Leslieville Renovation, Toronto

Asquith Architecture Inc., Toronto

Photography by Nanne Springer

Imagine a ceramic sculptor who loved the earthy red tones of vintage Toronto brick so much she “unrenovated” her house to expose its Flemish-bonded masonry. At the overhaul of a rowhouse in Toronto’s Leslieville district, existing drywall and plasterboard surfaces and underlying studs were peeled away to expose the original variegated brick perimeter, where irregular patches of ochre and burnt umber play off against the predominantly honey-toned mashup of headers and stretchers. The raw brick makes a harmonious backdrop for displaying the client’s clay art. The brick was restored to its previous, though not necessarily pristine, state. Large areas remain where the bricks were whitewashed or plastered over with texture added by the random scratchy lines incised by the trowel of the plasterer who never suspected that his handiwork would ever see the light of the inhabitants’ day. Upon these surfaces, Asquith artfully superimposed new electrical conduit, mechanical ductwork, copper plumbing pipes and white-oak millwork and flooring, all without adding a feeling of clutter. Exposed ceiling joists complete the industrial-loft aesthetic.