How a $360,000 renovation transformed a Junction shack into a sparkling family home

Before and After: How a $360,000 renovation transformed a Junction shack into a sparkling family home

Goodbye, muddy floors, ’70s paneling and dilapidated shed. Hello, airy interiors, bespoke cabinets and EV-ready garage

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: basement before


The place

A three-plus-one-bedroom, four-bathroom semi in the Junction that just underwent a big-time renovation. It has a separate one-bedroom basement apartment and a new two-car garage with a panel that can support an EV charger.

Thehistory

Gord Harrison, a contractor, initially purchased this 100-year-old property, for $1 million in February of 2021, as a home for his young family. He brought in his friend Shawn Chua, with whom he had partnered on a dozen previous renos, to share the load. But, a year into the job, they discovered a rat’s nest of problems: poor insulation, asbestos and a basement floor that required re-pouring. Harrison needed to recoup costs, so he kiboshed moving in, instead opting to rent the upstairs and basement units at $4,400 and $2,100, respectively. In total, he and Chua spent $360,000 turning the place around.

Related: How Etalk‘s Chloe Wilde transformed an old Kawartha’s schoolhouse into a Scandi-chic rental

The tours

First, the façade’s facelift: Harrison and Chua resurrected the porch, re-sided the gable and installed a new staircase.

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: facade before

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: facade after

The pair wanted to create a modern open-concept space with more natural light, so they tore down one of the front room’s walls. They also preserved the ceiling cove (which used to be part of a fireplace) and exposed the original brick. They installed white-oak engineered hardwood flooring throughout the house.

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: front room before

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: front room after

The kitchen was originally in the back of the home, but Harrison and Chua moved it forward to add a powder room, a dining area and a stacked washer-dryer closet. The new space has quartz countertops and an island that seats three people, plus a gas range with a chimney-style ventilation hood.

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: kitchen before

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: kitchen after

Here’s that added space at the back of the home.

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: dining area after

There are three bedrooms on the second floor. The hallway is quite narrow, so they swapped out the wooden railing with glass to make it feel more open.

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: hallway before

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: hallway after

A wall of built-in closets was added to the main bedroom, which overlooks the neighborhood. Harrison and Chua also stole about three feet of space from the adjacent bedroom to add an ensuite bathroom with a walk-in glass shower and a vanity.

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: main bedroom

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: main bedroom after

One of the bedrooms used to be a second kitchen, with a view of the backyard. The renovation reduced its length by about a foot to create more space for the second bathroom.

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: bedroom before

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: bedroom after

Now, that second bathroom: they moved the tub under the window, installed a floating vanity and gave it a smart paint job.

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: bathroom before

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: bathroom after

The basement used to be dark and full of ’70s wood paneling. After gutting it and re-pouring the slab, Harrison and Chua created a rental suite with a full bathroom as well as a kitchen. Should residents wish to combine both units, the kitchen could be converted into a laundry room, an office or a lounge.

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: basement before

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: basement after

Out back, they replaced all the doors and windows. The centrepiece, though, is the mudroom—rebuilt with doors for each unit.

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: backyard before

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: backyard after

The old garage was on the verge of collapse. Harrison and Chua leveled it and built a shiny new structure in its place.

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: garage before

Toronto, Real Estate, Before and After: garage after

Some relics surfaced during the renovations: newspapers and magazines from the turn of the century, plus a tin of ancient cat food.


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