168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

This impeccably-designed $5 million Toronto home was built into the side of an old ski hill

In Toronto, there may be a handful of different home types you'll see throughout the city and on the market.

You got your McMansions; old Victorian and Edwardian homes; craftsman-style homes; a lot of suburban infill housing; tired post-war homes that are about to become suburban infill housing; and every now and again, a Tudor revival-type house. 

It's all a bit boring to be honest, and it's not often you find something that doesn't even look like it belongs in the city. But 168 Ellis Park Road is something of an anomaly. 

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

The family room. 

This four-bedroom, four-bathroom home was built by Altius Architecture's principal architect Graham Smith for his family. 

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

One of the outdoor spaces. 

The home was constructed on an overgrown infill site, which was considered "unbuildable" because of the 45-degree slope and shallow depth, according to the Altius Architecture.

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

A view of the house in the treetops. 

In fact, the land used to be a ski hill at one point, according to realtor Alex Brott. 

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

The kitchen with integrated appliances and plenty of storage. 

But where others only saw obstacles, Smith and his team managed to see opportunity, going on to build an absolute stunner of a family home. 

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

One of the bedrooms with built-in shelving and storage. 

The house was conceived on sustainable design principles, using strategies to reduce the home's energy consumption.

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

The open concept dining and living room with floor-to-ceiling windows. 

Altius Architecture notes things like passive solar and ventilation strategies, geothermal and radiant floor heating, extensive green roofs, daylighting techniques, recycled materials, and a sophisticated building enclosure. 

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

An office space in the family room. 

These methods all work together to help the house stay warm on the coldest winter days, and cool in the blazing heat of the summer, all without an exorbitant utilities bill. 

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

A bedroom. 

"The holistic and integrated approach to sustainable design resulted in a bold, modern house with exceptional green features," said Brott.

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

The guest suite.

And not only is the home environmentally friendly in terms of energy consumption, but there was some really cool engineering and recycling that went into making this house possible.

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

The main living room. 

Brott mentioned that they used a structural steel frame that was reclaimed from a WWII-era aircraft hanger at CFB Ottawa, and heavy timber beams salvaged from the Ottawa River.

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

The dining room. 

The interior of the house is also equally impressive. 

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

The foyer. 

Right from the street you have a four-car garage that leads up stone stairs to the main foyer. 

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

The family room on the second floor. 

Also on the second-level of the home is a mud room, family room and guest suite. 

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

There's a pizza oven in the kitchen. 

The main living space is on the third level of the home and features an open concept kitchen, living and dining space. 

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

The home features 4,259 total square feet of living space. 

A large Rumford fireplace and a Finnish masonry heater are grouped around a common chimney at the centre of this area.

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

The staircase is made of steel and mahogany. Each tread was hand-built from dozens of water-jet-cut pieces of marine plywood, then painstakingly sanded.

Throughout the home you'll notice features of yellow brick, red-primed steel, concrete, and mahogany.

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

The wrap-around windows bring in east and southeast light. 

You'll also notice the exposed Douglas fir beams that make this home feel almost like a cottage in the middle of the city. 

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

The primary bedroom. 

The fourth floor hosts two bedrooms as well as an open-concept primary suite. 

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

The large soaker tub and vanity are exposed to the bedroom. Around the corner, a spacious walk-in shower offers views of the sunrise over the park.

Although not everyone will be into the open concept primary suite with a bathtub very much out in the middle of the bedroom. 

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

The main terrace. 

As for outdoor space, there isn't your traditional backyard, but several cool terraces instead.

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

"The wisteria vine that graces the wraparound deck is a delight," say the owners.

"It feels like living in a treehouse with the porch swing and rooftop garden," said the Smith family. 

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

The rooftop garden. 

And the phenomenal views of High Park make up for the lack of lawn. 

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

The mud room. 

"This house proves [...]that reducing one's ecological footprint can be done without compromising comfort, luxury or style and more importantly that sustainable practices really do pay for themselves," said Brott.

168 Ellis Park Road Toronto

"Old-world craftsmanship, durable natural materials, state-of-the-art mechanicals, and modern design combine to make this a truly unique home," said Altius Architecture. 

The home is listed for $5,000,000.

Photos by

Jagged Lens


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