By Lisa van de Geyn
Photography by Tyler McKeag
If you keep an eye on or follow real estate trends in Toronto, you know that it isn’t often an estate of this calibre comes up for sale in the city . This luxurious English manor on Old English Lane is one of the most desirable addresses in Markham’s Bayview Avenue and Steeles Avenue neighbourhood, and for good reason. “One of the most impressive things about this stunning house is the street and location of the property . The area is filled with affluential families, the lots are larger, there are mature trees and the street is windy — it’s not your typical residential road,” says Verna Debono, the senior sales representative at Hammond International Properties. “The area is so dominant that most residents stay for extended periods of time — there usually aren’t a lot of homes that come up for sale in Bayview Glen because it’s such a sought-after pocket of the city ,” she says, adding the prestigious neighbourhood is just minutes from the Bayview Golf & Country Club, a top-rated course in Canada. (It’s also a short drive from some of the most impressive private and public schools in the city.)
What’s more, this exquisite bungalow is a brand-new build, constructed in 2021. “You just don’t often see new homes like this one in such established areas come on the market because they’re custom built with the exact specifications that the homeowners want and need,” she explains.
The original homeowners of this 8,000-square-foot palatial house are a family who wanted every day to feel like a luxury vacation. Due to accessibility issues, the bungalow caters to those in wheelchairs and folks who have difficulty getting around and don’t want the hassle of dealing with stairs. Not only was it built with accessibility in mind, but it was also designed to make a stylish, classy statement. “When they built the house, they really wanted that country, modern-farmhouse- chic feel, so almost the entire home is covered in beadboard, trim and mouldings. Each wall features something spectacular.”
“THIS HOUSE IS TRULY PERFECT FOR THE FAMILY THAT VALUES AND REQUIRES ACCESSIBILITY, OR THOSE WHO ARE JUST LOOKING FOR A NEW BUILD IN AN AREA WHERE BUNGALOWS RARELY COME ON THE MARKET.”
The home, which has five bedrooms (three on the main level) and seven bathrooms, is an architectural marvel. David Wooldridge and Robert Hurlburt, the architect and builder respectively, designed the space to feel incredibly expansive and lavish. Inspired by the life experience and creative genius of both the original owner and architect, the place has a true sense of openness and lightness. “When you walk in, you immediately notice the tremendous height of the ceilings — they’re nearly 10-feet high on the main floor. The ceilings on this level are all vaulted, so you really get a much larger sense of space,” says Debono. “Upon stepping into the home, you also notice a walk-in front-hall closet and a spacious powder room, as well as a beautiful and airy dining room with full cathedral ceilings. Plus, there are 20- foot vaulted ceilings in the great room and kitchen,” she says, adding that the incredible attention to detail makes the home feel ever grander than it is.
Designed by Erin Mercer Design, the custom-built residence truly has a modern-farmhouse flair, complete with opulent finishes and lights, as well as an intuitive, state-of-the-art home automation system with Sonos speakers and a Savaria elevator. The kitchen (created by Ashburn Kitchens) was done in a fresh white and boasts a long island where the homeowner can prep for meals. It also has an extra-large farmhouse sink that overlooks the private, manicured backyard.
Next to the kitchen is a mudroom and a butler’s pantry. There are so many sublime details that really speak to the grandeur of the home, including striking exposed stone walls, as well as extensive millwork and masonry fireplaces that helps to create a comfortable, homey feel, even in such a large space. Homeowners will enjoy the home theatre room, the fitness centre and the heated flooring on the lower level, plus the well-appointed bedrooms (each with an ensuite and walk-in closets). The stone façade and three-car garage make the exterior a homeowner’s dream.