The ten top features that struck a chord with DL readers
We analyzed our year-end web traffic to bring you this list of our 10 greatest hits of 2015. Covering such topics as January’s Toronto Design Week and this summer’s Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games, our most-read posts provide a fun look at the topics and design trends that were on everyone’s mind in the past 12 months. Below, we count down the home tours and urban development news stories that reached the biggest audience this year.
Shown above: the salon-style living room of stylist Alanna Davey and contractor Phil DeBarros (see no. 4). Photo by Naomi Finlay.
10 A Stunning Reno Gives a Retro Home Fresh New Attitude
Featured in our spring issue, this boxy Yorkville property was originally build in the late ’70s – and was starting to show its age. Audax Architecture restored the fading beauty to its former glory, reorganizing the house into seven split levels that cascade around a central staircase towering up through a sun-filled light well. The standout space is this light-filled Scavolini kitchen and eating area, which gleams in glossy Corian.
9 5 Fresh Features of the New Queens Quay
Reimagined by Rotterdam’s West 8 with local design firm DTAH, Queen’s Quay now gives drivers, transit-riders, pedestrians and cyclists their own (mostly) distinct paths. The street’s new bike lane setup may have caused some headaches when it first opened, but other elements of the revitalization project – like Quebec-quarried red granite paving stones and wooden benches inspired by cottage country docks – have helped to re-establish the waterfront as an attractive, vibrant destination.
8 The Top 100 Designs of Toronto Design Week
Each January, we award our custom Designlines Loves tags to the best products, installations and other cool stuff we spot during Toronto Design Week. Our master list of all 100 of our favourite designs includes everything from the Interior Design Show’s giant, Philippe Malouin-designed swing set built with Caesarstone seats to the beautiful brass watering cans Anderssen & Voll launched with Mjölk. Read our daily dispatch posts for the full rundown on what we tagged and why we loved it.
7 A Family Home Mixes Antiques and Cutting-Edge Artwork
Young parents Jo Arnott and Clay Rochemont lovingly curate vintage decor and limited-edition, post-graffiti prints. Their fusion of old and new styles is evident in the living room vignette above, where retro globes and Kewpie dolls rest below a Banksy Grannies silkscreen. Looking to recreate the look? Our spring issue feature about the duo’s eclectic east-end home included their tips for thrifting and collecting.
6 A San Fran-Style Tech Hub Arrives on King West
A longtime King West landmark, the former Backpacker’s Inn building was overhauled this fall by Allied Properties REIT with design firms Gensler, Reflect Architecture and MAAST. Now restored to its original black-and-white facade, the property has been converted into the headquarters of BrainStation, a coding school run by digital strategy firm Konrad. Also onsite: a cafe boasting tasty pastries and zippy wifi.
5 Step Inside Toronto’s Most Masterful Penthouse
Our fall issue cover star was the sky-high palace of veteran industrial designer Tom Deacon, envisioned in collaboration with industrial-interior designer Andrew Jones. Filled with a swoon worthy collection of antiques, the expansive condo unit is the domain of the time-worn and the classic. In the master suite corridor shown above, an antique chest accompanies a lush Persian runner.
4 A Set Stylist and Contractor Combine Forces in Parkdale
In our spring issue, we toured the home of set stylist – and occasional DL collaborator – Alanna Davey. Not surprisingly, the modern-clad three-storey has killer furniture. Thanks to Davey’s husband, contractor Phil DeBarros, the house also boasts gallery-exact details. In the kitchen, seamless slabs of marble are installed flush with the cabinetry.
3 What’s New and What’s Next at Union Station
In May, we checked up on the ambitious revitalization currently underway at Toronto’s historic Beaux Arts transportation hub. Our feature on five flashy, just-finished areas included a look at the then newly opened Union Pearson Express train platform, shown above. Designed by Zeidler Partnership, the inviting oak-and-concrete space restores some of the romance of Golden-Era rail travel.
2 A BMX Track Revs Up an Etobicoke Park
This summer’s Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games radically reshaped the city’s urban environment, rewarding Toronto with such world-class athletic facilities as a Union Cycliste Internationale-certified bicycle motocross raceway at Centennial Park. The Kleinfeldt Mychajlowycz Architects-designed concrete-and-steel structure frames two start ramp platforms and integrates the course into the surrounding park landscape.
1 6 Cool Buildings Coming to TO Campuses
Back in September, we marked the start of the back-to-school season by profiling a half dozen new academic buildings being built across the city. The selection included the courtly Hariri Pontarini Architects and B+H Architects building shown above, set to become the new home of U of T’s Faculty of Law. The three-storey, crescent-shaped facility gets top marks for its rhythmic facade, decked in elegant nickel fins.
Sign up for the Designlines newsletter to receive our weekly selection of stories about sensational modern homes, rising design talents, upcoming events and top furniture & decor shops. Subscribe before January 31, 2016 to be automatically entered to win a Sweetheart Puppy Table from the Fogo Island Furniture Collection.