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The blossoming of a Toronto 'fixer upper' home

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Donal Ward and his wife Darcy Tobin at their house, recently renovated by architect Christine Lolley in Toronto's west end.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

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Mr. Ward amnd Ms. Tobin bought the 1910 Bloordale, Toronto home for $420,000 and put $250,000 into the renovation by architect Christine Lolley.

Carla Manya Weinberg

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The reno included the unplanned removal and rebuild of the rear addition, new walls, windows and insulation throughout, radiators, heat recovery ventilators, etc. to transform the home into an energy-efficient, “green” home. The cost to heat the home has dropped from $6,159 a year to $598.

Carla Manya Weinberg

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‘I think people are realizing a [previously] renovated house is not necessarily a better quality home,’ says architect Christine Lolley. Rather than buy someone else’s vision, which may have been done on the cheap, ‘young, dynamic couples’ now see ‘value in investing in their real estate’ and ‘take these broken-down homes and turn them into family homes, reclaiming the space.’

Carla Manya Weinberg

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In the two years prior to embarking on the reno, Ms. Farrell tallied up things they’d need for every room, hallway, and staircase, from the mundane, such as baseboards and switch plates, to decor items such as curtains or lamps, to big-ticket items, such construction costs, permits, and architect’s fees. ‘So when it actually came to it,’ she says, ‘I had it all ready to go.’

Carla Manya Weinberg

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Carla Manya Weinberg

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Carla Manya Weinberg

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