What I bought


NOW Magazine - SuiteLife - - Suitelife - By SAB­RINA MAD­DEAUX Pho­tos by DAVID HAWE

What’s it like liv­ing on King West in the heart of Toronto’s condo boom? Shawn Hern­den, di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Cana­dian Stage and owner of King West De­sign, couldn’t be hap­pier. “I think the condo boom has been un­fairly ac­cused of wip­ing away the ar­chi­tec­tural and cul­tural fab­ric of our neigh­bour­hoods,” says Hern­den. “The true ex­pe­ri­ence of condo liv­ing is that you’re of­ten nav­i­gat­ing the streets with peo­ple who walk the same path to work as you do, who use the same gro­cery stores and eat at the same restau­rants. There’s some­thing very spe­cial about liv­ing with oth­ers who are at­tracted to the area for the same rea­sons.”

Hern­den’s condo is at 478 King West, ad­ja­cent to hot spots Wes­lodge and Pa­tria. You can tell by the funky art on his walls that he’s in­ter­ested in de­sign.

“Many of the pieces are by lo­cal artist Mark Huculak (Mark Art Stu­dio). The art­work is gritty and vi­brant, which per­fectly plays off the white walls, con­crete ceil­ings and brick ex­te­ri­ors.”

Hern­den orig­i­nally wanted to live on a higher floor but was turned off by the prospect of hav­ing to over­look rooftops

with loud fans and smelly air con­di­tion­ers.

“I didn’t con­sider liv­ing on a lower floor un­til I saw this condo’s amaz­ing out­door ter­race, which almost dou­bles my liv­ing space for eight months of the year.”

He makes the most of his bal­cony by filling it with plants and trees, and has even in­stalled an ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem. Orig­i­nal condo bud­get $325,000 Unit price $307,000 in 2012 Wish list “I was look­ing for popular items: open floor plan, plenty of out­door space, nat­u­ral day­light, high ce­ment ceil­ings, sleek kitchen with built-in ap­pli­ances, lots of wall space to hang art and an on-site gym.” Hern­den also wanted to be able to walk to work. What he got A 500-square-foot one-bed­room suite with a spa­cious 400-square-foot ter­race. His home is a con­ve­nient 30-minute walk from Cana­dian Stage’s Berke­ley Street The­atre and ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices. His de­sign phi­los­o­phy Though the condo is only 500 square feet, it com­fort­ably fits a 126inch couch that seats eight and a din­ing ta­ble for four. “The key to dec­o­rat­ing a smaller condo is to avoid buy­ing smaller pieces and in­stead find pieces that per­fectly fill the space.” What he says about the neigh­bour­hood “King West has an amaz­ing, youth­ful vibe with chic bars and restau­rants, and the best ar­eas of the city are a 20-minute walk in any di­rec­tion. I’m al­ways talk­ing about how the best of Toronto is at my doorstep, and you can’t say that about too many places.”

Shawn Hern­den

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