Right-of-Way House

Having zero frontage yet straddling the backyards of six houses, the property at 326½ Howland Avenue offered a unique challenge.  Located mid-block in midtown Toronto, with a lot measuring only 25 x 50 feet, the house presented multiple limitations, chief among them scarcity of light due to setbacks, and the resultant minimal window area allowed.

With very little funds and a lot of energy this project became a reality, with the sorry limitations being turned into creative breakthroughs.  Glimpse 326½ Howland today and you’ll see a house optimized through innovation and resourcefulness.  A pair of two-storey windows forms a glazed slot admitting ample light, as though the house were pried apart by giant hands.  The middle-relocated entrance gives rise to a centre-hall plan, eliminating corridors and lending the rooms a genuine sense of greater proportion.  Stairs run straight from ground level to the second floor and, ultimately, a roof terrace, enhancing the overall spatial experience and creating a dramatic view from the main level to the treetops. Previously, the house on Howland was a bundle of constraints. Today, it is a showcase of possibilities.