The Chase: They bid on a home while she was in labour, but the search was only beginning

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Published on: November 29, 2016
David Dobney, Melissa Alvares and Nolan David Dobney, Melissa Alvares and Nolan
 Portrait by Erin Leydon

The buyers: David Dobney, a 38-year-old chemical engineer, and his wife, Melissa Alvares, a 38-year-old marketing director at the software firm Altus Dynamics.

The story: Dobney sold his Liberty Village condo and moved into Alvares’s Queen West townhouse in spring 2013. After getting hitched and pregnant that summer, they realized their rowdy complex was no place for newborns: there were too many 20-somethings playing backyard beer pong and not enough parking for their many relatives, who would soon be visiting more frequently. Reluctant to stray too far from all the great restaurants nearby, they started their search slightly to the north. Their budget was $800,000.

Option 1

The Chase: They bid on a home while she was in labour, but the search was only beginning
Gladstone Avenue (near Bloor and Dufferin). Listed at $799,900, sold for $850,000
This three-bedroom was move-in ready, but when offer day arrived, so did Alvares’s contractions. Dobney went with her to the hospital and kept working with their agent by phone. By 8 p.m., bids were past $800,000, so they bowed out and focused on the birth of Nolan, their baby boy.

Option 2

The Chase: They bid on a home while she was in labour, but the search was only beginning
Winona Drive (near Oakwood and Eglinton). Listed at $569,000, sold for $601,000
After losing several bidding wars over the next year and a half, they began looking further north. This bungalow was dated, but it was on a 156-foot lot, meaning it would be easy to tear down and replace. They went in at $600,000, only to lose out by a measly grand. Alvares was almost ready to give up.

The Buy

The Chase: They bid on a home while she was in labour, but the search was only beginning
Earnscliffe Road (near Oakwood and St. Clair). Listed at $869,000, sold for $835,000.
Their agent showed them a two-and-a-half-storey house with an unusual setup. The elderly owner had put a bedroom on the first floor for himself and turned the second and third floors into a rental suite. The place had plenty of parking, though, and they figured the layout could be fixed. Offer day was during March Break, which meant less competition. Alvares and Dobney’s lowball was the lone bid. They’re renovating before they move in—which should be at some point before Nolan turns three.

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Condo of the Week: $560,000 for a townhouse-like condo in Corktown

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Published on: November 25, 2016

Address: 52 Sumach St., Unit 101
Neighbourhood: Corktown
Agent: Scott Hanton, Keller Williams Advantage Realty
Price: $559,000
Previously sold for: $385,000

The place

A one-bedroom unit with its own front door, just steps from both the King and Queen streetcar lines. There’s an open-concept living room, kitchen and den up front, and a bedroom, bathroom and walk-in closet in back.

Here’s that front door:

The kitchen has a seven-foot-long island:

And it borders on the living room:

A big rug is key for floors like this one, especially in winter:

The current tenant has turned the back of the room into a Netflix-and-chill space:

And here’s the bedroom. That closet is a walk-in:

The bathroom is of the basic (and purple) variety:


The history

The owner bought the unit three years ago but has since gotten hitched and moved into a house. He’s currently renting out the condo, so he might not be in a huge rush to sell.

Big selling point

The unit has one of three private roof terraces. It’s a great space for cocktail parties or lounging in the sun.

The new owner will be able to catch many a sunset from the private terrace:

There’s also a pretty nice communal space:

Also communal: these lounge chairs:


Possible deal breaker

There’s no access to the building’s hallway from this unit, so that means having to exit the condo in order to reach the parking garage, amenities or rooftop terrace. That is, however, a small price to pay to be able to step out the front door and onto the street—especially if the new owner has a dog.

By the numbers

• $559,000
• 821 square feet indoors
• 300 square-foot private rooftop terrace
• $613 in monthly maintenance fees
• 9′ to 10′ ceilings
• 1 bedroom
• 1 bathroom
• 1 locker
• 1 parking space
• 1 seven-foot-long kitchen island

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House of the Week: $2 million for a High Park home with an architectural pedigree

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Published on: November 23, 2016

Address: 272 Indian Road
Neighbourhood: High Park
Agent: William Peter Mohan, Sutton Group Realty Systems
Price: $1,999,000

The place

A 102-year-old red brick home nestled between High Park and Roncesvalles.

According to the owners, the interior renovations were inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, which is why there’s all this rectilinear custom woodwork:


The dining room:


Think what you will about the style, but you have to admit that the interior design is consistent and well executed. The furniture matches the walls:


Here’s the kitchen:


There are three bedrooms on the second floor. This one has access to a small balcony:


Here’s that balcony:


Another bedroom:


Those two bedrooms share this hallway bathroom:


And here’s the master bedroom:


If you weren’t convinced of the owners’ dedication to things that are square, check out that toilet:


There’s another bedroom in the basement:


Also a rec room:


The yard:


And the elevated back deck:


The history

The home was built in 1915 by Eden Smith, a Toronto architect known for designing several notable buildings. It was set up as a rooming house when the owners bought it in 1977. They converted it back into a single family dwelling.

Big selling point

Many modern renovations do away with a house’s vestibule. This place still has one: an oversized room perfect for shedding coats and letting boots dry:


Possible deal breaker

Yes, the interior feels somewhat dated—but style is cyclical. After all, who would have thought the fashionable set would spend the latter half of the 2010s looking like extras from Beverly Hills 90210?

By the numbers

• $1,999,000
• $8,276.32 in taxes (2016)
• 101 years old
• 4 bedrooms
• 3 bathrooms
• 3 parking spaces

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Rental of the Week: $16,000 per month for a giant penthouse in the middle of Yorkville

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Published on: November 22, 2016

Address: 10 Bellair Street, Unit 2504
Neighbourhood: Yorkville
Agent: Kara Reed, Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage
Price: $16,000 per month

The place

A three-bedroom penthouse suite with floor-to-ceiling windows and a wood-panelled library, located in the middle of Yorkville.

Here’s the entrance, with fancy herringbone floors:


The living and dining area:


Another view of the dining area:


The kitchen has plenty of space for hanging out:


The library has wood panelling and built-in bookshelves:


There are three bedrooms. Here’s one of them:


And another:


And the master bedroom:


The master bedroom’s ensuite bathroom classes it up with some wall sconces:


The master bedroom also has a walk-in closet:


There are four terraces:


The history

The owners bought this 25th-storey penthouse as an investment in 2014. They intend to move in one day, but, at least for now, they’d rather let someone else enjoy the work of interior designer Brian Gluckstein, whom they enlisted to jazz up the space. The suite’s present and only tenants to date just became empty nesters, and are looking to downsize.

Major perk

The building has preposterously lavish amenities, including an indoor pool, a spa, a billiard lounge, a golf simulator, and a sky garden on the third floor.

Possible deal breaker

The third bedroom doesn’t have a bathroom, so one person will have to make do with the powder room in the foyer:


By the numbers

• $16,000 per month
• 4,200 square feet
• 10-foot ceilings
• 4 terraces
• 3 bedrooms
• 3 bathrooms
• 3 fireplaces
• 2 parking spaces
• 1 locker

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