Anthony DiCenzo dishes on his latest Oakville waterfront development

DiCenzo Homes’s latest Oakville waterfront development is The Gardens of Edgemere: 18 two- and three-bedroom estate townhomes nestled between Lake Ontario, a protected woodlot and a beautifully restored heritage garden.

 

Perfect for discerning professionals and active empty nesters, the development redefines luxurious lakefront living with stunning water views from every level of every home. But ask Anthony DiCenzo, president of DiCenzo Homes, about The Gardens and he’ll tell you all about the Edgemere estate’s rich history and how he is lovingly restoring the property’s heritage features, including a greenhouse, conservatory, rose garden, Japanese teahouse, “Keeper’s lodge,” aviary and magical rock garden, complete with waterfall—all of which will be available to everyone who calls The Gardens “home.”

 

What made you decide to purchase and develop the Edgemere estate?

Anthony: Some people have hobbies. I like developing interesting parcels of land. Remarkably, I was first exposed to Edgemere almost 25 years ago as a young lawyer who was hired by the owners back then to look into, and in fact challenge, its development potential. It gave me the opportunity to see the estate before anything had been done to it by subsequent development interests, in all its original glory. When circumstances brought it back onto the market, I saw it as an opportunity to bring forward a community that didn’t just give a token nod to the grandeur of the original estate, but instead enveloped it and made it the focal point of that community. And so The Gardens was born: 18 exclusive estate townhomes, bounded on one side by Lake Ontario, on another by a protected woodlot and Wedgewood Creek, and finally by the original estate’s landscaping and heritage features.

 

Tell us about the estate’s community landscaping and architectural elements.  

Anthony: So when I say that the estate’s grounds will be brought back to their original glory, what does that mean exactly? The estate’s original gardens have a very defined boundary that include most of its historic features. We luckily have volumes of historical information that will now let us bring those features back to what they once looked like.

The original timber roof gates will be re-purposed into a private pedestrian entrance. Even though there’s little left to be seen of the greenhouse and conservatory, both they, as well as the adjacent Rose Garden of years gone by, will be brought back into existence. Both the carriage house and the “keeper’s lodge” at the entrance of The Gardens will be restored, with the “keeper’s lodge” being repurposed into a guest cottage for family and friends. The aviary, which originally housed rare birds, will be made into an open air gazebo.

But for me the gem of the historic features is the pergola & Japanese teahouse. Nothing I can say will do it justice, but I’ll try. It’s located on a natural ridge along the Oakville waterfront that overlooks not only Lake Ontario to the south and the forest and watercourse to the west, but the property’s own grotto, complete with a waterfall and rock garden. It is, and I don’t use this word lightly, magical.

All of the estate’s original stone pathways will either be maintained or relocated, and will allow our owners a private scenic stroll between all of these amenities and, of course, through the woodland and along Wedgewood Creek, before eventually arriving at the linear park along Lake Ontario.

 

Tell us about the plan for the residential development on The Gardens site.

Anthony: I can’t stop talking about this community’s history and surroundings, but what about the homes that DiCenzo Homes will be building in this beautiful setting? The Gardens sits on 738 feet of Lake Ontario shoreline, so I wouldn’t be very happy with myself if I didn’t make sure that each of our homes had a breathtaking view of water from as many parts of the home as we could manage. On the outside, we’ve aligned each rear yard to face the lake, with an elevated terrace and exclusive garden area to enjoy your view from. And on the inside, each main floor plan makes the focal point of the home a custom designed gourmet kitchen and large living room with breathtaking views of the lake through floor-to-ceiling windows, with the second floor putting the master bedroom and ensuite at the rear of the home, again with those incredible views.

 

So who do you see living at The Gardens?

Anthony: Because of the designs of these homes, I suspect that we’re going to see a wide range of buyers in this community.  The maintenance-free aspect of these homes, with their easy access to both downtown Oakville and community facilities, parks and walkways, will obviously appeal to everyone. But the two-bedroom plan might have more appeal to the empty nesters, and our standard three-bedroom floor plans might have more obvious interest to families.

The short of it is that The Gardens will be a magical place that has something to offer for everyone.

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