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House of the Week: 29 Don River Boulevard

Posted by Leslie Bank / January 14, 2014

29 Don River BoulevardThis secluded house in the trees at 29 Don River Boulevard looks like nothing else on the market right now, and that's a very good thing. The house's minimalist design incorporates many natural elements, including a stone facade, cedar ceilings and glass walls that bring the outside in. If you've ever been awed by Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, you should have an inkling of where this house took its inspiration.

Don't expect to find any Google Street View shots of this home -- the Bathurst and Sheppard location is very private. I didn't know this street, accessible only from a Sheppard Ave. West off-ramp, even existed. Don River Boulevard is a short dead end street hidden in the conservation and greenbelt north of Earl Bales Park. With only a handful of residences and plenty of space between neighbours, the enclave is quiet and leafy and a pretty ideal place to hole up during a long, dirty winter.

The location might be a homebody's dream, but the interior should impress people of all stripes. Just look at those glass walls wrapped around the living room: 16 feet from floor to ceiling and edged in wood, they give a clear view to a large back deck and long backyard. Then there's the 72" gas fireplace inlaid in stone, the custom oak kitchen with banquette seating, and the built-in storage wall.

29 Don River BoulevardSPECS

  • Address: 29 Don River Boulevard
  • Price: $2,399,000
  • Lot Size: 60 x 185 ft.
  • Bedrooms: 4 + 2
  • Bathrooms: 4
  • Taxes: $7,218.41 (2012)
  • Walk Score: 55

29 Don River BoulevardNOTABLE FEATURES

  • 7" wide oak wood floors
  • 16.6" high glass walls in great room
  • Large wooden deck
  • Separate stone terrace

29 Don River BoulevardGOOD FOR

Someone who doesn't mind endless peace and quiet, or someone who wants to make a lot of noise--both are possible in this secluded location. This could be the one for a family looking for rustic style and privacy without leaving the city limits.

29 Don River BoulevardMOVE ON IF

You aren't a fan of wood finishes, since this place is teeming with oak and cedar. Some might find the galley kitchen a little narrow or the carpeted master bedroom slightly drab. Bear in mind too that with all the natural elements in this house, there aren't many opportunities (bare walls) to express yourself with colour.


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toronto dude / January 14, 2014 at 07:16 am
except for the's a whole lot of mid-century awesomeness...or like a mansion for a scandanavian pop star
Stan / January 14, 2014 at 08:27 am
Let this be a lesson to you all that like to follow home renovation TRENDS. It will all look dated. Especially those that are now taking Victorian homes and trying to make them look like some modern minimalist space.
Colonel Tom / January 14, 2014 at 09:27 am
Thank you Stan for saying this. One can date the houses on my street (mostly 19th century houses) not by original details but by really bad reno choices. Like weRing sneakers with a nice suit.
TorontoGirl / January 14, 2014 at 10:08 am
I don't think following design trends is necessarily bad so long as you don't mind renovating to update the space. If it's somewhere you intend on settling in for a long time...go nuts.
Tom2 replying to a comment from toronto dude / January 14, 2014 at 10:24 am
@ toronto dude: I agree about the awesomeness quotient, however, I think the kitchen is also in line with the rest of the house. Those narrow rails and stiles on the doors, the glass, muted tones and the high wood content - including the wide-plank flooring - all match the rest of the home.
Lo / January 14, 2014 at 10:38 am
Dream home!
king / January 14, 2014 at 10:44 am
waaay too much wood
IliveattheVerve / January 14, 2014 at 11:11 am
the kitchen is fine. It's the bathroom sink that I can do without - I don't need to see how my shavings and spit go down the drain, but it's an easy fix. where do I sign?
Matt / January 14, 2014 at 11:50 am
Definitely too much wood finishing for my tastes. I honestly find that amount of wood creepy somehow. It's a murder-cabin aesthetic.
GRBY / January 14, 2014 at 11:52 am
The entire home is beautiful ........ except for the kitchen. Ewwwwww, that see through sink is just odd.
Nevets / January 14, 2014 at 12:18 pm
Stunning home - love the windows and location.

Wish I was part of the 1% though... just for fun...
5% down = $145,000
monthly mortgage on the remainder=$13,064 at 3% amortized over 25 years! It's a steal! :-)
kevin / January 14, 2014 at 12:29 pm
poor use of space..
cathie / January 14, 2014 at 12:54 pm
I know this street well. It is far too isolated for me, safety is an issue here. One road in, the same road out. Want to take transit? be prepared for a long uphill walk on a very winding, secluded road. The houses are a very easy target for break-ins. Nice house, though.
StellsBells / January 14, 2014 at 01:04 pm
Funny having someone who knows nothing about architecture writing about houses. This place has exactly nothing to do with Frank Lloyd Wright's philosophy on building. The only connection this one had to Fallingwater is that it's surrounded by trees, but even that is a stretch.
Gordon / January 14, 2014 at 01:53 pm
I suppose if you can afford this house you can pay the energy bills. Is is it morally fine to blow gas energy out all those windows.
Rush / January 14, 2014 at 02:00 pm
If you buy a house for 2.5 million you don't take transit Cathy. And break ins can happen anywhere.
Shannon / January 14, 2014 at 02:02 pm
Gorgeous features for sure.. poor use of space (does the living room really need to be that big and the kitchen that small?) and the bathroom is pretty terrible. I'd still take it.
Bobo / January 14, 2014 at 02:20 pm
Interesting find. Yes, it's rustic, but it's sort of like having a really nice country home without having to drive an extra hour.
guest / January 14, 2014 at 03:02 pm
Don River Blvd appears to be an old road. Something very close to it appears on this map from 1851:

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remove the space to make http.
A broken man on a Halifax pier / January 14, 2014 at 03:48 pm
It's all fun and games until the regulatory storm. Then they're screwed. The insurers will know all about it - bet the insurance bill is hair-raising.
Could they not have done something with the front? / January 14, 2014 at 04:01 pm
It's like you're paying $400K for the ugly 70's original house and $2M for a great room addition.
Lani Stern / January 14, 2014 at 07:04 pm
What a gorgeous home, if you are interested in this, I can provide you more information as I am an agent.
Warren replying to a comment from cathie / January 14, 2014 at 07:37 pm
Criminals enjoy a good escape route... if they don't mind hoofing it in the Don Valley then their limited with their takings.

I've been here many times with the fogs, not so private, there are public nature routes at both ends of the street
Tom / January 16, 2014 at 12:53 am
I thought it was illegal to build houses in the river valleys in Toronto, does anyone know the story behind why this street exists?
SoSo / March 6, 2014 at 01:03 pm
I went to see the house. Actually, it's much nicer than the photos. Stunningly beautiful environment from the great room with the huge bonsai tree on the deck. I envisioned the TV room to be the dinning room.

Can I rent it to throw some parties? :p
DonaldCade / August 18, 2014 at 02:43 am





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