Glen Park Full House

This project involved the first-floor gut renovation of a 1950s era bungalow in North York.

The homeowners, who are avid gardeners, researched their property carefully: it is only minutes from the subway but has an enormous backyard that they plan to cultivate. With a long-term outlook on ownership, they have created their dream home with ideas for an addition in the future.

Because the owners were living onsite in the basement apartment during the renovation, we took additional care during the renovation with respect to dust control and potential air pollutants. Our IAQ (indoor air quality) management plan included the isolation of work areas and depressurizing them with a HEPA (high efficiency particle arrest) air scrubber, using a HEPA-equipped vacuum for clean up of fine particulates, and setting up an outdoor designated cutting area.


The interior of the main floor was stripped back to the masonry walls and completely re-framed. All of the interior partitions were relocated to maximize the efficiency of the small floor plan.

We moved the central staircase to open up the kitchen and remove small hallways. The new basement stairs are now adjacent the entry, and have been left open to allow more light to enter the basement. The relocation of the stair and deletion of the central bearing wall required us to re-frame most of the ceiling. All of the existing flooring was removed and the original floor joists and subfloor were replaced.

All of the windows and doors on the main floor were replaced, and the opening were rebuilt using reclaimed brick.

Our Greening Homes carpenters installed extensive arts and crafts detailing and reclaimed wood windowsills throughout. The original wood floors were re-installed in the bedroom and the excess material was creatively used in several framed panels on the walls. Salvaged beams from a barn were re-purposed as support posts for the new structural beam in the kitchen, and new custom industrial shelving delineated the open spaces.


To create an efficient and air tight envelope, spray foam insulation was used throughout the house on all exterior walls and the top side of the ceiling in the attic. On top of the 2” layers of foam in the attic, we blew in 18” of cellulose insulation to achieve R50.

Original windows in most older homes are leaky and transmit a lot of heat. We installed all new energy-efficient Inline Fiberglass windows throughout with double-glazed, argon filled and super-insulated frames. The new entry doors are double-glazed, low-E coated with insulated frames from Marvin.


While most of the interior space is brand new, the exterior of the home looked very 1950s. With some small changes to the exterior colour palette and some larger well-proportioned windows, we have given this house a cost effective update. The bright new door and trimmed out entryway frames the entrance, while new dark framed Inline Fiberglass windows balance either side. A darker roof and new fascia complete the look.


  • Greening Homes created a waste diversion plan before we started this project to identify potential waste/recyclable materials the project would produce
  • An onsite corral was setup on the front lawn to separate the demolition and construction waste into wood, metal, cardboard and waste piles. This allowed us to lower the cost of disposal rates due to the single material piles
  • Custom framing plans allowed the crew to only order materials they required, and in the lengths needed. This reduced the framing material waste, which typically runs at 10% in the industry
  • All salvageable wood elements from the original interior/exterior were saved, refinished and used in the renovation


  • PaperStone countertops in the kitchen
  • Reclaimed wood window sills throughout using the old roof framing members removed during demolition
  • Structural wood posts in the kitchen are reclaimed from an old barn (purchased from Urban Tree Salvage)
  • Cork flooring throughout the main living spaces, kitchen and hallways
  • Original wood flooring in the bedrooms was salvaged and re-installed
  • A 97% recycled drywall product was used throughout the home
  • All framing lumber (where possible) was FSC certified
  • All trim, interior doors and custom wood stair were FSC certified
  • All tile in the 3pc bathroom was laid over Schluter Ditra – a water proof membrane designed to absorb movement in floor systems, preserve the integrity of the tile mortar and grout and guard against potential water damage
  • California standard, lead free plumbing fixtures


  • All new energy-efficient Inline Fiberglass windows throughout with double-glazed, argon filled and super-insulated frames
  • We installed two new Solatubes to bring more natural light into the entry foyer and main floor bathroom. These reduce the need for electrical lighting in these two spaces for the majority of the day
  • LED lighting throughout using 2.5w puck lights in the built-in cabinets and kitchen, and Aroni pot lights in all of the living spaces, bathroom and bedroom ceilings
  • Water use in the bathroom has been minimized with a EPA WaterSense dual-flush toilet and low-flow shower head


  • All subfloors and engineered cork flooring were NAUF (no added urea-formaldehyde)
  • Non-toxic soldering flux was used on all plumbing components
  • No VOC Eco logo certified adhesives
  • No VOC primer and paints
  • The custom FSC wood staircase we had constructed was pre-finished in the factory to minimize toxic off-gassing once the staircase was installed.


  • This site was a 5-minute walk away from the Glencairn subway station and allowed the majority of the Greening Homes crew to take the TTC
  • Some crew members, including the Construction Manager, frequently cycled to the site in the warmer months.
  • Trucks and other vehicles were used for moving materials and tools when they were required (not for day-to-day commuting)