54 Croft Street Toronto

Toronto's most famous laneway house with a rooftop shower is going for $3 million

Toronto isn't really known for it's architecture but that's not to say there isn't great architecture in this city. Sometimes you just need to look a little harder. 

Hidden on one of Toronto's secret little laneways known as Croft Street, is one of the city's most famous laneway homes. 

The award-winning 54 Croft Street is a distinctive and unique infill home that's been extensively studied and written about.

54 Croft Street Toronto

A wood-burning fireplace sits at the division of the living room and dining room, while custom built-ins provide additional storage as well as a desk/study area.

The home was completed in 2006 by Kohn Shnier Architects and has since become the shining example of what laneway housing can be. 

54 Croft Street Toronto

The modern kitchen with abundant storage, Corian counters, a generous island and custom walnut millwork throughout.

"I LOVE this property – it’s bold, it was daring at the time, and it is part of this very special little community of homes on Croft Street," realtor Paul Johnston told blogTO.

54 Croft Street Toronto

The living room walks out onto a balcony. 

A community that is steeped in interesting history, Johnston told blogTO that this home used to be a wood cottage that the 50 Croft Street factory manager lived in.

50 Croft Street used to be a tannery and also a wood-working shop at one point before it was also turned into a laneway home. 

54 Croft Street Toronto

One of the bathrooms. 

But 54 Croft Street looks nothing like the wood cottage now thanks to the brilliant work of Kohn Shnier Architects.

54 Croft Street Toronto

This room enjoys both southerly and easterly light, with the added benefit of dappled sunlight thanks to the mature birch tree from the yard below.

They took the traditional layout and literally turned it upside down. The bedrooms are on the ground floor, while the wide-open kitchen, living room and dining room are upstairs among the trees.

"It made perfect sense to have the main floor of the house up where you have open space, and the small rooms down in the tight area of the house," said architect Martin Kohn in an interview with The Globe and Mail.

54 Croft Street Toronto

Adjoining the kitchen is a combined living room and dining room, perfect for both daily living and more elegant entertaining.

And to Kohn and Shnier's credit, the decision definitely gives the home a wow factor and makes the space feel lager than the 700-square-feet it actually is. 

54 Croft Street Toronto

The primary bedroom ensuite with a unique soaker-tub / shower combination.

The use of space in this home is quite remarkable. As the home is a laneway house, the architects had to work cleverly within their limited means. 

54 Croft Street Toronto

The third bathroom. 

The 1,200-square-foot home, has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and makes great use of small-space design strategies.

54 Croft Street Toronto

Clever windows have been placed with great care to introduce private views to the gardens surrounding the home.

You'll notice things like mirrors to bounce light and hide chunky pieces of wall, as well as built-in shelving and linear tiles that create an illusion of longer spaces. 

54 Croft Street Toronto

The primary bedroom. 

The bedrooms are another area where the home's clever use of space shines. 

54 Croft Street Toronto

The built-in bookcase, desk and loft bed make good use of the small space. 

For example, the guest bedrooms are efficient with a desk on the lower portion and a comfortable "upper bunk" for bedtime.

54 Croft Street Toronto

The primary bedroom has custom built-ins. 

"Sprawling, no. Clever, cozy, practical… absolutely," commented Johnston.

54 Croft Street Toronto

The abundance of storage in the kitchen. 

"This home embraces and celebrates not just life in the urban context, but life on a scale where the quality of space triumphs masterly over the quantity."

And while the home doesn't have a spacious backyard, it has something that might be even better. 

54 Croft Street Toronto

The outdoor shower on the rooftop patio. 

"The roof deck is truly amazing – 360-degree views over the entire neighbourhood, and yes, a shower! " gushed Johnston. 

It might be the best rooftop patio in the city if you think about it. It's literally feet away from College Street but there's enough privacy to have an outdoor shower – truly the best of both worlds. 

54 Croft Street Toronto

The main level garden has an a outdoor fireplace, sun lounger and outdoor shower, further enhancing the indoor and outdoor living.

Johnston also told blogTO that there’s actually a second outdoor shower on the main level in the rear yard as well. 

54 Croft Street Toronto

"Equipped with a private shower, daybed, landscape lighting, plantings and gas heatlamp, the rooftop terrace is perfectly designed for lazy afternoons or more engaged evenings as the sun sets on the city," writes Johnston.

I wish I could find something wrong with this home just so I wouldn't feel so sad I can't live here, which is why I was surprised to find out that when the home was listed last year for $3,250,000 it didn't sell.

54 Croft Street Toronto

The incredible view from the rooftop terrace. 

Now 54 Croft Street back on the market for $2,995,000 and I have a feeling it won't last long this time. It's just too special not to be snapped up. 

Photos by

Raffi Tutundjian and Michael Peart for The Print Market

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