It was 2017 when architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace purchased a red-brick Edwardian building in Yorkville that, a few years later, would be transformed into three exquisitely designed boutique condos. Here’s what she told us about her inimitable work and bringing in contemporary design while paying homage to the original dwelling.
By Lisa van de Geyn
Photography by Alex Lukey and Wisam Mshati


Dee Dee Taylor Eustace’s exuberance is infectious. The celebrated architect and interior designer is the founder and owner of the renowned Taylor Hannah Architect Inc., a thriving Toronto-based firm known globally for its exceptional residential and hospitality projects. She is a force who has a reputation for not only having a flawless mastery of her craft, but also as an innovator and mentor — a leader who sits on the International Advisory Board of Laurentian University’s McEwen School of Architecture and truly believes in imparting her vast knowledge onto the next generation of architects and designers. Her work can be found all over the world; in Ontario, her portfolio overflows. Dee Dee was the design mastermind behind Harbour Sixty restaurant’s overhaul, and she created the sales pavilion, the Marina and Island Townhomes in Innisfil’s Friday Harbour resort haven, to name just a couple of the projects she has impeccably undertaken.


“Dee Dee is a force who has a reputation for not only having a flawless mastery of her craft, but also as an innovator and mentor.”


An admirer of remarkable architecture and open to new opportunities, Dee Dee was taking a stroll in Yorkville about six years ago when she came across an Edwardian building that had seen better days. Still, she saw promise, visualizing what she could do with the space, and ultimately decided to buy it. “It’s an interesting building dating back to 1906. The original architect was Symons & Rae, who also designed Upper Canada College and many other homes in the city, so it has real historical weight behind it,” she says. “Also, this is prime real estate, 51 Elgin Avenue/85 Bedford Road is across from Hazelton Lanes and it’s a prominent address in the city.” So, along with her business partner, Dee Dee embarked on resurrecting this former 6,000-square-foot frat house into a sprawling 15,000-square-foot, three-unit boutique condo — homes that would be both opulent and comfortable for residents.

It was crucial to the integrity of the project for Dee Dee to ensure full historical retention of the building’s exterior. “I used a lot of historical references and opted for a lead coated copper roof with a beautiful downspout and eavestrough. In the rear, there are large black windows with a limestone façade. There’s stunning landscaping, cantilevered terraces, gardens, and charming pathways and gates surrounding the property,” she says.

Inside, the three units are spacious and elegant, each with a unique look and feel. The 2,700-square-foot, three-bedroom penthouse — complete with a private roof terrace and garden — is masterfully designed. “I wanted to keep it light and luxe; it’s modern contemporary and very much custom,” Dee Dee says. The airy space is punctuated by elements such as white oak flooring in a chevron pattern, soft light oak cabinetry and porcelain waterfall counters in the kitchen, and the wraparound fireplace in the living room, which is done in white cabinetry (with a black porcelain base). One of the showpieces in the condo is the highly sculptural cascading chandelier with black cables above the black steel staircase. “I worked with Zac Ridgely on this piece and it’s incredible. It hangs from the third floor to the lower level.”


While the penthouse has a light and luxe feel, Dee Dee’s home — unit one — has a different vibe. It’s still lavish, but her condo is the epitome of cool. “I’ve used a lot of luxurious materials, lots of onyx, stone and semiprecious metals, as well as beautiful rugs. I’ve also displayed my extensive art collection. Luxe spaces should be an accumulation of who the person is with pieces they’ve collected and cherish,” she says. “When people come into my home, there are stylistic points that make an impact, and I think guests feel the calmness of the space.” Some of these stylistic points in this 3,100-square-foot space include the bronze island with black matte granite top and Cleo Baldon stools in the kitchen; sleek, solid black mahogany doors; the Ferrari-red drawer hidden in her bathroom cabinet; marble baseboards; and the perfectly appointed wall of floor-to-ceiling east-facing windows that make up the back of the condo. Each room bursts with personality and Dee Dee’s style, and each features a delightful mix of new and old pieces and materials. The dining room has a table and chandelier, both circa the 1930s, paired with contemporary seating, a classic chaise, stone column and Canadian art featuring “Lady in Blue” by David Bierk. “It’s about collecting these pieces over the years, layering them and having them come together seamlessly,” she says. “It’s also about depth. It’s not ‘easy come, easy go’ — there’s depth to this architecture and design that’s long-lasting.” The vignette in one bedroom used as an office features a cozy fireplace, a contemporary white table with chairs, a 19th century gold vanity and a modern buffet done in a lacquered blue — a colour Dee Dee is drawn to that makes several appearances throughout the condo. “I’ve always enjoyed blue. And the blues I use don’t have to match; there can be a blend of shades in the rugs, artwork and other pieces.”

“Luxe spaces should be an accumulation of who the person is with pieces they’ve collected and cherish.”


Her adoration for timeless design and bold architecture truly carries through the chic building. From its private elevators and gardens to its unique archways, refined materials and an opulent aura, Dee Dee transformed this address into one of the city’s finest. She’s designed many spaces, but this one was special. “It is an extraordinary building that has incredible views and beautiful features. A masterpiece indeed.”