Monday, April 28, 2008

Alex Lifeson In a Rush to Sell His Hoose

SELLER: Alex Lifeson
LOCATION: Chestnut Park Road, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
PRICE: $5,699,000 (Canadian)
SIZE: 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: ...Over 6,000 sq. ft. of beautifully fin space lends itself to elegant & comfortable living. Entertaining spaces are stylishly fin w/ sophisticated accents. Fab fpls. on 4 lvls. 6 bdrms are spacious. A detached 3 car grg w/ 2nd lvl living/studio space accessible fr frdn. A rare circular drive creates a dramatic entrance.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Back in the 1970s, Your Mama, Sister Woman, and cuzzins Lois and Toddaroohoo used sit around Aunt Jennie's colossal console stereo and ride around in Your Mama's Mama's souped up Cutlass listening to 8-track tapes of Linda Ronstadt, Barry Manilow and Donna Summer with a bit of the Bay City Rollers tossed in for modern measure. In the 1980s, like so many other confused and angst ridden small town teens, Your Mama fell backwards into the post-Punk and New Romantic music scenes of the The Psychedelic Furs, Softcell and Culture Club. Jeezis, remember those days, kids? So when we first received word from Canadian Jon that a man named Alex Lifeson had put his big hoose in a hoity toity area of Toronto on the market, we confess, we didn't have a clue who Mister Lifeson is or what he does that qualifies him as a noteworthy individual.

So, as we always do, Your Mama turned to the internets where we learned Mister Lifeson is the founder and lead guitarist for Rush, a venerable and beloved prog-rock band that defines a particular genre of music that Your Mama never understood nor particularly liked. Listen puppies, we're not dogging Rush or in any way throwing shade on their talents, longevity or considerable successes. We're simply saying, that heavy duty rock (or "prog-rock," whatever that is) was not, is not and will never be Your Mama's cup of musical tea.

Anyhoo, according to listing information and a recent report in The Globe and Mail, Mister Lifeson's three story and (approx.) 6,000 square foot brick built hoose stands on Chestnut Park Road in a leafy and posh part of Toronto called Rosedale. Your Mama feels comfortable enough with the children to tell them that we are entirely ignorant of Toronto's lay of the land so we quickly consulted a Canadian cohort we'll call The Fiddler who tells us that ritzy Rosedale sits very near downtown Toronto, has lots of swanky shops that line Yonge Street, and is chock full of Canadian rich and famous folks like master thespian Eugene Levy, billionaires Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman, comedienne Andrea Martin and fellow Rushian Geddy Lee. Several years ago, troubled American actor Kiefer Sutherland and his wifey Kelly very publicly sold their house in the Crescent Park section of Rosedale during their long estrangement (and subsequent dee-vorce).

Since Your Mama hasn't any idea how to look up Canadian property records, we have to rely on The Globe and Mail's report that 54 year old Mister Lifeson and his wifey Charlene have owned their crib with the frat hoose-like facade for (about) ten years. We don't know how much moolah the couple paid for their place, but it is currently listed at $5,699,000 (Canadian), which our bejeweled abacus informs Your Mama is about the same as $5,624,000 American dollars.

Listing information indicates the hoose includes 6 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms spread over three floors of living space as well as a finished basement that contains a games room. The main living level features an impressive entrance gallery and stair hall, living and dining rooms with wacky wallpaper and elaborate and upsetting window treatments, a library, family room and a large eat in kitchen with a large (and possibly dangerous) pot rack that listing information reveals is included in the sale.

Other than the zany zebra print rug paired with the kooky 1980s red-violet chaise lounge with the poppy orange throw pillows in the sitting room of the master bedroom, there's really little in terms of interior day-core that Your Mama cares for...it's just too traditional, fussy and furniture showroom-ish for our personal taste. None the less we find the facade stately, the public rooms nicely proportioned, and we adore the detached carriage hoose/garage with living space above which is perfect for stashing staff and/or guests that don't recognize that a three week visit is simply too long and intrusive to be warrant being hoosed in the main hoose.

According to local gossip (and reported in The Globe and Mail), now that their two children are grown Mister and Missus Lifeson have decided to move on to a smaller crib, a sensible real estate decision we seldom see made by rich and famous folks who so often buy and build ever bigger and more lavish hooses.

Although we hear that Toronto is wonderfully lefty liberal and a lovely location to live, Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter prefer to make our home in warmer climes. However, if we were ever to pack up our small fleet of BMWs and emigrate to Canada (which, politically speaking, hasn't aways seemed like such a bad idea), we can imagine that a solid and dignified hoose like this would be an excellent place to set up shop and keep the bitter chill of winter at bay. After a little redecorating and a lot of wallpaper removal, natch.

43 comments:

StPaulSnowman said...

great, great bones! Lovely facade. How fortunate that is hasn't been torn down or converted to condos.

fairfield girl said...

I like the white room....

pch said...

Rush is like Iron Maiden for me. I'm familiar with the music mostly because some friends were hardcore fans. The types who wore concert t-shirts as a uniform. I was all into Missing Persons, Oingo Boingo, Devo, etc. And I've just put on "Tainted Love" in honor of Mama.

Nothing to complain about architecturally. Pleasant, respectable, but forgettable. This is Bentley's neck of the woods -- interested in his take on the property.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful example of stately, genuine classic architecture, albeit badly decorated.

Viva! said...

Decoarated in the style of "Grandma Came Into Millions Late In Life" but if you tore out a helluva lot of stuffy furnishings this place is FABULOUS! Rosedale is a gorgeous neighborhood.

bentley said...

"Hoose" = a nice touch, Mama!

Rush is the pits. I'd rather hear cats screw all night than listen to Rush.

Rosedale, however, is gorgeous. Winding, leafy streets with stately homes ranging from big to very big. Chestnut Park, Highland and Bowmont are premier streets.

If you have money in Toronto, you want to live in Rosedale (old money), Forest Hill (old money) or the York Mills/Bayview (new money, garish, lifeless mausoleums) area.

Rosedale's proximity to downtown makes it very desirable, but the lots are not huge, it being a downtown neighborhood.

This house is typical in it's Center Hall plan, but average for the neighborhood. There is some very interesting and unique architecture in Rosedale. This house isn't a good representation of that.

Anonymous said...

bentley, the other homes in Rosedale must really be something, but I'm liking this one alot. Understating can be every bit as attractive and maybe even moreso than showy in it's own way.

Anonymous said...

I must say growing up in So. Cal we loved Rush. Great concerts too!
I love this homes style and would LOVE to check out the area.
Sandalwood...

Alessandra said...

I had a boyfriend in high school who thought the drummer for Rush was the end all and be all. Needless to say, we did not date long.

Love the facade and bones of this home but definitely loathe the decor. Luckily, ugly wall paper and fussy curtains are easily fixed. If I had to live in Toronto, which doesn't strike me as a terrible, just cold, notion, this would be a house I'd love to buy.

bentley said...

Sandalwood,

For a sense of Rosedale and Forest Hill, check out:
www.chestnutpark.com

www.harveykalles.com will give you an idea of the massive houses in the York Mills/Bayview area.

Anonymous said...

Bentley, Thanks for the link. Found several that would do it for me very nicely.

Love the architecture -- inside and out.

sandpiper said...

Oops, 3:34 is me.

Dr Qui said...

Greetings to your imperious Mama from Hong Kong once again.
Although a closer inspection would be necessary to confirm my authentication,what I think I can see through my 18th century jade handled magnifying glass in the main reception room is a magnificent pair of Ming dynasty wardrobes,these would have been used to hang imperial robes for storage.Now please note that on the mainland of China there are factories turning out millions of reproductions of this sort of furniture that is sold as "antique" all over your glorious country.
I would however be willing to bet Aunt Mary's Rose Canton export puch bowl on my hunch that they are the real thing.
Please contact our gallery in Hong Kong if selling.

Todd said...

Alessandra said... "I had a boyfriend in high school who thought the drummer for Rush was the end all and be all. "

Neal Peart is a God in the drumming community, of which I'm a member. If his house is as big or good as his drumming skills, then I'm sure Peart's house is bigger than Lifeson's.

Anonymous said...

RUSH ROCKS!!!!!!
YA!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh thank you Mama! What memories Rush brings to me!! My high school days (or should I say HIGH school daze) were spent in Portland Maine, and Rush was a major stoner concert. Apparently the Portland crowd was so polite that numerous 80's bands would start their tours there as an "easy warm-up" to the big arenas. We all smoked mountains of herb and went to the show with our bic lighters. Rush playing "Tom Sawyer", the laser lights panning, and 10,000 bic lighters held high all at once. Ah the memories.... Thanks Mama!!!

Anonymous said...

RUSH ROCKS!!!!!!
YA!!!!!!

Alessandra said...

Todd...I know the drummer was good, but he was attached to Rush and I just could never get that into them.

I do hope he has a big house to go with his big talent.

aunt mary said...

Everything about the house is lovely. The living room is just right with those Chinese cabinets and whatever art piece that is over the mantle. I even like the deviled egg decorated Christmas trees (?) in the kitchen. The house looks very livable and cozy. Bring me my pocketbook. Ring-a-ling-ding! Hello, Sven dear, pack the yoga sticks and a parka. We're heading north.

Sarah in AUS said...

Love the outside and the proportions of the entry hall... HATE every piece of decoration though.

Anonymous said...

looks haunted to me

real estate Vancouver said...

Great! Beautiful house. I am dealing with Vancouver condos
and I have seen many such a great houses built in old beautiful classic style converted to condos. Reconstruction was often hand in hand with damaging historical features of the house. Hopefully this house have another destiny.

Anonymous said...

Hey Vancouver Real Estate...Try actually advertising instead of slipping that crap into the comments section. I wouldn't hit your link if you PAID ME. Moron.

Have a nice day.

StPaulSnowman said...

Too much venom lately! I, (not we or us, thank you Sandpiper) think any vote for preservation is worth listening to, especially from a realtor. It is heartening to read how many appreciate this old gem of a house. The furnishings, like the residents, are transient.

Anonymous said...

stpaulsnowman - His link shows he is anything but a preservationist. He is selling the very condos "damaging historical features of the house" that he mentions in the post.

I'm with anon 5:49, Mama needs to delete his free advertising.

Anonymous said...

If some of you are bored and would like to see Rosedale in the Spring, here is the photothread - http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=334362&page=4 (clean link, not spam).

StPaulSnowman said...

Anonymousamigos; Thanks for the insight. I had no way of knowing and appreciate the info......I wouldn't visit his damn website either! We are fortunate enough here in the hinterland to have a few real estate agents who actually do appreciate the intrinsic value historic homes and their preservation. Now that I think about it, I can only think of two, so I guess that isn't even a few.

Anonymous said...

Bently you are a doll. Thanks for the links!!!
Sandalwood...

Anonymous said...

real estate agents = people that failed in their careers

Anonymous said...

Go Away Average Ho.

Anonymous said...

average joe = person who failed in life

Margaret said...

I think it looks like a castle and its beautiful. If I had the money I would live in it. Makes me wonder though if Geddy and Neil (when he still lived in Toronto) lived just as lavish??

Katie said...

Wow! Alex Lifeson is amazing...and so is his house!I am a deep cut Rush fan. all three of them are awesome.:)

Anonymous said...

Nice house!
Rush is great! The only people who don't like rush are ignorant morons who like springstein & other garbage that popular society loves.
You need to be smart to like rush...so if you don't like them. Well...there ya go!

Anonymous said...

I agree! People who bash rush are some of the most ignorant and classless people around. But you have to understand that ignorance is raised by ignorance and will raise ignorance itself! These people are for us to laugh at!
Ask them what bands they do like...and you'll get some answers that are VERY funny!
But never mind me I'm just sensible!
P

Anonymous said...

Please, people. This is my first visit to this website. Stick to your comments concerning real estate. Rush has been around for 30+ years, and has prospered inspite of small minds. Stick to real estate comments - stick with what you KNOW. Rush is beyond petty insults.

Anonymous said...

Rush are still the GODS!
If I buy the house, I'll be sure to invite my Uncle over so we can dream by the fireside.

kennyplay said...

Well, Alex also has a house in Naples Florida, and along with the kids grown now, they don't need this house...

Anonymous said...

Beautiful home; all that's missing is a Red Barchetta in the barn. Rush rules!

Anonymous said...

Alex is the most fun guy you could imagine meeting.. A humble yet extreme talent that will go down as one of the greatest guitarists of our time. See you at the O room Big Al!

Anonymous said...

RUSH are rock LEGENDS, to say the least! Respected and admired the world over for their stellar musicianship and 'tight' relationship with each other. As for this house, I'LL TAKE IT!

Anonymous said...

No shit!!! The best drummer in the world period !!! Neil Peart has actually two doctorates in percussion and each one is over 10,000 hours of study and is the only one EVER to accomplish this feat. He is the best of the royals in drumming and is also their lyricist who writes complexed and compelling words to one of the most tightest and talented bands bar none !!! He does not drum conventionally nor just keep the beat but instead creates complexed drumming pieces that truly becomes an instrument on its own. No one else can or does this but Neil Peart. Truly amazing and extremely advanced beyond his peers. With Geddy singing Neil's words and playing the bass guitar and also 2 racks of foot pedals all at the same time or his 2 rack of keyboards as well. Top that off with Alex Lifesons spectacular guitar( which has inspired my own guitar playing) all makes this 3 piece band sound like so much more than the numbers would suggest.As a musician I know that the talents that make up Rush have fueled the passion of their very loyal diehard fans and gave the world the most awesome Rock band to cut a clear path to the most unique music that makes them stand taller than ANY other band out there. Thank god there ours and from Canada. If you don't get it then you must first not be a musician and second have taste in your ass !!! With over 40 years and still going strong says volumes !!! Best band from and in Canada period!!! 3 guys who make it all look so easy and effortlessly because they simply are the best in the World at what they do and are extremely respected buy all others in the music industry. Well earned and well respected.

Anonymous said...

Is that you Toddy !!! Is Styx on a break or what ??? Ok you are my second choice cause you are just slightly behind Neil and not buy much !!! And you are my first band choice ever !!! Never missed a concert of yours ever !!! Even before you joined the band which was the best thing ever for Styx after John passed. I have seen every Vancouver concert that Styx was at !!! That's why both bands are my fave cause of the best two drummers alive and I myself am a guitarists !!! Listen up folks cause even drumming gods like Todd Zuckerman bow in Neil Peart's presence as they were all inspired buy his technical prowess!! Remember he has over 20,000 hours of study in percussion !! Two doctorates !!! He is a drumming god in all musicians eyes!!! Thanks again Todd !! I knew who you are.