A Little about 67 Sydenham St – The Annandale in Kingston, ON and Unit 102 (which happens to be for sale)
There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of new condo buildings planned for Kingston’s downtown. A lot of them are geared to student’s with open layouts and walls of glass (I quite like the design of a few of them). Some are even causing a stir as they push our city’s height restrictions and send some of our residents into fits as they try to lop the extra few floors off the top.
All this has me wondering whether or not The Annandale experienced the same troubles while it was being planned and built in the late 1920’s. From what I can gather, 67 Sydenham St – The Annandale – was one of the first, “high rises” built in Kingston, but at 5 storeys it’s certainly no giant. It was unique in it’s day and remains so today in many ways, though not because it’s too tall. No, what sets it apart today has more to do with the difference in how structures were built almost 100 years ago, and how people lived in them then too.
Most of The Annandale’s condos still sport a more enclosed floor plan with the kitchen, dining room and living room all separated by walls. The Annandale’s common hallway that runs through the centre of the building and separates the units from one another, on the other hand, is so expansive that it must be 5 times the width of one of today’s new buildings’ hallways. The windows are smaller than what you’d find being used now, but they still manage to let in more than enough light. Somehow it all works, this older building, with it’s wide hallways and defined spaces. It’s the kind of place that makes you want to grab a book, a blanket, and a comfy chair and sit by the window while the hot water heat rolls off the old radiator.
From the outside you can get a sense of what it might be like on the inside. Sitting on the corners of William and Sydenham St it’s surrounded by mature trees and other century old (and older) homes, and when you’re standing on the outside looking in it looks heavy, like it hasn’t got any plans on going anywhere any time soon. It occupies the corner with a dignity, grace, and a permanency you don’t find in many of today’s buildings. It looks solid, but in no way brutish.
Inside it’s more of the same. As seems to be the case with most older buildings the proportions are perfect and as you walk down the airy hall you can almost feel the building’s strength. There really are a lot of neat features that you won’t find elsewhere (including the nicest parquet flooring I think I’ve ever seen).
In it’s first 90 years the condo board has worked hard to keep all of the building’s Beaux-Arts and modernist sensibilities in tact and I for one think all the efforts have paid off. The Annandale may not be all shimmering glass and glitter, but I’m guessing that if you like this type of place that’s kind of the point isn’t it?
UNIT 102 – FOR SALE
Unit 102 is up for sale now, and it’s a good one. Being on the first floor means you won’t be riding the antique elevator often, but there are perks to being able to walk right into your apartment without any bother. It also overlooks the Annandale’s lovely little courtyard, which happens to be great for BBQs or sitting under the willows in summer.
At just over 1,200 sq ft on one floor this condo feels spacious and functional. Like most of the units here it’s kept it’s original floor plan (likely because it’s a good one). The living room is bright and bumps out slightly toward the courtyard, which brings in even more sun. The dining room and kitchen are next and, I suppose if you preferred an open plan the walls could be removed as has been done in one or two of the other units. From there it’s down the hall to your bathroom and two good sized bedrooms.
I wish I could share more photos with you, but 102’s current occupant is in the midst of moving out. There are boxes piled here and there, and the photos won’t do the place justice. I hope the exterior photos, floor plans, and your desire to live within minutes walking distance to just about everywhere downtown (a 96 walk score = walker’s paradise) including, Queen’s KGH, and Market Square will be enough to entice you to book a showing. Sure, there are other condo buildings in Kingston…but none quite like this one.