Rosedale Full House

The house on Highland Avenue is a century old, three story, brick heritage home perched on the edge of the Rosedale Ravine. This extensive project spanned over two years. It consisted of a full gut renovation with two additions and landscaping. In the wake of the renovation, this house now stands renewed as a six bedroom, five and a half bathroom, three story home with a fully finished basement and basement addition.


The interior of the house was stripped back to the masonry walls and completely reframed. Structurally compromised brick bay windows at the back and west side were dismantled, reframed in wood and clad with cedar shingles. The new floor plans saw the servant’s staircase removed, the basement stairs relocated and several engineered beams installed to enlarge the living room and kitchen openings. All of the existing flooring was removed and the original subfloor boards were refastened. Plywood subfloor was laid on top to stiffen up the floor system and new oak floors were laid throughout. All new copper plumbing was installed throughout the home and a new efficient HVAC system was designed. The plumbing scope incorporated two new sump pumps and pits, front and back clean outs for servicing the main line, backwater prevention to stop sewer lines backing up into the basement and a new underground sprinkler system servicing the front and back. The main basement was underpinned to 8’ and steps down into the new slab on grade addition, which was rebuilt on a slightly larger footprint than the old. The addition was framed using a steel post and beam structure, and hydronic in-floor heating was installed under the concrete slab. The roof of the rear addition carries an expansive Ipe deck that is accessed from the kitchen on the main floor. The custom iron railings with glass panels look out over the landscaped yard with a new stone patio, stone retaining walls, refurbished coy pond and the ravine beyond.


To create an efficient and air tight envelope, spray foam insulation was used throughout the house on all exterior walls, including the new mechanical room in the attic and the mechanical room created at the back of the garage. In keeping with the regulations of a heritage home, all of the 50 wooden windows were replaced in the same style and size as the originals. This included 10 custom lead light windows for the west bay and kitchen counter bay window.


While most of the interior space is new, the main staircase is original. It was altered and refinished including a replica of the main newel post. The interior entrance door and front door, with its stained glass window were both refinished and remain as a connection point between old and new. The main floor boasts elegant coffered ceilings with crown moulding. Deep profiled baseboards and casings throughout are in keeping with the original style of the house. Despite all these wood details being new, they blend seamlessly into this 100-year-old home. On the exterior, the Greening Homes crew refurbished the entrance porch and all of the soffits and facia throughout. The rotting corbels were removed and replicas built in an offsite shop. They were reinstalled and all of the exterior wood trim was repainted.


  • 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 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 clean recyclable material piles
  • Custom framing plans allowed the crew to only order materials they required, and in the lengths the needed them in. 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 and refinished for the renovation


  • Green concrete slabs containing high slag content (a bi-product from the steel manufacturing industry used to offset the quantity of Portland cement in the mix)
  • Basement subfloor is Tyroc – a product specifically designed for below grade subfloors. It is made of recycled rubber and magnesium oxide board and acts as a moisture barrier
  • In all five bathrooms, the walls of the tub and shower surrounds were tiled over the German engineered Schluter System as a waterproof membrane to protect against potential water damage
  • Tiled floors were laid over Schluter Ditra – a waterproof membrane designed to absorb movement in floor systems, preserve the integrity of the tile mortar and grout and guard against potential water damage
  • Recycled denim cotton batts for sound insulation were installed in all interior partition walls and ceilings
  • California standard, lead free plumbing fixtures
  • A 97% recycled drywall product was used throughout the home
  • All framing lumber (where possible) was FSC certified
  • All trim and interior doors were FSC certified


  • High efficiency gas furnaces
  • The complete electrical overhaul saw all new wiring throughout with LED compatible pot lights, including a new mast and meter
  • Drain water heat recovery system on all three stacks
  • The domestic hot water supply was split into two zones with two separate high-efficiency hot water tanks feeding the system. The two zones reduce the amount of lost heat energy as the supply distances (length of pipe between the water heater and the tap) have been minimized
  • A gravity fed hot water recirculating system running in a convection loop was installed to supply hot water on demand


  • All panel products – kitchen, wainscoting, subfloors and engineered flooring in basement were NAUF (no added urea-formaldehyde) and FSC certified
  • Non-toxic soldering flux was used on all plumbing components
  • Wet applied products (floor stain and clear coat, wall paints and adhesives) are low to no VOC
  • Basement subfloor is Tyroc – a product specifically designed to prevent mold and mildew growth
  • Due to the size of the house, the new forced air system was split into two zones to supply second floor and third floors, main floor and basement. Both systems consist of high efficiency gas furnace, HRV, humidifier, and AC unit
  • The HRV system exhausts stale air from the kitchens, bathrooms and laundry, and supplies fresh air to the living spaces and bedrooms


  • With the central location of the site, Greening Homes crew were encouraged to take the TTC, cycle or walk to site
  • The core crew of this site excelled at the smart transportation challenge and only used vehicles for moving materials and tools (not for day-to-day commuting)