St Clarens

St Clarens

VFA Architecture + Design
Toronto, ON, Canada
Project Year
Private Houses
Scott Norsworthy

St Clarens

VFA Architecture + Design as Architects

Seamlessly interweaving old and new, a comprehensive renovation extols the finest features of this Victorian house – beautifully crafted staircase, arched front windows, and exposed red brick wall; our studio intervenes with a clean and contemporary aesthetic.


The front façade is quintessentially of its time - tall and narrow with a gabled roof, constructed from brick and mortar. These details were respected and preserved in the design process while the most notable transformation is revealed at the rear. Adopting a very rectilinear form, the back of the house sees a dramatically different appearance with a dark charcoal side panelling where generous glazing opens up the basement and ground floor of this formerly introverted home and serves as the users’ main access.


Redesigned with economic efficiency for a young family, the brief also required the insertion of a number of pragmatic spaces suited for contemporary living, including a ground floor powder room, home office, abundant storage and a mudroom co-functions as a playroom that can evolve in purpose with time.


Durable and value engineered materials are introduced throughout the home, interposed with touches of luxuriant accents. A glass partition on the stairwell of the main floor sits flush underneath the original wooden stairs to the upper floor. Marble counters gleam against the warm tonal variations of wood veneer cabinetry and brick wall in the kitchen. Penny tile and brass fixtures offer textural and dimensional variations next to a long smooth marble countertop with built in niches in the master bathroom upstairs, conveying a quiet opulence.


The master bedroom showcases a continuous vanity and cabinetry on one wall, built to adhere to the A-shape of the roofline and is joined by the linear bathroom that connects to a bright office with patio overlooking the yard.

Careful spatial planning and highly integrated millwork enable every square inch of this narrow home to be utilized, while considering all the programmatic desires and needs of the family to design a home that feels intimate yet spacious.

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