From the sky-high rooftop deck of this downtown red-brick triplex at 9 Balaclava St, the tenants can look out over McBurney Park. Perhaps the playground is shrouded in mist, the distant and fogged-in treetops not much more than vague notions, a suspicion of elms, and the boards on the skating rink all decked out lately with Heighton’s poetry. It’s that sort of park.
The two-bedroom unit up there on the second floor is pretty, and perfect I reckon for a couple high on life’s bright promise, knee-deep in old novels and red wine, a few favourite recipes and a battered wok on the stove. Their head in the stars.
On the main floor there are one-bedroom units front and back. It’s a sensible, money-making set-up with some high baseboards and oak trim, a bedroom that’s tucked away up a couple of steps. The sort of digs you remember fondly in quiet moments long after graduation or the unexpected job transfer.
The lot is deep and offers more than enough parking to keep everyone happy. I suppose you could convert this century home (it was built in 1880) into a single-family dwelling (the location is fabulous, as is the street itself), and plant a garden back there, but it’s making money and putting three homes under the one roof right now, so its highest and best use might well involve keeping it as is.
The more concrete facts - income and so on - are in the realtor.ca listing right here. And you’d be best to jump smartly to those, before I launch into some extended riff on how this is my favourite neighbourhood in the city, and that some of my favourite houses - bright architectural inventions they are too - ring this park that sings so damn sweetly.