Often described as the Annex of tomorrow, Dufferin Grove is perhaps the most community-driven neighborhood in Toronto.  The heart of the nabe is Dufferin Grove Park, a leafy 14-acre oasis featuring a communal outdoor oven where Terroni-quality pizzas are lovingly prepared for neighborhood potluck suppers while Gen Y-ers update their Facebook status from grassy knolls, connected to the net via park-wide Wi-Fi.

The famous wood oven at Duffy Grove Park. I'll have a margherita pizza with extra basil please.

The park also features a year-round farmers’ market, live music in the summer and puppets on ice in the winter, open campfires, an off leash dog zone and wait for it… an upcoming composting bio-toilet!  It’s like an all-inclusive resort over there.  I know where I’m headed for my next vacation!  The best part is that all of these resources are available due to the initiative and organization of a very hard-working neighborhood collective, the Friends of Dufferin Grove Park.

Vendors flog their wares at the immensely popular farmer's market. Photo by Funkaoshi.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire... Photo by Friends of Dufferin Grove Park.

Located just a hop, skip and a jump from this little slice of heaven is my House Crush of the week.  Listed at $789,000, this detached three bedroom, two bathroom house was completely renovated in 2004 with a three storey addition.

While many houses are described as “rare opportunities” by listing agents, this one actually is.  The location within the ‘hood is superb – one block south of the park and one block north of College Street.  You’re close enough to enjoy all the revelry of Little Italy without having to deal with drunken suburbanites making out on your lawn.  Being near the West End Y is another great perk… who doesn’t like shooting hoops with the lead singer of Sloan?  While many neighborhoods have experienced a downturn in bidding wars over the past few weeks, the lack of substantial renovated homes in prime Dufferin Grove resulted in a $91,500 premium for this casa, with a final selling price of $880,500 (112% of list).

Time to go inside!

The lovely open staircase brings a little grandeur to the space. I can totally visualize big entrances on the first day of school and prom night. Or it could be a perfect setting for an impromptu family concert performance a la the Cosby Show!

To re-visit this magical TV moment, click here.  A definite contender for my favourite Cosby episode, second only to the one where Denise sews a lacklustre imitation of a Gordon Gartrelle shirt for Theo or the one where everyone conspires against Theo to transform the family home into the “Real World Apartments”.  Genius!

The dining space is much larger than the living space and I'd consider reversing the two rooms if I lived here. I know - controversy!

See what I mean? This cosy living space, currently being used as a home office, would make for a wonderful dining space, especially with the French doors leading to the front porch. Cue Alabama accent - "Why I do believe tiz a mighty wonnerful evening for a pitcher o' lemonade". Can't you just see yourself throwing those doors open during a dinner party on a hot summer's eve?

Not the most exciting kitchen of all time but a light, airy space perfect for family gatherings. I can visualize some good home cookin' happening in here while the kids noodle their math homework, or whatever the kids of the future study, at a nice rustic table.

A large, sunny room with a partial en-suite (meaning there are two doors, great for evading your assailant during sibling arguments). Gotcha - oh no you don't!

Which child do you love more? Think you love them both the same? Impossible when someone gets to occupy this perfect bedroom! The new owners may want to consider making this their master as the original charm of the stained glass window and fireplace make for a wonderfully cosy nest.

"Now honey, if we get separated in the bathroom just find a policeman and ask for help or meet Mommy next the bathtub". Maybe I'm too accustomed to the small bathrooms of old houses but I found this one huge! Great for families though.

Kick back, slip into your Lululemons and relax.

Here's where things get a little trippy. This is not the basement bathroom you'd expect but why not go for some colourful tiles in a completely unexpected palette? At first I didn't know what to make of this scheme as it's so the opposite of the crisp white bathrooms we're used to seeing but... that rainbow shower really grows on you over time. I'd love to take a shower in there and see the tiles through squinted eyes and the streams of water. Remind me to bring a bathing suit to open houses in the future.

The Deets:

College/Dufferin, Detached, 2-Storey, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

List: $789,00

Sold: $880,500 (112% of list, May 2010)

Taxes: $3,667 (a steal for a detached home on this lot size!)

Lot: 22 x 13o Feet

Parking: 2 spaces

Remarks For Clients: **Stunning Detached 3+1 Bdrm Home In Prime Dufferin Grove. Gut Reno’d & Expanded In ’04 (Incl A 3 Level Addition)W/ Top Quality Materials & Workmanship. Spacious Eat-In Kit, Elegant Mstr Bdrm W/ Walk-In Closet & Luxurious ‘Spa’ Bthrm, Gorgeous, Full Height Family/Media Rm In Bsmt, Beautifully Crafted Built-Ins, Panelling, & Custom Millwork Throughout**Steps To The Park & Restaurants/Shops On College**An Inspiring, Unique Home Not To Be Missed!

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