This modern $6 million Toronto home was designed by the famous architect Harry B. Kohl
This home at 259 Forest Hill Road, almost didn't survive.
Originally built in 1955 by Harry B. Kohl, a prolific architect of his time, the home was sold to the current owner in a bit of a state.
"The house was sold – when my client purchased it over 15 years ago – as a tear down," said realtor Paul Johnston.
But rather than tearing it down, the owner and architect Christopher Tweel, rejuvenated the four-bedroom, three-bathroom home to its mid-century modernist glory.
"Everyone would come by and say 'why are you saving this house?' And we would say 'well, we save things that are 100-years-old and think they're precious, 55 years is, you know, in 100 years, it will be an antique and we have to recognize the value of this man's work'," Tweel told House & Home in an interview.
While Tweel kept a lot of the original bones of the home – like the light, the fireplace in the living room, and the original window openings – he did plenty to modernize it too.
"[They] removed the original parquet floors and installed black slate throughout the main level. Out went some quirky built-in planters inside the house, and in exchange is a fuss-less interior revealing rooms of perfect proportions," noted Johnston.
Tweel also re-did the stairs to create a floating staircase, adding more levity and openness to the space, as well as installed 27-foot-wide windows in the living room that create the ideal indoor-outdoor living space.
The kitchen was opened up and streamlined with integrated appliances. The look is modern and sleek.
Upstairs you'll find hardwood flooring, with radiant infloor heating like the main floor, and the bedrooms.
Three of the bedrooms overlook the yard with Juliette balconies.
The primary bedroom is simple and calm with a four-piece ensuite bathroom.
There's also more room in the basement with a rec room and a study.
While renovating the home Tweel would often ask himself "What would [Kohl] do today if he were asked to come over?"
The result is something that the late John Bentley Mays, art and architectural columnist for the Globe and Mail, thought Kohl would be proud of.
"A number of people have referred to the home as a 'two-storey condo', and I think what they are reacting to is the elegant simplicity of the space and the sense of calm that the home inspires," noted Johnston.
In addition to the stunning interior of the home, 259 Forest Hill Rd. also sits on a ravine-like lot that backs onto the Beltline trail. The ultra-low maintenance landscaping was recently refreshed by gh3 architects.
"Today there's a renewed interest in homes of this vintage. Why? Well, because they're darned handsome and echo the optimism and excitement that the mid-century embodied. There is a graceful simplicity about their format and layout that speaks to a simpler way of living," said Johnston.
"The house celebrates simplified living, which is something I think we all crave."
The home is currently listed for $6,285,000.
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