Condo of the Week: $5,495,000 for a Baptist church turned designer loft

Condo of the Week: $5,495,000 for a Baptist church turned designer loft

The spacious unit features luxury finishes, a home theatre, a private elevator and a walk-in closet

Address: 12 Macpherson Avenue
Neighbourhood: Summerhill
Price: $5,495,000
Agent: Gillian Oxley, Oxley Real Estate

The place

A 4,400-square-foot, 3+1 bedroom Summerhill dwelling nestled within the front and steeple of a former Baptist church.

The history

At the turn of the century, Toronto’s Baptist community was growing rapidly. By 1901, the city’s Summerhill congregation had raised enough money to hire renowned architect John Francis Brown to build a church large enough for 900 members.

The building was sold in the ’70s as a family office, and in 1986, it suffered a fire that left its insides gutted. Seeing opportunity, condo developers and investors soon got together to refurbish the place, converting it into five huge single-family lofts.

This unit is the largest in the building and just enjoyed a makeover by LA-based interior designer Nicole Sassaman.

The tour

The building’s steeple makes a striking centrepiece for this residential corridor, which connects Yonge to George Brown College’s Casa Loma campus. Its heavy greenery helps camouflage the apartments for privacy.

Sassaman weaved contemporary elements into the home: custom shelving and draperies, black-stained wood panelling, Gothic chandeliers and a gas fireplace enhance the structure’s original high-vaulted ceilings and large-arch French doors.

The living and dining room has been rejuvenated with bright decor, pot lights and a custom sound system wired throughout the ceiling. That marble fireplace and built-in banquette at the rear of the space adds to the charm.

In the kitchen is a Saharan marble waterfall island that complements the home’s prevalent wood motifs, and the stainless steel appliances—a Sub-Zero fridge and custom microwave and wall oven—are all top notch. Easy access to the terrace on the right simplifies outdoor dinners.

The church’s brick-and-cement construction (rare for a building of this age) blocks out sound, making this space perfect for a home theatre. Sassaman upgraded the windows in the foreground with sharp metal frames.

While the unit comes unfurnished, its custom wall panelling, floor tiles, gold light fixtures and fully restored windows give it a fresh, stylish skeleton.

The church’s oak staircase in the main bedroom leads to a walk-in closet with built-in hardwood storage drawers and shelves.

A five-piece black marble ensuite attaches to the main bedroom as well.

This unit is the only one in the building with a private elevator, which travels from the home’s three-car underground parking garage straight to the top.

Filling the once-hollow steeple is a bright workout room with a 360-degree view of Summerhill.

The main floor has two walk-outs to a wraparound brownstone terrace equipped with a barbecue, a front patio, a hot tub and a dining area—perfect for hosting summer gatherings.

The home has been on the market since late July, and realtor Gillian Oxley says they are looking for a specific buyer: “Someone who wants to downsize and who likes the contrast of a quiet neighbourhood near some of the city’s liveliest corners.”