South Hill – 66 Russell Hill Rd. (St. Clair West and Avenue Road)
Asking price: $4.5-million
Taxes: $34,103 (2010)
By Connie Adair
Built in the late 1920s in the French Normandy style with a brick and Indiana limestone exterior, this stately South Hill home is impressive yet unassuming. “It exudes charm but is subtle and refined, genteel and reserved, a true reflection of its creators,” says listing agent Jonathan Ferrier of Royal LePage Real Estate Services, who has co-listed the property with Elli Davis. “In 1926, Frank W. Stone and his wife, then Rosie Scott, an American opera singer, applied for permits to build the property.”
Both were active in the design of the home, as was architect Douglas E. Kertland, who has designed many Toronto buildings, including 11 homes on Russell Hill Road. He also designed the Automotive Building at Exhibition Place, several churches and many TD banks of the era, Mr. Ferrier says.
One of the most prominent features of 66 Russell Hill Rd. is its peaked tower, which serves as its entrance.
The five-bedroom, seven-bathroom home has a gas fireplace and leaded glass in the living room, pocket doors in the dining room and granite counters in the renovated kitchen. The main-floor family room has a gas fireplace, a two-piece bathroom and a walkout to a patio.
“As you walk out to the rear of the property, you get a sense of being completely surrounded by nature,” Mr. Ferrier says.
The more-than-half-acre ravine lot widens at the back where it meets both Sir Winston Churchill and Roycroft parks.
In 1934, Mrs. Stone’s design for the garden terrace was featured in Canadian Homes and Gardens magazine. The gardens no longer exist as they once were, but their absence in no way detracts from the beauty of the property, Mr. Ferrier says.
Mrs. Stone was also in charge of the construction of an oval swimming pool later that same year.
In 1954, the Stones sold the property to Henry J. Burden, an award-wining architect and then professor of architecture at the University of Toronto, he says. “After his passing in 1960, the property was sold to Morton Shulman, famous Canadian politician, businessman, broadcaster, columnist and physician.”
Eventually, the current owners bought it and renovated and restored many of the original features, such as trim, doors and railings.
The master suite has a fireplace, a walkout to a balcony and a five-piece ensuite bathroom. Hardwood floors, walk-in closets, ensuite bathrooms in all of the bedrooms and walkouts from the lower-level family, recreation and games rooms are other highlights.