Surreal Estate: $3.38 million for a mid-century Woodbridge bungalow from the architect behind Sherway Gardens

Surreal Estate: $3.38 million for a mid-century Woodbridge bungalow from the architect behind Sherway Gardens

What suburban outpost would be complete without 12 parking spots, a vintage gun cabinet, a backyard grotto and a spiral staircase to a bar?

This 3,000-square-foot home lives in the Islington Woods neighbourhood of Woodbridge.

Neighbourhood: Islington Woods, Woodbridge
Price: $3.38 million
Previously sold for: $1.7 million in 2020
Size: 3,000 square feet, plus 2,500 square feet of outdoor living space
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 5
Parking spots: 12
Real estate agent: Lawra Marzetti
Staging: Defining Spaces

The place

A four-bedroom, three-plus-one-bathroom mid-century bungalow in Islington Woods. Inside, the house has a deluxe rec room with a gym, a bar, a kitchenette, a sauna, a billiard room and—oddly—a vintage gun closet. Outside, there’s 2,500 square feet of living space that includes a firepit, a pool, a change room, a lounge and a wrap-around deck. The place is a short drive from Highway 27 and the village of Kleinburg.

The history

This modernist classic, built in 1972, was designed by renowned architect Henry Fliess, notable for designing phases one and two of Sherway Gardens as well as hundreds of mid-century homes in Don Mills. Original owners Les and Lois Shaw (yes, those Shaws) tasked Fliess with crafting a luxurious family home. Today, many of the original finishes and millwork remain.

The current owners purchased the pad in 2020. Now empty nesters, they’ve put it back on the market and are looking to downsize.

Related: $4.5 million for a country manor in Caledon with a grand piano room

The tour

The original cedar and brick façade is defined by its three-car garage and backgrounded by a long gabled roof. There’s space on the driveway for nine cars.

The facade is cedar and brick, with a three-car garage.

The lush walkway is made of stone and large concrete slabs.

The walkway is stone and concrete.

Before entering, residents can relax by the concrete firepit and appreciate the newly planted Japanese-style gardens. This subtle mix of styles sets the tone for the tasteful interior.

The front yard is inspired by Japanese gardens.

Now for the foyer. The brick and millwork, including the ceiling beams, are original. The travertine floors were installed in the 1990s. That’s a powder room on the left.

The beamed, gabled ceiling is a highlight.

A wider view reveals the gabled ceiling and clerestory windows. The curved cedar wall and staircase to the basement are blasts from the past.

The clerestory windows give the illusion of skylights.

In the kitchen: custom cherry cabinetry, granite counters, double ovens, two sinks and a Wolf gas cooktop. 

The kitchen has cherry wood and granite all over.

Just beyond the kitchen island is the eat-in space, which walks out to the backyard deck.

The dining area comes with a wall of windows.

Here’s that deck (more on it in a little bit). 

The deck is equipped with a gas grill.

The dining room connects to the kitchen via an original cedar entrance flanked by built-in cabinets. 

The dining room: fit for a Yorkville restaurant.

Verdant views of the backyard conjure feelings of dining alfresco.

The giant windows makes dining feel al fresco.

Down the hall is the grand living room. It has engineered white oak floors, a six-foot electric fireplace with a quartz storage unit beneath, fluted side panels with cedar finish and new sliding doors to the backyard deck. 

The floors are engineered white oak.

The backyard is an oasis, featuring a kidney shaped pool, concrete patio stone, a change room with a kitchenette and plenty of room for lounging.

Behold the grotto-style backyard.

There’s also an upgraded Douglas fir wrap-around catwalk, equipped with a glass railing that extends the length of the house. On the right is a covered lounge—an extension of the living room.

The wraparound catwalk is Douglas fir.

Here’s a closer look at the change room, which has a sink, a folding counter and an attached pergola.

The change house has a folding counter and sink.

Back inside, here’s a peek at the main bedroom. It also walks out to the backyard and comes with a lounge illuminated by an oversized skylight.

Those blinds are remote controlled.

Its ensuite bathroom has original millwork, remote-controlled blinds, an open closet (not pictured) and a jet tub.

The ensuite's millwork is original.

Also on the main floor: a secondary bedroom with a built-in bookshelf and a closet hidden in that cool cedar wall.  

This bedrooms comes with a cedar feature wall.

Then there’s the basement, accessed via the front staircase or the living room’s spiral staircase. A sleek quartz bar, added in 2020, anchors the room.

The basement was fully renovated in 2020.

The fitness centre has rubber floors and a frosted barn door.

A frosted-glass barn door leads to the fitness centre.

Here’s the downstairs family room.

The downstairs family room walks out to the pool grounds.

This is the kitchenette, with stainless steel appliances.

There'a also a kitchenette down in the basement.

There’s also a stunning steam room and sauna down here.

The steam-ream-sauna-combo is the home's most luxurious feature.

And a full bathroom with quartz all over.

The walls here are quartz.

The cedar ceiling inset in the billiard room is a classy touch.

The cedar ceiling inset is something special.

Finally, the gun cabinet, which might as well be a time machine to 1972.

This is the original gun cabinet.

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