The listing: 94 Belmont St., Toronto
Asking price: $2,649,900
Taxes: $10,066.00 (2019)
Lot size: 70 feet by 20 feet
Agent: Carl Langschmidt (Property.ca Inc.)
In 2006, a row of tall, brick townhouses rose on Belmont Street on the site of a former Pentecostal Church. To most of the city’s residents and visitors, the rather creaky old church was better known as the venue for the Toronto Truck Theatre’s production of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, which ran for more than 26 years.
Theatre patrons sat in the wooden pews of the former house of worship, which was so cramped that when the actors exited stage left, they had to go outside and run around the building to enter again stage right.
The Mousetrap was the longest running play in Canadian history before the final curtain came down in early 2004. The box office was an economic casualty of the 2003 SARS outbreak, which saw tourism and theatre attendance plummet in Toronto.
A developer purchased the property and replaced the old structure with four three-storey townhouses above an underground parking garage.
The development is one of the few recent additions to a street of heritage homes near Avenue Road and Davenport Road.
The house today
Number 94 is an end unit with three bedrooms and three bathrooms in more than 2,500 square feet of living space.
Owners Lauren and Ryan Cohen purchased the property in 2014.
Ms. Cohen says they were drawn to the downtown location and the historic neighbourhood.
“We loved being in the heart of Yorkville,” Ms. Cohen says. “The street has a lot of character.”
Mr. Cohen says he was drawn to the thoughtful lay-out, which places all of the rooms meant for relaxing at the back of the house, away from the street.
The couple didn’t feel the need to make any major changes to the interior, but they called in Mr. Cohen’s sister, the founder of Stacey Cohen Design, to help choose the decor.
Mr. Cohen says the couple helped to choose the fabrics and finishes along the way, but when it came time to put everything together, his sister sent them both away. Her team then prepped the home for a grand “reveal.”
“You’re not seeing things piecemeal,” he says. “You come in and you’re blown away.”
Residents can enter the home from the street or directly from the underground parking garage. Stairs lead to the main floor, which provides an open-plan living space for lounging, cooking and dining.
The kitchen at the centre of the home has black-and-white cabinets, stainless steel appliances and an island that also serves as a breakfast bar.
The designer added a built-in banquette to make better use of space in the adjacent dining area.
In the living area at the rear, the designer gave the fireplace a facelift with black accents against the white brick. She also added mirrored doors on both sides of the fireplace to hide built-in cupboards and a bar area.
French doors lead to an outdoor deck, which provides space for a barbecue and al fresco dining.
Ms. Cohen says the trees surrounding the outdoor space provide a feeling of tranquility.
“It’s a great entertainment spot. It’s just really peaceful.”
Upstairs, the second floor is taken up by a master suite that includes a bedroom, a large bathroom and a his-and-hers walk-in closet.
Stairs lead to the third floor where there are two more bedrooms with a Jack-and-Jill bathroom in between.
The guest bedroom at the rear has doors opening to a deck, and a skylight above the hallway brings light to the interior.
The exterior of the house is very low-maintenance, Mr. Cohen says.
“You get such a great city vibe but so much tranquility.”
Real estate agent Carl Langschmidt of Property.ca explains the townhouses are freehold and the parking garage is a common element. An annual fee of $5,500 covers outdoor maintenance and No. 94’s share of the garage.
Mr. Cohen says the couple enjoys walking to the cafés and boutiques of Yorkville in one direction and the restaurants and shops of Summerhill in the other. Ramsden Park provides a green space for running or recreation. The Rosedale subway station is nearby, and the Don Valley Parkway is also a short distance away when they need to hit the road.
Mr. Cohen says the couple had been living in the house for about one year when they received a mysterious envelope in the mail. The parcel contained a book about the history of the theatre and an anonymous hand-written note explaining its link to their address.
“We didn’t have a chance to thank anyone,” Mr. Cohen says.
The best feature
The luxurious second-floor master suite includes a bedroom with a built-in make-up area.
A long walk-in closet provides plenty of storage space for two.
The spacious bathroom has a soaker tub with a marble surround and a walk-in shower. There are marble floor tiles and his-and-hers sinks in a floating vanity.
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