Rosedale Georgian House

Toronto, Ontario

This 1900s Georgian home underwent a dramatic transformation to become a comfortable, modern family residence.

Respecting the heritage character of the neighbourhood and the architecture of the original home, the front façade was meticulously restored. Windows were replaced with matching triple-pane, double-hung windows and divided lights. Trim and moldings were restored, masonry cleaned, and chimneys rebuilt using brick from the rear of the property.

On the inside, however, the home was upgraded and completely transformed into a clean, bright, comfortable space for modern living.

The building enclosure was stripped down to the brick shell and upgraded with new high-performance insulation, an energy-efficient mechanical system, an electrical system including home automation, plumbing, and interior finishes.

Floors were levelled and structure upgraded to ensure even, squeak-free floors.

A large array of operable skylights were added above the central staircase on the third floor to provide natural ventilation, and bring a flood of natural light to the centre of the home.

“Part of what makes the design fascinating is that, while it celebrates the best of modem design – clean, uncluttered lines, soaring open spaces, modern technology and convenience, and plenty of natural light – the warmth and grandeur of the old house are still there in spirit.”

The Complicated Art of Simplicity | National Post

The existing home had been renovated in the 1980s with a rear addition that created a sunken living room and multi-level second floor. The addition was rebuilt to create level space throughout, allowing for simple flow between living areas, and levelling the second floor to unify the space.

Formal living and dining areas were maintained at the front of the home, while the new kitchen, eating area and family room connect to a large terrace at the back.

Four bedroom suites, including the master, were created on the second floor, each with their own ensuite bathroom and walk-in closet.

The third floor, with rain sensor skylights, locates two additional guest suites and a home office with a large roof terrace overlooking the rear yard.

While the new home is modest with modern detailing, the centre hall plan was respected with a design created to acknowledge the past.

Wood-burning fireplaces in the formal living and dining rooms were rebuilt and refinished. The principal staircase and banister were rebuilt, maintaining the proportion and quality of the original. Flush baseboards (with a reveal detail) mimic the height of the old wood trim, and eight-foot interior doors maintain the proportion of the original.

The material palette is tempered with cream-coloured stone floors in the hall that transition to white oak throughout the home. This is endowed by crisp white walls and classic stone fireplaces.

The Bulthaup kitchen embodies the philosophy behind the whole design: the complex storage and functional spaces are hidden behind simple oak and graphite doors. Artwork and furniture provide colour, style and grace in each room.

The home provides the family with a respite from the hustle and bustle of their busy professional lives, and a place to host and entertain friends and family: a true oasis in the city.