The College Laneway House by LGA Architectural Partners
Thanks to a policy change in the summer of 2018, Toronto is encouraging residents to build small abodes along back lanes that were previously dominated by garages, making room for people rather than cars. These laneway houses are self-contained and typically sit on the same lot as a detached house, semi-detached house, or townhouse. The College Laneway House by LGA Architectural Partners occupies a small footprint—just 1,450 square feet—where a dilapidated fishing lodge once stood. Its pitched roof blends in with adjacent buildings. “Toronto’s laneway by-law has the potential to improve the livability of our city while transforming lanes into neighborhood spaces,” says architect Brock James of LGA Architectural Partners.
The firm proves this theory with the recently completed College Laneway House. “College Laneway House addresses many of the typical challenges the upcoming wave of laneway houses will face,” says James. “It provides compact, yet spacious-feeling rooms; framed views and landscape elements that provide privacy; and windows and skylights that bring light in at all times of day.” A strip of clerestory windows brings in lots of natural light to the living room, while their high sills encourage privacy from the lane. In order to maximize space, the architects utilized a split-level design that includes the living areas on the main level, two upstairs bedrooms, and a walk-out basement beneath the dining room. The wood siding was salvaged and restored from the previous building on-site, in order to bring warmth to the gray, seamed metal and reference the neighborhood’s past. The interior includes furnishings from Nirvana Home, Article, and Restoration Hardware. The open staircase with clear balustrades keeps sight-lines clear and uncluttered.