Anya Moryoussef Architect transforms a Victorian home in Toronto with a series of apertures

Stately semidetatched Victorians line Markham Street in Toronto’s Little Italy neighborhood. But often their narrow, elongated plans, set between party walls, make them difficult subjects for noteworthy architectural interventions. Yet when an older couple approached Anya Moryoussef to update their home after their children moved out, it was a great pairing: “I love renovation work,” Moryoussef told AN Interior. “I think it can be a meaningful way to probe cultural ideas.”

The claim is both pragmatic and environmentally minded. After studying and working internationally, Moryoussef founded her eponymous, Toronto-based office in 2016. Small-scale residential renos are often bread-and-butter projects for younger practitioners: While she also teaches at the University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design and the University of Waterloo’s School of Architecture, to date, nearly all the architect’s commissions have been alterations. Still, the lowest-carbon building is the one that is already built, so retention of existing structures is important when acknowledging architecture’s contribution to climate change.


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