A Traditional Toronto House Becomes Modern

In an East-end neighborhood in Toronto, +tongtong renovated and designed an addition to a traditional Victorian house while respecting the surrounding homes. The homeowners longed for a modern house with bright, open living spaces, but wanted it to honor the architecture of the neighborhood. +tongtong managed to complete the task by using natural and industrial materials that were inspired by rural living and the home’s original build date.




Both the interior and exterior feature grey and black zinc, giving a blended sense of traditional and contemporary. To flood all three floors with natural daylight, a vertical shaft was built to distribute light from large skylights above. Above the kitchen, a zinc ceiling continues up one wall of the shaft adding visual interest to it.


A vent-free ethanol fireplace was built into the kitchen counter to add ambience to the dining room.





The third floor’s gable was replaced with a triangular glass window that offers views of the neighborhood and downtown. A custom triangular blind was installed to shade the sun and when not in use, it hides within the millwork.

Photos by Lisa Petrole, courtesy of v2com.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.