The Chase: How two lawyers found their $1.5-million starter home—after a year of searching

The Chase: How two lawyers found their $1.5-million starter home—after a year of searching

They wanted more space for their dog and a bigger kitchen for entertaining

Portrait by Erin Leydon

The buyers: Krista Kais-Prial, a 32-year-old employment and human rights lawyer, and Paul-Erik (Dash) Veel, a 35-year-old Bay Street litigator, with their Bernedoodle, Louis.

The story: Krista and Dash met on Tinder in 2015. Before long, Krista moved into Dash’s condo in the Fashion District. They lived there for a few years, but eventually they wanted more space for entertaining and a backyard for Louis. Their ideal place: a four-bedroom, two-bathroom detached home with parking in a walkable neighbourhood like Roncesvalles, Trinity-Bellwoods or the Annex. They set a ceiling of $1.8 million, but it took them more than a year—and 60 viewings—to find the right place.


Option 1

Barton Avenue (near Bathurst and Bloor). Listed at $2,095,000, sold for $2,001,800.

This semi-detached home felt like a stately Annex mansion because of its nine-foot ceilings, two fireplaces and classic wainscoting. It was only a short walk from Bathurst Station, too, which would’ve made Dash’s commute to Bay Street a breeze. The place was outside their budget, but Krista and Dash thought the price might drop, since the sellers had already relisted it twice, reducing the asking by $100,000. But the couple feared that the buildings across the street would be converted into condos, much like older properties in nearby Mirvish Village.

Option 2

Shaw Street (near Dundas and Ossington). Listed at $1,760,000, sold for $1,665,000.

Though only half the size of the place on Barton Avenue, this four-bedroom semi ticked a lot of their boxes. It was just north of Trinity Bellwoods Park. It had a big backyard for Louis. It had parking. And the interior was move-in ready, with exposed brick, an open-concept main floor and a newly renovated kitchen. But the price was steep for a semi. Plus, the basement was unfinished and they hated the idea of moving from Dash’s condo, which had two bathrooms, to a house with only 1.5 baths. So they walked away without making an offer.

The buy

Pinewood Avenue (near Bathurst and St. Clair). Listed at $1,495,000, sold for $1,567,000.

This four-bed, two-bath detached home wasn’t in one of their preferred neighbourhoods, but Krista and Dash found the Victorian architecture and old-growth trees in Humewood-Cedarvale charming. And the place was nearly perfect. It was on a 25-foot-wide lot, with a big kitchen for entertaining and a beautifully landscaped backyard. After a brief bidding war with another would-be buyer, Krista and Dash got the place for $72,000 over asking. Then they spent about $45,000 to modernize the upstairs bathroom and repair the roof. In February, they moved in.