Great Spaces: a Rosedale couple fills their condo with curios gathered over 51 years together
Alan Hanlon and Andy Body rarely entertain at home. They prefer socializing at the Ritz-Carlton or La Société, and reserve invitations to their 1,800-square-foot Rosedale condo for the closest of friends—who are given an unforgettable lesson in gracious living. Now retired, Body spent his career as a choreographer and as a television director with the CBC. Hanlon worked for Rothmans, building its corporate art collection and organizing travelling exhibits for galleries like the AGO. The two of them have mixed and mingled with some of the most influential talents and talked-about people of the 20th century—Andy Warhol, Pierre Trudeau, Liza Minnelli—while travelling the world. Their home is an intensely personal reflection of their 51 years together. They can effortlessly recall the backstory of every painting, rug or chair. They’re both around 80, but the tales they tell make them seem like mischievous teenagers. Standing in front of a small etching, Body lowers his voice to a whisper. “I almost never show this to people. They think it’s just a sketch. They say, ‘Nice drawing.’ ” Turns out it’s a Rembrandt.
The original ashtray is from New York City’s Stork Club, where Body and Hanlon partied with celebrities like Robert Taylor, Agnes Moorehead and Burt Lahr. The owner, Sherman Billingsley, gave it to Body.
In the salon, many of the red accents, including the crested Persian rug, are only on display in the summer, and get replaced in the winter by black and white accessories.
The Lladró angel on the coffee table was a gift for Body’s 80th birthday, given by the owner of McTamney’s pawn shop on Church Street. Body is a long-time customer.
Two paintings of Venice hang one above the other in the salon. The top one is attributed to the school of Canaletto; the bottom one is by the famed Canadian artist William Winter.
Body and Hanlon have cocktails by their gas fireplace every afternoon. Their signature drink is a vodka martini with a twist.
The seashell box is a memento of summers spent on Fire Island. It was a gift from interior design Robert Nichols.
The weathered Chinese sculptures are among Body’s oldest possessions. He bought them in 1953 from his laundryman, after admiring them for months. They’re good luck charms for health and fortune.
The Mexican artist Pedro Friedeberg gave Hanlon the golden-palmed clock in 1973, after participating in one of Hanlon’s exhibitions. The fingers count the hours.
Body and Hanlon spotted the Dan Murphy sculpture plonked down at a second-hand store in Naples, Florida. The asking price was $25. It has been appraised at over $3,600.
The couple first bought the Mason and Risch baby grand in the ’70s, then sold it along with their house when they moved to Florida. Ten years later, they returned to Toronto, and their old house had been sold again and was being renovated. Body bought the piano back from the contractor and gave it to Hanlon for his 50th birthday.
The Picasso plate is a portrait of the painter’s long-time lover Marie-Thérèse Walter.
The framed sketch is by Toulouse-Lautrec.
Body bought the two Russian imperial plates at a junk shop for $5 each. “Some people put things up for sale without really knowing what they have,” he says.