The listing: 110 Roxborough Dr., Toronto
Asking Price: $8,475,000
Taxes: $31,159.62 (2019)
Lot Size: : 56 feet by 168 feet
Agents: : James Warren and Christopher Killam, Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd.
The back story
In the early 1900s, the Scottish Ontario and Manitoba Land Company owned a swath of land on the outer fringes of Toronto. Today that parcel is the leafy enclave of north Rosedale in a prime part of the city.
As the area developed, a gentle knoll on Roxborough Drive was chosen as the setting for a grand red-brick residence.
No. 110 was built in the Elizabethan style, with bay windows, tall chimneys and a crenellated parapet that resembles those found on medieval castles.
The first occupant was the merchant Daniel Fitzgerald, who took ownership in June, 1912. Over the years, the house changed hands many times.
In 2004, Kristen Hamilton and George Petropoulos purchased the property and undertook an extensive renovation that would strip away some modern embellishments and increase the living space.
The house today
Ms. Hamilton and Mr. Petropoulos spent two years renovating the house, which has five bedrooms in 6,319 square feet of above-ground living space.
On the exterior, the couple preserved the structure’s traditional appearance, including the heavy oak front door. Inside, they opened up the principal rooms on the main floor.
“We basically stripped it back to the studs and started over,” Mr. Petropoulos says.
They also replaced a rear addition that wasn’t in keeping with the character of the building. The current addition increased the space and more closely fits the original style, the couple says.
“For us it was very important that we preserve the look of the house,” Mr. Petropoulos says.
Much of the home’s original detailing had been stripped away during the 1980s and 1990s, he adds, so the couple added crown mouldings, skirt rails and vintage fireplace mantles.
Today guests arrive to a long gallery with a marble tile floor that stretches through the centre of the house. The original staircase was relocated and replaced with a new set of stairs that rises four levels from the basement.
A servants’ staircase at the back of the house was torn down and a shaft for an elevator between the four floors has been roughed in.
The formal dining room has a fireplace, panelled walls and wood floors in a herringbone pattern. A large window overlooks the street.
One of the small front sitting rooms was turned into a library with wood panelling on the walls and a coffered ceiling.
Today a formal living room has French doors leading to the side garden.
At the rear, traditional columns separate the family room from the large kitchen and doors leading to the back garden. There’s a breakfast nook with a bay window.
Family life centres around a large island topped in soapstone.
Ms. Hamilton regularly treats the soapstone with mineral oil to bring out the white veins in the dark stone.
A servery with built-in cabinets provides plenty of space for storing china.
On the second floor, three bedrooms each have an ensuite bathroom. The two overlooking the street also have gas fireplaces.
At the rear, the third bedroom has a large sitting area that could serve as a playroom, a TV lounge or another bedroom, points out real estate agent James Warren of Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd.
There’s also a laundry room on that floor.
The basement was lowered by two feet to provide a recreation room, a wine cellar, a home gym, a billiards room and a home theatre. There’s also one additional bedroom and a laundry room.
The couple’s two children often had friends over to hang out in the lower level, Ms. Hamilton says.
“For the kids it’s great because they’re on one floor.”
Outside, the home has formal French gardens with a fountain, boxwood and spruce hedges, cedar trees and mature oaks.
The home’s original garage has been turned into a pavilion with a natural-gas fireplace, skylights and French doors.
Ms. Hamilton and Mr. Petropoulos enjoy living so close to Rosedale Park, which has outdoor skating and hockey in the winter. In the summer, the park provides facilities for soccer and baseball. There’s an outdoor running track, a wading pool and two sets of tennis courts.
“I can only hope that someone can have the memories that we’ve had here,” Ms. Hamilton says. “It’s been a beautiful journey.”
The best feature
Stairs lead to the third floor, which has been opened up with vaulted ceilings. The third level was likely the servants’ quarters when the home was originally built, says Mr. Warren, but today the entire area is a luxurious master bedroom suite.
“You’ve got a lovely city centre view,” Mr. Warren says of the vista from the third floor.
Skylights brighten the landing at the top of the stairs. The sitting room has a gas fireplace with a marble hearth and surround.
Double doors lead to the master bedroom, which has four skylights. There’s an ensuite bathroom with heated marble floors, a walk-in shower clad in marble and a ceramic soaker tub.
The master suite includes a dressing room with built-in cupboards and a coffee station.
French doors in the bedroom lead to an outdoor rooftop terrace with a heated stone floor and a hot tub.
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