A 30,000 square foot mansion located on the Bridle Path and once owned by late financier Robert Campeau carries an asking price of $35 million, making it the most expensive home on the Toronto market. (Sammy Hudes / Toronto Star) | Order this photo
The home also features a luscious garden in the back of the property, visible from the living room, and a tennis court. (Sammy Hudes / Toronto Star) | Order this photo
Harold Singer in the library of the Bridle Path mansion. When the Singers bought the property, they were inspired by the French chateau design of the front entrance and decided to transform the interior to match it. (Sammy Hudes / Toronto Star) | Order this photo
The dining room. (Handout)
For $35 million, a French chateau could be yours.
The four-acre Bridle Path property, with more than 30,000 square feet of living area, is the most expensive MLS Toronto listing as of Wednesday.
Behind the gates is a home with 10 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms (including his and hers), a state-of-the-art gourmet kitchen, and an indoor 50-foot swimming pool, which features a structural floor that converts to a ballroom.
“There’s a lot of history with this property,” said agent Barry Cohen. “It’s an iconic home.”
Everything in the home is part of a “painstaking attention to detail” that recalls 17th -century France. (Sammy Hudes/)
Built in the early 1980s by late financier Robert Campeau, who combined two adjacent properties where the mansion is now situated, it’s been the home – and ongoing project – of Harold and Sara Singer for the past 15 years.
Blessed by former Toronto archbishop Cardinal Gerald Emmett Carter, notable guests have included Pierre Trudeau, Jane Fonda and Scandal star Tony Goldwyn. It’s also been the set of multiple films, including Kissinger and Nixon and That Old Feeling, and appeared in an episode of Suits.
When the Singers arrived, they were inspired by the French chateau design of the front entrance and decided to transform the interior to match it, with the help of late architect Gordon Ridgely and landscape architect Ronald Holbrook.
“Originally when we bought the property, it did not deliver on the expectation of the gates,” Harold Singer explains. “It was our desire to deliver that authenticity through the property that is in keeping with the lifestyle of the Loire valley.
“If you closed your eyes, you would feel that you are there.”
For Singer, the overflowing French culture culminates in the library, his favourite room, which also includes the chair and desk once belonging to Campeau.
He notes French cameo glass and window draperies replicated with silk tiebacks, as well as a fireplace mantle, are identical to what would have been found in the period of the Loire Valley.
“It’s discipline, it’s lifestyle and fundamentally it’s tradition,” Singer says.
A walkthrough of the property reveals other luxuries, like solid marble fireplaces, golden bathroom faucets, a double-sided elevator and multiple dishwashers.
Other aspects are less obvious, such as hidden silhouette speakers in the walls of the grand living room.
The home also features a luscious garden in the back of the property, visible from the living room, and a tennis court.
Cohen said the property is one of the most impressive he’s worked with, and the most expensive. The Singers bought the property for $7.5 million in 2002 and listed it in 2014 for $25 million.
While there was interest at the time, the Singers chose to stay for the time being until they could find a suitable place to move next.
Cohen said the property’s location, size and unique culture make it one of a kind, also emphasizing the symmetry in the design of the architecture, sculpting and artwork.
“The Bridle Path is by far the most luxurious neighbourhood, if not in all of Canada, certainly the GTA,” he said. “I don’t think you would find four acres, groomed, together, flat and a river running through it (elsewhere). The culture of the home, the architecture . . . I can’t think of another home that has nailed it quite the same way. It’s all put together. This has at all.”
Singer, a lawyer and venture capitalist, together with his wife, a managing partner of a major international law firm, are now ready to downsize.
“The point now is we’ve reached a stage in our lives where it’s time for someone else to celebrate what we’ve now completed,” Singer said. “Our children are older, both have graduated and moved on and it’s essentially an empty nester story.”