A $15 Million Mansion In Toronto’s Tony Forest Hill

For those not familiar with Toronto, this newly built estate is located in Forest Hill, which is a neighbourhood and former village in Toronto, Canada. It’s a pretty stellar location, just north of downtown yet still very much in the centre of the city. The village was amalgamated into Toronto in 1967 and the area has retained its name as a neighbourhood. Along with the neighbourhoods of Lawrence Park, Rosedale, The Bridle Path, and York Mills, it is one of Toronto’s wealthiest neighbourhoods.

Whereas Rosedale has remained a bastion of old-guard wealthy Anglo-Saxon Protestants Forest Hill, which was originally developed as a new Anglo-Saxon Protestant ‘suburb’, the area began transitioning when wealthy Jews began moving into the village in the 1930s. As this cultural group expanded in Toronto, they followed a north-west trajectory along Bathurst Street, with Forest Hill remaining a significant destination. Today, a number of businesses catering to the Jewish community are located along Eglinton Avenue West and, according to the 2011 census, about 40% of Forest Hill residents are of the Jewish faith.

Sixteen years ago Canadian journalist Robert Fulford compared Forest Hill to Rosedale, the other traditional home of Toronto’s elite: “While Rosedale has remained stable for half a century, Forest Hill’s prestige has been growing steadily. There’s a key tonal difference in the architecture of the two places: where big Rosedale houses shout ‘history,’ big Forest Hill houses shout ‘grandeur.’ More than any other district in the central city, Forest Hill has become the site of spectacular new ‘neo-traditional’ homes built on a grand scale, usually with lawns to match.” (Toronto Life. Mar 1999. Vol. 33, Iss. 3).

Little did he know he was predicting the imminent arrival of a new level of “Grand’.

Today this neighbourhood is by no means culturally homogeneous, nor is it trapped in tradition. Whereas Rosedale has vehemently fought change by implementing special preservation status, this area has been gentrifying into new levels of prestige. Not to say it hasn’t been without conflict. Local ‘zine Toronto Life recently published a behind-the-scenes look at the culture wars in Forest Hill in this article called McMansion Wars: Inside The Nasty Neighbour-Versus-Neighbour Feuds Of Forest Hill. It’s a bitter sweet look at what happens when formerly ‘wealthy’ denizens of a neighbourhood quickly learn they’re status has slipped a rung (or two), to a point where their rights are disregarded. It smacks as NIMBY-ism for the super rich.

Not to imply this jaw-dropping $15 million estate has earned the scorn of anyone but those green with envy. But it does serve as a very good example of the new level of affluence – and size – of dwellings which are taking root in this bucolic ‘early suburb’ with its park-like lots. The original dwelling located here, a Napier-Simpson Architect stone and stucco estate residence dating from the 1930s, was sold for $4,000,000 in 2010 and subsequently bull-dozed to accommodate the next generation of monied.  Here’s a snap of the house originally constructed on this 70×172 foot irregularly-shaped lot.

Demure, isn’t it?

Like all locations where land evolves to accommodate its highest and best use, this tony bastion has seen its values rise to a price point where new estates are effectively surpassing the affluence of most of our local elite. Instead it’s now a destination for the magnitude of wealth that circumnavigates all reaches of our Globe. While the Buyer could be a Torontonian, it’s more likely a Russian, Asian or Middle Eastern oligarch who will happily pick up this ‘architectural trinket’ to add to their collection of real estate holdings. As Canada is coined the ‘Switzerland of Real Estate’, meaning it’s a safe harbinger of money, I suspect if any one of us were epically loaded with enough coin to own multiple residences around the world, we’d assuredly own safe houses in Toronto or Vancouver (or both!) to escape whatever environmental, economical, or political calamity struck elsewhere. Don’t you agree this would be a sensible escape plan?

This house reflects the perfect mix of ingredients to convey the ultimate status marker. The solid limestone exterior nods to fine Georgian and Regency architecture, effecting a stately front facade. Exquisite craftsmanship, exacting attention to detail and the use of luxury finishes adorn the 12,000 square foot interior. The principal public and private entertaining spaces are well-proportioned in their grandeur, and slathered in perfection, assuring any visitor this is a destination address. We love the coffered ceilings, the exquisite fenestration, and the commitment for nothing but the best. The home offers 5 bedrooms; 10 bathrooms; staff quarters; a wine cellar; 3-car garage; plus an indoor spa, sauna and gym areas. Notable features include a Falcon Kitchen with two islands and a large butler’s pantry; 6 custom fireplaces; 11-foot ceilings; an elevator to all levels; and a solid copper roof. The granite and limestone private gardens, pool, outdoor spa and loggia are nothing short of spectacular.

Here’s some snaps of what $15million secures you. Be prepared to cry tears of envy.

Offered for sale at $15,000,000 – but now SOLD – contact Corbin Seligman (1-416-627-9190) at Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd. Brokerage for more info.

~ Posted by Steven Fudge, purveyor of canadianrealestatehousingandhome.ca and proprietor of urbaneer.com

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