$1.95 million for Marjorie Harris’s garden escape in the Annex

House of the Week: $1.95 million for Marjorie Harris’s garden escape in the Annex

The 2,000-square-foot Victorian comes with a rental unit, a technicolour palette, more storage than a library and an Eden-like backyard

Marjorie Harris currently owns this Victorian semi in the Annex.

Neighbourhood: The Annex
Price: $1,949,000
Size: 2,006 square feet plus a 666-square-foot basement
Bedrooms: 3+1
Bathrooms: 4
Real estate agents: Beth Sulman, Sutton Group-Associates Realty

The place

A three-plus-one-bedroom, four-bathroom, two-unit Victorian semi with a verdant backyard that stretches 173 feet from the street. Since 1967, the place has belonged to journalist and garden guru Marjorie Harris. It’s within walking distance of Dupont and Bathurst stations, Casa Loma, several parks and the many businesses on Bloor.

The history

Harris and her husband bought the house as a place to raise their children. They renovated the interior over the years and fashioned it into two connected apartments in case they ever wanted a tenant or caretaker. The most important upgrade, though, was the backyard garden. After nurturing it for more than 50 years, Harris says letting go feels bittersweet: “The views of the garden from the dining room are irreplaceable.”

Related: $4 million for a Yorkville Victorian with a three-storey skylight tower

The tour

After passing through the front yard and sunroom, residents can take the stairs to the separate unit or hang a right toward the office and living space.

The place is 2,000 square feet and currently going for $1.9 million.

Here’s the office, which faces the sunroom and comes with a wall of closets.

Just off the foyer is this office.

Now for the banana-yellow living area, with a full grid of custom shelves.

The living room shelves are custom.

Beyond the living area is the main kitchen, flanked by mirrored columns that give the illusion of added space.

The main-floor kitchen is flanked by mirrors to give the illusion of added space.

The compact kitchen is equipped with just the essentials—plus a pretty cool electric cooktop and stainless steel oven.

Here's the kitchen.

There’s even a peanut gallery overlooking the dining area and backyard.

The home even has a peanut gallery.

Here, the wall-to-wall folding glass doors frame the garden as if it were a painting. (We’ll revisit this later.)

Wall-to-wall folding glass doors frame the garden like a picture.

Moving to the second floor reveals the open-concept space.

The second and third floors were designed to be a standalone apartment.

Here’s the second kitchen, illuminated by the alley window.

This is the second kitchen.

This space has floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, a dining table and a bay window overlooking the neighbourhood.

The reading area overlooks the neighbourhood via the bay window.

There’s also a bedroom at the rear of the second floor.

This second-floor bedroom faces the backyard.

On the third floor: the main bedroom, which comes with a curved ceiling and putting-green-like carpeting.

The main bedroom on the third floor has a curved ceiling.

Outside the bedroom by the staircase is a double-duty bathroom and laundry room.

This space by the stairs does double duty as a bathroom and laundry area.

In the sunken bedroom, there’s a network of bespoke shelves in lieu of a walk-in closet.

The sunken basement bedroom is equipped with a wall of Jenga-like shelving.

A neat freak’s paradise.

Note the built-in banquette on the left.

Behind the shelving is the ensuite bathroom, complete with a soaker tub, a tiled shower and a wide vanity.

The basement bathroom is its own sanctuary.

Here’s a view of the rear of the home from the backyard.

The rear of the home as viewed from the backyard.

And here’s what the garden looks when in bloom—a stunning bit of nature in the city.

The garden, in the fall, in all its glory.

Future residents have this to look forward to come spring.

What new residents have to look forward to in a few short months.

Have a home that’s about to hit the market? Send your property to [email protected].