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The Top 6 Toronto Designer Homes of 2020

My goodness, it’s been a wild year, dear readers. But something loveable’s come from the pandemic, content-wise: our online Show Us Where You Live series. Twenty designers from across Toronto opened their doors to you – here’s a look at those stealing hearts

By Tory Healy

Our online Show Us Where You Live series, born during the first lockdown, was a big success. Just like us, you experienced the voyeuristic joy that is peeking into someone else’s house. But not just any old houses. Through this collection of home features, you’ve also gotten to know 20 of the city’s most interesting creatives as they celebrate new purchases and renovations, acquire art and raise kids, even get married. You’ve commiserated with them as they tackled the unknown and you’ve found some inspiration, too. Here’s a look back at the 6 Show Us Where You Live stories that were loved the most.

top Toronto designers homes
Photo by Ashley Rumsey.

Ashley Rumsey’s Country Retreat

Mason Studio is an interior design firm that impresses at every turn. It’s no surprise that the studio’s co-founders would practice what they preach by living in homes that are fully Canadian in aesthetic and material choice, but completely free of cliche. See what we mean by taking a peek inside principal Ashley Rumsey’s retreat in the Kawartha Lakes – an abode so beautiful that we wish we could get out of dodge there, too. Read the story here.

top Toronto designers homes
Photo by Scott Norsworthy.

Abe Chan’s Loft Conversion

Abe Chan, the principal of interior design firm ACDO, is just like us. With a bit more time on his hands and having to bubble at home, he was busy this pandemic rearranging things here and making adjustments there to his converted loft space in Brockton Village. But unlike the massive, luxurious projects he’s accustomed to working on, this project is smaller and a whole lot cosier, with plenty of room given over to a growing wine collection. Read the story here.

Photo by Brian Melcher.

Ilana Altman’s Renovated Red Brick

The Bentway is a massive outdoor space under the Gardiner Expressway meant to provide Torontonians some active and creative reprieve from busy, big city life. Activating the public domain, especially in times like these, is a big undertaking for co-executive director Ilana Altman. Join us as we tour her 90-year-old home in Little Portugal, where she finds relaxation and fun while sheltering in place with her young family. Read the story here.

top Toronto designers homes
Photo by Andrew Snow.

Tura Cousins Wilson’s Yellow Eddy

To say that architect Tura Cousins Wilson’s east end Edwardian is a “family home” is an understatement. The co-principal of SOCA completely overhauled the century-old space, turning it into a light-filled gem that’s filled with references to its previous owner, his Jamaican-born grandmother. The modernization, inside and out, happened at the perfect time: Wilson was recently married there, on the front porch, and can now hunker down with his wife and roommates in comfort. Read the story here.

top Toronto designers homes
Photo by Arash Moallemi.

Megan Oldfield’s Graphic Tudor

You may have have experienced Megan Oldfield’s work before. Perhaps it was the rebranding of the flagship Drake Hotel and the branding, way-finding and packaging for Drake One Fifty, Drake Devonshire and Drake Commissary. As the founder of Field Design Office, Oldfield is used to having lots of eyeballs on her work in these highly-trafficked places; not so much her private space. She’s opened her doors to us: let’s tour the Tudor where she makes her graphic design magic. Read the story here.

Photo by Ashley McKenzie-Barnes.

Ashley McKenzie Barnes’ Artful Loft

AMB is one of the coolest women in design, hands down. With the coolest job – she’s an independent curator and creative director – and a pretty awesome pad, too. When she’s not organizing campaigns and exhibits, most of which is accomplished from the comfort of her home office, the confessed homebody is taking it easy in her West Queen West Artscape loft. This she transformed from a concrete box into a warm, inviting space that – as one would expect – is chock full of art. Read the story here.


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