From Sustain Design Architects Inc.
Overlooking Lake Ontario and Kew Gardens in Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood, this home takes full advantage of its surroundings from its tiny corner lot. Creating a serene oasis for its owners just a few blocks from busy Queen Street East, it feels both urban and cottage-y at the same time. With large windows on the south, east and west, and generous balconies on the west side, indoor spaces flow seamlessly to outdoor spaces, as sunlight fills the 2,760 square foot home throughout the day, while the extension of the balconies above each floor provide shade from the hottest afternoon sun. Wood soffits and exterior siding add a natural, beach-y feel, while the modern design is decidedly urban.
The main living spaces are situated on the ground level and allow the owners to see what is going on around them as passers by head to the beach and surrounding amenities. As you move up through the house, each level becomes more private while still maintaining the view. The second floor has a large family room and outdoor balcony where the owners spend much their leisure time in the evenings, separated just enough from the street traffic. The master suite on the third floor also has an outdoor terrace overlooking Kew Gardens, and provides privacy and quiet for relaxing and recharging, in spite of expansive windows wrapping it.
The roof top is finished with an exercise pool, outdoor kitchen and barbecue area, and is serviced with a dumbwaiter that runs through the building like a chimney. There are stairs from the second floor balcony so that the owners can entertain without traversing their private spaces, while a secondary access from the master suite provides for late-night swims and private moments to enjoy the view as the sun sets over the City. When the trees are in full-bloom in the summer months, the rooftop feels more like a tree house situated in a lush forest than an urban home in Canada’s largest City.
The interiors are clean and bright with polished concrete floors and a white and grey palette. There is a gas fireplace on each floor to provide coziness in the winter months and multiple living spaces provide options entertaining and family time. Plaster tile was used to create a textured feature that extends two stories through the stairwell, with hidden lights adding drama to the space in the evenings. Custom grey-stained oak cabinetry wraps the entry hall and kitchen and conceals a hidden powder room from view in the north west corner. The same finish is used on the stairs and bathroom vanities, creating a consistency throughout the home. Large painted walls on the north side provide optimal surfaces for featuring the owner’s art collection.
The home has a simplicity that feels warm and inviting and lower ceilings create a feeling of intimacy and coziness, creating the perfect oasis in the City for its owners.