In 2019, Stefanie and Brad Holland decided to move out of their downtown condo. The couple’s three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Gwenyth, was about to start kindergarten, and they wanted to find a home that was closer to a top-rated public school. Stefanie was also pregnant, so the family would soon need more space. Ultimately, the Hollands bought a detached house in Lawrence Park with four bedrooms, an open-concept living room and a well-respected elementary school in the neighbourhood. It was an ideal upgrade. “We’d seen a lot of houses,” says Stefanie, a partner in the litigation group at Cassels. “When we found this one, it was the closest to having everything that we wanted.”
The owners: Stefanie and Brad Holland
Stefanie’s role: Partner, Cassels
Brad’s role: Assistant general manager, Edmonton Oilers
Stefanie’s year of call: 2010
Brad’s year of call: 2013 (New York) and 2014 (Ontario)
Location: Lawrence Park
House profile: Four bedrooms, 4,000 square feet, built in 2014
Today, the Hollands have two more children—John and Leo, ages three and one-and-a-half—and their Midtown home is full of life. “We truly love just being in our living room,” says Stefanie. With the music of, say, Elton John, Led Zeppelin or Johnny Cash blasting out of the turntable speakers, the family loves to dance and sing along.
Family time at home has become especially precious. In 2015, Brad left Goodmans LLP, where he’d worked as a litigation associate, to manage logistics and internal communications with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He later joined the Edmonton Oilers to become a scout. And he’s now an assistant general manager with the team. In that role, he works under his father, Ken Holland, a former NHL goaltender and the team’s current general manager. And Brad has to travel—a lot—throughout North America and Europe in search of fresh talent. “I’m still learning every day,” he says. “But I wouldn’t be where I am without the skills and experience I gained while training to be and working as a lawyer.”
The Hollands aren’t the only lawyers in Midtown. “Within a few blocks, there are about five or six partners that I work with,” says Stefanie. “We see each other at parks and on walks. And there’s a partner in my office who invites us to use his pool all the time.” The location has another notable upside: it’s closer to Stefanie’s parents than the downtown condo, so it’s much easier for the grandparents to visit their grandchildren. “We often say that we can see this being our forever home,” says Stefanie, “which is really nice.”
This guitar, which is signed by Detroit singer-songwriter Kid Rock, hangs in the living room. “It was one of the first things that went up,” says Brad, who’s seen the artist in concert no fewer than four times. “And it’s always one of the first things people notice.”
Stefanie took up the piano at the age of four and went on to receive a bachelor of music, specializing in piano performance, at the University of Toronto. This grand piano, a housewarming gift from Brad, is the first that she’s ever owned.
The couple has turned the basement into a shared home office. Stefanie can make remote court appearances at the workstation. And Brad, when he’s not on the road, can scrutinize games on a screen that’s mounted on the wall across from the desk. “There’s all this research about the best TV to use and the best distance from the screen for watching hockey,” he says. “It’s an optimized setup for video scouting.”
Just a girl
“My favourite band growing up was No Doubt, and Tragic Kingdom was my favourite album,” says Stefanie, whose daughter, Gwenyth, was named after lead singer Gwen Stefani. “Nothing makes me happier than to walk into Gwen’s room and hear Tragic Kingdom playing on her little record player.”
This photo of the 2002 Detroit Red Wings is a tribute to the legendary roster that Brad’s father, Ken Holland, assembled during his 22-year tenure as the team’s general manager. “My dad amassed this remarkable team,” says Brad. “They were all these superstar players at various points in their career, and they won the Stanley Cup that year. It’s one of my favourite things that I own.”
“I’m not an interior designer, but I love to do things in the house that are reflective of who we are,” says Stefanie, who lets her kids’ passions and personalities inspire their rooms’ decor. In Gwenyth’s room, this means horses and unicorns (she’s a budding equestrian), as well as this quote on the wall: “In a field of roses, she is a wildflower.” As Stefanie puts it, “That’s her to us.”
Brad’s interest in vinyl began with an LP collection he inherited from his grandparents. “My grandmother was a huge Beatles fan and she loved music, so every great album in the world was in that collection,” he says. “When we got this place, one of the first things I set up was this stereo system. The first album we played was Abbey Road.”
A condensed version of this story appears in the print edition of our Spring 2023 Issue.
Photography by David Pike.