Imagine a really spectacular five bedroom bungalow nearly completely rebuilt to the highest of standards on a wonderful treed lot on a quiet crescent full of interesting architectural homes and a wooded park, just a five-minute drive (or ten-minute bike ride) from the downtown core.
That house is 140 Fairway Hill Crescent.
I suspect most people have no idea this lovely residential loop along the outer edge of the Cataraqui Golf Course exists. They come into the city, or leave it, via Queen Mary Road, and think nothing of the quiet turn-offs onto Fairway Hills North and South. They never suspect that some of the city’s most interesting homes are to be found down there, some nestled into sheer pale limestone, while other risk their picture windows in return for a view down this or that lush green fairway. Grand two-storeys and long, sleek bungalows, traditional homes and midcentury marvels.
140 Fairway sits on the pretty inside curve of that crescent, away from the duffers’ loose hooks and slices. It’s a big and private lot (75 feet wide and 170 feet deep), studded with mature deciduous and evergreen trees. The original bungalow was built in1966 but in recent years the house has been completely remodelled. A colleague was in the house yesterday for an agent preview. It turned out he had spent time in the house as a kid. “I used to cut the lawn,” he said, gesturing out through the big doors. “But this … this is unrecognizable,” he said, spinning slowly and admiringly in the grandest of back additions. “Wow!” He declared. “This is something else.”
And he’s right. While from the street it retains the low-slung profile of a 1960’s build, and settles modestly into its surroundings, the interior has been opened right up, and far-off vaulted ceilings have been installed over the remarkable chef’s kitchen, as well as the dining and living areas.
To describe this 2200 s.f. main floor as open plan is to understate things by a lot. A three-sided gas fireplace acts as a hub for the principal living areas and the entire floor is flooded with tremendous light entering at the rear of the house, (which then gives onto extensive decking and the lavish, secluded gardens.)
There are four bedrooms on this main level, two at either end of the house, including a master suite with its own sitting area, as well as a fireplace and private exit to the garden. It’s like something out of the Hollywood hills.
The basement offers another 1200 s.f. of beautifully finished space, including a family room with a third fireplace, and two more high-ceilinged spaces, one presently used as a gym. And even, tucked away in a corner, a fifth bedroom with its own ensuite.
You should visit this house, you really should. There’s an open house the first weekend. Come and wander the wide hallways. Marvel at all the bits and pieces I could have written about earlier and didn’t - the granite counters and the rainhead showers, the white oak floors, the beautiful light fixtures, the exquisite angles where walls meet ceilings, like the proof of some elegant mathematical theorem.
The spaces here reminded us of an art gallery and so to some extent we’ve set it up that way. Rooms and hallways arranged as a series of contemplative spaces. What you contemplate is up to you. Last time I was there I divided my attention between the house itself and the art in front of me; between the real estate work I find myself engaged in at this stage of life, and the good fortune of whoever it is buys this wonderful executive Kingston home. Maybe that can be you.
* The art is mostly courtesy of the wonderful Ann Clarke.