A look inside Integral House, Rosedale’s $28-million modern mansion
Integral House is probably the most spectacular private residence in Toronto, but it’s also going to be one of the hardest to sell. Its original owner, math textbook magnate James Stewart, had the 17,000-square-foot Rosedale home built to his exact specifications, without a thought for resale. Now that the house is officially up for grabs, it’s completely unlike anything else on the market. Strange curves create rooms within rooms, and floor-to-ceiling windows allow for panoramic ravine views interrupted only by graceful white-oak slats.
It’s not a home for just anyone: the place was designed by Shim-Sutcliffe Architects for Stewart’s lifestyle, evidently a peculiar one involving a lot of work from home and quiet study, punctuated by occasional gatherings in the voluminous living room, a two-storey atrium designed to accommodate 150 to 200 guests for drinks, dinner and performances. Absolutely everything—from the French limestone flooring to the doorknobs—was custom-made to reflect his two great loves: calculus and music. The rooms are so large and oddly shaped that even some of the furniture had to be made to order, and the interior’s extreme austerity means the smallest amount of clutter would stand out like pet hair on a $5,000 pant leg. In all of this there are only four smallish bedrooms. Stewart built a home for a super-wealthy person with toweringly high standards but simple appetites, a rare and paradoxical personality type.
The search for such a buyer is, blessedly, not Stewart’s problem—he lived in Integral House until his death in 2014. The people who do have to worry about finding someone willing to pay the $28-million asking price—the realtors of Trilogy Agents—held a preview event at the property on Wednesday night. Here, some pictures we took while we were there: