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Real Estate

How this Fallingbrook family landed their dream home just down the street

Seeking a wider lot for the kids to play in and a new reno project for Mom and Dad, they found everything they wanted closer than they thought

By Alex Cyr| Photography by Joshua Best
How this Fallingbrook family landed their dream home just down the street

The buyers: Julia Black, 40, an interior designer and principal at her own company, and Andrew Black, 42, a partner at a construction firm

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The story: In 2015, when Julia and Andrew bought a three-bedroom house in the Beaches, they thought they’d landed the perfect place. But, by 2022, their family had grown and they were keen to take on a new creative project. They figured they could sell their current home to cover the cost of the next one. Their ideal spot would be close by, with a wider lot in which their three children, all 10 and under, could play—somewhere nice to live while they renovated, says Julia, “but not so nice that we’d have to pay extra for someone else’s design.” With that in mind, they started their search.


Option 1: Anndale Road, near Kingston and Fallingbrook

Listed at: $1,349,900 Sold for: $1,285,000

Toronto real estate market

In early December, Julia and Andrew saw this four-bed, 1,500-square-foot side-split in Birch Cliff. It was a classic red-brick house with a detached garage and a basement with its own entrance, and it was in the same school district. They liked its potential as a renovation project, but they had reservations about the narrowness of the lot. Worse, they feared that the house was not in good enough condition to be immediately livable. “We realized that we’d have to completely tear it down and then carry two mortgages as we rebuilt it,” says Andrew. They moved on.


Option 2: Lynndale Road, near Kingston and Fallingbrook

Listed at: $2,750,000 Sold for: $2,750,000

Toronto real estate market

Later that month, the Blacks visited this property: a stucco-and-brick family home twice the size of the first option. The lot was 35 feet wide and backed onto the Toronto Hunt Club. The interior had just been refurbished with maple flooring, 10-foot ceilings, an open-concept kitchen and a sunken living room. Though the house appealed to them, the price was hefty and the renovation felt too recent to build upon. “We would have been paying a premium for a place that didn’t need any more work,” Andrew says, “so it wasn’t a good fit.”


The buy: Kingston and Fallingbrook

Listed at: $2,250,000 Sold for: $2,050,000

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In February, Julia and Andrew spotted this two-storey, three-bed 1950s federal-style house just a five-minute walk from their home. The place had a 50-foot-wide lot and was also close to the Toronto Hunt Club. To them, it was the Goldilocks of project homes—already nice but due for a new kitchen, bathrooms, paint job, floors and lighting. They immediately made an offer and agreed to a 30-day closing. The family has since settled in, the kids are loving the huge backyard, and Andrew is thrilled: “This time, we definitely believe we found the one.”

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