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The Globe and Mail

A Toronto home at the heart of the community

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The Toronto home of architects Aaron Letki and Angela Tsementzis. The couple rent the lower level to a coffee shop.

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Angela Tsementzis and Aaron Letki in their living space.

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Mt. Letki bought the building in 2005. ‘Being a pretty broke guy, and single, I needed income,’ he recalls. ‘The typical situation is to get a place with a basement apartment. This was different,' he laughs. 'But it meant my place would be higher up. And I was attracted to the idea of living on a corner.' The kitchen is white Ikea cabinetry, topped with a slab of Statuario marble.

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Mr. Letki saw his home as a canvas for experimentation. It was an investigation into about what a corner store could become, and how to live in a Victorian neighbourhood with space and light in abundance.

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In 2006 Mr. Letki completed a first stage of renovation, gutting the second floor completely, carving out windows to face both streets, and adding on a third storey.

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The concept for the interior was dead simple: to open up the 1,000-square-foot spaces into a loft-like apartment.

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Aluminum windows were added and some of the building’s Douglas fir structure was exposed. A new floor of Gypcrete, a smooth coating that resembles concrete was also added.

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The white walls and the high-boned proportions of the building, plus a couple of Eames chairs, evoke a chicly converted space in a large 1920s loft building.

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The front of the building features a huge French balcony: two great glass doors that slide open, offering a prospect straight east down the nearby street.

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