Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

The 'Driveway House' fits an odd Toronto lot

1 of 16

The ‘Driveway House,’ by architect Rohan Walters, was built on a 10-by-37-foot lot near College and Landsdowne.

Peter Legris

2 of 16

Thinking of ‘flexible housing, social relevance [and] changing demographics,’ Mr. Walters designed the home to be barrier-free on the ground floor: ‘That’s a principle that is timeless.’

Peter Legris

3 of 16

The living room open to the sidewalk.

Peter Legris

4 of 16

Rusty Cor-Ten steel frames a svelte, dark-tinted cinderblock box punctuated by two sets of French doors.

Peter Legris

Story continues below advertisement

5 of 16

First floor bathroom. The mechanical ‘guts' of the home are behind the sliding panels: radiant floor system, boiler, HRV, electrical panel, and a washer/dryer combo unit.

Peter Legris

6 of 16

Threshold-free, the bathroom floor slopes at a 1.25 degree angle for drainage, with plenty of room for a wheelchair to turn around.

Peter Legris

8 of 16

Main floor living room. Plywood hides behind every inch of drywall on the ground floor so, if needed, pull-bars and drop-tables can be attached in future (his current tenant does not use a wheelchair). Reinforcing the walls this way, says Mr. Walters, means the ground floor could easily adapt to a new use, such as an art gallery.

Peter Legris

9 of 16

First floor bathroom. Ceiling detail. Inside, raw wood rules: Ceiling joists, window casings and staircases have all been left bare. Open wood, explains Mr. Walters, regulates humidity, and softens the somewhat harsh LED lighting used throughout.

Peter Legris

10 of 16

The second floor consists of a dressing area, another bathroom and the master bedroom.

Peter Legris

11 of 16

Instead of enclosing it with walls, the stairwell has been glassed in ‘so that you don’t think you’re in a small space.’

Peter Legris

12 of 16

Nine-foot ceilings help enlarge the second floor.

Peter Legris

13 of 16

Second floor stairs to third floor.

Peter Legris

14 of 16

The third floor, with its seven-foot ceiling height, would make for a lovely office or child’s bedroom. Throughout, industrial cable ‘raceways’ hanging from the ceiling carry electrical lines and double as storage for shoes and other small items.

Peter Legris

16 of 16

View from the deck

Peter Legris

Report an error