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House of the week: 5 Hawthorn Gardens

Posted by Staff / April 15, 2014

5 Hawthorn Gardens Toronto5 Hawthorn Gardens is a dream home -- particularly as it's staged for sale. Despite its nearly $16 million asking price, one doubts that its future owner will be able to match the artistic pomp that's on display as this Rosedale residence goes to market. Look carefully at the photos below and you'll see the work of Diane Arbus, Bernd and Hilla Becher, and a host of other big name photographers beside collections of ceramics carefully sealed away in display cases around the home. And that's not to mention the library, which is Disney-esque in its grandeur and beauty.

Up for sale by art collector-cum-artist Ydessa Hendeles, the fantasy-like quality isn't lost on whoever's writing copy for the realtor. The brief description of the house -- which is written in all caps, no less -- lays it on about as thick as it comes. "Like The Slipper On Cinderella's Foot, The Home Perfectly Embraces Its Magical Ravine Setting. 5 Hawthorn Gardens Has Been Transformed Into A Singular Piece Of Great Art."

But, hey, when a place is this nice, who can really take fault with a little typographical enthusiasm? While it lacks an in-house pool or bowling alley as you might find on the Bridle Path, the ravine views, lush wood, and adorned ceilings speak to the architectural pedigree of the Eustace G. Bird-designed 1911 home.

5 Hawthorn GardensSPECS

  • Address: 5 Hawthorn Gardens
  • Price: $15,900,000
  • Lot Size: 100 x 287 Feet
  • Bedrooms: 4
  • Bathrooms: 7
  • Taxes: $55,520.38 (2013)
  • Walk Score: 68

5 Hawthorn GardensNOTABLE FEATURES

  • Ravine lot
  • 6 parking spaces
  • Fireplaces
  • Two gas ranges
  • Library fit for a game of Clue
  • Nicest ceilings in the city

5 Hawthorn GardensGOOD FOR

Hermits. Move in here and you'll never leave. On the bright side, the library is a wonderful place to read, and the kitchen demands live-in help, so you'll never actually be alone. At the risk of poor taste, this would be a good place to die.

5 Hawthorn GardensMOVE ON IF

Theft worries you. Make sure to keep a little cash on hand for a quality alarm system because posts likes this are total heat scores (sorry, Ms. Hendeles). More seriously (but what's the point in that?), you might skip this absolutely gorgeous home if you think $16 million warrants more than four bedrooms. That would make you a philistine, but whatever -- it's your money.


5 Hawthorn Gardens5 Hawthorn Gardens5 Hawthorn Gardens5 Hawthorn Gardens5 Hawthorn Gardens5 Hawthorn Gardens5 Hawthorn Gardens5 Hawthorn Gardens5 Hawthorn Gardens5 Hawthorn Gardens5 Hawthorn Gardens5 Hawthorn GardensThanks to The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) for sponsoring our obsession with Toronto's real estate market.

Read other posts in this series via our House of the Week Pinterest board.



Mark Moore / April 15, 2014 at 07:25 am
So I'm checking and I'm at $15,897,597.53 in my piggy bank . .
just a little short. Can you help me ? I'll give tours.
p / April 15, 2014 at 08:18 am
.. we really need to start taxing the shit out of the 1%.
Kev / April 15, 2014 at 08:43 am
P - You did see that property taxes on this property are roughly twice the median average Canadian income. Not judging whether that's right or wrong (or if Canadians should make more money) just that is a shitload to shell out annual on property tax.
TJ / April 15, 2014 at 08:47 am
Meh. It's not my taste. All the dark wood panelling doesn't do anything for me. It does remind me of old (creepy) mansions which I guess is what this is.
Himself / April 15, 2014 at 09:07 am
Love the 2CV in the driveway.
jameson / April 15, 2014 at 09:20 am
This property actually gets a pretty great property tax subsidy being in Toronto rather than say Richmond Hill.

The property tax for 2014 in Richmond Hill would be around $133,000.

So yes, the people who live in these mansions should be taxed to hell because they're getting a deal compared to the GTA.
canuckone replying to a comment from p / April 15, 2014 at 09:23 am
I would agree that based on sale price and compared to other homes currently for sale in Toronto (and their property taxes)... the prop taxes on this home are cheap.
A friend has a moderate size townhome in Summerhill (next to Rosedale) - property value could get $1 million in a sale today... her taxes are $5K.
Compare that to the value of this home on Hawthorne (15.9x5)- the yearly prop taxes for this place could/should around $75k
mm / April 15, 2014 at 09:34 am
That's a crazy house, but all the furniture looks incredibly uncomfortable.
Ray replying to a comment from Mark Moore / April 15, 2014 at 09:43 am
Ask Kathleen Wynne, she may be able to help you out.

Even if she doesn't have the money she's usually good at borrowing it or just taking it from somewhere else and handing it out
KevinN / April 15, 2014 at 09:54 am
I would love to see it at night after a rainfall with all the lights lit up. Would make for a great Resident Evil scene.
Phew / April 15, 2014 at 09:57 am
That kitchen is spectacular. Love the wall of windows.
Hank replying to a comment from Ray / April 15, 2014 at 10:01 am
Actually I think Wynne might be busy today giving her brother in-law the job of CEO of eHealth. Better to try and get money from here tomorrow.

Premier Wynne's brother-in-law named CEO of eHealth
Andrew / April 15, 2014 at 10:17 am
Finally! A place for my many leather-bound books that smells of rich mahogany.
First aid training northern ireland / April 15, 2014 at 10:19 am
Lol Lara Croft. Great answer!
Is it just me or.. / April 15, 2014 at 10:21 am
does anyone else feel like playing Clue! all of a sudden?
Rick / April 15, 2014 at 10:42 am
Incredible house, on a fantastic street in T.O.

Can you imagine how much money you need to have in the bank actually live in a place like this? I mean, even if you were to win the lotto max at 50 Million, I don't think you could afford to live, with the taxes, property up keep, and keeping up with the jones' in the area - new bently or bugatti every year... You'd go dry pretty quick.

But for the short amount of time you could live here, I for sure would.
Mike replying to a comment from Rick / April 15, 2014 at 10:47 am
That's assuming you don't make anymore money after you win the lottery.

Beautiful house.
E. Toby Coke replying to a comment from Rick / April 15, 2014 at 10:58 am
"keeping up with the jones' in the area - new bently or bugatti every year"

Nope. It's Rosedale, not the Bridle Path. A simple 2CV will do just fine.
Kathleen Brenkley / April 15, 2014 at 10:59 am
Shouting MAUSULEUM or FUNERAL HOME, all rather depressing and so is the price.
Holden / April 15, 2014 at 11:05 am
It's funny I was just thinking of Diane Arbus this morning. I see the Arbus above the fireplace. Well spotted BlogTO staff member, whoever you are.
Borte / April 15, 2014 at 11:07 am
Colonel Mustard in the Study with the candlestick.
Ryan / April 15, 2014 at 11:33 am
I bet the grandfather of the guy who owns that used to own people.
Gloria replying to a comment from Mike / April 15, 2014 at 11:54 am
You mean the annual income you'll have to make just to pay the property taxes (which only go up)? Not including utilities or maintenance or repairs.

Yeah, you'd have to be in a pretty comfortable place, if not outright rich, to maintain ownership of this place.
Danny / April 15, 2014 at 12:14 pm
I love that the "walk score" is listed. If you're shelling out $16M you're probably not concerned about a good walk score.
Danny / April 15, 2014 at 12:16 pm
Needs more pictures at ankle level.
d / April 15, 2014 at 12:50 pm
The tricycle on the landing looks like it's straight out of George C. Scott's The Changeling. Too creepy! (And also just plain ridiculous!) Beautiful library though - minus the chairs.
p replying to a comment from Kev / April 15, 2014 at 01:05 pm
As the other commenter stated, the prop taxes are cheap compared to the sale price. Check the percentage compared to your own property and get ready to get mad.
local replying to a comment from mike / April 15, 2014 at 01:44 pm
Ydessa Hendeles is from a very wealthy family and owned a very cool gallery on King West for many years. Didn't know she's an artist in her own right, only that she's an astute collector and curator.
moleski / April 15, 2014 at 01:46 pm
The salesman at the Stickley store must have been mighty happy after the owners of this house came through.
theoadorno replying to a comment from mike / April 15, 2014 at 02:09 pm
family. money.

Grampa / April 15, 2014 at 03:45 pm
Inherited wealth.
Alex / April 15, 2014 at 04:05 pm
Goddamn. That is a beautiful house.
Rick replying to a comment from E. Toby Coke / April 15, 2014 at 04:56 pm
It's changing with all the young money moving in. Old money people have to die sometime.
Mike / April 15, 2014 at 05:05 pm
This house's interiors may be the most beautiful I've seen in the city. There are too many Bridle Path-style mansions in these upper crust real estate profiles with gaudy interiors. This house has truly exquisite details in the flooring, ceilings and trim. It's exactly what I expect for the money, real class. It even has a traditional Toronto cobblestone driveway.
Ell / April 15, 2014 at 05:11 pm
Where's the IKEA furniture?
And what about the creepy twins from the Shining?
Question? / April 15, 2014 at 05:34 pm
Why doesn't the listing tell us how many secret passage ways there are?
Dan D / April 15, 2014 at 06:26 pm
This house is absolutely fantastic. I don't usually care for mansions but this is just amazing. Everything about it.
J replying to a comment from Ryan / April 15, 2014 at 07:56 pm
Mike / April 15, 2014 at 09:30 pm
Per the listing website: "Like the slipper on Cinderella's foot..."

stu / April 15, 2014 at 09:52 pm
Can I just have the 2CV instead???
Jefferson / April 15, 2014 at 10:50 pm
Nice to see that even Rich people have bad taste. Place looks like a friggin funeral home
Earl / April 15, 2014 at 10:55 pm
Is this Wynne's place?
Ell replying to a comment from Earl / April 15, 2014 at 11:15 pm
Yes, is Wynne's place.

Your neo-con heroes live in squalor. You're a douche-bag btw.
jen / April 16, 2014 at 03:13 am
Not even halfway down these photos, I just can't even contain my cool. This house makes every room to bang in super fun to try.
Rennie / April 16, 2014 at 08:22 am
Ohhh is this the the subsidized housing Chow and Layton lived in????
Haim / April 16, 2014 at 08:23 am
Wow parquet flooring?
Dizzy / April 16, 2014 at 08:35 am
Beautiful Arts & Crafts interior. Can guarantee you that a lot of that furniture is original and costs a small fortune.
GRBY / April 16, 2014 at 04:11 pm
How could you possibly generate a return on this home? Realistically are you going to be able to flip it for 20M?
Audrey Morgan / April 19, 2014 at 05:29 pm
The house is exquisite. I say that, even though I could never live with so much brown wood. Eventually, I'd end up buying lots of white paint. The kitchen is lovely. All in all though, this residence is a magnificent tribute to the Arts & Crafts period.
GRAARG / April 22, 2014 at 11:44 am
Stellar place. Not my style but true to form and executed brilliantly. I', $15m short of this place but would take it over a Bridle Path McMansion any day.

As for the inevitable 1% are horrible people.... the owner pays $55k in annual property tax (likely to the MVA'd way up post sale) and the buyer will fork over $592k in land transfer tax to the City and Province.

Not to mention the top tax bracket in Ontario is the country's highest at 49.5%. You can still argue against the 1% but 33.4% of working Canadians pay no income tax at all and the top 1% pay 23.3% of all taxes.

Getting kinda hard to squeeze the lemon harder for more juice - the lemons will go elsewhere.
WWJJ replying to a comment from GRAARG / April 29, 2014 at 12:41 pm
Ontario's top tax rate would be 42% (29% Fed plus 13% Provincial) which leaves us with the lowest tax rate outside of Alberta. BC's is 4 points higher, and Quebec's is 10 points higher, (We're only 3 pts higher than Alberta, and in fact because Alberta has a flat tax, most Ontarians pay a lower rate than Albertans.) We've yet to see the wealthy flee Vancouver, so I think Ontario having the 2nd lowest tax rate is pretty OK
Ralph Mellish replying to a comment from Earl / October 4, 2014 at 04:30 pm
Nope it's not Wynne's place, but it did used to belong to another Liberal party hack. Senator William Rupert Davies.
First Aid Training Northern Ireland / July 4, 2015 at 09:12 am
Wow, Kitchen is fantastic, love the windows and walls
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