This triplex in leafy Etobicoke has remained with the same family since 1952. Originally a rental property, it belonged to the present homeowner’s father, a Toronto builder, who maintained it with such care that daughter Carol Carter says “it was always one of the nicest triplexes in the neighbourhood.”
Her father passed away a few years ago, prompting Ms. Carter to want to move into the house herself.
She would live upstairs, with her newly widowed mother occupying the main floor apartment. A brother would take the lower level.
“With dad gone, her own house was too much for her,” Ms. Carter says. “Having her live with us would give us peace of mind.”
Her husband, the architect Ron Carter, drew up some plans with the idea of renovating the original property to suit all their needs. His long-time real-estate agent Ronald Sturino took one look at them and said forget it: “Tear it down!”
Mr. Carter allows that it was the better idea.
“Besides the changes we were going to make, a renovation was going to be more difficult and more expensive than what we had originally anticipated,” says Mr. Carter, whose company builds automotive showrooms across Canada, among other projects.
“It wasn’t going to achieve what we really wanted to do.”
With the blessings of his wife and in-laws, he razed the old property in 2002 before rebuilding a new triplex completely from scratch.
The project called for three distinct apartments, one each for the new occupants who were able to customize their own units according to their individual tastes and needs.
The result is a smorgasbord of a house offering a variety of architectural styles and interior designs under one roof.
The mother-in-law apartment, for example, is traditional and cozy with a formal dining room, accent pillars, frosted-glass windows, an antique fireplace in the living room and a three-piece, white Carrera marble bathroom. The two-bedroom suite has a master with a walk-out to backyard patio, where an old maple provides ample shade in the summer months.
In sharp contrast is son Michael Natan Infuso’s apartment on the lower level, a study in Zen minimalism. This two-bedroom Asian-inspired retreat features an open-concept kitchen with white bulkhead cabinetry, extra-density matte-black granite counters and stainless-steel appliances. The master bedroom has a custom-made Japanese shoji screen concealing a built-in clothes closet and an integrated sound system.
The Carters’ own suite on the upper level is the most ambitious – if not spectacular – of the three.
Inspired by the loft-style apartments of New York and featuring exposed duct work, raw brick, and a chic white-and-black decor, the apartment is spread over two storeys and is hung with original art work and more chandeliers than a boutique hotel.
At 2,800 square feet, it is also double the size of each of the other units. A vaulted ceiling that reaches as high as 18 feet at the peak and a lack of doors and walls creates a feeling of spaciousness as well as grandeur.
“The volume of space makes it feel luxurious,” Mr. Carter says.