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Toronto’s 10 most expensive houses

Excerpt from an article by Tony Wong – Toronto Star

It’s a brutalist vision of hard-wired steel, concrete and glass. A mansion on The Bridle Path is perhaps the most technologically sophisticated residence in Canada.

At $15 million it is also the most expensive home listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service in the city of Toronto.

“Check this out. It’s like owning your very own W Hotel,” says realtor Ken Ho, nudging open a sleek wood door. He isn’t far off. The owner of this gleaming jewel box on two acres of prime land in one of Canada’s most sought after neighbourhoods was inspired by hotels such as the ultra-modernist Philippe Starck-designed Hudson in New York.

We looked at this home and nine others (actually 10, there was a tie) to give readers a glimpse of the 10 most expensive properties in the city on the MLS by June 29.

Peeking into the listings – who lives in the homes and why they’re selling – can be a revealing look at the anthropology of Toronto business culture and history.

When asked why he’s selling, the owner of the glass house – who made his millions from the travel business, but did not wish to be named – says the thrill was in building it. He says he may build again, but admits construction costs are much higher today than only a few years ago.

But even in the Bridle Path area, $15 million is steep change. The most expensive home sold in the city this year went for $6.8 million.

To put things in perspective, yesterday the Toronto Real Estate Board reported that the average asking price of a home at the end of June was $358,035, up 4% from June of last year. A standard two-storey Canadian home has three bedrooms and about 1,500 square feet of space.

If ultra modern isn’t to your liking, then there are 10 other homes to choose from on our top 10 list -and they aren’t too shabby either.The core opposite of this Bridle Path home would have to be one on Forest Hill Rd. in Number 2 spot and asking $10.8 million. One cannot imagine the same buyer fancying both homes.

While one home says tech mogul, the other says it’s time for lunch at the Toronto Club. This 1929 home has a serious pedigree: It was built for steel merchant and philanthropist Sigmund Samuel, perhaps more familiar to university Toronto students who study in the library named after him.

If you’re willing to give up a little history, for a lot more acreage, at Number 3 is a $10,250,000 home on Park Lane Circle in the Bridle Path area. The home, built by uber-luxury builder Shane Baghai, has almost 15,000 square feet of living space and another 6,500 square feet dedicated to an indoor saltwater pool. There is also a separate coach house and an outdoor lighted tennis court.

So, if $10.2 million is a little rich, in fourth spot, prices drop dramatically to $6.5 million for a French-styled chateau on The Bridle Path. The home is eminently civilized, having its own spa, and a 1,000-square-foot guest home and indoor pool. Of course, there is also an extensive wine cellar.Or for the same change, tied for fourth spot is a Forest Hill home at $6.5 million remodelled only last year. It is also the home of David Asper, chair of the National Post newspaper and executive vice-president of CanWest Global Communications Corp.

In fifth spot, and only by a shade, is the $6,499,000 Forest Hill home designed by society architect Richard Wengle. At 50 feet wide, the lot is not massive, especially for this kind of pricing, but it is deep at 174 feet. Amenities include an exercise room and spa.This is also the home of Toronto Maple Leaf captain Mats Sundin, who has lived here for more than a year. Sundin has already said that although he is selling the home he isn’t planning on retiring or expecting to be traded, although he may miss the 300-bottle wine room.

In sixth spot at $5,998,000 is a modernist home right out of Wallpaper Magazine. Built in 1963, and set in the Rosedale ravine it is finished in mostly natural materials and is inspired by its earthy surroundings. The home has a round pool, gardens and a lush south view.

In seventh spot and offered for sale at $5,799,000 is a Forest Hill home that offers privacy through a magnificent stone wall and iron gates. The nine-bedroom home has soaring ceilings and spectacular woodwork.

Or for a mere 4,000 bucks less you can get a Hogg’s Hollow home at $5,795,000 with 6,362 square feet, a theatre and games room, a nanny suite, and wine and cold cellars.

In ninth spot is a Classic Georgian home in the York Mills area at $5.5 million. On a one-acre ravine property, it overlooks the Rosedale Golf and Country club. And just in case you’re the impatient type and don’t want to drive to the greens, you have your own five-hole putting course, and a waterfall cascading into your private pool.

Bringing up the rear is a piece of British countryside in the York Mills and Old Yonge St. area at $5,495,000. The 1928 residence is Jacobean revival style, an early stage of English renaissance architecture. High-beamed ceilings, brick and stone fireplaces and formal gardens give the home a particularly English temperament.

That honour goes to a 14-acre estate in Oakville overlooking Lake Ontario that has an asking price of $45 million. Mississauga, meanwhile, also has a property listed for $15 million.

Read the full article

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Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960