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Welcome to the WRX Property Group website and blog. Today, we’ll be tackling an important real estate question. What makes a luxury home a luxury home? Well, there are quite a few factors to consider. If you know the architect’s name, and the architect either has an esteemed reputation or the burgeoning potential of fame yet to be realized, it’s likely a luxury home. Homes with a range of high-end features (heated floors, large salt water pools, or beautiful marble walls, to name a few) often qualify as luxury homes. Luxury homes are often – though not always – clustered together with other high-end homes (though ‘clustered together’ rather belies the spacious lawns and property of the average luxury home). Kitchener-Waterloo neighbourhoods that tend to have higher end homes include Westmount, Laurelwood, the Beechwood area, Pioneer West, and Doon South. In the case of luxury condos, the luxury comes from both the pristine accoutrements and design, and the services that go above and beyond that of the average condo. Put simply, the luxury of luxury homes is just that: a luxury home should have the finest of all available things.
Kitchener-Waterloo is, and for a number of years has been, a community on the rise; there are many reasons why legions of tech startups and investors continue to flock to the area. We’ve addressed this in past articles, and will continue to do so in the articles to come – WRX Property Group is invested in Kitchener-Waterloo and keen to share our enthusiasm with you. But just to touch on a few: the Waterloo Region is a hub of innovation and growth, particularly in the tech industry (an industry poised to serve Canada well in the years and decades to come). The University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Conestoga College continue to shine as beacons of premier postsecondary education, steadily climbing in student enrolment, as well as national and international ratings of overall quality and student satisfaction. Finally, Kitchener-Waterloo’s proximity to Toronto (and several other major cities, including fellow Tri-City member Cambridge, Guelph, and Hamilton) makes it part of Canada’s most densely-populated corridor (the Waterloo Region alone has over half a million residents). Indeed, FlyGTA’s twice-daily flights to and from Toronto out of the Region of Waterloo International Airport mean Toronto is less than 20 minutes away.
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All of that is to say that Kitchener-Waterloo is a prime location for luxury homes. So now, let’s take a look at one specific luxury home in the area: the Kaufman Estate in Kitchener. The Kaufman family is of Germanic heritage. They have deep roots in the Waterloo Region, stretching back to the 1870s (when Kitchener was still Berlin). One of the Kaufman patriarchs (Jacob Kaufman) was described, upon his death in 1920, as “Kitchener’s industrial wizard” in the Kitchener Daily Record. Indeed, the Kaufmans ran a variety of important companies, including the notable Kaufman Rubber Company. So as one of Kitchener’s most prominent families, the Kaufmans decided to invest in a luxury home. Enter: Eberhard Zeidler, famed German-Canadian architect. Zeidler studied in West Germany (when West Germany was still a thing), and came over to Canada in 1951. In 1956, he was tapped by the Kaufmans to design their new luxury home. Three years later, the Kaufman Estate was complete, and fortunately, it still stands to this day in much the same state as the original design (though with some decorative updates). To conclude with Zeidler, though, he would move on from residential architecture to complete some rather famous projects that you may be familiar with: the Toronto Eaton Centre, Ontario Place, several hospitals, and the recently renamed Trump International Hotel and Tower in Toronto, to name a few.
The Kaufman Estate stands in Kitchener’s old Westmount neighbourhood. At 6000 square feet, it is certainly spacious: six bedrooms and six bathrooms are spread across its second floor; three fireplaces, a built-in barbeque in the kitchen, and a heated, three car garage add luxury and functionality; and the 1.56 acres of property upon which it stands, with mature trees and ample room for gardens, frame the estate perfectly. Zeidler designed this estate, it should be noted, before he was famous: he was an ambitious architect on the rise. But his skillful touch resonates throughout the home; each room speaks to an underlying elegance. It’s an open concept home, with high ceilings, bright rooms illuminated by large windows, and gleaming wooden walls. All of these features are certainly luxurious, but the focal point of the home is quite obvious once you set foot inside: an open, coiling staircase in the foyer leading up to the second storey, with floor-to-ceiling, patterned windows behind it and a graceful chandelier suspended in its midst. It really is something to see! And that’s one of the key distinguishing features of a luxury home: that it has a key, distinguishing feature. Yes, luxury homes feature top-of-the line appliances and amenities, ornate designs, and a delicate balance between aesthetics and function. But a true luxury home really ought to have one extra aspect that sets it apart – a room, or a feature, that makes you pause. Zeidler understood this, and the Kaufman Estate illustrates it well.
Luxury means different things to different people, but what matters most is what it means to you. So if you’re looking to buy a luxury home in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, or the surrounding areas, we invite you to browse through the listings on the WRX Property Group website. If something catches your eye, or you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to help however we can.
Written by Will Kummer