June 27, 2017
Toronto 11th Most Instagrammed City Worldwide
According to Visually, Toronto is one of the most Instagrammed cities in the world. By the numbers, Toronto beats Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Berlin and Madrid!
- 15 – Madrid 16.68m
- 14 – Berlin 18.17m
- 13 – Las Vegas 18.46m
- 12 – Tokyo 18.69m
- 11 – Toronto 18.72m
- 10 – Moscow 22.09m
- 9 – Los Angeles 23.65m
- 8 – Barcelona 23.87m
- 7 – Chicago 24.15m
- 6 – Miami 32.74m
- 5 – Istanbul 35.36m
- 4 – Dubai 46.26m
- 3 – Paris 55.17m
- 2 – London 64.54m
- 1 – New York 68.04m
London and New York were no surprise as number 1 and 2, but I must admit that I was surprised by Istanbul being number 5. Adding Istanbul to my bucket list!
May 26, 2017
Coming soon…SOUTH RAVINE LOT ON BINSCARTH RD!
Exquisitely refined, inviting, and comfortable! This picture perfect renovated family home has it all: a south facing ravine lot with breathtaking views, classic contemporary style with modern features, it’s on a cul-de-sac on one of Rosedale’s most coveted streets, it’s ideal for both family and entertaining, has plenty of room with just under 5200 sq. ft. including lower level, 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and a stunning 36’ X 439’ lot. The bright open concept family room and modern eat-in chef’s kitchen overlook and access the professionally landscaped and private garden oasis. The second floor features a family room/den that can easily be converted into a fifth bedroom and has a custom built-in study with a large graceful balcony. The master suite features cathedral ceilings & arched windows letting natural light flood in with a stunning south ravine view. Additional highlights include a large finished basement with a recreation room, three storage rooms, an exercise or nanny room and a 3 piece bathroom and private drive with parking for 3-4 cars. Top schools include Branksome, Whitney & OLPH, and a short walk to Brickworks, Chorley Park, Summerhill Market and Rosedale Park. This residence is a perfect place to enjoy the finest that Rosedale and the city have to offer!
May 24, 2017
Waterfront Building Lot 45 Minutes From Toronto!
Rare building lot with 99' frontage on exclusive lake - ONLY 45 MINUTES from downtown Toronto! Build your dream home surrounded by beautiful tranquility. The ultimate destination for an outdoors enthusiast, this 99' lake frontage on Chalk Lake allows access to an artesian fed lake that reaches 30c in the summer. A pure, pristine lake known for its water quality, this lake has only 20 residences on it. Surrounded by 5 golf courses, 3 ski hills, horse stables, and miles of hiking, biking, and horse trails. Short drive to Port Perry and Whitby.
Almost half an acre (99' X 185') will allow you to build a 5000 sq ft dream home. Hydro on site. Take this opportunity to build your dream home! Close to 407, 412, 401, and Hwy #12.
More details here!
Environmental Impact Survey and Geotechnical survey are available...this lot is ready for permits and construction!
March 1, 2017
New Listing - 28 St Andrews Gardens!
This North Rosedale treasure on prestigious Saint Andrews Gardens awaits its new owner to create their dream home. With original architectural and artful details, sun-filled gracious principal rooms, a 40 foot lot, over 4100 square feet including lower level, 6 bedrooms, a den, office, sunroom and original cloak room, and a superb location on one of Rosedale’s best family streets, this house is the ideal dream home-to-be. Gorgeous curb appeal with a spacious front porch will be perfect for that morning coffee overlooking your garden oasis. Move in and explore the possibilities on one of the most sought after streets in Rosedale. Summerhill Market and Rosedale’s Finest are just outside your backyard; excellent private and public schools including Whitney, OLPH & Branksome are within walking distance, Evergreen Brickworks, Chorley Park, and Rosedale Park are a minutes walk from home, and a short commute to the city centre makes this home ideal for an urbane family.
More info click here.
List Price: $3,150,000
January 29, 2017
Exclusive Listing - 111 Glen Road
Rare opportunity to own this historic residence situated in the heart of prestigious North Rosedale! An immaculately-refined and contemporary renovation of this century-old Edwardian home successfully aimed to retain the home’s historic charm while creating contemporary environments and conveniences within; sophisticated and inviting rooms are ideal for entertaining and extremely comfortable family living. With excellent private and public schools within walking distance, fantastic ravine walks, and a short commute to the city centre this home is ideal for an urbane family.
With over 8700 square feet including lower level and a generous 68’ lot, this 6+1 bedroom, 7 bathroom home features great entertaining spaces, a luxurious master retreat with sitting area and walk-in closet, eat-in chef’s kitchen with a breakfast/family area with wall-to-wall windows, butler’s pantry, wine cellar, two family rooms, mud-room, five fireplaces, second floor library with wet bar and many additional urbane comforts.
Attention to detail is evident with none other than the finest of details such as Herringbone Oak floors, leaded glass pane doors, Calcutta d’Oro counters, marble bathrooms throughout, built-in speakers and sound system, Limestone flooring, detailed plaster ceiling molding and much more! The tranquil garden is a private oasis professionally landscaped with stone terrace, covered porch with mature trees, and dramatic outdoor lighting both front and back. Additional highlights include a detached 2-car garage, parking for four extra cars, three private balconies, a spacious finished basement with oversized recreation/exercise room, potential nanny suite, spa bathroom and ample storage rooms. Perfect for the family that wants it all!
List Price: $5,395,000
More info click here.
Video click here.
January 27, 2017
Just Listed - 350 Lonsdale
FOREST HILL CONDO OVERLOOKING RAVINE!
Enjoy the luxuries of 350 Lonsdale, ‘The Lonsdale House’, one of the most sought after boutique condominiums nestled in the heart of prestigious Forest Hill. This outstanding and elegant and sun filled unit features 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a gorgeous terrace overlooking the ravine, with a fantastic open concept layout with full eat-in kitchen. Amenities include 24 hour concierge, a large party room, exercise room, sauna, tons of visitor parking and a rooftop deck with indoor pool, parking and locker. Steps away to the finest restaurants & cafes, shops, Forest Hill village, fantastic ravine walks, and the TTC. This condo offers all the comforts and convenience of the very best in city living.
Listed for $895,000
Click for more info...
Click for video tour...
October 25, 2016
The New Mortgage Rules - Will They Affect Toronto's Market?
New mortgage rules have been making the headlines recently, and we’ve had a lot of questions from past and future clients asking how these rules will change their home value and investments. Lets first look at what has changed, and then how this might impact your home’s value.
- Mortgage applicants will have to qualify at a higher rate. This month, the Mortgage Qualifying Rate (MQR) will be applied to ALL loan applicants - it used to be applied to only high-ratio loans. Even if the loan rate is 2.29% (current 5 year fixed rates), any Government insured mortgage will require that you qualify for the loan at a higher rate (currently 4.64%). This ensures that the applicant will be able to carry their mortgage in a higher interest rate environment. Effectively, this new rule will mean that the average applicant will qualify for a smaller mortgage amount than before, or will have a higher rate because they will need insurance that isn’t effectively backed by the Government.
- The Government will no longer insure low-ratio mortgages for refinancing, rental, properties over $1m, 35 year amortizations…the list goes on. Low ratio mortgages (those with 20% or more equity in their home) used to have more lenient rules than high ratio mortgages for obtaining portfolio insurance. Because these mortgages will not qualify for Government back-stopped portfolio insurance, the cost to insure these mortgages will increase. That cost will be passed on to the consumer as increased interest rates.
What do these changes mean to the average home buyer in Toronto? Well, for most purchasers, it will likely mean that they will either qualify for a smaller mortgage amount, be paying a higher mortgage interest rate, or both. Then again, there are many lenders today that will waive the additional interest rate and insure the mortgage themselves. If that stops tomorrow, would a potential buyer be discouraged from purchasing a home by a 2.59% versus a 2.39% mortgage? In my opinion, the difference is so small that the answer is no – on a $1 million mortgage, that would amount to an extra $100 per month. That isn’t a market-breaking change.
So, why are so many real estate insiders shouting so loudly about these changes? We believe that these changes are good and will help the market in the long term; they protect the consumer and the bank by qualifying at a higher rate, and protect the taxpayer by moving some of the risk of mortgage insurance away from the public purse. For our clients that actually live in their houses, we think that these are great changes. While fairly insignificant, they do help to put a bit of a break on a rampant market. A 20% rise in Toronto's real estate prices is unsustainable, and no market is immune to corrections. For our clients that invest in residential real estate, we’ve already spoken about this market and what the risks are. We're all for these changes, and believe they will lead to a healthier market in the long term.
September 27, 2016
Open House This Weekend - 188 Hudson Drive!!
Charming, detached home on a cul-de-sac in sought-after Moore Park! Across from the Belt Line Trail and Evergreen Brickworks, this family dream home is in district for 2 of the top 10 rated schools in Ontario (O.L.P.H. & Deer Park). Full of architectural charm and styled with loads of character, this special Moore Park home features an open concept kitchen/ family room overlooking a lush garden oasis complete with a gorgeous deck in a private backyard for entertaining. It’s a bright and cheerful house with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a private drive, fireplaces, a second floor deck, and a finished basement equipped with playroom and potential nanny suite area. Minutes to TTC, shops, and restaurants. For more information on our new listing, please e-mail us.
September 20, 2016
Upcoming Toronto Events
In summer, Wednesdays became date night with the Open Roof Festival and Fresh Wednesdays at Nathan Phillips Square. Music festivals, street festivals, and TIFF rocked our great city. Coming into Fall, the events keep coming!
September 20 – 29: Walk of Fame Festival
Free concerts at Yonge and Dundas square, Massey Hall concerts, and a ‘Future Legends’ rising star music showcase at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern. If you miss live music like I do, this is a great chance to catch up! 100% Canadian entertainment, and access to some of the top up and coming talent!
October 1: Nuit Blanche
This contemporary art event transforms Toronto into a giant art gallery. Remember not to drive…walking south of Bloor in your favourite part of the city between Sherbourne and Dufferin, follow the crowds and experience some great city life! Sunset to Sunrise, there are over 90 contemporary art projects to take in and enjoy.
September 30 & October1: Oktoberfest
Bavarian festivities are celebrated with food, drink and entertainment. Bring an appetite and your best lederhosen!
September 19, 2016
Toronto Real Estate Market Update
Image Source: MoveSmartly (a great Blog, worth looking at regularly).
Throughout the year, Toronto’s real estate market has been lacking inventory. August was especially disturbing; in August Toronto was down to less than one month of inventory. To put that in perspective, Toronto has averaged 2.27 months of inventory in August of 2013 – 2015. Active Listings were down over 40% from August of last year.
Meanwhile, the number of sales this August increased 23% over August 2015. Substantially smaller inventory, significant increase in the number of sales…obviously, there’s an increase in the average price. Are you sitting down? According to TREB, the average selling price for all home types across Toronto increased 17.7% on an annual basis. Thinking of selling? Now is a great time - call us, we'd love to help!
A few questions:
- Why are less houses on the market when the price is at historic highs?
- Are there not enough 'down-sizers' to meet new demand?
- Are Baby-boomers holding on to their houses so their off-spring can get a place in the city?
According to Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis:
"Population in the GTA continues to grow. The resulting growth in households coupled with favourable economic conditions and low borrowing costs means that we remain on track for another record year for home sales. Against this backdrop, TREB will also be releasing new third-party research, and consumer and REALTOR® survey results throughout the fall and winter, with discussions focusing on foreign buying activity and issues affecting the supply of ownership housing,"
Discussion and studies are helpful, but less effective when the necessary data is not analyzed because it isn’t collected. In the interim, I espouse further tightening of credit restrictions and the adoption of a foreign buyers’ tax. You can’t make people sell, but you can be a lot more careful about who gets a mortgage and who takes the risk when a mortgage is provided.
If you're thinking of selling, now is a great time! Give us a call...we'd love to help you.
August 19, 2016
Toronto 4th Most Livable City - Economist Intelligence Unit
The Economist Intelligence Unit has ranked Toronto as 4th Most Livable City in the world. "Most Livable' is defined as 'which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions'.
Why does this matter? I was asked by a client the other day why he should choose to live in Toronto. His family was lucky enough to have a choice of cities to live in, as he had a technology business that could be run from pretty much anywhere in North America. His preference, at the beginning of the week, was for a home in Miami. After spending the week with im and his family, and reviewing communities, transportation, schools, safety, business, and a number of other factors, they decided to move to Toronto.
Those of us lucky enough to be living in Toronto often take our city for granted, hearing disruptive news in other cities but seldom counting our blessings for the city we live in.
June 24, 2016
Toronto Waterfront Development - Lower Don
Ever been to Chicago? The dowtown waterfront has one solitary condo tower. The rest of the waterfront is devoted to 'public realm' - beaches, parks, art, festivals...it's wonderful. I heard, when taking the one of the two tourist tours I've ever enjoyed, that Chicago (ironically) based its' plans for their waterfront on Toronto's old plans for our waterfront.
What happened to our old plans? No idea. Hopefully, we'll make up for whatever went wrong with a better use of the waterfront that we have left. The graphic above shows how a hideously ugly industrial slip could be transformed. The Keating Channels current residents include many vital, if unattractive, tenants - the G4L waste centre, a boat haul company, etc. If the city planners can provide a LOT of public space with bike paths, parkland, and space for kids to play I'm all for it.
The hard part, in my opinion, would be to avoid creating an isolated area like Liberty Village. Easy commuter access, and really good paths to Cherry / Woodbine beaches, and the Tommy Thompson park, will be key to its' tenants success. Whatever the eventual outcome is, I hope the City planners get this one right.
Background: The Lower Don Lands is a 125 hectare (308 acre) area that runs from East Bayfront (the Parliament Street Slip) east to the Don Roadway and from West Don Lands (the rail corridor) south to the Ship Channel. Waterfront Toronto plans to transform the largely underutilized industrial area into new sustainable parks and communities. The naturalization and shifting of the mouth of the Don River is the centrepiece of the plans for the Lower Don Lands.
Tired of the Chicago comparison? So is Waterfront Toronto.
June 16, 2016
Front Pad Parking in Toronto
For many of us, parking is a crucial part of owning a home. Even if you don’t have a car, having the option to park will significantly impact both the purchase and the resale price of a residence. You can imagine the dismay of a family who bought a house with parking, only to find that they can no longer park on their own property. Worse yet, if that family would like to sell, they are now faced with an absurd situation – sell their home for a substantially lower price because the City will no longer allow parking.
There’s currently a moratorium on installing front yard pads in the old City of Toronto and few applications get approval. The reasons for the City to stop granting parking licenses appear to be that parking pads decrease rain absorption, and because recent storms have overwhelmed the city’s storm system (and ended up flooding basements) the City needs the front part of your yard to absorb more rain water. Also, more paved spaces create ‘urban heat islands’ - pavement retains more heat than greenery. Finally, a ‘curb cut’ for a front pad parking space takes away one parking spot for the street as a whole. If you want to check whether your front parking is legal, Click here!
Be careful when you purchase a home; make sure your lawyer has researched the parking issues and you are getting what you thought you paid for. If you’re already a home owner, make sure you keep your license up to date (pay the yearly licensing fee) and take care to make sure your parking is maintained. If you’re one of the few who are parking without a licensed front pad, you may want to start contacting a reputable lawyer who can help you get up-to-date. You won’t be able to rush a front pad parking license at the last minute when you decide to sell!
June 14, 2016
June Market Report
A lack of listings continues to dominate the Toronto real estate market. A snapshot of Midtown Toronto follows that trend, as you can see in the graph above. The number of sales in May remains fairly consistent, but listings continues to trend down, from 210 in 2006 to 169 in 2016. Just like the rest of Toronto, a lack of supply puts upward pressure on prices. According to TREB, across Toronto the number of sales was up over 10% from this time last year while new listings were down 6%.
In other news, the OECD noted that Toronto’s housing market had appreciated at 15% year over year. “Strong residential investment may in principle reflect robust demographic growth, but Canada’s outcome appears stronger than what can be justified by underlying population increases”. Residential investment was 7.6% of Canada’s GDP in 2015.
The Federal Governement is trying to find a way to monitor foreign buyers, with the aim of slowing investors that do not intend to live in their residences. Other solutions for slowing the growth of the market may include "adopting a more rigorous qualifying standard for high-value properties" to mitigate the risk of speculation.
In my opinion, over the long term, it's hard to see how a property constrained area around a thriving hub such as the GTA can't appreciate in price unless more people want to sell. Sounds obvious, but the question I have is why would a large group of people want to suddenly sell out of the best city on earth, when it has a thriving and diverse economy (think: financial, technology, health science, legal, etc)? Fellow Torontonians, we are lucky to live here...
June 8, 2016
Upcoming Toronto Events
June 10 to July 26: Luminato
Theatres, parks, and public spaces across the city are transformed. The Hearn Generating Station, in the heart of Toronto’s Port Lands, will play host to a multidisciplinary show of colour, music, and light.
June 1 to July 3: Pride Toronto
For one month, the heart of Toronto's LGBQT gay village will be particularly bright. Food, fun, and a celebration of all humanity's equality and our great country's acceptance of personal life styles. The first weekend in July will shut down vehicular traffic, and Gay Village will become a pedestrian-only zone for three days of festivities: July 1st - Trans march, July 2 - Dyke march, July 3rd - Toronto Pride Parade.
June 23 to 26: Taste of Toronto
Head to Fort York National Historic Site for an experience in food that you wont regret. The city’s latest, greatest, and hottest restaurants dish up their best in an alfresco gourmet feast.
Two Great Jazz Festivals! Part street fest, part concert and all outdoorsy fun!!
June 24 to July 10: TD Toronto Jazz Festival
30th anniversary! Over 1500 performances, including Chick Corea, Robert Glasper, Molly Johnson, Jane Burnett, and many more.
July 2 to 24: Beaches International Jazz Festival
Celebrating its 28th year, the festival will feature a dynamic musical roster, multiple stages and venues, and a lineup of gourmet food trucks. Melanie Durrant, Ghost Town Blues Band, 7Sould, and Yani Borrell are some of the lead attractions.
May 30, 2016
Time for the Backyard...
With the warm weather, those of us who are lucky enough to have a backyard will be turning our attention to the perennial question – what to do the detritus and how to bring out the Eden we’d love to have. For many, gardening can provide sanctuary from the city, offering a playground for green thumbs. However, for those of us that don’t have a green thumb, the backyard can turn into a space that is under used and a little over grown. (Worth a look - Top Ten Garden Centres in Toronto).
For the families with little ones, getting them off of their electronic devices can present an opportunity to more fully use the backyard…the ‘Sport Court’ is becoming more popular as an alternate to the traditional patch of grass with a border of flowers. It keeps the kids outside longer, and provides a welcome attraction for playdates. It also gives them a chance to breath fresh air, work on their shots, and practice for the school team.
The ‘Sport Court’ can be configured for almost any size and shape of yard. What’s more, it can be designed for whatever sport you and the family are interested in – typically basketball, hockey, soccer, tennis, or golf. The price usually comes in at around $25 - $40 / square foot, including the base and the installation according to Sport Court. This means that a fairly modest 400 square foot installation comes in at $10-16,000. It is, admittedly, a bit of an extravagance…there are a multitude of accessible public parks and tennis courts (Ramsden, Davisville, Moore Park to name a few) and if your child is old enough to get there under their own steam it probably isn’t worth the money. However, if you have a few younger children, a sport court could be a good investment. Don’t count on recouping the cost when selling….it’s unlikely that the sport court will increase the value of your home when you resell. But if having a great space where the whole family can play ball is important, its’ definitely worth the cost of a few summer camps!
May 16, 2016
Spring Market Report
The Toronto Real Estate Board numbers are in for April 2016, and (no surprise!) demand for homes in the Toronto area is still very strong. The number of sales has increased 15.8% per cent for Q1 2016 over Q1 2015, and they’re up 7.4% for April 2016 when compared to April 2015. These increases in the number of sales happened despite a decrease in the number of listings available for both periods as compared to 2015.
Despite the increase in the number of sales for the GTA, the ‘416’ area code has a decrease in detached, semi-detached, and townhome sales. Why? The lack of ‘low-rise’ listings has constrained the market. Because of the lack of listings, ‘home price increases in Canada’s largest city are now spilling into the suburbs and even distant municipalities like Guelph and Waterloo’, according to the Financial Post (Toronto Catching Up To Vancouver…, Gary Marr, May 4). This lack of supply translates into higher prices, which increased 12.6% per cent year-over-year.
"As we move into the busiest time of the year, in terms of sales volume, strong competition between buyers will continue to push home prices higher. A greater supply of listings would certainly be welcome, but we would need to see a number of consecutive months in which listings growth outpaced sales growth before market conditions become more balanced," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis.
As a seller, this would seem to be an unequivocally good market: if you’re planning to sell your home, you’re in luck! However, one of the factors keeping supply down is the fact that sellers are often loath to list their homes for fear of selling without finding anything to buy. The buyers who benefit most from the pattern we’ve seen are twofold: downsizers who are selling a home in the most desirable category (single family detached or semi-detached) and buying a condominium where prices have also risen but not as fast or as far, or first time buyers who have a significant down payment and no home to worry about selling.
March 7, 2016
Object Magazine Features 21 Buckingham
"Perhaps one never outgrows the childhood fantasy, that some houses have the faces and personalities of people or animals. Surely we know that, if Collingwood house could talk, it would spaek with iconic wi of Little Red Riding Hood', Milosh Pavlovisz, one of the principals of Studio Pyramid.
With help of the client, the creative team of Studio Pyramid Inc., Alexander Josipovicz, Elaine
Tan and Milosh Pavlovicz have mastered the local vernacular with an artful approach. The
project was restricted from the start due to the land conservation area and client’s taste for
cottage country ways.
The client’s affection and the designers insistence on plain frame construction led to the basic
concept of colliding rectangular volumes of red clapboard united under the peaked roofs.
To capitalize on it’s heavily wooded site the design team located the house close to the North
property edge, facing a man made pond on one side and a quiet Collingwood cool de sac on the
other. As the plan evolved, an open single stair and a massive chimney, housing the wood for the
fireplace which heats almost all spaces, became the organizing elements within the interior. They
define the vestigial open central plan. Ground floor bedrooms are tucked away left of the open
stair. The loft study and the play /guest room occupy the upper levels and take full advantage of the
square footage. All bedrooms have either south or east windows ensure sunlight coming in and
meadows views. Convinced that the exterior needed some distinguishing features, the Studio Pyramid
team introduced the variations with multiple peaked roofs. Inspired by wing shapes, they gave the
house a upward motion, as though the house is ready to jump of the ground and over the trees.
Directional thrust implied by the living room‘s structural ridge beam as well as by the house main
axis-standing from the front door is helping to obey common wisdom of solar gains. The majority of
the large pointed red windows are facing South and East with only few small rectangular windows to
the North face the main entrance to the house.
“Here, the Red Hot Riding Hood house seems to say I am the place where you can rest, snug at home
and still hear the call of the wild,” according to Milosh.
January 19, 2016
Collingwood Chalet Featured in 'Homes and Cottages' Magazine!
A truly unique opportunity - gorgeous chalet, surrounded and protected by the Nottawasaga Conservation Authority, is recognized for design work by Studio Pyramid. Private 1.5 acre lot, with walk-out access to miles of trails, is the ultimate destination for an active lifestyle at any age. Golf, skiing, biking, swimming, entertaining...you can have it all! For Sale...details here.
'A cottage where scenery is the ever changing artwork!'
Story by Homes and Cottages.
They talked trends and they talked resale value. Then the owner said, “Let’s play,” so they did. Working without creative boundaries, interior designer Sasha Josipovicz of Studio Pyramid in Toronto, Ontario and the homeowner converted a dark bungalow on a large piece of land in Collingwood, Ontario into a light-filled, comfortable, modern retreat that features picture postcard views from every window.
The owner wanted a Canadian country-style exterior, a bright interior and a low-maintenance retreat she and her children could love now and for the long term.
The back wall of the 600-square-foot home was removed, rooflines were changed to feature steep roof peaks and additions were built on the sides and back. Rather than choosing a safe-for-resale neutral colour, the owner opted for red. She wanted the exterior to be completely red, so windows with red frames were sourced and prefabricated siding was made to match.
'As beautiful as it is in its green setting in summer, the contrast of the red house and the white snow in winter makes the owner’s heart flutter'.
The beautiful ‘red barn’ coloured home is a focal point at the end of a long driveway that leads through the lush property. The front façade has smaller windows to provide privacy on the driveway side, but the rest of the house was designed with as many windows and glass doors as possible to “mingle exterior and interior,” Josipovicz says. “You get light from everywhere.”
As beautiful as it is in its green setting in summer, the contrast of the red house and the white snow in winter makes the owner’s heart flutter, he says. “When people buy a house, they often paint the dining room red. There’s something enticing and gratifying about red as a colour.”
Interior space planning began with a ‘humongous’ mudroom at the front of the house. Plenty of big cupboards provide storage space for sports and recreational equipment and toys. Josipovicz doesn’t like squeezing a mud room into a small space in a recreational property. If you do, the living room will become the mudroom as the hockey sticks and soccer balls take over the room, he says. Structural components became design elements – peaked roofs allowing for 22-foot high ceilings and the floor-to-ceiling fireplace serving to ground the great room so it appears airy and light filled but not overwhelming.
”It’s not a cottage on steroids,” Josipovicz says. “There’s something innocent about it.”
The great room was inspired by old-fashioned town halls, which have big fireplaces and simple seating where people can relax and share ideas. A big comfy couch provides a place to cuddle in front of the fire. Other seating provides places to read a book, while still be visually connected to the fireplace, he says.
In the kitchen, a long marble-topped work island stretches about a dozen feet. Stainless steel appliances include a six-burner range and vent hood. The backsplash is also stainless steel for a clean contemporary look.
The dining room addition is almost like a dock, protruding into nature instead of the water. It has windows on three sides and is surrounded by greenery in spring and piles of white snow in winter. The art is in the nature outside, large windows framing Group of Seven-like scenes, he says. The scene is ever changing and beautiful. There’s no need to hang artwork.
Large windows throughout mean the house is bright all day. “You don’t need to turn the lights on,” he says. “In winter, the light reflects off the snow like a mirror.” Much of the evening light comes from the fireplace. The homeowner didn’t want the lighting to be overdone. Josipovicz introduced wall sconces as white as the walls so they almost disappear into the background. Glass orb lights add a touch of sparkle to the great room. The dining room has a chandelier from L’Atelier in Toronto. “It is an original Canadian Arts and Crafts driftwood/branch
light fixture,” he says. “Considering that the dining room protrudes so far out into the landscape, I decided to eliminate the visual barriers by bringing exterior elements to the interior with this natural yet man-made object.”
Floors throughout are wood – used and abused and looking like they have been there forever, he says. Surprisingly, it’s new antique white engineered wood, the Fine Sawn Collection from Stonetile.
An open wood staircase with glass railings leads to the second floor, where barn doors enclose a TV or playroom that could be converted into an additional bedroom. An open library and three bedrooms with en suite bathrooms are also on this level.
The red used outside is carried inside, where it is used as an accent colour. Josipovicz says he was thrilled to find red glass tiles, which he used to line one wall of the oversized shower in the master bathroom.
There was no need to have bedrooms that are overly large because most of the family’s time is spent in the gathering spaces or outside, he says. However an en suite bathroom for each bedroom was a must. “It’s a way to create payback,” he says. If the owner chooses to rent the cottage, the bedrooms and en suite bathrooms are hotel-like suites.
The oversized two-car garage was also built with extra space. The multi-use area has a water connection for arts and crafts, a wall-towall chalk board and a ping pong table. Since it is outfitted with plumbing, it offers the option to turn it into a guest house, he says.
A high-performance building envelope and a hybrid mechanical system offer in-floor heating and air quality control.
The house is an evolution of unbridled creativity, easy but thoughtful space that’s humble in scale, he says. “We didn’t want anything that was ostentatious.” It’s a comfortable place for the owner to enjoy and for her kids to be kids, something that’s not as easy in the city.
The project reflects the new demographic of Toronto homeowners who find buying a large lot with a pool and a place for the kids to play basketball and hockey unobtainable. These families look to other areas, including Collingwood, where they can buy land for a reasonable amount of money then have unlimited capabilities to use the land, Josipovicz says. “The taxes are low and maintenance becomes their aerobic workout.”
January 15, 2016
21 Buckingham Featured in Nice-Martin Magazine!
Nature and activity lovers…rejoice! A gorgeous chalet retreat situated on a secluded forest lot near Collingwood awaits; just featured in Nice-Martin Magazine! This stunning urban chalet was completely renovated and designed under the creative direction of Studio Pyramid Inc. It represents the perfect blend of chic and functional warmth. Fifteen foot cathedral windows and open concept design, combined with an exclusive lot provide the ultimate light-filled getaway.
This 1 1/2 acre lot is protected and surrounded by the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority; there is no fear of losing this superb forest setting as there is no development permitted behind the house. With 21 Buckingham Blvd’s close proximity (10 min.) to Ontario’s most prestigious ski clubs and a short drive to the world’s largest fresh water beach this home gives its’ owners access to a true four seasons active community. Minutes from Osler Bluff Ski Club, Craigleith, Blue Mountain, The Georgian Bay Club, Batteaux Golf Club, and many other attractions!