There are these houses that make you dream. This one, in Dorval, snatched us some sighs of lust. But, beware: unless you have picked the right lottery ticket or inherited from a wealthy aunt, she is not at hand.
It’s crazy what property prices have gone up in recent years. Whereas ten years ago, houses with more than a million were rare, they are now legion. This, for sale at 4.9 million, is a specimen. Welcome to the new order.
Whatever, you can always admire, at least in these pages, these sumptuous residences from the other half of the world.
But, back to property. It first surprises with its immense terrain. On the shores of Lake Saint-Louis, less than thirty minutes from downtown, it occupies nearly 120,000 square feet, including 185 on the water’s edge. His charm? The land, slightly sloping, which leads to the lake.
Nothing seems to have been affected since its development in 1923. A gentle grassy slope, bordered by almost wild woodlands where you can guess the neighboring houses. One can imagine the residents throwing a balloon at the Kennedy of Hyannis Port. But beware of the pond: the small pool (where the bullfrogs are very vocal during our visit) could encourage reading rather than sport.
Left side, near the new stone terrace and the outdoor kitchen (BBQ, fridge, counters), a very large rectangular swimming pool with two springboards, one of which is for diving in deep water. The terrace has several areas including a table that can seat 16 people comfortably.
But that’s at the back. At the front, a serrated grid opens the way to the residence. Built in 1923 by Montreal architects Nobbs & Hyde (who designed several buildings for McGill University and dozens of residences of the wealthy at the time), the house underwent major transformations in 2004, both inside and outside. ‘outside. So major, in fact, that even the storefront took advantage of the facelift: the architect Ken London added a turret, enlarged the garage and completely modified the front lot by reshaping the entrance leading to the house.
The small house near the road, which was once the garage and the driver’s residence, lost its vocation after the construction of the two garages to the left of the house. For a long time, it housed those hired to take care of the maintenance of the property.
The interior of the property has also been completely revised. The house has been owned by the same family since 1932. She has seen three generations live there. The last owners have brought it up to date, but without losing its cachet of the early 20th century.
From the hall, you enter a subdued, luxurious universe without ostentation. The owners have chosen to include built-in wardrobes in the hallway to display photos of families and other items that are dear to them. The cream woodwork and the brown wooden slatted floors give ease and sobriety. But objects do not lie: chandeliers, pageantry and materials are of high quality. We are not in the superficial splendor here, but in the discrete richness.
The residence was already large, but the renovations made it possible to add a room at the back which is almost the entire width of the house. The new glazed room on three facades includes living areas: a living room, a chat area and a dining area.
These rooms are open to the old ones, the kitchen, the hallway and the dining room. All floors are wooden slats, even those in the kitchen. Here, we have chosen cherry wood cabinets with several storage spaces. All counters are in speckled granite. The island (three seats) includes a mini built-in cellar and a pretty glazed and lit wardrobe.
In all, this property has 16 rooms. The common areas, such as the dining room and the living room, are traditional: large, airy, classic. What is less so is the gym resulting from the renovations and open to the rear with a view of the lake. Adjacent, a spa, whirlpool with shower room and large shower make exercise more … tolerable.
Upstairs and the attic have 7 bedrooms, the main one occupying the entire depth of the house. A large bathroom with makeup area was refurbished during the renovations. At the top of the turret, a spherical Roman bath like the turret has been included.
The owners want to keep their privacy and we cannot show the photos of the rooms. But they are all large, with a view of the lake. Ah yes, and the finished basement includes a large wine cellar. Discreet, too.