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Real Estate

Surreal Estate: $1.4 million to live in a historic former school in Aurora

The 1,400-square-foot property comes with an antique barn door, industrial accents, a three-sided fireplace and a jumbo private terrace

By Emilie Richardson-Dupuis| Photography by DroneHub Media
Surreal Estate: $1.4 million to live in a historic former school in Aurora

Location: Aurora Price: $1,395,000 Maintenance fees: $1,223 a month Size: 1,449 square feet plus a 1,000-square-foot private terrace Bedrooms: 2 Bathrooms: 2 Parking spots: 1 Real estate agents: Khalen Meredith and Kim Nichols, Sotheby’s International Realty


The place

A two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit in a converted heritage building that used to be a school. The complex comprises 34 unique lofts, and this unit is one of the largest. It features a Scavolini kitchen, exposed brick, an office den and a carport with a green roof. The home overlooks Aurora Town Park, which hosts farmers’ markets and live music in the summer. It’s within walking distance of downtown Aurora and the GO station. And motorists are a short drive from both Yonge and Highway 404.

The history

This was the original site of Aurora High School, built in 1892. In the 1920s, it was completely redesigned in the neoclassical style, and it continued functioning as a school until 2008. Eight years ago, it was converted into residential lofts with the original façade completely restored.

The tour

The front entrance of the building is practically identical to its schoolhouse days. It’s defined by its many windows, red brick and Corinthian columns. Developers added the fourth storey during the conversion.

Surreal Estate: $1.4 million to live in a historic former school in Aurora

You can almost hear the crowds of kids who once stormed the front entrance after recess.

The entrance.

In the foyer: the first of many opulent Persian rugs.

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The Persian rugs are a nice touch.

Around the corner is the kitchen, with gleaming marble counters, a gas stove and Scavolini cabinets.

The cabinets are Scavolini.

Beyond the kitchen is the living room. It features repurposed antique barn doors concealing a coffee station.

The repurposed barn door hides a coffee station.

Note the floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall sliding glass doors that lead to the terrace.

Floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows bring the natural light.

The open-concept space is also equipped with exposed ductwork and an interior brick wall—nods to the property’s institutional roots.

The open ductwork pays tribute to the building's history.

Now for the dining area, complete with an orb light fixture and partitioned by a three-sided gas fireplace.

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The three-sided gas fireplace is a nice touch.

The main bedroom walks out to the terrace and is lined with a large custom built-in shelving unit. Not pictured is the walk-in closet.

The main bedroom walks out to the jumbo terrace.

This is the ensuite bathroom, fashioned with new marble tiling, a glass rainfall shower, a soaker tub and a double vanity.

Here's the ensuite bathroom.

Here’s the den, currently set up as an office with more built-in storage—ideal for condo living.

The den is set up as an office.

The guest bedroom is designed as a kids’ room. Have you noticed the horse theme throughout the apartment?

This is the guest bedroom.

Down the hall is the guest bathroom, with classic subway tiles.

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The guest bathroom is lined with subway tiles.

There’s also a stacked laundry unit camouflaged in one of the closets.

Space-saving laundry, here.

Here’s that 1,000-square-foot terrace and accompanying garden. The current owner installed irrigation in the lawn and potted plants. The garden exits to the parking space, housed in a green-roofed carport.

Surreal Estate: $1.4 million to live in a historic former school in Aurora

Finally, a reverse shot of the yard in bloom.

Surreal Estate: $1.4 million to live in a historic former school in Aurora

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

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