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 home was completed in 2006 by Kohn Shnier Architects and has since become the shining example of what laneway housing can be.
"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.
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.
But 54 Croft Street looks nothing like the wood cottage now thanks to the brilliant work of Kohn Shnier Architects.
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.
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.
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.
The 1,200-square-foot home, has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and makes great use of small-space design strategies.
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.
The bedrooms are another area where the home's clever use of space shines.
For example, the guest bedrooms are efficient with a desk on the lower portion and a comfortable "upper bunk" for bedtime.
"Sprawling, no. Clever, cozy, practical… absolutely," commented Johnston.
"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.
"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.
Johnston also told blogTO that there’s actually a second outdoor shower on the main level in the rear yard as well.
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.
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.
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