Skip to main content

Alex Rothe/Alex Rothe

55 Glen Rd., Toronto

Asking price: $10,850,000

Taxes: $32,925.54 (2019)

Story continues below advertisement

Lot Size: 60.43 feet by 156 feet

Agent: Andrea Menzel, Broker, Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd.

Stephen Staley has come a long way from where he grew up: a Manchester council estate house shared by six people. A steeplejack by trade, his company, Industrial Chimney Management Inc., now services industrial chimneys and smokestacks across Canada and the Caribbean. In 2009, he and family were looking to move from the Bluffs area of Scarborough be closer to downtown. “We wanted a move-in-ready place. The real estate guy we were dealing with dismissed the idea [of 55 Glen], ‘That’s not for you,’” Mr. Staley said.

The house at 55 Glen Rd., has long been a notable spot on walking tours of Toronto’s architectural legacy with its Greek revival façade (a popular style of the mid-1800s to early 1900s, in this case rendered by Toronto architects Chadwick and Beckett, whose Victorian-era work dots Rosedale and the Annex). Four beefy Ionic columns frame the front portico and give the house an imposing and reserved look.

“It was one of the grand dames of Rosedale, and it became a rooming house,” listing agent Andrea Menzel said. “It was rescued by the Staleys. They saw the potential of making it a wonderful family home. There were nine apartments when they bought it; they took it back to the outside walls and rebuilt it.”

Indeed, while the house has period touches, this was a gut job, not a restoration.

The walls of the redesigned house are mostly white, but with splashes of green and grey in some rooms.

Alex Rothe/Alex Rothe

Mr. Staley was urged to look up Terry Little, a popular Rosedale designer who maintains virtually no online presence, and then connected with Greg Merkac of Craigleigh Custom Homes Ltd. “This guy [Mr. Little] is a top class designer, he made everything wider, doors taller, hallways wider, buried a lot of the ductwork and there’s no bulkheads,” Mr. Staley said.

Story continues below advertisement

“Of course we were nervous about it," said Mr. Staley’s wife, Sangeeta. "It was a really big project. Stephen was working out of the country. We were connected with the contractor and designer and they pretty much did all the work.

“Two days after we closed, or a week, we were getting enquiries from people who turned it down,” said Mr. Staley. According to data from HouseSigma they picked up the house for about $1.8-million. The renovation took 18 months. Now they are looking for a buyer interested in an updated classic for a cool $10-million.

“There are a lot of expensive homes for sale in Rosedale at the moment,” Ms. Menzel said. "I think prices in general have gone to the next level. Remember when people were saying not that long ago ‘OMG I paid a million …’? Now your entry level is around $4-million – and then you have to do some work.

“We’re seeing the Asian market is interested in Rosedale," she said. “For a while, a lot of them were saying: ‘No, we like new;' that’s their feel for what they like. Rosedale had the heritage cover in it; you can’t do anything to the front façade, and you can’t tear down. So Rosedale, they didn’t get it. Now they are getting it, and they really like it.”

The house today

The 35-foot stairway goes all the way to the third floor.

Alex Rothe/Alex Rothe

Through the grand entrance with the columns is a short foyer (with Stephen’s office on the left and the pocket doors to the living room on the right) leading to an equally grand “lobby” as Stephen puts it, a 35-foot high stairway that goes all the way up to the third floor. The black-and-white tile pattern plus the wainscotting, baseboards and crown moulding all evoke Victorian finishes. There’s a fireplace, a walk-in closet and a powder room. Originally, this space was panelled and finished all in dark wood. Now the walls throughout the house are predominantly white, with a splash of grey or green here and there. The side door and a landing window both have stained glass, another period feature brought forward.

Alex Rothe/Alex Rothe

A grand piano sits in front of the living room's side-bay window.

Alex Rothe/Alex Rothe

Just past the stairway is a shortcut to the kitchen, but the intended path is through the living room to the right which is open to the dining room stretching almost 45 feet from the front wall to the rear, punctuated by the side-bay window, where now sits a grand piano. A pair of doors frames the fireplace on the back wall. Through here are the more intimate family spaces they spend most of their time in. There are a total of five fireplaces on this level and a total of six in the house – down from the original 10, and two less than Stephen wanted to keep.

Story continues below advertisement

The back half of the house is a L-shaped kitchen with an island topped by white marble streaked with grey. There are two separate areas with tables for eating breakfast or playing games, and at the very back a five-year-old addition with a skylight that acts as a family room. “We wanted a room with a lot of light; we liked that outdoor feeling," Mrs. Staley said. “The room is where we already had big windows … that’s my and the kid’s space.”

Alex Rothe/Alex Rothe

The L-shaped kitchen is anchored by a countertop of grey-streaked white marble.

Alex Rothe/Alex Rothe

“We had 70 people here for [his daughter’s 16th] birthday, We had a band playing,” Mr. Staley said. “The thing about this house you have these groups and pockets, four or five different zones just on the ground floor.”

The second floor is the family living quarters: there are three bedrooms (each with its own ensuite bathroom and walk-in closet) and a spacious laundry room. The main bedroom is an L-shaped suite that takes up the whole front of the house, including the small balcony seen above the front door, and the sixth fireplace. The walk-through closet room leads to a 16-foot-by-16-foot bathroom that’s bigger than either of the other two 14-foot-by-14-foot bedrooms on this level.

Alex Rothe/Alex Rothe

The master suite boasts a walk-through dressing room and an expansive bathroom.

Alex Rothe/Alex Rothe

The third level has three more bedrooms, one with its own ensuite and two that share a bathroom. There’s also a large family room with a wet-bar (including its own dishwasher) with a walkout to the rooftop deck.

The basement has a full gym with steam shower (Stephen’s favourite room), a nanny suite with its own ensuite, and a media room/home theatre that connects through double doors to the mudroom/music room that Stephen has wired to be used a recording studio. There’s also a wine room with custom racks around the corner. The ceilings on the main level are 10 feet, on second floor almost nine, third floor back to almost 10, and in the basement about eight. There’s a centralized sound system that can pump music into all the rooms, and the detached two-car garage is just a cherry on top.

The basement includes a full gym with a steam shower.

Alex Rothe/Alex Rothe

“It’s a big house, it’s a welcoming house,” Mrs. Staley said. “Even an extended family could fit into this house and have a wonderful lifestyle. I would like to see a family move in – they can make beautiful memories.”

Story continues below advertisement

The family is currently looking at other potential real estate projects but Stephen said it’s tough to say goodbye. The house at 55 Glen Rd. has come to remind him of a stately home he admired as a young lad in Manchester. “There was this big old house and wrought iron gate," he recalls. "We were in awe. … ‘Wow who lives there?’ Today, it’s a bit smaller than my house, but it has a bit more grounds.”

“Every time we were outside when we first moved in even now, neighbours will compliment us on the job we’ve done in the house,” Mrs. Staley said. “We haven’t told any of the neighbours we’re leaving.”

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.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
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
10850000.00
55 GLEN RD, Toronto, Ontario
CHESTNUT PARK REAL ESTATE LIMITED
Bedrooms
7
Bathrooms
5
Building Type
Freehold
Property Type
Single Family
Spectacular South Rosedale 6 Bdrm Home W/Grand Street Presence. Sun Filled Principal Rms Ideal For Entertaining/Work From Home. Glorious Front Foyer With Marble F/P Leading To Soaring 3-Storey Oak Staircase. Four Levels W/Highest Quality Finishes & Bespoke Design. Gaited Private Driveway Leading To 2-Car Garage And Very Private Landscaped Garden & Terraces.Totally Finished Lower Level With Sep. Entrance. Steps To Yonge And Bloor.**** EXTRAS **** 3rd Fl: 4th Bdm 4.67X2.0 M; 5th Bdm 4.55X3.00 M W/5Pc Semi-Ensuite; 6th Bdm 4.65X3.84 M W/3Pc Ensuite; Lower Level:Media Rm 5.16X4.93 M; Nanny Rm 4.60X3.91 M W/4Pc Ensuite; Gym 5.21X4.83 M; Music Rm4.94X3.68 M; 3Pc W/Shower & Steam Sauna (id:31729)
Listing ID C4902197
Salesperson ANDREA MENZEL
Brokerage CHESTNUT PARK REAL ESTATE LIMITED
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
2999000.00
44A MAPLE AVE, Toronto, Ontario
CHESTNUT PARK REAL ESTATE LIMITED
Bedrooms
4
Bathrooms
5
Building Type
Condo/Strata
Property Type
Single Family
Stunningly Renovated 3-Storey Semi-Detached In A Private Little Enclave In South Rosedale. Elegant Living At Is Finest In This Top-Of- The-Line Home. The Gracious Living Room Features A Gas Fireplace & A Custom Wine Cellar. This Home Is Perfectly Suited For Entertaining. Enter Your Private Backyard From Either Of The Sets Of Double French Doors Off Of The Living Room. Flexible Floor Plan With Any Of The Large 3 Br Potentially Serving As The Master Br.**** EXTRAS **** 2779 Sq Ft Interior Living Space. Wolf & Subzero, Htd Entrance Floor, Cvac, Builtin Speakers, Wine Cellar, *Dog Washing Station* Direct Access To Undergrd Parking. Incredible Outdoor Space (Balcony, Terrace & Backyard!) See Tour For More (id:31729)
Listing ID C4985260
Salesperson EILEEN LASSWELL
Brokerage CHESTNUT PARK REAL ESTATE LIMITED
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
6799000.00
62 MAPLE AVE, Toronto, Ontario
RIGHT AT HOME REALTY INC.
Bedrooms
5
Bathrooms
4
Building Type
Freehold
Property Type
Single Family
Grand South Rosedale Home Located On Prime 75'X150' Lot. Plenty Of Room To Expand Or Build Coach House. 5 Bedroom Light Filled Home Ideal For Entertaining. Centre Hall Staircase. Bulthaup Kitchen With Marble Throughout. 2 Car Driveway With 2 Car Garage. Heated Floors In Kitchen And Bathrooms.**** EXTRAS **** All Appliances And Light Fixtures Included. (id:31729)
Listing ID C4920084
Salesperson SOFIA LEFLEUR
Brokerage RIGHT AT HOME REALTY INC.
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
1995000.00
22 NANTON AVE, Toronto, Ontario
CHESTNUT PARK REAL ESTATE LIMITED
Bedrooms
4
Bathrooms
3
Building Type
Freehold
Property Type
Single Family
Rosedale - Ready To Makeover! Opportunity To Completely Redo This 1909 Family Home Full Of Character & Love & Treasured By The Same Family For 60 Years It Is Ready To Make Its Debut To Your Own Exacting Standards & Fulfil The Next Generation's Dreams. The Glass Walled Front Facade Has Long Made A Welcoming Sight On This Truly Quiet Avenue And Along With The Garden Side Solarium/Family Sitting Room, They Have Infused The Plan & Flow With Light!**** EXTRAS **** Just Steps To Subway, Craigleigh Gdn Park, Branksome & The Glamorous New $6.0 Million Dollar Condos Of Dale, This Exciting & Stellar Location Has Outstanding Potential For Plenty Of Great Living Space! See Virtual + As Is Photos. (id:31729)
Listing ID C4996149
Salesperson JANET MARLENE LINDSAY
Brokerage CHESTNUT PARK REAL ESTATE LIMITED
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
2488000.00
#1 -15 SCARTH RD, Toronto, Ontario
RE/MAX WEST REALTY INC.
Bedrooms
3
Bathrooms
3
Building Type
Condo/Strata
Property Type
Single Family
Stunning Open Concept Boutique Designer Condo In Coveted South Rosedale W/ Private Entry! Split Plan Design & Over 3,300 Sq.Ft. Of Impressive Living Space! Gourmet Eat-In Kit W/ High-End Appl's, Quartz Tops, Bay Window & Oversized Island That Opens To The Living Area. Walk-Out To Terrace & Serene Garden Oasis! Opulent Master Wing! Tranquil Family Rm W/ Skylit Vaulted Ceiling. Formal Din'g Rm W/ Tray Ceiling. Historic Residence Situated On A Mature Cul-De-Sac.**** EXTRAS **** Mins To Renowned Branksome Hall, Rosedale P.S. & Downtown! Fridge, Gas Cook-Top Stv, B/I Oven, Dw, Rng Hd; W&D, B/I Spkrs, Wndw Covs/Blinds, Elfs & Parking. See Schedule 'C' For Extensive List Of Inclusions. (id:31729)
Listing ID C4932930
Salesperson LUISA PICCIRILLI
Brokerage RE/MAX WEST 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