Parkdale laneway house built using passive house principles

Situated in the bustling neighborhood of Parkdale, Toronto, we were pleased with the possibility of converting six parking spaces at the back of the property into an aesthetically pleasing, environmentally friendly, and livable space. The idea was ambitious and innovative, challenging the conventional use of urban spaces while inspiring a fresh perspective on sustainability and community integration. With this objective, we collaborated with architect Zuzanna Krykorka to develop a residential concept that respects the garage vernacular of Toronto yet provides a unique living experience.

Embracing the idea of enhancing life in the city laneway, we created a laneway house that stands out with its windows on all sides. The ground floor, a bright open-plan kitchen, dining, and living room, interacts with the backyard and the 150-year-old maple trees. The second floor houses a spa-inspired bathroom featuring a skylight that frames the tree canopy. We added “the oculus,” a large window at the top of the stairs, providing a cooling shaft by day and warm glow by night, contributing to the house’s unique personality.

Adhering to passive house principles, the construction included in-floor hydronic radiant heating on both floors, powered by an electric boiler. A heat pump water heater served the domestic hot water, and we used dense-pack cellulose insulation for retaining heat during winter and minimizing the need for air-conditioning in the summer. We incorporated Lunos “breathing wall” technology, providing continuous circulation without ductwork. This also enhanced the open, clean design aesthetic, furthering our commitment to sustainable, efficient living without compromising on comfort or style.

The laneway house harmoniously merges with the neighborhood, showcasing a steel roof, wood siding, and a robust natural wood exterior. It proudly upholds Toronto’s garage vernacular while being an active participant in the urban environment. With its high-performance triple pane windows and corrugated metal roof, it makes the most of the available 1020 square feet space, offering two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a powder room, along with the open ground floor concept. 


 Zuzanna Krykorka


Parkdale Neighbourhood