Amelia Street, where the house is located, is heritage protected as most streets are in the neighbourhood of Cabbagetown in Toronto. As a result, the only changes that are allowed to be made to the streetscape were period details typical of the Victorian era.
The owner wanted to bring in as much light as possible to this once dark row house. We opened up the rear walls on all four levels to views of the south-facing garden. The thing black-painted steel mullions, which support the individual panes of glass, also help to screen the rear views from the distance. The early Victorian period in Toronto also saw tremendous changes due to industrialization, and this idea served as inspiration for this project: raw construction materials (steel beams and posts, concrete, weathered barn wood, etc.) were used, both as structure and ornament, throughout this renovation.
All four levels of the house were gutted, and a small addition was added to the third floor to accommodate a comfortable media room which opens both to the rear deck and to the second floor den blow. A new walnut open riser stair was engineered to filter light through the levels of the house while integrating the original wood newel posts as an architectural artifact. Moreover, walls were removed from the ground floor and spaces where redefined with steel and glass framed partitions similar to the exterior facade.