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House of the Week: 266 Brunswick Avenue

Posted by Robyn Urback / February 12, 2013

brunswick avenue torontoWho knew a row house could be worth $1.5 million? Or rather, who knew a row house could be listed at $1.5 million? This 1886 Victorian row has been updated top-to-bottom with plenty of post-Victorian interior renovations, including an integrated kitchen wine bar, floating staircases, and heated bathroom and basement floors. Just don't mind the whole 16-foot-wide thing.

266 brunswick avenue torontoSPECS:

Address: 266 Brunswick Avenue
Price: $1,495,000
Lot size: 16.08ft x 120.0ft
Storeys: 2.5
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 4
Ceiling height: 10ft
Parking spaces: 1
Structure dates back to: 1886
Property taxes: $4,658.04 (2012)

266 brunswick avenue torontoNOTABLE FEATURES:

  • Heated bathroom and lower-level floors
  • Wolf gas stove, sub-zero fridge
  • Granite countertops
  • Built-in wine bar
  • Gas fireplace
  • 100-year-old reclaimed elm floor
  • Sundeck
  • Vaulted ceiling
  • Floating staircase
  • Wet bar
  • Concrete block garage

brunswick avenue torontoGOOD FOR:

University of Toronto deans or wealthy student trust-fund babies. Good for wood-lovers, wine-lovers, and those who can function in narrow spaces. Good, also, for those with an appreciation for history (but who still need a modern six-burner gas range).

brunswick avenue torontoMOVE ON IF:

You have wide furniture, arthritis in your knees, or multiple vehicles. Move on if you want four walls of windows for your $1.5 million, or, at the very least, some distance from your neighbours.

Additional photos:brunswick avenue real estate toronto266 brunswick avenue toronto266 brunswick avenue torontobrunswick avenue real estate torontobrunswick avenue real estate torontobrunswick avenue real estate toronto266 Brunswick Avenue

If you had the dough, would you buy this home? Let us know where you stand in the comments below.



Mikey / February 12, 2013 at 08:41 am
YO.... no. Due to it's proximity to The Brunswick House.
Nick / February 12, 2013 at 08:53 am
Property tax in this city is an absolute joke. Not even $5k a year for a property listed at almost $1.5 million. Some quick math shows the property tax rate for this listing at 0.003%. Wow. A very desirable neighbourhood might I add, close to basically everything this city has to offer, you aren't exactly out in the sticks.
Just pathetic.

Otherwise it's a great looking house, wish I could afford it.
Rob / February 12, 2013 at 08:56 am
Beautifully done. Just can't get over the price tag when your house is literally attached to other people's houses on both sides. Not to mention, Bloor, between Spadina and Bathurst, is hardly a hot bed of high-brow culture (what would appeal, I'd imagine, with those who have $1.5M to drop on a row house).
glenn storey / February 12, 2013 at 08:58 am
that is one ass-ugly set of stairs. and probably not to code to boot.
Justin / February 12, 2013 at 09:20 am
The house is amazing. stairs are sick,very well done. Your a douche if you don't think its absolutely stunning. If you wanna see ridiculously priced homes check out forest hill, the price tag would be 4 mill + if it was in that neighbourhood.
Samantha / February 12, 2013 at 09:23 am
i agree with mikey. there's no way I'd want to live that close to underage world of the bruny
Tom replying to a comment from Mikey / February 12, 2013 at 09:25 am
Agreed. I'd rather have the occasional hobo drift through my area than be next to Frat Boy HQ.
Tim W / February 12, 2013 at 09:28 am
Whoever decided to put that ass-ugly granite in that kitchen needs an ear punch
the lemur replying to a comment from Rob / February 12, 2013 at 09:35 am
'Not to mention, Bloor, between Spadina and Bathurst, is hardly a hot bed of high-brow culture'

Yeah, that stretch of Bloor totally doesn't have, like, an independent bookstore or a repertory movie house, or an independent video store ... oh.
Walter Bishop / February 12, 2013 at 09:38 am
16 frontage? No front private driveway (backyard lane-way parking has its own issues, for me never again) for $1.5 mill? I don't know Annex market but I'm willing to bet you can easily save huge bucks purchasing neighbor and renovating on your own and to your own taste.
Interior - I need more than IKEA style for $1.5 mil.
Honestly I would never do Townhouse or Semi again.
Even with wide angle lens this house looks too narrow.
Another builder over extended?
Also its Brunswick so busy street and I'm sure this is one of best houses.
A terraced house near University, recipe for many a sleepless nights--noise, noise, noise.
Laura / February 12, 2013 at 09:39 am
Beautiful house, in one of my favourite neighbourhoods, and I don't really like huge spaces myself, but 1.5 mil for 16 feet!!
b.craftie replying to a comment from Nick / February 12, 2013 at 09:41 am
Your comment on seemingly low taxes is well taken.
However property taxes are calculated on the "existing property".
When those $4658 taxes were set this was an old row house.
Now that it's been gutted and reno'd, the taxes will change; but probably not until the next appraisal, which may take years.

Taylor / February 12, 2013 at 10:04 am
Horrible waste of a house.
WOT replying to a comment from b.craftie / February 12, 2013 at 10:16 am
This house
-Prime prime prime Annex location
-3 floors
-bigger than my house
-4 full bathrooms
-full garage
-2 decks
-selling for 1.4 mill

Property tax: $4658

My house:
-South of Harbord on Borden in pretty average Little Italy/Portugal
-no 3rd floor
-less square footage
-2 full bathrooms
-carport, not a garage
-1 deck
-property tax assessed value at 900+

My property tax: Over $6000


Their reassessment had better crank their property tax well well above mine or I'll be p*ssed.
thislittlepiggie replying to a comment from Tim W / February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am
Thank you! Granite is so tacky.
jen / February 12, 2013 at 10:18 am
I don't see a front closet in that entry foyer. For 1.5 million you would think there would be a front closet. Where would you put your winter coat and boots?
trickydisco replying to a comment from Walter Bishop / February 12, 2013 at 10:18 am
LOL, Little Bishop - Hardly ikea style, I can spot a pile of stuff from up country which i'm not sure if you've been into but is a little better than ikea...
There is also some much larger houses on the southern part of brunswick - you should go one day...
Great pad, annex is nice, however i'd rather get a better house in high park, where the air is a little fresher
WOT / February 12, 2013 at 10:22 am
Also, the back facade is beyond hideous.

Looks like a half assed Home Depot reno.

That alone makes this place not worth a million.

ALSO: my house: 13 feet wide
This joint: 16 feet wide.
Me / February 12, 2013 at 10:23 am
Who knew BlogTO would have a real estate writer who knows NOTHING about Real Estate? Oh wait, anyone of us who do know a little bit about what houses sell for in Toronto! I'm STILL curious if there is a house anywhere that Robyn actually DOES like?
WOT / February 12, 2013 at 10:39 am
The wood on the decking in the back is almost brand new

Therefore I believe this is a new new new reno

Therefore I believe the $4658 property tax rate is pre-reno

Whoever buys this will be pleasantly kicked in the nuts upon reassessment.
JAAAAAAAT / February 12, 2013 at 11:05 am
bad eclectic mix of styles. corner moldings, cheap condo-style glass railings, brutalist wood stair details, LEON's furniture lighting, a suburban kitchen (with aforementioned granite - @Tim W, and out-of place brick/exterior treatment.

looks like the GC had a hay day with billing an ill-informed and undecided client. HIRE AN ARCHITECT next time and reign in the disgusting mismatch.
Stephen / February 12, 2013 at 11:26 am
Not quite sure where all of you live, but 16 feet wide is actually pretty norm for downtown. Row houses usually tend to be even less, more like the 12-14 variety.
Not a ridiculous price for that neighbourhood. Saw a pre-reno gut job of a row house on Euclid sell for 800+.
Taxes obviously have yet to be reassessed.
Rick / February 12, 2013 at 11:30 am
What is so 1886 about this house? The framing? Looks like everything was completely renovated down to bare bones on this one.

Can you still call it an home from 1886??
Rick / February 12, 2013 at 11:33 am
I'd also like to add that, this place is grossly over priced at 1.5 mil.

A house like this should sell for around 990k

Looks like the sellers are looking to hit a home run with this home in a hobo-wanderer area of the city.

A great place for kids!
Rick / February 12, 2013 at 11:36 am
Also noticed the tagging behing the home in the alley way... Classy.
Just what I would want to look at from my 1.5 mil dollar home.

F'n ninja's !!!!
alan / February 12, 2013 at 11:46 am
check out the neighbors properties on google street view...not pretty...
Bobo / February 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm
For the price, being squished in on both sides seems somewhat unreasonable. I lived in a similar house in this area, and although it was semi-detached, when the 3 girls who shared the neighbouring house had a party, it was pretty annoying.

On the other hand, if you think of this as an option to a $1.5 million penthouse down the street, I think I'd prefer this place.
Ben / February 12, 2013 at 12:42 pm
People, including Robyn seem to be so hostile about this for no other real reason than the fact that they can't and probably will never be able to afford it. Yes it is not the million dollar plus mansion you envision when you're a child, but that is a fantasy that doesn't exist in Toronto anyways.

I happen to know another person who lives on this street in a home that was renoed to become upscale, so it's obviously the beginning of a overhaul to the neighbourhood in general. Don't be sour over the gentrification that is naturally going to occur in a very central part of the city.
Condtition / February 12, 2013 at 01:24 pm
Only if they knock off 500.00 for the dead shrubs. Honestly looks like a basic reno from property brothers or something. Guess it caters to those who want a turn key
Ana / February 12, 2013 at 01:55 pm
I would if I can that much to spend, but its a bit too modern for my taste. I feel as though it has lost character, it looks very cold. Not homey at all. for 1.5 you could get something with land, personal space instead of being so squished.
Kumar OMalley / February 12, 2013 at 02:13 pm
Came here looking for tasteless materialistic douchebags arguing about the lack of taste of other tasteless materialistic douchebags. Was not disappointed - would gentrify again!
Steevia replying to a comment from Ben / February 12, 2013 at 02:34 pm
Well put.
Rob replying to a comment from Ben / February 12, 2013 at 03:10 pm
Maybe people are pissed because THE CITY OF TORONTO SOLD EVERYTHING OFF TO ASIANS WITH BLANK CHECKBOOKS including neighbourhoods where Torontonians were born and raised. You smugly call it gentrification, but I think the word you're looking for is ponzi.
Rob replying to a comment from Rob / February 12, 2013 at 03:16 pm
Sorry, that should read everyone... governments of Ontario and Canada, the city as well... all complicit in the greatest scam ever perpetrated on Canadians, making us dirt poor lifetime renters and selling out EVERYTHING from underneath us.

Can't wait until these smug urban pioneers and international parasites lose their shirts.
Al / February 12, 2013 at 03:33 pm
What is that thing above the stove-top? It looks like a tap.
Nerves replying to a comment from Al / February 12, 2013 at 03:42 pm
It's a trap!
tzv / February 12, 2013 at 04:37 pm
What level of finishes would you like to see in a post reno place like this if pre reno townhouses are selling in the mid 800s?
Ford4ever replying to a comment from Justin / February 12, 2013 at 04:49 pm
"Your a douche if you don't think its absolutely stunning."

I nominate this, with all its grammatical errors intact, for Toronto's new tourism slogan!
JKay / February 12, 2013 at 06:40 pm
That's crazy! The place is pretty small for the asking price!!!
bill / February 12, 2013 at 09:06 pm
$1.5 million and only $4658 in property tax!!! imagine when this house gets reassessed. yikes!!!!
John replying to a comment from Al / February 13, 2013 at 12:23 pm
Its a pot filler, so when you're cooking you just put the pots on the stove to get your desired water. Everyones hating on the place, but it sold with multiple offers. Good luck finding a renovation with the quality you would have found here. The builder is one of Torontos most best. Bottom line, it seems like a lot of people who dont work are giving this place a bad wrap.
John replying to a comment from John / February 13, 2013 at 12:24 pm
please disregard most best... as I was thinking about something else while i was typing
John replying to a comment from John / February 13, 2013 at 12:25 pm
again, i meant to use the word "best". That is all :D
Janice replying to a comment from John / February 13, 2013 at 02:29 pm
Wow - Sounds like a bunch of half assed wanna-be's with nothing better to domaking ill-informedcomments based on pictures. In 5 years houses in the area reno'd to 1/2 as good a standard will be going for $2 million.
Rick replying to a comment from Janice / February 13, 2013 at 02:40 pm
And what does that have to say about the idiots (I use that term seriously) that scramble like a bunch of rats over crumbs for a place with littered gang graffiti where you park your car....

You know what they say... an Idiot is born every minute...
Rob / February 13, 2013 at 03:20 pm
That's not gang graffiti, it's a tag by an artist/vandal. You wouldn't be able to see "gang graffiti" on the garage doors from that distance.
Cliff S replying to a comment from Al / February 13, 2013 at 04:45 pm
Al: Yes that is a tap, it is commonly called a pot filler.
Me replying to a comment from John / February 13, 2013 at 08:35 pm
No worries. Robyn gives EVERY place she "reviews" a bad rap. I'm still waiting to see one she actually likes. I really get the impression she writes these because she is envious of homeowners and it's her way of making herself feel better as she never answers ANYONE when they ask just what if anything she LIKES!
Mark / February 14, 2013 at 11:13 am
Gotta love all these 'real estate pundits' who think they know what they're talking about...

Houses in this area of the city in 'original' condition sell for $800k-$900k. Add another $400k-$500k for a total gut job reno and this house is worth $1.3mil-$1.4mil
Mark / February 14, 2013 at 12:05 pm
Then take the $1.5mil price tag and deduct 5% (plus HST) for the real estate agents who do very little for $75,000 ($84,750 incl HST). The owner/builder/developer ends up with around $1.4mil and only IF the house sells for full asking price.

Basically, a break-even scenario.

Run-down houses at $900k... Renovated houses at $1.5mil... it's all crazy, but that's real estate. Look at what apartments sell for in New York City if you want to feel better about the housing prices in Toronto.

Kim / February 16, 2013 at 09:50 am
Ugly staircase. The wood is all wrong. The have a modern house with a wooden staircase that looks rustic?
Kay replying to a comment from Al / April 21, 2013 at 01:04 pm
Al - it is a tap. It's a new trend in kitchens these days. Apparently going to the sink to fill your pot is too inconvenient...
Mary / May 28, 2013 at 09:39 pm
Absolutely stunning. If anyone commenting here had the opportunity to actually stand in this space for even half a second, they'd understand that the pictures don't come close to doing it justice. Every detail is so well crafted, high end to the last inch. Beautiful flow and overall design. This place is a gem and worth its salt on the market at over a million.

It's truly lovely and I hope whoever bought it appreciates how fortunate they are to have such an amazing place. I hope they're happy there - I would be!!
Colin / May 29, 2013 at 12:29 am
Trendy, trendy, trendy, trendy.

A real joke to write "Good, also, for those with an appreciation for history" given that virtually every stick of the interior which had any history has been hauled away to a landfill. But since modernist gut-jobs hiding behind vintage facades are all the rage these days, this sort of thing keeps getting accolades....and the big selling bucks. It's as if we've been catapulted back into the 1950s, but with less Angelstone.

Seriously, people, if you want modernism please do it honestly: buy some nondescript suburban bungalow, send in the bulldozers, and start from scratch.
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