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Home of the Week: Riverdale detached has Victorian details revived

Owner searches high and low for just the right doors

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Home of the Week, 81 Victor Ave., Toronto. ASKING PRICE: Originally $849,000, now $949,000. Even so close to the city’s hustle and bustle, Victor Avenue is sandwiched between two parks. ‘Riverdale Park is just a walk away and Withrow Park is just on the other side,’ says owner Martin Griffey.

Rob Pyke

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Mr. Griffey paid $585,000 for the house eight years ago and estimates he’s put $150,000 to $200,000 into refurbishing it.

Rob Pyke

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The home is believed to have been built around 1887 as housing for railway workers. Since then, it has been transformed from a single family home to a rooming house, then back to a single family home. In its current incarnation, the home boasts three bedrooms and one bath, as well as a fully finished, separate bachelor basement suite that has its own kitchen and bathroom, which Mr. Griffey rents out for $850 a month.

Rob Pyke

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Mr. Griffey has worked on restoring the decor of the house. When he purchased it, most of the doors were hollow, cheap things, as he describes them, except for the original front door with its functioning wind-up bell. So he searched antique stores to find Victorian era doors to replace them, making sure they had four panels on them, not six. ‘People tend to put Georgian doors – which have the six panels – in Victorian houses so I tried to match doors with all four-panelled doors,’ Mr. Griffey says. ‘Once we found them, we stripped and waxed them, and then gave them crystal doorknobs.’

Rob Pyke

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Like many traditional Victorian homes, there is no elaborate, oversized master suite, but Ms. Tripp points out that the next owner could easily turn the third floor, which is currently an open space with its own walk-out deck, into a roomy bedroom with an en suite bathroom.

Rob Pyke

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