Great Expectations

Luxury rises to grand new heights in this heady Thornhill estate with a spectacular view.

Nestled in a secluded enclave off one of Thornhill, Ont.’s most exclusive golf courses, this
spectacular home on Riverside Drive conjures fantasies à la literary giant F. Scott Fitzgerald. “We came up with the idea of a French art deco influence, a nod to The Great Gatsby,” explains Hilda Mohseni, founder of One x One and the design visionary behind the estate. The glamorous novel was the perfect inspiration for the unmarred sweeping view of Toronto from the green, a rare treat for a house so close to the epicentre of the city.

“The very open space is framed by tall windows. The backdrop of the forest plays a huge role—the vista is like a painting as you open the door. There’s a beautiful skyline as you
look across,” she says. “It was so important for the client and for us as a design firm to achieve an experience with every space. Every corner is a vista, when you turn your head. We didn’t over-decorate; we didn’t want to take away from the architecture, the grandeur. Light plays a huge role, hence so many skylights.”

“It’s spectacular,” says Jerry Hammond of Hammond International Properties, and he should know: Hammond is one of the top luxury real estate boutique agencies in Canada
with a select roster of local and international clients that demand the finest of the finest.

The abode boasts two 11-foot-tall chandeliers that take centre stage, a glass-enclosed walk-in wine cellar on the main floor and the grand family room with a floor-to-ceiling fireplace encased in the finest Nero Marquina marble. Even the basement soars to 12 feet before opening up onto a backyard worthy of a lavish royal garden party (which also easily sets the scene for hours of idyllic family pool time). “Everything had to flow—there’s a fine line between doing a luxurious mansion without it looking too over the top, too gaudy, too classical, too traditional,” says Mohseni emphatically. “It was so important to use deliberate finishes and deliberate colours to hit the note exactly on the theme that we wanted to implement. The entire house is white, but then there is the high-gloss cabinetry to drive the art deco point forward.”

The woodworking and the design of the coffered ceiling in the library (“probably my favourite room in the entire house,” says Mohseni) paid homage to that early 20th century style, and just as importantly, to old-world craftsmanship. “The contractors who worked on this project were artists,” she says. “A lot of heart and soul and old-style skill and artistry came into this house and that’s how the little details translated into this very cohesive,
beautiful space.”

Along with the grandeur and the exceptional quality, every comfort has been thoughtfully
enhanced for truly elevated living, including a state-of-the art gourmet kitchen with full-prep
pantry and heated floors. “It’s a true chef’s dream,” marvels Verna Debono, Hammond co-agent, who also happens to have her blue seal from the illustrious Le Cordon Bleu school in Paris. The Christopher Guy decor selected by the owner to adorn the estate is the finishing flourish that elevates the space to jaw-dropping perfection.

“I fall in love with every single one of my projects. That’s what makes us different. It takes one designer and one client to bring the vision together and bring it to fruition,” says Mohseni. “At the end you walk through and say, ‘Oh my god, we hit it on the nail.’” In this case, a magical, exquisitely crafted nail.

Photography by Tyler McKeag