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Thirty novel condos to occupy space of Canada's most expensive house

Once the site of Canada's most expensive house, on the market in 2006 for $45 million, the 11 acres known as Edgemere on Oakville's Gold Coast will soon be home to 30 families.

The nation's formerly most expensive home will be demolished.

Once they got the municipal go-ahead in November, Niche Development began work on a plan with Peter Clewes of architectsAlliance and builder Joe Brennan to build 10 buildings, each with three condominiums, that are on the market now for between $2,595,000 and a little more than $6 million.

Unlike other similar large-property developments, Hewitt and Clewes decided not to subdivide the property, first put together into an estate by James Ryrie, a Toronto jeweller whose business merged with Birks in the first decade of the last century.

"We were trying to preserve the memory of the estate," says Clewes. "There's a green house, a  gardener's house, a dry shed, for instance, and also the landscape, there's a spectacular landscape, a 100-year-old landscape with hundreds of trees."

But it's the buildings themselves, novel hybrids of condos, townhouses and single-family homes, that are the main attraction.

"The architecture is not like anything we've ever done," says Clewes, whose other projects include York University's Pond Road residences, the first green student housing in the country. "It's a contemporary re-interpretation of the arts and crafts, shingle-style that's in evidence in a lot of turn-of-the-century buildings in Oakville, with steeply pitched roofs, overhangs, stone. But it also has a contemporary feeling with an extraordinary number of windows."


Writer: Bert Archer

Source: Peter Clewes


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