Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bridle Path, Toronto, Canada - Part 2

There were just so many amazing homes, but in 35 degree (Celsius) weather (and HUMID!), it was too hot to walk around and see them all.  Actually I have a pretty funny story about the experience, which I will post at the end of this entry, for those of you who just want me to cut to the chase and show pictures of more Bridle Path mansions.

#5: 10 High Point Road

This is by far one of my favorite homes.  It was created by Katherine Newman design ( and is absolutely stunning. 

I particularly love the mix of old and new.  I would love to sit down and chat with this woman!

A bit about the owner: Alex and Simona Shnaider, from Russia, bought number 10 for $4.3 mil­lion in 2006 and hired Katherine Newman to make something respectable out of it. Alex, Toronto’s youngest self-made billionaire, made his fortune in Russian steel and provided Donald Trump with the Bay and Adelaide land for a condo-hotel.

#6: 11 High Point Road

A classical architectural beauty.  I love the symmetry and scale of the portico (which I think is perfect).  The central statue is a beautiful touch.

Based on the plaque on the front gate, it appears to have been constructed in 1991.

#7: 32 High Point Road

This is a Paul Miklas, 18,000 square foot home that was on the market in 2008 for $15,000,000 (CAN).

Miklas is DEFINITELY a man I would like to meet.  A little about him:

As a child, Paul Miklas would sit in the back seat of his father's car, driving by the mansions of Toronto's Bridle Path neighbourhood, wondering what it was like to live behind the delicately curled iron gates.

"All you could do was imagine, man, it would be great to live there," Miklas says.

Miklas is a developer to the ultra-rich – those with the kind of wealth that's "off the charts and wasn't there 10 years ago..."

- Toronto Star, January 2, 2008

#8: 63 Park Lane Circle

A Gothic-inspired castle in the Bridle Path.  I particularly like the "Beware of Dog" signs on the front gate.  Trust me, I had no intention of climbing over it!

#9: 70 Park Lane Circle

I must say I felt as though I was committing a crime just standing on the road in front of this house!  The "warning signs" are extensive, and the view of the home is largely obstructed by trees.  It sure seems massive, as seen from google maps.

The statue is Poseidon, God of the Sea. 

Now for the funny story..."Journey to the Bridle Path"

Toronto is like a second home to me, with most of my family living there.  Thinking I knew the city pretty well, I decided to embark on a journey to visit some of the largest homes in the country.  I "google mapped" my journey before I left for the day, and took the TCC (subway) to the Lawrence station.  According to Google maps I had a 42 minute walk ahead of me.  Piece of cake!  Except, it happened to be mid-30's (Celsius) and it felt like 100 percent humidity.  To say I wasn't prepared for the heat was an understatement, having brought no water along for the walk.  Half way along the heat was starting to get to me.  My red polo and grey khakis were starting to feel like they had just come out of the washing machine, having skipped the step involving the dryer. 

I decided to take a short cut through York University, as according to Google maps, it appeared it would shave some time off of my journey.  Walking through the university trails was a bit like a crazy maze, with hills and very steep rocky steps.  After several attempts to "get to the other side,"  I found myself at a fence with a "No trespassing beyond this point" sign.  So much for the short cut.  I ended up walking around the university until I finally found the start of Lawrence Avenue East.  By car I'm sure the next hill I had to face would have been a breeze, but walking it looked as though it would never end.  After what seemed like forever, and multiple sits on the guard rail I finally reached the intersection of Lawrence Avenue and Park Lane Circle. 

By this point I was entirely disheveled, looking like someone who had been running in the woods from someone who was in pursuit of my life.  But alas, I arrived!

I was panting, my mouth was dry, and I was drenched!  I passed a few construction workers who looked at me as though I had 10 heads.  The first glimpses of the mansions made it definitely worth while, and I began making my way around the neighborhood.  The heat became so intense that I had to cross the streets frequently in attempt to walk in the shade of any tree I could find.  I felt as though I was literally cooking in my own skin.

I remember stopping at one of the homes, and seriously contemplating pushing the button of the intercom, pleading for a glass of water.  I figured I would say, "I mean you no harm.  I just need a glass of water, otherwise I think you may have a body to remove from the entrance of your driveway."  But, for fear of embarrassment I declined to do any such thing.

My trip through the path was cut short by sheer dehydration.  I decided I needed water!  Having walked for the last hour I realized travelling back westward would be pointless - I had not passed a single store along the way.  So I ventured further East. 

I finally found myself at the Toronto Botanical Gardens!  Civilization!  Immediately catching my eye, I saw a drinking fountain.  It was a bit like catching the glimpse of a mirage in the desert.  I ran with all my might to the fountain only to find it inoperable, leaving me even more drenched and dehydrated.  I seriously contemplated drinking from the river (yuck!) but luckily decided my potential negative health implications couldn't possibly be worth it. 

I kept travelling.  I found a small gift shop at the gardens, immediately ordered up 2 1L bottles of water, rushed outside, and began drinking faster than I ever had before.  I was halfway through the second bottle when I noticed an elderly Asian couple watching me, mouths gaping.  I realized what a strange sight I must have seemed. 

I immediately got off that shaded park bench, and started walking further east.  I saw a bus!  I ran but was too late.  I looked at the schedule, the next bus would be there in 30 min.  So I grabbed a shaded spot, sat on the grass, and finished off the second bottle of water. The bus finally came, #162 (I will never forget that heavenly number).  Air conditioning!!!

As the bus began travelling back toward Lawrence Station, my mouth dropped as I found myself travelling through the Bridle Path neighborhood, the place I spent the last several hours stumbling through with fear of death!

Next time, I know how I will be travelling!

Please check out my current progress on the mansion project


smplcv said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

:( wish i could afford a house like that lol.. even for a day