Family Friendly, Built-In – The Globe and Mail – #Toronto #realestate

Home of the Week

Family friendly, built-in

Home of the Week, 82 Four Oaks Gate. Credit Royal LePage Urban Realty

Home of the Week, 82 Four Oaks Gate. Credit Royal LePage Urban Realty

Builder Diane Cornacchia draws on her experiences in her own home when designing her infill projects

Deirdre Kelly

Toronto From Friday’s Globe and Mail

82 Four Oaks Gate

What: A new two-storey house on a ravine lot in Toronto’s East York neighbourhood. The four-bedroom, four-bathroom home has approximately 3,500 square feet of living space (including a 1,200-square-foot finished basement) on a 30-by-198-foot lot.

Asking price: $1.198-million

Taxes: Not Available

Agent: Royal LePage Urban Realty (Diane Speer)

Home of the Week, 82 Four Oaks Gate. Credit Royal LePage Urban Realty

Home of the Week, 82 Four Oaks Gate. Credit Royal LePage Urban Realty

This new home on a quiet cul-de-sac with easy access to the Don Valley Parkway was built with a feminine touch – literally. The builder is a woman.

As such, Diane Cornacchia is a rarity in the new construction business.

A mother of three adult children, she not only designed the luxury four-bedroom home herself, she hand-picked all the finishes including chandeliers, fixtures, tile and paint colours in addition to the stone used on the home’s façade.

She also served as the project’s general contractor, co-ordinating the crew of construction workers and tradesmen who worked with her on the house earlier this year.

“I was the only woman on the site, but I’m a tough cookie,” she says.

She entered the business roughly 25 years ago, working alongside husband Nick Cornacchia in renovating other people’s homes.

Home of the Week, 82 Four Oaks Gate. Credit Royal LePage Urban Realty

Home of the Week, 82 Four Oaks Gate. Credit Royal LePage Urban Realty

“Little by little you learn more and then we started to build new construction on our own,” Ms. Cornacchia says.

For her husband, building was more a hobby, but for Ms. Cornacchia, it became a calling.

“I like it,” she says. “It’s within me, and sometimes you just have to do what feels natural.”

Over the past decade, she has applied that natural skill to building several houses of her own in downtown Toronto, all of which have sold without a hitch.

Most have been located close to where she was born and raised, near Broadview and Danforth avenues, 52 years ago. She lives there still.

While some of her past houses have been in Riverdale, she now prefers to build in nearby East York.

She likes the former Toronto borough’s proximity to shopping, transit and major thoroughfares such as O’Connor Drive, Cosburn Avenue and Don Mills Road.

“It’s more than an up-and-coming neighbourhood,” Ms. Cornacchia says. “It’s booming where real estate is concerned.”

Home of the Week, 82 Four Oaks Gate. Credit Royal LePage Urban Realty

Home of the Week, 82 Four Oaks Gate. Credit Royal LePage Urban Realty

Old homes there are being extensively renovated or, in the case of 82 Four Oaks Gate, a former two-bedroom bungalow, razed in order to accommodate new builds.

In her own way, Ms. Cornacchia is part of the area’s renaissance.

She builds with an eye to creating roomy layouts to appeal to families considering moving into the area.

“Maybe it’s because I’m a woman and a mother,” she says. “When I build something, I think of what would be good for my own family. Good-sized rooms are important to me. They’re my signature.”

Agent Diane Speer has worked with Ms. Cornacchia for many years and says few builders are willing to spend the time or money in making a new home feel airy and spacious and planned down to the last detail.

“She stands out. It’s the proportions of her rooms. They’re meant for families to actually live in. They’re not just showcases,” Ms. Speer says.

For her own part, Ms. Cornacchia says that with 82 Four Oaks Gate, her goal “was to make a good-sized master bedroom for the parents with closets for each of them plus an ensuite, and three good-sized bedrooms for the children.”

Her house also features a surfeit of storage space, including an open concept eat-in kitchen with extra pantries and cupboards.

All the principal rooms have double closets.

“On this point I had to fight my crew,” Ms. Cornacchia says. “They said a house doesn’t need so many closets but I believe differently. I know that a house does. And when they pushed me, I had to push back.”

Closets: the great gender divider.

“Men, they know their jobs. Women, they know the whole picture. You know what I mean?”

Posted via email from Toronto Real Estate News, Blog


About Tariq Sultan
Dear Readers, I am a dedicated Toronto, Ontario based real estate professional who has been successfully meeting and exceeding the needs of his clients for past several years. I am actively involved in the insurance, financing, and mortgage industry. Real estate is not only my career – it is my passion. I strive to continuously provide my clients with exceptional service to ensure they are fully satisfied when it comes to their real estate needs. For any real estate related inquires contact me today, I will be happy to assist you. Best wishes, Tariq Sultan

One Response to Family Friendly, Built-In – The Globe and Mail – #Toronto #realestate

  1. Elli D. says:

    Nice job. Living in a house with the family gives you the insight what could be more appropriate when you are projecting the house for somebody else, although the question about the number of closet arises I think later it would be an advantage. But in general the closets give you the impression that the house is bigger.

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