Each of the three residential projects featured in this issue came to us in a different way. Yet they belong together, in more ways than one.

The condo-loft by II BY IV Design (“Room at the Tip Top,” page 15) arrived by snail-mail -out of the blue, with no introductory call or e-mail. A gift, this playful, masculine, modern space. I contacted II BY IV immediately and said we had to have it for the magazine.

The rowhouse by Levitt Goodman Architects (“A place in the sun,” page 21) I went after. In anticipation of our residential issue, I contacted Janna Levitt, one of my favourite architects, to see if she had anything for us. She did: two projects, in fact, from which I chose the one I like best -a once-gloomy worker’s cottage now filled with light and air and art.

The loft by Prototype design lab (“Life in the fast lane,” page 28) I retrieved from a battered box beneath my desk. The project had originally been sent in as a submission to our annual Best of Canada competition. Though it hadn’t won an award (I was present at the judging), I had filed it away in my mind as a possibility for our residential package. Each year, managing editor Erin Donnelly and I like to rescue one or two Best of Canada entries that divided the judges but delighted us -such as this rock ‘n’ rolling bachelor’s pad.

Planning the issue, these three projects -among all those we considered -seemed to fit together. Though strikingly individual, they had things in common: they’re all in Toronto, they’re all renos, and they all make room for art. Only after the stories were written did we realize they shared something else: they were each designed for a single occupant -the condo-loft for a young doctor in search of a personal retreat; the rowhouse for an art consultant with a growing collection of books and artworks; and the loft for a carefree, jet-setting entrepreneur.

That’s the kind of unlooked-for element that thrills an editor.

Michael Totzke [email protected]