Ellis Park Road House

Toronto, Canada

Brilliantly sited on a hillside property that was considered unbuildable, this home makes the most of the uninterrupted vistas overlooking High Park. Only steps away from Bloor Street, visitors are hardly aware that they are in the city.  While featuring large expanses of glass, the home offers complete privacy.

The home was conceived based upon principles of sustainable design including passive solar and ventilation strategies, geothermal and radiant floor heating, extensive green roofs, daylighting techniques, recycled materials, and a sophisticated building envelope. The result is a home that permits the occupants to enjoy winter blizzards and searing heat waves in perfect comfort.

High Park Toronto Contemporary home with Green Roof
Modern home with Corten steel siding integrated into surroundings

With four stories set into the hillside, the home enjoys walkout access on the first three levels. At street level, the garage offers storage for up to four vehicles. Up the stone stairs to the second level is the main entrance foyer. On this level is also a generous mudroom, a family room that doubles as an occasional guest suite, the main mechanical room, and a walkout to the second level garden.

Foyer of contemporary home with exposed steel structure and yellow brick walls
Living and Dining room with a Rumford fireplace and Finnish masonry heater made of the same brick as the walls

From the foyer, a stair extends to the principal living space on the third level. Kitchen, dining and living spaces flow from one to the other, with floor-to-ceiling glass wrapping around the east and south elevations.  At the centre of the space, a large Rumford fireplace and a Finnish masonry heater are grouped around a common chimney. The materiality of fireplace cluster repeats the overall palette of yellow brick, red-primed steel, concrete, and mahogany.

The open concept kitchen with integral stainless steel counter tops and sink are lit by glass pendant lights
The staircase to the upper floors is digitally fabricated from marine grade plywood and hand sanded smooth

A steel and mahogany stair leads to the fourth floor.  Each tread was hand-assembled from dozens of water-jet-cut pieces of marine plywood and painstakingly sanded smooth.

The fourth floor houses the master suite and two children’s bedrooms. The master suite is again an exercise in open concept living.  The large soaker tub and vanity are exposed to the bedroom. Around the corner, a spacious walk-in shower enjoys views of the sunrise over the park. The children’s rooms share a corridor featuring compartmentalized bathing and powder room facilities and a full laundry suite. A stair tower leads to a large roof garden with extra outdoor living spaces and phenomenal views.

The Master Bedroom is open to a integral tub and large shower. The ceiling is exposed steel and salvaged timber with Fir decking
The open shower is tiled with slate and has expansive views down to Toronto's High Park
The staircase is open to the outdoors with clerestory windows revealing the Green Roof
The custom built closets and storage are integrated into the Master bedroom and the design of the space

Old-world craftsmanship, durable natural materials, state-of-the-art mechanicals, and thoroughly modern design combine to make this a truly unique home.