Hunt Club Residences – 1111 Avenue Road

The Hunt Club Residences are a rare and mostly unknown luxury conversion of an old hunt club in the chic Allenby neighbourhood

History of the Hunt Club Residences

The Eglinton Hunt Club, an address of distinction for almost 100 years, is now an exclusive enclave of luxury lofts and townhomes. The handsome renovation provides an elegant streetscape, while protecting many graceful historic features such as the sweeping staircase in the foyer and the Jacobean style of the original officer’s mess from the days when this was an RCAF training school.

Hunt Club Residences – 1111 Avenue Road

The grand entrance to the The Hunt Club Residences at 1111 Avenue Road

Only 21 lofts – ranging from 1,500 to 2,000 square feet – were built from the old 1929 clubhouse. Designed by Vaux & Bryan Chadwick, also responsible for the 1925 addition to Osgoode Hall, Aspen Ridge took great care when they converted it to residential use in 2003-2004.

Hunt Club Residences – 1111 Avenue Road

The very impressive staircase in the lobby of the Hunt Club Residences

Because of their size, the Hunt Club Residences are as much homes as condos. Ceilings range from 10 feet to a soaring 17 feet. All have 2 bedrooms, though some have dens, with 2 or 3 washrooms each. Some of the units boast circular staircases, recessed lighting, cornice moulding and have fireplaces with granite and wood surrounds.

Hunt Club Residences – 1111 Avenue Road

Elegant car and occupants in front of the Hunt Club clubhouse in 1932

History and luxury are both matched by this great Toronto neighbourhood, Allenby, just west of Yonge and Eglinton. Along Eglinton West, there are many great family friendly restaurants, shops with professional services, and clothing stores. Also nearby is Eglinton Park, the North Toronto Memorial Community Recreation Centre and the Beltine trail – a 7km path that meanders through the neighbourhood.

Hunt Club Residences – 1111 Avenue Road

Aerial photo of the Hunt Club grounds taken in 1930

The Toronto Hunt Club was established by British Army officers of the Toronto garrison at Fort York in 1843. In 1895 it acquired its first permanent home in a rural area east of the city, between Kingston Road and the waterfront. In 1898 streetcar service was extended eastward to the site, and soon the area became a cottage district and then streetcar suburb of Toronto. This forced equestrian activities to move further afield and, in 1907, the horses were moved to a site near Steeles Avenue and Yonge Street.

Hunt Club Residences – 1111 Avenue Road

The big stables of the Eglinton Hunt Club sometime in the 1930s, long since torn down

Once surrounded by open fields, this site became home to the Eglinton Hunt Club in 1919. By 1929 the club added stables, arenas – one for indoor polo – and an impressive club house (which is all that remains and contains the Hunt Club Residences), all designed by architects Vaux and Bryan Chadwick.

Hunt Club Residences – 1111 Avenue Road

Second floor units have multiple levels and multiple bedrooms, some are the size of a small house

The 1930s saw the club run into financial difficulties, however. In 1939, with the outbreak of the Second World War, the large site was purchased by the federal government and turned into a secret Royal Canadian Air Force research facility, the No. 1 Clinical Investigation Unit.

Hunt Club Residences – 1111 Avenue Road

What was once the old officers’ mess hall, now a lounge for residents, looking pretty much the same as it did during WWII

Sir Dr. Frederick G. Banting directed secret research on the physiological effects of combat flying here. This led to Dr. Wilbur R. Franks creating the world’s first anti “G” flying suit with help from the first human centrifuge in the allied countries. During the 1950s and 60s, RCAF auxiliary squadrons were based here to defend Toronto during the Cold War. The RCAF Staff School, later the Canadian Forces Staff School, occupied the site from 1960-1994, educating over 10,000 military officers.

Hunt Club Residences – 1111 Avenue Road

The original bow windows have been retained in first floor units

By 1998 the Government of Canada transferred the property to the Toronto Catholic District School Board and the Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School was built there. The area surrounding the old Eglinton Hunt Club is now an established residential neighbourhood of Forest Hill.

Hunt Club Residences – 1111 Avenue Road

There is a large communal outdoor space behind the building

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