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home of the week

Alden Morris/AMP Media

  • The listing: 3 Terrasse Summerhill, Montreal
  • Asking Price: $2.95-million
  • Taxes: $15,382 (2021)
  • Lot Size: 118.08- by 264.24-feet
  • Agents: Christina Miller of Christina Miller Real Estate Group

The backstory

The stairs in the main entrance make a welcome impression.Alden Morris/AMP Media

When Alison Silcoff first got married, she and her then-husband were looking to purchase a home together. Each had their own homes to sell, so after closing the deals, the pair looked for a year before finding a place they loved.

Originally from England, Ms. Silcoff never wanted to leave London, but 3 Terrasse Summerhill in Montreal’s affluent Golden Square Mile felt like home.

“The second I walked in, I fell for it,” Ms. Silcoff said.

The third owner in a century, Ms. Silcoff inherited a 1923 Neo-Georgian residence that exudes mid-1800s grandeur and where she has held countless society dinner parties (she has hosted both Pierre and Justin Trudeau.)

Previous owners of homes within the exclusive five-townhouse garden enclave in the heart of Montreal’s Golden Square Mile include former prime minister Paul Martin, a prince, a racehorse breeder, a Canadian business tycoon and a philanthropist. American architect Ernest Isbell Barott, who designed Summerhill Terrace, lived at No. 3, the centre home of the five, for 40 years.

Now, after 32 years, Ms. Silcoff, founder of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Ball, said it is time for her to move since her children have grown up and moved away, and she is no longer organizing the Ball.

“I’ve got to that certain age where if I don’t move now ... packing up all these years of accumulated stuff will be too daunting. It’s daunting enough as it is,” Ms. Silcoff said. “I don’t really need this much space.”

The house today

The 3,816-square-foot, three-storey townhouse boasts a bright and spacious living area.Alden Morris/AMP Media

The 3,816-square-foot, three-storey townhouse boasts a bright and spacious living area. Georgian antiques are scattered throughout the home.

With six bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and a powder room, a large garden, a garage and two external parking spaces, the townhouse has an abundant collection of English touches, including two staircases, high ceilings, detailed mouldings, ornamental escutcheon plates, among others.

Walking in the front door, the entrance hall and double coat closet open up to black-and-white marble floors and a grand staircase with a brass and wood bannister. A half bath sits adjacent to the winding staircase.

A room with a gas fireplace, pine bookcases full of novels, a traditional pine mantelpiece and windows overlooking the front garden is located just beyond, with chevron wood floors to match.

The kitchen has lots of storage space and granite countertops, a breakfast nook with a banquette that could become open-plan with the adjacent dining room.

The original grandiose dining room, which can seat up to 24 guests, bears the English fabrics and wallpapers Ms. Silcoff chose to decorate with.

The living room, which looks elegant and sophisticated even for the grandest of guests, boasts three windows overlooking the garden and a marble fireplace flanked by lighted display alcoves.

A minibar in a closet with a sink, shelves and a fridge sits on the landing.

The master bedroom suite, complete with his and hers marble bathrooms and a walk-in closet with a dressing room, open onto white French doors that lead to a large wrought-iron balcony surrounded by foliage in the summer months.

The private garden is bordered by mature trees with a quiet, serene feeling to it, despite being so close to the downtown area.

The best feature

The master bedroom suite comes complete with his and hers marble bathrooms.Alden Morris/AMP Media

The master bathroom is Ms. Silcoff’s favourite room in the house. She said the large bathtub and two windows give her the perfect space and light to do her makeup and start the day fresh every morning.

However, the English-styled dining room, complete with an original marble fireplace, white alcoves, traditional mouldings and a chevron wood floor, is where most of Ms. Silcoff’s memories have been made.

“I actually keep a record of every dinner party I’ve given in a book,” Ms. Silcoff said of her collection of menus and seating arrangements.

“I love cooking. Cooking is a big thing for me.”

The townhouse has an abundant collection of English touches.Alden Morris/AMP Media

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