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House of the Week: 16 Donino Avenue

Posted by Robyn Urback / January 15, 2013

16 donino avenue houseToronto is not, in fact, all shoeboxes in the sky. Indeed, there are some city residences that actually touch ground, flourishing from it with granite finishes, indoor pools, and frankly frivolous numbers of bathrooms. This is the start of a weekly look at some of the latest and greatest homes for sale in Toronto, which will probably confirm to most of us that we have chosen the wrong careers.

16 donino avenue houseSo, here's a reason to send your headshot over to Millionaire Matchmaker's headquarters. A newly built, $5.5 million home in heart of Hogg's Hollow. Forget using those legs — take the elevator to your bedroom. Heated floors? Try heated marble floors. There's even a built-in dog bath in the three-car garage, and a seven-speaker built-in system throughout the home. Because it's hard to yell "Dinner's Ready!" over 7,000 square feet, after all.

16 donino avenue houseSPECS:

Address: 16 Donino Avenue
Price: $5,495,000
Size: 6,575 sq ft + 1,145 in the lower level
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 7
Parking Spaces: Garage 3, Drive 5
Laundry areas: 2
Floors: 4
Property Taxes: Not yet assessed


  • Marble flooring
  • 21' architectural windows
  • Custom feature leaded glass ceiling
  • Indoor exercise pool (converts to a hot tub)
  • Sauna
  • Elevator
  • Library
  • Theatre room
  • Wine cellar
  • Six-foot wide integrated fridge/freezer as part of custom kitchen
  • Butler's pantry

16 donino avenue houseGOOD FOR:

People with big furniture, a dog (specifically, one that needs washing), and knee issues. Perfect for those who like to shop at Costco but hate that they can't fit all of their food buys in the fridge. And, there's an amazing master wardrobe and bathroom that will surely help to ensure (at least a few months of) marital bliss.

16 donino avenue houseMOVE ON IF:

You don't have $5.5 million. You don't want to be accused of sucking the "charm" out of the area. You need a full-sized swimming pool, not a puny exercise pool. Oh, and you call that a wine cellar?

Additional Images:

16 donino avenue house16 donino avenue house16 donino avenue house16 donino avenue house16 donino avenue house16 donino avenue house16 donino avenue housedonino housedonino houseIf you had the dough, would you buy this home? Add your two (million) cents to the comments below.



Mike / January 15, 2013 at 08:22 am
I guess it's kinda nice if you like exquisite giant mansions and the like.
Spadina / January 15, 2013 at 08:52 am

Further proof - not that more was required - that money cannot buy taste.
hmmm / January 15, 2013 at 08:54 am
great place for hide-and-seek.
J / January 15, 2013 at 09:04 am
Over consumption at its best.
boring / January 15, 2013 at 09:20 am
so is blogto turning into ETcanada now? Who cares about these asshole's crappy house.
Mikey / January 15, 2013 at 09:33 am
Why is this on here???

I read BlogTO is because of how much more accessible it than the likes of Toronto Life (which reads you still have to read because they actually have a budget and they get new restaurant openings the day they happen, instead of +2 weeks after the fact like BlogTO does).

Mikey replying to a comment from Mikey / January 15, 2013 at 09:34 am
Wow that was a sloppy comment.

I apologize to all who had to bear witness
NC / January 15, 2013 at 09:42 am
Yes ... I would buy this if I had the money (hoping this is a contest and I win being the first to "answer" the question).
Alyssa / January 15, 2013 at 09:43 am
A tad vulgar - there's luxury and there is ostentatious.
Elevators are not for a home - how tacky.
I'd rather see am achingly restored Victorian or Edwardian home. Something that has character, class and body instead of this neutral pile of tofu.
SousedBergin / January 15, 2013 at 09:44 am
In my 600 square ft apartment I find it difficult to drunkenly pass out in bed consistently (floor, couch, deck..) this would be a nightmare. Pass.
John replying to a comment from J / January 15, 2013 at 09:49 am
Relax! It's a big space and if you want I think the living room could probably hold your yurt.
Julia / January 15, 2013 at 09:57 am
This is way too monochrome. Looks like a generic rapper's house that you'd see on Cribs...
Danny / January 15, 2013 at 09:59 am
"If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up." - F. Buller
Monica / January 15, 2013 at 10:02 am
Even if I could afford that 5.5 mil home, I would be too broke to buy any furniture. Or food for that 6 ft. fridge. I guess I'll have to stick with my 450 sq.footer- apartment, that is..
ZZZ / January 15, 2013 at 10:02 am
Show something less generic next time, please.
opensource1111 / January 15, 2013 at 10:05 am
I really like Robyn's work. However, this new house of the week feature certainly cames as a surprise, and not a welcome one. I read Toronto Life, too. I read BlogTO for entirely different reasons and perspectives. I hope that the site is not going the way of Toronto Life, as I and many like me would simply have no reason to come back.

Robyn: care to comment?
CaligulaJones / January 15, 2013 at 10:14 am
I'll go with what the others are saying: keep this stuff out of BlogTO.

But since you asked: its a cold house, and my tiny place in the East End has a larger back yard...
Abstract / January 15, 2013 at 10:16 am
Who cares.
Lucky Guy / January 15, 2013 at 10:18 am

Someone said it was vulgar, and compared to the much smaller house next door it sure is. But I have to say, it's also kind of awesome. Love the pool.
IsTOFullofHipsters? / January 15, 2013 at 10:24 am
I, in fact, am pleasantly surprised to see this new feature. I would agree that something more representative of Toronto's beautiful, historic neighbourhoods would be welcome. As opposed to a generic, 'cribs' house. Nonetheless, I do love to ogle at the lives of the R&F. And enjoyed the hilarious commentary! Keep on keeping on!
mezimeen / January 15, 2013 at 10:25 am
Toronto Life called and they want they're House of the Week back.
skeeter / January 15, 2013 at 10:33 am
My question is, if this new feature is not something that you're not interested in then why the hell did you click on it? If you don't like something, don't read it. There are plenty of features on this site that I have zero interest in and therefore I don't read them.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Alyssa / January 15, 2013 at 10:40 am
Actually, if you were older, and were still living in a house, and had mobility issues, you'd be glad to have an elevator. That said, I don't really care for talking about these condos OR these big houses, most of which can't be afforded by the average person, and in the case of the condos are generally way too fracking small relative to the cost of the condo units themselves.
Todd / January 15, 2013 at 10:55 am
Beautiful home, but too big for me. Way too much to clean and I'm not the type to hire a maid. Pass.
george / January 15, 2013 at 10:58 am
who cares indeed!
Cyril Sneer / January 15, 2013 at 11:01 am
I don't have a problem with a house of the week type feature, but as others have said, it would be much more interesting if it showcased unusual/unique/progressive architecture and interior design, rather than this formulaic pseudo-grecco-throwback stuff.
Ali / January 15, 2013 at 11:21 am
Its beautiful - from the view of the backyard, it doesn't look like it stands out terribly in the neighbourhood. It has beautiful attention to detail (glass ceiling, wood panel ceiling in the kitchen, wideplank floors etc.,) The kitchen is a little much, but I find kitchens to be the most personal part of a home - so to each their own! I like my houses generic and my furniture and artwork to add the interest. I'll go back to my lovely standard Oakville 3 bedroom home and drool over this house with my husband. Keep it up Robyn, MOST people believe that variety is the spice of life!!
Chris H. / January 15, 2013 at 11:24 am
Like it or not, this house is an example of Toronto right now. Look at virtually any house being built north of Davenport, they are ostentatious and tacky. Good job showing Toronto as it is, not as people think it ought to be.
Rick / January 15, 2013 at 11:40 am
Seems like people here are missing that all too important chromosome…. This home looks just fantastic, yes it is opulent and grand, and perhaps excessive, however it is still no where near being the most expensive piece of real estate in T.O. Seems like a lot of downtowners feel that a 400 sq closet is what they were meat to live in and scoff and any place larger than theirs…pathetic.

I love this area too, Hogg’s Hollow is one of this nicest areas in the GTA mainly due to all the foliage that surrounds the homes. My only concern would be the drainage in the area as it looks like a major slope in the backyard which meanders right to the back yard. Perhaps this is the reason for no pool? Hopefully the basement is waterproofed properly….

I would buy this place in a heartbeat if I had the coin (need to win lottery). You apartment and condo dwellers should take a drive around this area to see what one of the most affluent areas in Toronto has to offer.

fred replying to a comment from Rick / January 15, 2013 at 11:59 am
please go away and hang out in the tacky realestate part of the alternate universe. this is the worst kind of nouveaurichesse awfulness I've seen since curbedNY porn - (hmm, is the worst part the faux 1830 pillars under the burners in the KITCHEN!!! (??) what kind of porn movie king would live in this bizarre fake environment? people who have leopard nightgowns, I expect, or who watch television or something. vomit-inducing.
the lemur / January 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm
If I had $5.5 million I'd have something modern built. This is not my style at all, especially all the mouldings.
Rick replying to a comment from fred / January 15, 2013 at 12:56 pm
...And here someone with no class

I'm sure the guy who made the 5.5 million to be able to afford a place like this likes tacky.

Your comments make the class separation between you and the owners of this house much more blatantly obvious.

Enjoy the smell of piss on a hot summer day fool.
Ford4ever / January 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm
"Wendell ... I'm not content."
Rick / January 15, 2013 at 01:02 pm
BTW - People have no idea how to use the word tacky, its more like people are using that word to describe items they clearly don't understand.

Example; $3000 chrome rims on a dodge neon looks tacky, because the rims are worth more than the entire car...
$20k++ moulding in the kitchen alone doesnt seem out of place since property alnoe is worth 2-3 million.

Do you understand, or is this article WAAAAYYY over your heads?

Noah Pinion / January 15, 2013 at 01:17 pm
Grotesque, vulgar and tacky. Money can't buy taste. I pity the neighbours. This is how Lawrence Park was ruined.
Alex / January 15, 2013 at 01:18 pm
$5.5 million ain't worth it. If I had the money I'd rather spend $1-2 million for a smaller, older house closer to downtown and a subway stop. But I can see the appeal for someone who wants something more private and isolated.
Angry Poor Person / January 15, 2013 at 01:20 pm
Grr! I'm so angry I can't afford this and it isn't decorated to my taste! GRRR!!!!!!!!!!
Ford4ever replying to a comment from Alex / January 15, 2013 at 01:41 pm
"I can see the appeal for someone who wants something more private and isolated"

Whaaa? This place is a fishbowl. And it's inches from the neighbours. Every time your trophy wife/husband had a coke-fuelled meltdown and threw candelabras at you, the whole street would know about it.
De / January 15, 2013 at 01:47 pm
Funny how some people in Toronto can't accept the fact that this is a city that is growing and attracting money. This will soon be more and more common. Toronto isn't that small town anymore. Accept the "nouveau riche" and the condo boom.
James. Q. Moneybags / January 15, 2013 at 02:07 pm
Hey guys, this is my place. Sorry to hear that some of you think it's tacky!

Anyone willing to redecorate the place for me? It pays $50,000 for a few weeks' work, all expenses covered. Please reply in the thread.
the lemur replying to a comment from De / January 15, 2013 at 02:14 pm
It's not about the increasing amount of money in this city. People with this kind of budget aren't necessarily going to have the preferences that went into decorating this house the way it is.
Qaf / January 15, 2013 at 02:41 pm
Wow what's with all the whining! I think it's interesting to see different houses and how they've been decorated, it doesn't mean it has to be to MY taste - even if I dislike it, it's still interesting!

I am looking forward to the next house of the week! But not all the angry "I DON'T LIKE IT THEREFORE IT SUCKS" type of comments.
Ford4ever replying to a comment from De / January 15, 2013 at 02:43 pm
"Funny how some people in Toronto can't accept the fact that this is a city that is growing and attracting money. This will soon be more and more common."

There has always been money in Toronto. Just look at the gilded-era mansions of Jarvis St. So money is nothing new.

THIS house, however, is more a product of the era of cheap borrowing and house obsession. Somewhere in that house, there's probably a pile of unpaid contractor bills big enough to fill that swimming pool.

j-rock / January 15, 2013 at 02:47 pm
I don't understand the appeal of homes like this. If I had that type of money, I can think of so many more interesting things to invest in or spend it on. How much space does one person, or family need? It would be like living in a cavernous museum. No thanks.
DumbQuestion / January 15, 2013 at 02:58 pm
Dumb question, where live the NBA/NHL and co professionals players? Do they have some special neighborhood? Just curious...
Steven / January 15, 2013 at 03:10 pm
The washroom is bigger than the new condos built downtown these days.

I'll try my luck on a lottery ticket!
Alex replying to a comment from DumbQuestion / January 15, 2013 at 03:50 pm
Bridle Path. That's where the incredibly wealthy live in Toronto.
Emily replying to a comment from DumbQuestion / January 15, 2013 at 04:12 pm
In the past, many of them lived in Lawrence Park, Rosedale, and Leaside (probably Kingsway as well). Now that most of the players are quite young, more of them live in condos on King West or right by the ACC, or elsewhere downtown.
bubba / January 15, 2013 at 05:09 pm
if i were a drug dealer i'd buy this house.
iSkyscraper / January 15, 2013 at 05:10 pm
Yeah this is a pretty awful McMansion -- wait, make that WholeMansion or RestorationMansion since the potential owners would never be caught dead in a McDonalds.... But the comparable stuff in New York is still worse: (check out the photos!)
Umm / January 15, 2013 at 06:15 pm
I'll take my 5.5 Million and buy a 100 acre piece of land and build something that is actually tasteful. Then buy a bunch of toys to play with on that 100 acres of land....

5.5 Million for a house and postage stamp sized lot? Insanity.
seanm replying to a comment from Rick / January 15, 2013 at 07:02 pm
Rick, it seems the only one in over his head is you. If this is your idea of architectural excellence, you clearly need to take a class or two. Tacky historical pastiche is for the nouveau rich with no imagination or taste. All that overwrought moulding is nauseating, although I'm actually shocked that there are no Corinthian columns to be seen.
Victoria / January 15, 2013 at 09:12 pm
But the slip and side options, ohhh the slip and slide options... and you know if you live with a dirty, dirty dog.
Jimmy / January 16, 2013 at 12:01 am
I prefer to read about new hamburger joints
Rick replying to a comment from seanm / January 16, 2013 at 10:04 am
straight-up clown.
Mike / January 16, 2013 at 10:26 am
Personally I don't have any issue seeing real estate profiles on blogto, or Toronto Life. I guess the common bond between TL and BTO is that all of the properties they profile are up for sale... the conspiracist in me assumes that these are all sponsored posts by brokers trying a new advertising strategy. But I digress.

The difference is that BlogTO has the opportunity to feature properties that wouldn't be seen on other sites. Like most people, I come to BlogTO for a particular perspective and this upcoming series of properties may seem to be a bit out of character. I'd love to see what houses in, say, Wychwood Park would look like.... provided that type of access was granted (or the house was up for sale).

Regardless of the reason why some properties get featured, let's not diss TL too quickly. Certain Toronto Life real estate profiles teeter on the obscene, tasteless, or generic. But there have been lots of profiles by Toronto Life of properties and buildings which, architecturally, have historical, and cultural significance. And they take the time to document and photograph these properties really well.

skeeter / January 16, 2013 at 12:45 pm
Hmm...BlogTO shows photos of a fancy mansion and people get upset. Yet, BlogTO quite often profiles fancy wine bars and fancy restaurants and other fancy places that fancy people that live in a fancy house like above would probably frequent and somehow that is fine with BlogTO readers. Interesting,
Aaron / January 16, 2013 at 01:40 pm
A nouveau riche pile of steaming vomit. I picture a TIME2BUY license plate parked in the driveway.
seanm replying to a comment from Rick / January 16, 2013 at 06:18 pm
That's a very well thought out, insightful response. Bravo!
Sriskandakumar OMalley / January 22, 2013 at 09:34 am
Came here looking for reasoned commentary, good-hearted positivity, and all `round bon hommie. Was not disappointed. Bravo, my fellow hairless apes!
Mike / February 27, 2013 at 04:13 pm
Some of you missed the point. It looks that way because it was built by a builder to appeal to an average upscale crowd. A buy and flip job. Nobody has ever lived in it. They expect it to be redecorated when someone moves in.
Me replying to a comment from Mike / February 27, 2013 at 05:42 pm
Somehow though, I highly doubt they'd hire someone to write insulting and enviously sarcastic comments on their properties although the pics are stolen directly from their sites with no credit given.
Dave / April 22, 2013 at 04:41 pm
Does anybody know the architect of this house?I like his work and I want to give him a big project.
Betty / June 5, 2013 at 04:39 pm
The home is beautiful. The floor plan is almost AWESOME. I would of like too seen a bigger laundry room on the top floor and a washroom on the level where the home cinema is. As for the doom sky light on the terrace floor looking in too the foyer, that is just wrong. Now all of that can be fixed. The only thing that can not be fixed is the big hill in the back yard. What would happen if all the snow mealed in one day, all the water could go in too the house.
Wanda Vaughan / September 4, 2014 at 02:18 pm
Now this is a house! The view of the lake must be calming and an elevator, how wonderful, especially if you have special needs or for whatever your heart desires. Having a dog bath, another wonder, I don't know how many times I wished for one when I was bathing my sweet pooch! Indoor swimming pool, fantastic. I always found marble floors cold but not in this house, they are heated. V, you need at least one maid, a cook and a butler-chauffeur-gardener, then you would be set to expand your business ventures. Love the house, hope to see you soon. WV
Sal / December 10, 2015 at 04:34 pm
I used to live at this address more than 10 years ago. It was a 3 BR + 1 WR bungalow with a basement. What I really appreciated about this property was the backyard and how it was so high up on a hill. LOVED the area, very quite street & nice neighbours. I wish we never sold our house
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