House of the Week: $5 million for a sprawling 1885 Victorian mansion with a rooftop patio
This 6,500-square-foot heritage property on Isabella was converted to office space but could be restored to its former residential glory
Neighbourhood: Downtown Yonge
Agent: Jordan Pal, Kroll Real Estate
Size: 6,494 square feet, including the basement
Bedrooms: 12 offices plus two boardrooms
William Britton House: a three-storey mansion currently set up as a workspace, with two boardrooms, four bathrooms and 12 offices. However, it’s zoned residential and could be turned into a multi-unit rental or back into a family home. Located on Isabella next to Norman Jewison Park, it’s a short walk to Church-Wellesley Village, Bloor-Yonge station and Yorkville.
This house was built in 1885 as the residence and private practice of Dr. William Britton, a well-respected general practitioner who also served as the president of the Ontario Medical Association. Britton designed the house with extra-wide doorways to accommodate wheelchairs.
When the current owners purchased the mansion, in 2002, it had already been converted into offices. Former tenants include Toronto fashion legend Alan Cherry, who added French doors as well as solid brass fittings and light fixtures.
The front porch overlooks the park and some local shops.
The house was designed by architect J. Francis Brown, who completed 50 residential homes between the late 1800s and early 1900s.
A scalloped Victorian staircase—original to the mansion—greets guests in the foyer.
There’s a boardroom located just left of the entrance, which could be converted into a dining room. It has bay windows facing the street.
Here’s another view of the foyer, with offices on the right.
Many rooms still have original stained glass windows, trim and mouldings. This light fixture, though, was added by Alan Cherry.
Just beyond the boardroom is this reception desk.
Here’s another office on the main floor.
Down the hall is a kitchen with a microwave, a dishwasher and an induction cooktop.
There are also two bathrooms on the main floor. This is the main one, which has a walk-in shower.
The other bathroom is a powder room.
Now, a look up the central staircase.
There are six more offices on the second floor.
This office has a Juliet balcony.
Moving to the front of the home reveals this balcony with a cedar-trimmed roof and decorative railing.
Here’s another office on the second floor, which could be refashioned as the main bedroom.
The main hallway faces south and west.
Up on the third floor, there are four more office spaces. This one has a vaulted ceiling.
The home’s quirkiest feature may be its rooftop patio and lounge. That red-and-black brick wall connects to a bunch of live-work townhouse units.
There are four offices in the basement, which has carpeting throughout.
Here’s another view of the lower-level offices.
The basement also has a powder room.
And a final shot of the house’s façade. From here, you can see the stairwell leading to the basement level—ideal for a rental or nanny suite.
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