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home of the week


2 Hawthorn Ave., Toronto

Asking Price: $5,750,000

Taxes: $16,164.85 (2022)

Lot Size: Irregular lot, 41.75-foot depth

Agents: Jimmy Molloy and Lindsay Van Wert (Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd.) and Alison Hall (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services West Realty)

The dining room was once the anteroom to the ballroom. Today it features a bay window.1Space

The back story

In 1999, Didi Hall’s five children were mostly grown and the two youngest would soon be leaving home. She and her husband decided the time was right to move from a home outside the city to a house in Toronto’s leafy Rosedale enclave.

The Arts & Crafts-style home at 2 Hawthorn Ave., was built in 1907 with a façade of Credit Valley stone that makes it stand out from the red-brick Victorian-era houses that are more typical of Rosedale, Ms. Hall says.

Records show the Cummings family were the first residents, Ms. Hall says. In the 1930s, the Evans family purchased the house and built an addition to the south that included a ballroom. On the west side, they added servants’ quarters.

In the 1970s, the house was divided into three units, which was a common practice in that era when energy prices were high and the cost of heating such a large house was prohibitive. The portion containing the ballroom was severed and became a separate property.

While the house had been expanded and divided over the decades, Ms. Hall appreciated that the oak floors, leaded glass windows and plaster mouldings had been preserved on the first and second storeys.

“It has terrific character,” says Ms. Hall, who found a pair of initials etched into one of the ceiling medallions.

The newel post of the main staircase is topped by an intricate carving depicting three mythological figures.

“When you see it, you say, ‘Wow, who does that kind of work?’”

On the main floor, a living room with a fireplace provides a comfortable place for gathering, while the secondary bedroom, top, overlooks the street.1Space

The house today

The Hall family purchased the semi-detached house and moved into the two main floors.

The third-floor apartment with a separate entrance made an ideal pied-à-terre for her mother, she says.

Today the house provides 6,300 square feet of living space including the lower level.

Residents and visitors arrive to a spacious foyer with a coved ceiling, oak-paneled walls and panes of stained glass. There’s a fireplace next to the Arts & Crafts staircase.

“We’ve had cocktail parties for 100 here,” Ms. Hall says.

The dining room at the front of the house was once the anteroom to the ballroom. Today it has a bay window and elaborate plaster trim.

Ms. Hall says the couple updated the home with new windows framed in steel and an upgraded electrical system, among other improvements. But they wanted to retain the layout and century-old craftsmanship.

“I’ve always looked a little bit more for character and liveability,” says Ms. Hall.

On the main floor, a living room with a fireplace provides a comfortable place for gathering. Next to that room, a family room with a fireplace has doors opening to a patio.

At the rear of the house, Ms. Hall had the kitchen renovated with built-in appliances, wood cabinets, open shelves, a marble countertop and a breakfast area.

Upstairs, the primary bedroom has a fireplace and a sitting area in a former sun porch. The renovated ensuite bathroom has a stand-alone tub and a walk-in shower.

The house provides 6,300 square feet of living space.1Space

A separate study with a fireplace and built-in bookshelves provides a private space for reading.

A second bedroom on that level has an ensuite bathroom and a bay window overlooking the street.

A third bedroom is currently used as a home office.

On the third floor, the private apartment has two bedrooms, a small kitchen and a living area.

When her mother moved on after a few years, Ms. Hall turned the top floor into a studio where she taught yoga. For early-morning classes on chilly days, she lit a fire in the fireplace.

“The students loved it,” she says.

On the lower level, an apartment with a recreation room, bedroom and kitchen could also serve as nanny’s quarters.

The home’s location in Rosedale provides easy access to transit and nearby Craighleigh Gardens. A short walk away is the Evergreen Brickworks, which connects to trails along the Don River.

The best feature

Landscape Architect Ron Holbrook turned a neglected backyard into a sheltered retreat with a stone patio, trees and shrubs.

There’s a two-car garage and plenty of space for a barbeque, dining and lounging.

“We restored the house to its grandeur,” says Ms. Hall.

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