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Toronto condominium in Rosedale defines a swank downsize

By Barbara Kingstone
August 25, 2014 - 0 comments

A Toronto real estate agent downsized – to a Yorkville-area condo of 2700 square feet with 3 balconies! – but kept favourite furnishings


“It was just time to move. We go through many stages of life. This is our empty-nester stage.”

So said real estate agent Judy Hendler, who is one of the stars at a very important real estate company in the Toronto area.

After working in the business for over 30 years, she was well aware of what was on the market and, most importantly, what she and her husband wanted to replace their large home.

For one, Judy and her lawyer husband, Douglas, were keen to leave their ‘hood just north of St. Clair where they had lived for 34 years, and wanted to live in the Bloor and Yorkville area. Not only because it’s one of Toronto’s swankiest areas but also for more realistic reasons. In their early 60s, they knew there would be a time when closer access to the amenities they need and desire would become an issue. “We want to be able to walk to the grocery store or movie theatre, sit at the many cafes, have a convenient pharmacy and also have a great view of the city,” she said.

It’s difficult to think that downsizing meant moving into a 2,700-square-foot condo but their house was over 6000 square feet and so everything is relative. Their new home, worth over $1.5-million, is a true gem.

Judy Hendler is a chic, stylish, modern career woman who has eclectic personal ideologies, as does Douglas, but is a traditionalist. They delight in having family sit-down dinners once a week and also having extended relatives for holiday meals. Having a large dining room was a necessity. But they weren’t looking for open or flowing spaces – they like private areas.

When they first visited and saw the condo that they would eventually purchase, it was the foyer they fell in love with. It was a large oval space with wonderful crown molding and a discreet coat closet and powder room, and made a splendid first impression.

Very few condos have large foyers. “This made it feel like a true house,” says Hendler. And it also was the perfect placement for a favoured antique console that fits into the corner.

To the left, they entered a huge living- and dining-room area, now referred to as the Great Room. “I told Doug that if the rest of the condo is like this, then we have found our new home,” said Judy Hendler. The room is so large that it could actually be two rooms. The formal seating area and the dining room are spaced far away from each other.

“All my favourite furniture and objects looked as though they’ve been there for a long time. Even their chandelier was the perfect height,” says the happy owner. “I didn’t have to sell or store or give away any of my treasured pieces.” However, gone are the furnishings from the various many bedrooms in their old home. And equipment from their home gym since the condo building has its own fitness room.

Hendler decided to use cream paint thoughout the house, which brings out the very fine art collection seen throughout.

Natural light is never a problem. This home has three balconies, one each facing east, west and south.

The rest of my tour inspired awe at every turn. Behind a glass-paned door there is a handsome decorated den. From the foyer, a hallway took me to an ample laundry room, more closet space and two very large bedrooms. The master bedroom also has an extra spacious bathroom and the second bedroom also has an ensuite.

But the piece de resistance was the kitchen. The dark kitchen cabinets and floor had to go. Now the door fronts are cream and the wide-planked floors are a few tones lighter. The granite counter, that was a keeper. This workspace flows into an area where there’s a glass table and six chairs used for both breakfast and small dinner parties. And not far away is most comfortable seating area with two suede chairs, a two-seater sofa and –with a nod to the modern – a stunning glass coffee table that extends when necessary.

“We definitely missed the house since we have such great memories from the three decades we lived there,” said Hendler. “I can honestly say that in the two years since we’ve been here, it’s a true home.

 “I don’t think you have to get rid of your furniture. It’s a beginning but it’s not like getting married where everything has to be brand new.

“We were very lucky. There was no construction but only cosmetic work. Besides,” she says with a smile, “I now have a very large closet for my many, many pairs of shoes ... no numbers, please.”

It’s easy to picture years from now – there are Judy and Doug, sitting on chaise longues on one of the three balconies, sipping coffee and watching the crowd go by.


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