Acclaimed by City and Country Home magazine to be “among the finest examples of Georgian architecture in Canada”, this exquisite residence exhibits quintessential hallmarks of Georgian design: perfect symmetry, axial entrances (north and south vestibules), harmonic proportions, hipped roofs, and sash windows. The home was built in 1926 for Franklin W. Kerr, a Toronto based financier, by the architectural firm of Burden & Gouinlock, a blue blooded architectural firm with familial ties to Timothy Eaton, as well as the architect of the historic buildings on the CNE site. The firm gained notoriety for select commissions of private residences including the Georgian Revival style brilliantly showcased at 88 Elm Avenue, one of South Rosedale's most cherished homes, tucked away behind a two metre high wrap-around garden wall.
A sublime restoration was carefully completed in this elegant approximately 7,000 sq. ft. Georgian residence, sympathetically blending history with current day requirements (mechanical components, ample closet space, large baths, and main floor family room, in addition to 2810 square feet of finished space in the lower level). This home is the height of sophistication: grand sweeping staircase, solid mahogany doors, wainscoting, quarter sawn oak flooring, magnificent crown mouldings, and a private passenger elevator.
One is immediately cognisant of the abundance of natural sunlight throughout the home. From the refined tripartite Palladian window on the second floor landing, to the six-over-six panel sash windows in the bedrooms, to the noble tall French doors walking out to the covered loggia at the south side of the home. Every window also affords beautiful and differing garden vistas thanks to the attentive design of the landscape architect.
Formal entertaining occurs seamlessly in the magnificently scaled living and dining rooms. Guests flow from one room to the next and, most importantly, from the interior to the exterior gardens. For catered affairs, the separated side service gate and walkway allow staff to enter the home via the side door directly into the kitchen. Connecting the kitchen to the dining room is the servery for ease of service at dinner parties. Immediately beside the servery is a handy laundry chute and the passenger elevator that services all floors.
Overseeing the four year restoration and renovation, the architect, Paul Roth, worked to carefully incorporate modern luxuries, amenities, and fittings into the overall scheme. Casual everyday living occurs at the north part of the home in the enchanting breakfast / family room area. Note the glazed tiles from France. Read the morning paper in the solarium, with exterior French garden doors to access the dining terrace.
The central staircase sweeps up from the grand foyer and splits at the landing, providing access on either hand to the second floor, where three exceedingly well proportioned bedrooms and a cozy library are found (two of the bedrooms are currently used as studies). The master bedroom six piece ensuite bath will astound with its round Jacuzzi bathtub with marble surround, his and hers vanities and water closets, and adjoining exceptionally fitted dressing room.
The original full height attic was transformed during the renovation to incorporate four additional large bedrooms and three full bathrooms. Several important features were incorporated on this floor to ensure retreat and comfort for guests, such as complete privacy between the second and third floors, allowing guests to come and go through the north staircase without any interruption to the rest of the house, and a kitchenette & sitting area that provides an independent hotel-like experience.