Accessible L House – 1


Location          Toronto, Canada

Type                  Residential Renovation

Size                   80 Sq Ft

Date                  2018


The client knew exactly what they wanted to do to with their existing house, which they have been living in over ten years. They even had the name for their future home: forever house.  Since the family has been living in the house for a long time, they knew all the problems the house had, however, all the family members were also in love with the location of the house if not with the house.


It is the classic Toronto house story, the old house with many issues in a great neighbourhood. There were countless things to fix in the house, but the family’s biggest problem was the size of the house-too small. They wanted to enlarge the house, approximately double the current format.


We started talking to every member of the family and came up with their wish list. It was a long one; however, it was an easy and smooth process involving everyone: our office, the client, and the general contractor who was brought on by the client. The biggest take away from the initial meeting we had with the client was that all of them wanted to have an inviting outdoor space they can spend more time on. The house sits on a corner lot with a huge backyard and also the side yard. However, with years of neglect, it was not an inviting outdoor space the family wanted to spend time on.


During the design stage, the client received the news; their father, who is in a wheelchair, was going to be discharged from the rehab hospital in a few months. It was surprising news to the client since they were planning to bring him home after completing the project.


With the building permit received for the Addition work from the City of Toronto, we had to start again for the “new” project, this time, much smaller one. After that emergency meeting, we decided to focus only on the essential work items to bring their father home as soon as possible. The project had 2 phases: 1st one for essential work items and the 2nd phase of the rest of the addition, which would happen in the future.


The essential work items to focus on for the first phase was to make the inviting outdoor space while designing the permanent L shaped wooden ramp that wraps around the backyard space. The wooden ramp not only offers the convenience of the wheelchair accessibility but provides the added benefit of organizing the backyard in a definite shape. The wooden ramp is also a hit with their niece and nephew, believing that it is built for them to play on.


Another element of the work was making the main bathroom in the house accessible to everyone in the family. First, we enlarged the bathroom and added the 5′ width shower with not adding the curb and also the glass door. By incorporating a raindrop patterned tempered glass shower wall with aqua blue-coloured ceramic tile, we tried to create the illusion of being outdoor without adding a new window.