In Toronto it can feel like everyone is crammed into tiny overpriced apartments or cookie cutter condos. However, some residents of the city of Toronto have decided to not let the lack of space get them down. Sprinkled through out the city you can find some truly unique houses.
These residents have found ways to express their creativity whether it is through innovative architecture, eclectic decorating or next level lawn ornamentation. Check out some of Toronto’s most unusual homes in the list below.
The Parashos House
The Greek and Canadian flags welcome you to this little trip to Greece located in the heart of the city. The house plays homage to the residents’ proud Greek heritage and is constructed to replicate the historical buildings from the Hellenistic Republic.
The roof of the house is lined with cherubs and Greek gods that look onto the street below. Above the entrance way to the back is an image of a chariot and the families name ͞Parashos͟.
The John Cox Cottage
469 Broadview Ave.
Long before the time of condo development, early Toronto settlers preferred a much simpler, smaller style of home. This can be seen in the John Cox Cottage, which has been deemed the oldest house still in residence in Toronto and the third oldest structure in the city.
The house was completed around 1807 and was originally built with square shaped logs and it faces East West instead of the typical North South. This house is so old that it predates some of the barracks at Fort York and the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse on Toronto Island.
The Coxwell House
157 Coxwell Ave.
The infamous Lego house has unfortunately been redone so that it no longer has its colourful exterior. The renovations have taken the once eclectic house and turned it into a run of the mill sleek modern townhouse.
If you were unfamiliar with the Coxwell House prior to the renovations, it was a brightly coloured modern house designed by local architect, Rohan Walter. A few quirks still remain including the bridge leading to the front door and the stilts. The new owners painted the front door bright red in an almost homage to what once was.
The Driveway House
1294 College St.
Architect Rohan Walter’s second infamous house, The Driveway House is still intact in its original glory.
This house makes the best of tiny situation by creating an open concept home that uses up every square inch it was allotted on the small piece of property. The ultra modern home opens right on to the street and features an acutely angled wall at the front of the house that follows the shape of the sidewalk. It is three stories, two bedrooms and a rooftop patio. Not bad for a lot that is only ten feet wide.
The Little House
128 Day Ave.
Why live in a tiny apartment when you can live in a tiny house?
Tiny apartments make people say “ugh, but cute,” tiny houses make people say “aww.” The little house on Day Ave. proves this. Measuring 29 square feet, it is the smallest house in Toronto. The house was built in 1912. It has been home to a family with two kids as well as the original contractor and his wife.
All considering, the house has a backyard and space for a washer and dryer, which is more than most tiny apartments can say.
The Cube House
Sumach & Eastern Ave
Located on a strange piece of property nestled beside the DVP Adelaide ramp is a house that has probably caught your eye. If not for its strange shape, thhn maybe for the advertisement for Coffee Time on the side of it. The cube house was built twenty years ago as a prototype for innovative housing. It is based off a style of house designed by architect Piet Blom, that is quite popular in the Netherlands.
It was then constructed by Ottawa architect Ben Kutner and his partner Jeff Brown. The Globe and Mail reports that current resident, Martin Trainor is renovating his home with hopes of one day opening it up as a tourist attraction. He hopes to provide a video link to the original cube homes in Rotterdam.
The Wood Cake House
473 Clinton St.
This Annex house’s elaborate decoration began as a side project for homeowner Albino Carreira after a spinal injury. What innocently began as decorating the mailbox soon took over the entire house.
Carreira calls the fragments of pool cues covering the house “wood cakes.” In addition to the use of “wood cake,” Carriera also uses coins, corks and any number of oddities. His eclectic taste has even moved on to the decoration of his car which, is covered in little plastic toy bugs.
The Doll House
37 Bertmount Ave.
There is something off setting about a house covered in plush dolls. However, this Libertyville classic garners the attention of the public and affection from children.
The house has dolls and various children’s toys hanging from the roof, attached to the walls and propped on wood stakes covering the yard. Dispersed among the dolls there is also a collection of fountains and other oddities. The houses collection is constantly changing and they up the antics for holidays such as Halloween or Christmas.
The Half House
54 1/2 St. Patrick St.
The Half House looks to be the work of Photoshop or an optical illusion upon first glance but that is not the case. Instead it is the result of a legal property battle in the 70s that led to the house being cut right down the middle, turning an internal supporting wall into the exterior.
It would be easy to think that the house’s odd number, 54 ½ is the result of this modification but that numbering system dates back to when the house was originally built in the 1890s.
The Elephant House
77 Yarmouth Rd.
You have probably heard of the Elephant House here in Toronto. If you haven’t it is a house located near Christie Pits that has a life size female elephant sculpture located in its front yard.
The elephant was a final project by OCAD alum Matt Donovan in a piece titled An Elephant in the Room. The Torontoist reports that the elephant is made from plywood, chicken wire, fibreglass and spray foam. This house has been attracting visitors for years, so it’s about time you checked it out.
The Terracotta House
20 Gerome St.
The Terracotta House is a located in the West Bend. It stands out because it is completely covered in tiny Terracotta tiles. The tiles all have different designs creating intricate patterns across the surface of the house.
This house is the result of the fall of what had been a popular style in the late 1800s. However, as terracotta became less desirable there was excess of it left here in Ontario which was being sold off for cheap. There is an even a book detailing its history and how it is a misuse the tiles, Terra Cotta-Artful Deceivers. While the book finds it unfortunate at best, we think its eccentric and a lovely addition to Toronto’s unusual homes.
The Western House
93 Regal Rd.
This house is not unusual in its architecture or design. It is on this list because of its unusual selection of lawn ornaments. You can find a large statue of a first nations man on horseback, a pair of cowboy boots sticking upside down out of the ground and the landscaping has been done to best emulate a western desert.
The Assemblage House
Blog T.O. reports that this house’s interesting lawn assemblage is actually made up of wood and other materials glued together with orange insulation foam. It is the work in progress of Guiseppe Rauti who has been slowly adding to it for eighteen years.
32 Bright St.
Bungalows aren’t all that unusual in the grand scheme of things. However, they tend to be more common in less population-dense areas. Basically, this bungalow has no business in Canada’s most populous city.
This house stands out because of its height difference in a city that has new high rise condos popping up everyday. It is wedged snuggling between two town houses and it invokes a cozy and quaint feeling standing out from the rest.
The Tower House
166 High Park Avenue.
The Herman Heintzman House, hereby nicknamed the Tower House was built in 1891 as an attempt to mix architectural styles. While the average passerby might not pick up on the neo-classical design elements, they are sure to notice the tower.
Attached to the corner of the house is a beautiful, tall, white tower that looks to be built for a princess. Towers are not common on homes within the city, but this one makes a good point for why they should be.
Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below!