Summerhill House

Summerhill, Toronto

A midtown house renovation for an art dealer prompts a hybrid home and art gallery with an ethos of curiosity and sustainability.


Our client asked us to transform a dark Edwardian House into a unique synthesis between family home and commercial art gallery. Her emphasis on inquiry, sustainability and creativity drove an unconventional solution: in the driveway stands A Piano Listening to Itself – Chopin Chord, an installation by Canadian artist, Gordon Monahan. A decaying vintage piano is connected to the roof of the house by six piano wires that transmit recordings of piano compositions by Frederic Chopin, bringing public art to the residential setting.

We maintained the original barn-shaped gambrel roof, while modernizing the exterior with triple-glazed, mullion-free windows, and vertically laid, tongue-and-groove cedar that compliments the soaring natural forest of the rear ravine. Inside, white walls and an open ground floor create a neutral showcase for experimental installations, and entertaining, as well as standard household functions. 

Sliding doors from the kitchen and dining area refocus interior activities towards the ravine, as does the rear landscaping, which we designed with spaces for art installations, a hot tub, and a sprawling patio to encourage time outdoors.


The renovation, by Dean Goodman of LGA Architectural Partners, was tailored to highlight the ever-changing assortment of artwork. The expansive walls are MoMA white and there’s plenty of room for the crowds of curators, collectors and art lovers...

-Matthew Hague, Toronto Life


Toronto Life – (February 2014) The Showpiece: Inside a Midtown home where there’s art on the walls, on the floor and in the driveway