cube house toronto

Toronto's bizarre cube house is being torn down for condos

Say goodbye to saying hello to one of the weirdest architectural landmarks in Canada every time you hit the DVP via Adelaide.

Toronto's famous "cube house" — a one-of-a-kind home built with three, giant, tilted green boxes at 1 Sumach Street — will soon be disappearing after more than 20 years of confusing drivers to make way for a condo development.

Hey, if you wanted to save the cube house, you should have bought it.

toronto cube house

Toronto's mysterious cube house, unmistakable from any angle, was built in 1996 by architect Ben Kutner and his partner Jeff Brown. Image via Google Maps.

The structure, inspired by Dutch architect Piet Blom's complex of Cubic Houses in Rotterdam, hit the market in early 2017, but didn't officially sell until May of 2018.

It was purchased for a cool $2,750,000 by real estate developer Jeff Craig and real estate expert Taso Boussoulas. They plan on redeveloping the wedge-shaped lot off Eastern Avenue where the house sits — which means the cubes can't stay.

That doesn't mean they need to be destroyed though, according to Boussoulas.

toronto cube house

The eco-friendly cube house is a popular attraction for photographers and fans of experimental architecture. Photo by Paul Flynn.

"Our preference is that the cubes are relocated elsewhere on a city owned property, not demolished," he said on Friday. "We would happily donate them to the city."

And if the city doesn't want the iconic green cubes? Boussoulas says they'll be "disassembled and thrown out, unless someone else would like to have them."

Any takers? How about some background.

toronto cube house

It may look like art, but the cube house is a fully functioning, single-famliy residence. No word yet on how big the condo that replaces it will be. Photo by Derek Flack.

The modular house at 1 Sumach was built back in 1996 by architect Ben Kutner and his partner Jeff Brown with the hopes of one day incorporating it into a larger community called UniTri.

That didn't happen, but it did become someone's actual living space — after a years-long legal battle and eventual sale to Coffee Time founder Tom Michalopoulos.

Michalopoulos bought the cubes in the early 2000s and briefly used them as billboards for Coffee Time. News producer Martin Trainor moved in around 2002 and lived there for 15 years.

toronto cube house

The cube house on Sumach has one bathroom, a kitchen, on office and one full bedroom according to longtime tenant Martin Trainor. Photo by Derek Flack.

"Everybody should live in cubes," said Trainor to CBC Toronto when the property went up for sale last year. 

"This is a great way to live. It's fun, it's functional, there's a lot of stairs — but it's good for your exercise."

You'll find no other place like it in Toronto right now — but not for much longer at Eastern and Sumach, where the land it sits on is now worth far more than any 1.5 bedroom home, no matter how cool it looks from below.

Lead photo by

Derek Flack

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