House of the Week: $3.9 million for a lakefront Cobourg heritage home with an old-school panic room

House of the Week: $3.9 million for a lakefront Cobourg heritage home with an old-school panic room

The 6,200-square-foot property also comes with a giant veranda, seven bathrooms, heated original pine flooring and a gazebo

Location: Cobourg
Price: $3,950,000
Size: 6,196 square feet on an acre of land
Bedrooms: 6
Bathrooms: 7
Parking spots: 12
Real estate agent: Janice Williams, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada


The place

A six-bedroom, seven-bathroom waterfront Victorian sitting on an acre of land. The property comes with enough room for 12 cars, six bedrooms and panoramic views of Lake Ontario. Protected under the Ontario Heritage Act, it’s within walking distance of several parks, and motorists are a short drive from Highway 2, the 401 and the Cobourg train station. 

The history

After being commissioned and built by a local doctor in the 1880s, the home was purchased in 1898 by banker Edward Osler, the namesake for this corner of town. It remained in the Osler family for 115 years before it was sold to costume designer Suzanne Mess. In 2021, the place was purchased by its current owner, who immediately added stables, a two-car garage and plenty of modern design accents. Now, the home is back on the market.

Related: $2.4 million for an Old East York detached with a curated tree collection out back

The tour

Fenced off from Cobourg’s lakefront trail and the surrounding neighbourhood, the home comes with acreage you’d expect for a public school. 

The property has acreage similar to a public school.

Here’s the view from the wraparound veranda, which looks out on Lake Ontario.

The view of Lake Ontario from the wraparound veranda.

In the foyer: a double front door and original pine floors that are now heated. 

The pine wood here is from the 1800s

The wood staircase, with its regal bannister, is also original.

That wooden bannister is original.

The living room, to the right of the entrance, is equipped with an antique marble fireplace, a frilly chandelier and several windows.

That's an original marble fireplace.

Could there be a better place for a grand piano? 

A perfect spot for a grand piano.

Now for the corner dining room. It has two walkouts to the veranda, defined by their double doors and transom windows. 

The dining area.

Turning around reveals the kitchen, with built-in European appliances, a full-size wine fridge, a marble island and gold accents. 

Note the gold accents in the kitchen.

The double gas oven and cooktop is a prize for any chef. 

A double oven from Europe.

Down the hall is this lounge and workstation. 

This is the lounge and work space.

This bookshelf conceals a hidden office, which is rumoured to have originally been used as a panic room.

This door leads to what was likely a panic room back in the day.

Moving upstairs via the winding staircase is a treat. 

The twisting staircase brings the opulence.

Here’s one of the six bedrooms, designed as a guest room or kids’ room. Note the vintage display cabinet. 

One of the bedrooms, with a vintage cabinet.

It has its own ensuite bathroom, with a glass shower and porcelain detailing. 

In its ensuite: a glass shower with porcelain detailing.

Here’s another one of the bedrooms. 

Another of the four upstairs bedrooms.

The main suite, meanwhile, overlooks the lake and comes with a walk-in closet and an ensuite.

Now, the main suite.

Here’s that walk-in. 

Here's its walk-in closet.

The main ensuite has a soaker tub, a double vanity, porcelain flooring and a rainfall shower. 

And here's its ensuite bathroom.

The view from the veranda is particularly beautiful at dusk. 

The veranda at dusk.

Finally, here’s a shot of the estate from the water.

The home, as seen from the lake.


Have a home that’s about to hit the market? Send your property to realestate@torontolife.com.