$5,495,000 for a Baptist church converted into a designer loft

The spacious unit features luxury finishes, home theater, private elevator and walk-in closet

Address: 12 Macpherson Ave
Neighborhood: summer hill
Price: $5,495,000
Agent: Gillan Oxley, Oxley Real Estate


The place

A 4,400 square foot 3+1 bedroom Summerhill condo nestled in the front and spire of a former Baptist church.

The history

At the turn of the century, Toronto’s Baptist church was growing rapidly. By 1901, the town’s Summerhill congregation had raised enough funds to hire renowned architect John Francis Brown to build a church large enough to seat 900 members.

The building was sold as a family office in the 1970s and suffered a fire in 1986 that destroyed its interior. Condominium developers and investors recognized the opportunity and soon banded together to renovate the site and convert it into five massive single family lofts.

This unit is the largest in the building and has just been renovated by an LA interior designer Nicole Sassamann.

The trip

The building’s steeple is a prominent centerpiece of this residential corridor that connects Yonge to George Brown College’s Casa Loma campus. Its dense greenery helps camouflage the apartments for privacy.

Sassaman has woven contemporary elements into the home: custom shelving and curtains, black-stained wood paneling, Gothic chandeliers, and a gas fireplace enhance the building’s original high vaulted ceilings and large French doors.

The living and dining room has been rejuvenated with light decor, pot lights and a custom sound system wired throughout the ceiling. That marble fireplace and built-in banquettes at the back of the room add to the charm.

The kitchen features a Sahara marble waterfall island that complements the home’s predominant wood motifs, and the stainless steel appliances — a Sub-Zero refrigerator and custom microwave and wall oven — are all top-notch. Easy access to the terrace on the right simplifies al fresco dining.

The church’s brick and cement construction (rare for a building of this age) blocks noise, making this space perfect for a home theater. Sassaman enhanced the foreground windows with sharp-edged metal frames.

While the unit comes unfurnished, its custom wall coverings, floor tiles, gold light fixtures and fully restored windows give it a fresh, stylish skeleton.

The oak church staircase in the master bedroom leads to a walk-in closet with built-in hardwood drawers and shelves.

A five piece black marble bathroom is also connected to the master bedroom.

This unit is the only one in the building with a private elevator that goes straight up from the three car underground garage of the home.

A bright exercise room with 360-degree views of Summerhill fills the once-hollow church tower.

The main floor has two exits to a wraparound brownstone deck equipped with a BBQ, front patio, hot tub and dining area – perfect for summer gatherings.

The house has been on the market since late July, and agent Gillian Oxley says they are looking for a specific buyer: “Someone who wants to downsize and likes the contrast of a quiet neighborhood close to some of the liveliest corners of the city.”

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