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home of the week

Imaginahome

1101 Leslie St., Suite 1404, Toronto

Asking Price: $1,799,900

Taxes: $5,349.36 (2020)

Size: 1,965 square feet

Monthly maintenance fee: $1,849.45

Listing agent: Michael Tanaka, Royal LePage Signature Realty

The backstory

Barbara Larcina tells people coming to visit her at the Carrington on the Park condominium complex overlooking Sunnybrook Park, “I live at the Lexus dealership.”

Well, not literally. She’s referring to the next-door neighbour to the condominium complex, a Toyota and Lexus dealership that was erected on the site of the iconic Inn on the Park (one of the early Four Seasons hotels) after it was torn down in 2006. Both the dealership and Ms. Larcina’s apartment share the westerly view of Sunnybrook park, and both are familiar sites to anyone driving east on Eglinton Avenue East.

It’s also not strictly true that she lives there anymore, since she and her husband decamped from the city at the beginning of the pandemic to live full-time at their cottage in Haliburton, Ont.

“We never envisioned living at the cottage … I’m not a cottage girl; I don’t like bugs,” Ms. Larcina said. Prior to the pandemic, the longest time she had spent at cottage, built in 2009, was maybe a week. “My dream was to be down south in retirement,” she said, spending winters in their home on St. Simons Island, Ga., for sun and golf, and spending summers between the Toronto condo and Haliburton.

The condo was renovated top to bottom in 2019.Imaginahome

Ms. Larcina was formerly the head of business operations for the National Hockey League Players Association and retired in 2016. Initially, she had no plans to downsize. Then, her parents decided to move from the Carrington apartment they’d lived in for a decade to a long-term care facility. “My husband and I couldn’t let it go, it’s one of the most unique properties, it has views all the way downtown. We see the fireworks every holiday,” she said. The condo had also been the site of the extended family’s Christmas celebrations for many years, and the couple decided to purchase and renovate the place top to bottom, which they finished in 2019, just before her husband Art also retired.

As it happens, they wouldn’t have much time to enjoy the work they’d put in. Living at the cottage has convinced the couple they don’t need the landing spot in Toronto; they can transition between their two vacation properties full-time.

The condo today

The walls throughout are white with picture frame molding on in the main room.Imaginahome

Through the front door of the apartment is a small foyer with an entrance to the main living room flanked by half columns. This wide-open space has hardwood extending to the windows facing west. The condo has two wings that extend off this main space through hallways to the south and north.

The walls throughout are white with picture-frame moulding on in the main room. A 12-person dining-room table sits closest to the entrance, with a separate seating space for couches taking up the other half of the room. A fireplace is centred on the west wall, with sliding doors to the 40-foot-long balcony on either side.

Since she retired, Ms. Larcina’s main passion has been to paint, and there are examples of her landscapes all over the apartment. “I’ve always believed I had a great painting in me, I just had to have time,” she said. The cottage and cottage country has been her main source of inspiration, and she had a show in Haliburton last year with another coming up in July, which she says is exciting for a “starving artist.” You won’t find any acrylic paint in the floorboards of the condo, though, she doesn’t paint in town: “It’s a messy hobby.”

The kitchen layout is U-shaped, with lots of prep space and Kitchenaid appliances.Imaginahome

To the left of the seating area is the entrance to the kitchen, which was renovated in 2019. The tile, the counter and the backsplash is all the same veined porcelain. The layout is U-shaped, with lots of prep space and Kitchenaid appliances. There’s no eat-in nook, but there is a sliding door to the balcony, which has an al-fresco dining area.

Around the corner from the main room is the hallway to the south. The first room off the left is a spacious laundry room, next to that is a guest powder room with black walls and the same tiles as in the kitchen.

At the end of the hall is the secondary bedroom suite with walk-in closet, four-piece bath with tub-shower with that same porcelain tile for the surround, floor and countertop.

The primary suite, top, is a few feet longer than the secondary bedroom. It has a bathroom with a separate soaker tub and a large stand-alone glass-walled shower.Imaginahome

Returning to the hallway on the other side of the condo there’s a den/TV room just off the main room with its own access to the balcony.

Just beyond that is the primary suite, which is a few feet longer than the secondary bedroom, and like the other bedroom does not have a slider to the balcony. What the primary suite has is a much larger walk-in closet, practically a dressing room as opposed to just a storage space. It also has a larger ensuite bathroom with that same porcelain tile and counter but with a separate soaker tub on an angle in the corner and a large stand-alone glass-walled shower. There are two separate vanities, flanking the shower enclosure.

Best feature

Two large leather chairs and cottage artwork have been placed in the den.Imaginahome

“For my husband, it’s the den,” she said. “He put two large leather chairs in there with some cottage artwork, and it feels like the cottage.

“I would say the living room because of the views,” Ms. Larcina said. “At Christmas time, you can put a nine-foot Christmas tree in front of a walkout.” The great-room style of the central space fits the whole family, and also the views can’t be beat. “All you see is green space. Everybody who ever came to dinner said to me: ‘How’d you find this place?’ ”

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