We are currently working on several major renovation projects which involve extensive demolition and reconstruction work.
One project, located in the Yonge and St. Clair neighbourhood, involves demolition of the roof, the back wall and front wall of the existing two storey home. The proposed is a new contemporary façade with traditional stone, a new roof with a large attic and a large addition at the rear. The owners have asked for an additional large light filled master bedroom with en-suite washroom and walk in closet on the second floor, a new open concept living room and kitchen on the main floor, a ground floor washroom, and for the basement, a spacious family entertainment room with windows.
The benefits of retaining some of the existing walls have been mainly having to do with accelerating the schedule as well as the grandfathering of setbacks and openings. The walls of one side of the house is currently constructed on the lot line. If you were to propose a new house, the building would be required to be set back from the lot line. There are existing window openings in the side wall located on the lot line, and if you were to propose new walls, there would be no openings permitted on the side.
As for the schedule, there were no variances required, mainly because the existing house has been there for many years and is therefore considered to be legal, and the proposed heights, setbacks and densities were proposed “as-of right”, meaning they conform to the old and new City of Toronto zoning by-laws. In fact, part of the design strategy for this project was to try to avoid variances, which adds both time and cost to the development process.