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Beach Triangle Residents Association

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The Beach Triangle Residents Association, Toronto, Ontario

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Home History: 50 Rainsford Road - Tradition to Limbo to Transformation

By John Ellis

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A hard-working immigrant family from Hong Kong, the Chan family consisted of David and Grace, and their sons, Philip and James. They lived at 50 Rainsford Road when my family moved into 52 Rainsford in 1973 and we were neighbours for about 25 years, until David and Grace became elderly and developed health problems that required them to move to a care facility in about 2008.

David and Grace needed to rely on their sons to maintain the property. Philip struggled to maintain the house while James attended to their parent's medical and administrative needs.

With the family's great regret, the house was placed on the market for about $600,000. After a bidding war that lasted for several weeks, the house sold for the surprising sum of just over $800,000. The new owners gutted the house almost completely and over the next eight or nine months transformed it and ‘staged' it, placing it back on the market for $1,199,000.

I was granted permission to tour the house and take photos before any renovations had been made, and again when the house was put back on the market early this year. Following are the before and after photos.

[many pics to come]

Early History of 50 Rainsford Road

50 Rainsford Road was probably built in 1912, the first owner being James Atherton, and the value being about $3,000. It had some fine features, notably lovely stained glass over the front window (common at the time), an attractive oak door with oval bevelled glass, and very handsome oak staircase handrails, balusters, and newels. Somewhat unusual is the stone foundation. Over time, the original oak floors were replaced with oak parquet, and now with dark plank flooring. Originally a five-bedroom (two on the third floor), one-bathroom home, it is now a four-bedroom home with two bathrooms, a powder room, and with a one-bedroom, one bathroom basement suite.

Is 50 Rainsford today a better home? It has certainly changed with the times. This traditional, somewhat dark house has been opened up, made more light, airy and modern. Space for storage lost in the basement has been replaced with a convenient granny suite. Bathrooms and washrooms are now plentiful. It has been brought from Triangle tradition to a deteriorating limbo and now into transformation.