL ESTATE LIMITED
Bedrooms
3
Bathrooms
3
Building Type
Condo/Strata
Property Type
Single Family
Drool Worthy Dovercourt ! Largest Unit In The Building, 1500 Sf Of Light Filled Open Concept Space, 3 Bdrms Allowing For The Perfect Live/Work Home. Unique Urban Living, 2 Large, Deep, North/East/West Facing Terraces, Over 1,000 Sf Of Outdoor Space. Main Level Terrace - Just Step Outside The Kitchen For An Evening Bbq. The 2nd A Roof Top With Spectacular Views Of The City & Cn Tower. All Within The Brand New Intimate Boutique Building, Cabin In Queen West.**** EXTRAS **** Gorgeous Custom Kitchen With Full-Sized Appliances, Paneled Fridge & Dishwasher, Gas Cooktop & Microwave. Premium, Modern Finishes Thruout. Main Floor Powder Room. Steps To Trinity Bellwoods, Ossington Strip, Shopping, Restaurants & Ttc. (id:31729)
Listing ID C4950235
Salesperson DAWN HUME
Brokerage SAGE REAL ESTATE LIMITED
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
685000.00
#708 -8 DOVERCOURT RD, Toronto, Ontario
LIVING REALTY INC.
Bedrooms
2
Bathrooms
1
Building Type
Condo/Strata
Property Type
Single Family
Meticulously Maintained 1+Den At Popular Art Condos. 664 Sqft (Builder's Plans), Open Concept Modern Living With Stylish Concrete Ceilings, Neutral Colours And Upgraded Finishes. Pre-Wired Rough-Ins For Cinema Style Movie Projector And Rear-Surround Speakers. Lifestyle Is At Your Door Step - Hip And Trendy Queen West Living Steps Away; Ttc Streetcar, Metro/Freshco, Drake Hotel, Boutiques And Cafes. Parking Available For Purchase At Additional Price.**** EXTRAS **** All Existing Roller Shades, All Existing Light Fixtures, Integrated Fridge, Integrated Bi Dishwasher, Stainless Steel Stove, Stainless Steel Bi Microwave W/Vent Hood, Washer, Dryer, Kitchen Centre Island And Roller Cabinet (id:31729)
Listing ID C4961637
Salesperson KELVIN WONG
Brokerage LIVING REALTY INC.
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
2395000.00
1064 COLLEGE ST, Toronto, Ontario
FOREST HILL REAL ESTATE INC.
Bedrooms
4
Bathrooms
4
Building Type
Freehold
Property Type
Single Family
Newly Renovated 4 Unit Investment Opportunity In A Prime Location! Spacious, Open Concept, Light Filled Units, Each With Ac.**** EXTRAS **** 4 Fridges, 4 Stoves, All Existing Light Fixtures, Hot Water Tank Is A Rental. (id:31729)
Listing ID C4943230
Salesperson LEONARD FRIDMAN
Brokerage FOREST HILL REAL ESTATE INC.
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
2495000.00
1053 COLLEGE ST, Toronto, Ontario
RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY LTD.
Bedrooms
6
Bathrooms
4
Building Type
Freehold
Property Type
Single Family
Remarkable College Street Location! Super Quality Home Featuring A Spectacular 3 Bed 2 Bath Owner's Suite On 2nd/3rd Flrs W/ Sprawling Master. 1 Bed Suite On Main & 2 Bed Suite In Lower. Super Spacious Living/Dining Areas. Sleek High End Finishings, Tastefully Designed W/Attention To Detail. Brilliant O/C Layouts W/ An Abundance Of Windows For Tons Of Natural Light. All Suites Include W/O & Access To Fully Fenced Private Backyard. A True Cut Above.**** EXTRAS **** Great Walk/Transit Scores. Annual Income Nearly $100,000Yr. Low Taxes, Minimal Ext Maintenance. Steps To Little Italy, Schools, Cafes & Restaurants. Incl Ranges, Dishwashers, Fridges, Micros, Stacked Washer/Dryers, Hvac Systems. Brkage (id:31729)
Listing ID C4933501
Salesperson MICHAEL ZAVARELLA
Brokerage RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY LTD.
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies