Midtown, Toronto, ON
3 500 SF

This midtown Toronto house underwent ambitious renovations—underpinning, expansion and reconfiguration—to allow for the changing needs of a couple with two young kids. Having owned their house for nearly a decade, Paul and Katrina’s primary need was for a bright new family room and functional basement.

The design intent was not only to accommodate the family on a functional, square-footage basis, but more significantly, to strengthen the experience of inhabiting and moving through the house while maintaining a strong connection to the back garden. The addition echoes the existing house through its trim roof profile and brick cladding, but is differentiated by its unadorned expression (large, undivided openings, skylights).  Rather than attempting to appear seamless and uniform, the junctions between old and new are treated as 'functional reveals' that bring daylight deep into the plan, creating pockets of intimacy (family room seating nook, skylight to the basement, second level balcony) and utility. The second storey master bedroom and balcony (affectionately known as the ‘Treehouse’ and ‘Cottage’) shift eastward, allowing daylight to enter from two sides, and into skylights below, where it filters into the family room through whitewashed oak 'stalactites'.

These calculated moves result in a project that is both open and intimate.


contractor : Cornerbrook Construction
structural : Blackwell Structural Engineers

photographs : Steven Evans