Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

DOK Photo Studio Inc.

The listing: 52 Elliotwood Court, Toronto

Asking Price: $1.868-million

Taxes: $7,419.52 (2018)

Story continues below advertisement

Lot Size: 33- by 136-feet (irregular)

Agents: Patrice Gale (Sotheby’s International Realty Canada)

The back story

The rear of the house features floor-to-ceiling windows.

DOK Photo Studio Inc.

In the 1960s, William Bleakley was a Toronto-based architect who made a specialty of designing dozens of public school buildings in Scarborough and other parts of the city.

The partner at A.M. Ingleson Architects designed few residences during his career, but in 1968, Mr. Bleakley was offered the chance to purchase a piece of farmland north of Toronto.

The vast Elliot family farm was slated for development and Mr. Bleakley decided to build a new home for his wife, Orma, and son John. The architect had his pick of lots in the rolling landscape of fields and forests.

Mr. Bleakley chose a pie-shaped parcel along the fence line that divided the Elliot farm from land belonging to tycoon E.P. Taylor.

Today, that former farmland is the affluent neighbourhood of York Mills. The Bleakley house sits north of the busy intersection of York Mills Road and Leslie Street in the enclave known as St-Andrew-Windfields.

Story continues below advertisement

The house today

The home is built around a central courtyard.

DOK Photo Studio Inc.

Mr. Bleakley died in 1999, but his son John remembers the many evenings his father spent at his drafting table in their first family home.

“It was probably in his brain for some time,” says John Bleakley of his father’s design. “He’d go down after dinner and work in the unfinished basement.

He says his father chose the site for its south-facing exposure and the mature trees that sheltered the view from the neighbouring property.

“He wanted to be on the fence line because of the beautiful trees.”

The lot, which is 33 feet at the street, widens to 122 feet at the rear.

Mr. Bleakley would create a one-storey family residence built around a courtyard. The interior featured contemporary materials such as redwood and brick.

Story continues below advertisement

“Dad had a real respect for Frank Lloyd Wright,” Mr. Bleakley says of the vaunted American architect.

When his father built a scale model of their new home, five-year-old John used it as a race course for his miniature Hot Wheels cars.

While the house was under construction, the family would drive up to watch the progress.

At the time, the E.P. Taylor property was still an operating farm with cattle and thoroughbred racing horses.

“We’d go on the weekend and they’d let you visit the stables,” recalls Mr. Bleakley, who would later play with his friends on the surrounding farmland.

“As a dare, you’d run across the field with the bulls in it.”

Story continues below advertisement

The entrance foyer has a view through to the backyard.

DOK Photo Studio Inc.

The finished one-storey house provided privacy from the street at the front and floor-to-ceiling windows at the rear.

Guests arrived to a foyer with a tiled floor, cedar trim and a view straight through to the backyard.

“You come in and the house pulls you in,” Mr. Bleakley says.

His father was conscious of protecting the environment and reducing energy use, says Mr. Bleakley, explaining the building was insulated far above the level required by regulations at the time.

The south-facing expanse of glass let in warming rays when the winter sun was at a low angle, but the interior was sheltered in warmer months.

“You get solar heating in winter, but coolness in the summer from the big trees and the overhang,” he says.

Story continues below advertisement

There’s also a brick fireplace in mid-century style.

Ceilings are more than eight feet high and the casement-style windows are all trimmed in redwood, Mr. Bleakley points out. “They’ll never rot; they’ll never decompose.”

A partial wall separates the dining room from the living room.

DOK Photo Studio Inc.

A partial wall creates separation between the living room and the dining room. Mr. Bleakley says people could circulate easily, but guests sitting in the living room either before or after dinner would not have a view into the dining room.

“There’s some intimacy within the rooms, but they’re not closed in,” he says. “It was really built for entertaining.”

The “very sixties” kitchen is on trend today, with wood cabinets, flat panel doors and an island, points out real estate agent Patrice Gale of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.

The listing agent says the 'very sixties' kitchen's flat panel doors and wood cabinets make it very on-trend in 2019.

DOK Photo Studio Inc.

The adjacent family room has a brick wall, cedar accents, and a door opening to the garden.

Story continues below advertisement

A side entrance door leads to a mudroom on the main level and stairs to the basement.

The family room opens to the backyard.

DOK Photo Studio Inc.

The master bedroom has floor-to-ceiling glass with casement windows.

“In every room in the house, you can get fresh air,” Mr. Bleakley says.

A wall of louvered doors that allow air to flow to the interior of the his-and-hers closets.

Another element that was innovative for the time was the built-in speakers bringing sound throughout the house.

The family bathroom has a bathtub, double sinks and an Italian marble counter top in powder blue.

A second bedroom at the front of the house has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a courtyard.

A third bedroom is currently used as a study.

Mr. Bleakley recalls rapid development of the area in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

“We were the first house started. The street grew very quickly within the first two or three years.”

Eventually all of the area’s farmland was replaced with suburban homes, shopping centres and high-rise apartment buildings.

But the Bleakleys preserved their corner of nature.

The original owners of the home worked to preserve their own green space as the surrounding area was developed.

DOK Photo Studio Inc.

Over the years, the Bleakleys tended to the garden outside and encouraged northern cardinals, blue jays, finches and woodpeckers to visit their feeders.

“Dad and Mom were both big gardeners and bird watchers,” Mr. Bleakley says.

As Elliotwood Court filled in, the elder Mr. Bleakley fought with the city to have a landscaped island in the centre of the cul-de-sac. He prevailed by doing the design himself.

“He didn’t want all asphalt. He designed an island and what was going to be on it,” the younger Mr. Bleakley says.

Mr. Bleakley’s mother, Orma Hooper, recently left the house where she had lived for 50 years to be closer to him.

Home of the Week: A house to get the creative juices flowing

Home of the Week: An Annex rooming house turned single-family space

Home of the Week: A riot of bold design ideas

The best feature

The living room projects out into the garden, with windows on three sides.

DOK Photo Studio Inc.

Mr. Bleakley designed the living room to project into the backyard, with windows on three sides.

“You feel like you’re sitting in the garden,” Mr. Bleakley says of the spot where his mother placed a comfortable chair for reading.

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
979000.00
328 WOODSWORTH RD, Toronto, Ontario
RE/MAX HALLMARK LINO ARCI GROUP REALTY
Bedrooms
4
Bathrooms
2
Building Type
Freehold
Property Type
Single Family
*Wow*Premium Location*Premium Deep Lot 150 Ft Backing Onto Gorgeous Ravine*Total Privacy*Original Owner*Lovingly Maintained*True Pride Of Ownership*Beautiful Spacious Semi*Fantastic Open Concept Living/Diving Area Great For Entertaining*Widened Driveway Parks 3 Cars*Wheelchair Accessible*Built-In Elevator*Wide 36-Inch Doorways*Finished Walk-Out Basement W/Sep Entrance, 3 Pc Bath, 2 Seperate Rooms*Perfect For Nanny/Parents/In-Law Suite*Amazing Opportunity!***** EXTRAS **** *Over 1000 Sq Ft + Bsmt*Incl: Elfs, Fridge, Stove, Dshwshr, Wshr, Dryr,Cac*Window Blinds*Handicap Accessible*Roof (5 Yrs)*Eavestrough (2 Yrs)*Front Railing (2 Yrs)*Close To Top Schools, Parks, Hwy, Ttc Bus & Subway* (id:31729)
Listing ID C4760456
Salesperson LINO ACHILLE ARCI
Brokerage RE/MAX HALLMARK LINO ARCI GROUP REALTY
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
1999999.00
311&313 WOODSWORTH RD, Toronto, Ontario
RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY LTD.
Bedrooms
7
Bathrooms
5
Property Type
Single Family
Exceptional One-Of-A-Kind Property, Renovated Legal Duplex+Self Contained Basement Apartment, 3 Bdrm Each On Main&Upper, Spacious Units, Separate Entrances, Completely Renovated, Modern Bath&Kitchen, Great Place To Live With Extended Families, Also Approved For Two Semi Detached Homes Each Up To 2800 Sf With Dbl Car Garage, Property Located In A Highly Rated School District, Walking Distance To Go Station, Close To Shopping&Restaurant**** EXTRAS **** 3 Fridge, 3 Stove, 1 Dishwasher, 1 Washer, 1 Dryer, 200 Amp Service, 2 Water Heater, 2 Hwt(Rental), Furance, A/C, Humidifer(2019), Window Coverings, All Electric Light Fixtures (Excl Upstairs Bedrooms&Din Room) (id:31729)
Listing ID C4772651
Salesperson MICHAEL N. MEALIA
Brokerage RE/MAX HALLMARK REALTY LTD.
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
999000.00
5 NORTHEY DR, Toronto, Ontario
HOMELIFE LANDMARK REALTY INC.
Bedrooms
4
Bathrooms
2
Building Type
Freehold
Property Type
Single Family
Vacant Property For Safe Showing! Situated In Prestigious St Andrews-Windfields Community. This Cozy Backsplit Home Features Top-To-Bottom Renovation, Bright 4+1 Bdrm W/ Spacious Living & Dining. Updated Baths&Kitchen W/ Breakfast Area, Grantite Countertops, Custom Cabinets & Premium S/S Appliances. Hardwood Flr Throughout, Finished Bsmt W/ Side Entrance. Professional Landscaping W/ Interlock Driveway & Backyard Patio. Top Schools, Minsto Ttc Subway & Go Stn**** EXTRAS **** S/S Fridge, Gas Stove, Dishwasher, S/S H/Fan, Washer And Dryer. Updated Plumbing Pipes& Electric Wires W/200Amps Service. Newer Insulated Windws/Drs. New Driveway. Updated Ac, Furnace, Roof. (id:31729)
Listing ID C4767243
Salesperson JASON GAO
Brokerage HOMELIFE LANDMARK REALTY INC.
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
489000.00
#310 -19 SINGER CRT, Toronto, Ontario
CENTURY 21 HERITAGE GROUP LTD.
Bedrooms
1
Bathrooms
1
Building Type
Condo/Strata
Property Type
Single Family
Fully Renovated Modern Finish One Bedroom. Hardwood Floor All Over, Granite Counter Top, Close To Shopping, Highway, A Earl Haig School Zone, Steps To Subway, 24 Hour Concierge. Gorgeous Amenities. Extra Laundry For Large Pieces.**** EXTRAS **** Stainless Steel Fridge, Stove, Dishwasher, Microwave, 2 In One Washer/Dryer. All Window Coverings, Electrical Light Fixtures, One Parking And One Locker Is Included. (id:31729)
Listing ID C4741478
Salesperson MARY SADEGHI
Brokerage CENTURY 21 HERITAGE GROUP LTD.
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
469000.00
#1516 -19 SINGER CRT, Toronto, Ontario
RIGHT AT HOME REALTY INC.
Bedrooms
1
Bathrooms
1
Building Type
Condo/Strata
Property Type
Single Family
Great Complex Condominium Location, Luxury W/Great Facilities Condo. 24Hr Concierge,Visitor Parking. Sunny&Spacious Unit W/Good Sized Plan (Approx 578 Sq Ft Balcony = 628 Sq Ft),Rectangular Type Layout W/Balcony & Locker. High Ceiling.Large Centre Island For Eat, Work Or Entertain. Walk To Go Station, Ttc Subway,Park & Shopping Mall,Ikea,Canadian Tire, Td Bank And Mcdonald. Easy Access To 401/404/Dvp**** EXTRAS **** Best Condo Amenities With 24 Hrs Concierge, Indoor Basketball Court, Indoor Pool, Hot Tub, Party Room, Guest Suites, Billiard, Bbq, And More! Inc. Stainless Steeles Fridge+Stove+Hood Fan, Microwave, Built-In Dishwasher. Washer/Dryer Combo. (id:31729)
Listing ID C4763879
Salesperson BILL WON GYU CHOI
Brokerage RIGHT AT HOME REALTY INC.
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