Play’s the Thing

With ingenuity and plenty of elbow grease, architect John Tong turned an old Toronto dairy into the ultimate family clubhouse.

As a founding principal of 3rd Uncle Design, Toronto architect John Tong spends his days dealing with contractors, tradespeople, and demanding clients. So when he’s home with his family there’s nothing he’d rather do than…build. Since he and his wife, Anne, bought an old dairy in a back alley in 2001, the incorrigible DIYer has given it his stamp by hacking Ikea shelves, repurposing his boutique-hotel designs, and scooping vintage treasures from the trash and the auction block. His greatest feat: He’s made the century-old industrial building into a colorful playground for three kids.

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