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Photos: James Bombales

Situated among the rows of Victorian era bay and gable homes in Toronto’s vibrant Parkdale community is a newly constructed infill project by The Mada Group Inc. 60 Melbourne Avenue was built by developer Adam Baguley and designed by award-winning Batay-Csorba Architects as a response to the growing need for alternative housing models in Toronto.

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The concept sees the conversion of a former double wide lot with a previously unregistered address into two separate properties, each with a detached, four-storey legal duplex boasting nearly 4,000 square-feet at 60 and 62 Melbourne Avenue. Within each building are two fully separated (individual mechanical systems), two-storey penthouse-like suites each consisting of three bedrooms and three bathrooms.

“When we originally purchased the property, there was one large house which we demolished to build the two homes with two fully fire-separated and sound proofed suites in each,” said Baguley. “The existing building was an older home that hadn’t been taken care of over time, so when we went to the City there wasn’t much opposition.”

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BuzzBuzzNews had the opportunity to visit the project last week and take a tour inside 60 Melbourne which is currently on the market with a list price of $3,388,000.

The exterior of the home pays homage to the neighbourhood’s historic bay and gable homes by creating a modern day version of the popular architectural style. Using elements and materials such as large windows, steep roof slopes, reclaimed red brick masonry and black mouldings, the architects created and achieved a design that brings the bay and gable style into the 21st century. In addition, its aesthetic is interesting yet doesn’t overwhelm its surroundings given the careful consideration to the adjacent neighbour’s roof slopes, window, door and eaves heights.

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The centrepiece of the exterior is the vertical privacy screen on the upper unit made of kiln dried Nova Scotian pine. The two-storey brise soleil encloses the front, open to above balcony and is constructed of bio-enhanced, rot resistant and sustainable softwood pieces that are installed in a pattern that creates cloud-like images of animals depending on light conditions and the viewer’s perspective. The unique design feature transforms the facade into an engaging exterior canvas while simultaneously flooding interior spaces with dynamic light patterns and shadows.

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The property also features custom commissioned graffiti by local artist Jimmy Chiale whose work can be found on the lower entryway, rear private courtyard and the upper unit’s 18 foot open to above, 6×6 skylight area.

“Parkdale has a very interesting, artsy and cultural vibe,” said Baguley. “The only thing dividing Melbourne Ave from Queen Street is the Milky Way Alley which is very famous for graffiti. So we wanted to have some kind of art installation as a connection to the neighbourhood which always reminds you that you’re in Parkdale.”

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Inside, the two units have expansive open concept living areas with white oak engineered hardwood floors, nine foot ceilings, open floor joists, exposed structural steel and ductwork. Their square footages are similar but contain slight differences in the front and rear layouts. For example, the lower unit offers two outdoor courtyards — heated concrete pads — while the upper unit comes equipped with spacious front and rear decks.

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Although partially constructed below grade, the lower unit’s main level is bright and airy and boasts loft-like proportions with soaring ceilings, 18′ two-storey living areas, extra large picture windows and sliding glass doors.

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In contrast, the upper unit foregoes the two-storey living spaces but gains the dramatic brise soleil at the front of the home bordering the breakfast balcony, a generous skylight 20 feet above the kitchen and a rooftop deck off the master bedroom.

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Both suites include a well appointed gourmet kitchen complete with a 13′ foot Caesarstone centre island with integrated seating for easy entertaining, custom Scavolini flat panel cabinetry in matte white with soft close drawers and a mosaic tile backsplash. An upgraded Fisher+Paykel stainless steel appliance package is included, consisting of a built-in, counter-depth refrigerator, double tub dishwasher, gas cooktop with accompanying exhaust hood, electric built-in oven and a Panasonic microwave.

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Bathrooms and powder rooms include floating vanities, contemporary plumbing fixtures, mirrored vanities and dual flush skirted toilets. The master ensuites enjoy frameless glass showers with Riobel rain showerheads and handheld fixtures.

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Residents of 60 Melbourne will benefit from an excellent location surrounded by tree-lined streets and is just minutes to the Gardiner Expressway, Queen Street West and TTC routes. The neighbourhood is also dotted with eclectic retail stores, coffee shops and numerous trendy restaurants and bars.

Check out more of our photos below!

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To learn more online about 60 Melbourne Avenue visit:

batay-csorba.com/2683068-double-duplex
canadianarchitect.com/awards/ 2015-winners/double-duplex/

For additional information or to schedule a private viewing, please contact Helene Baguley (ReMax Realtron Realty Brokerage Inc.) at 416-816-9330 or helenebaguley@yahoo.ca.

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