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7 Traditional Homes Transformed by Modern Additions


These modern additions to traditional homes do a lot more than just add space

You’re forgiven if you think a home addition can only add square footage – after all, it’s right there in the name. When done well, and taking into consideration what’s lacking and what’s needed, modern additions can completely revive the program of traditional homes. Below, we take a look at some of our favourites.

Arcing, double-height atrium modern additions to transform a traditional Mississauga home into an hacienda-style house

Photo by Nanne Springer.


The owners of this hacienda-style home had already rejected the first proposal, a stacked set of boxy volumes that didn’t fit their vision. Enter Hudson Architecture, whose response went in a completely different direction. Read about it here.

traditional homes modern additions, two men sitting on a couch on the backyard patio

Photo by Naomi Finlay.

To the Nines

Architect Luc Bouliane calls the addition he built against this Leslieville Brownstone a “thing,” although with its nine sides, nonahedron – a nine-faced shape – would be a more apt name for it. Whatever you call it, it’s a wholly original take on a well-established local typology. Read more about it here.

A family is standing near the sliding door facing the backyard patio. The house is cladded with zinc panels

Photo by Naomi Finlay.

Pretty in Zinc

Upon approach, you wouldn’t think the Tudor was inhabited by the co-founders of blackLAB Architects, whose modernist inclinations seem at odds with the traditional home’s lines. Take a look at the zinc-clad addition behind it, though, and it all starts to make sense. Read about it here.

Backyard view of a newly renovated house with some patio furniture and a pool.

Photo by Doublespace Photography.

In Full View

Architect Drew Mandel characterized the addition as an “elaborated bay window,” owing to its modest addition of space. But what a window, and what a view! Situated on the edge of the prehistoric Lake Iroquois – a long-since receded glacial lake that left its imprint on Toronto’s physical geography – the upper storey now enjoys a panorama of the city. Read about it here.

Evening backyard view of a home with large windows

Photo by Tom Arban.

Picture Perfect

The client wanted something museum-like, so architects Kevin Bridgman and Paulo Rocha, now of KPMB, took inspiration from – where else? – a museum. With reference to the Gardiner Museum’s viewfinder form, the pair built a modern addition in aluminum and glass at the rear of the 1940s home, doubling its space while preserving its heritage appeal. Read more about it here.

Two kids are standing on the patio of a home addition cladded in black wood.

Photo by Scott Norsworthy.


Draughty and underperforming, the Casa Loma Edwardian’s existing addition wasn’t pulling its weight. Rather than try to update it, large [medium] design office was brought in to start over. The result: an angular, black wood-clad modern extension that radically altered the home’s existing program. Read about it here.

traditional homes modern additions, wrapped in zinc panels

Photo by Doublespace Photography.

True Blue

In need of a buffer between his home and the street, architect Joey Giaimo took his cue from the neighbourhood, a postwar enclave whose bungalows and split levels have been incrementally added to over the years. Giaimo’s home now has the buffer he needed – plus, it’s in keeping with how the neighbourhood is, instead of how it was. Read about it here.



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