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Tour an Art Deco Eco Retreat in Toronto

Resting on the rim of a ravine above downtown Toronto is a magnificent Art Deco property, reinterpreted for the age of sustainability

Cities are not always kind to the environment. But if you choose to make your home in Toronto—whose residents embrace the outdoors and choose to explore the city’s treasures on foot—you can embrace sustainability in a meaningful way, and quietly help to engineer a greener future. That is just what owner David Daniels, Toronto’s pre-eminent polymath and sustainable property developer, has done. His commitment to the arts, architecture, healthcare, and education was inextricably bound into his decision to restore 16 Glen Edyth Place in 2005, under the direction of eco-architect Paul Dowsett.

The landscaped garden and pool terrace offer breathtaking views of the Toronto skyline.

The master retreat features his-and-her dressing rooms and en suite bathrooms.
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But this is not the first time the property has been infused with passion and vision. The house was originally designed in 1935 by Mackenzie Waters, a progressive architect who created Toronto’s sporting landmark, Maple Leaf Gardens.

Examples of elegant upcycling include a theatrically inclined chandelier above the main staircase, created from antique linens and vintage lamp forms.
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His ethos is epitomized in the home’s understated buff brick exterior, sweeping terrazzo staircase, and curvilinear-domed vestibule ceiling. These notable Art Deco details have been retained with care by Daniels and Dowsett, and enhanced with the introduction of discreet eco features, such as geothermal heating, solar panels, and horizontal light-shelf windows. They have been used alongside some imaginative upcycled materials and this “eco-deco” effect is matched by a stunning location. 

“Only four original properties still exist on the edge of Nordheimer Ravine and the view across downtown Toronto is the kind you get from a 55-story penthouse. But here you enjoy it from a secluded location, overlooking beautiful landscaped gardens and a veil of trees,” explains Jimmy Molloy of Chestnut Park Real Estate, the exclusive Affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in the region.

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Toronto’s greatest properties have a real connection to the city and that’s certainly true of this house.

Yet for all its seclusion, Glen Edyth Place is close to the center of Old Toronto. Casa Loma, a stunning castle, and the Spadina Museum, offering a glimpse of early 20th-century life, are just minutes away, as is the exclusive shopping district of Bloor-Yorkville.

The stainless-steel kitchen with two islands and architectural cabinetry is naturally lit by walls of glass.

A blend of Art Deco elegance and contemporary design, the residence successfully interprets modernism for a new generation.

“Many of Toronto’s greatest properties have a real connection to the city and that’s certainly true of this house,” says Molloy. “You can walk to dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel in little more than 15 minutes.”

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While this home is now determinedly sustainable, its spirit is shaped by its Art Deco origins. The combination of two architectural visions, 75 years apart, creates a contemporary home that successfully interprets modernism for a new generation.

[ Excerpt from Christie’s International Real Estate’s 2018 Luxury Edition — A curated collection of the world’s finest properties. Explore more properties here ]

Photography by Robin Stubbert