Project size: 5,000 square feet

Program: This split-level, open plan dwelling is located in a Toronto suburb. In contrast with the surrounding traditional homes, the Petaluma house features clean lines for a contemporary composition. The client, a retired professional, required a layout that is both functional and flexible. Within the double-height entrance atrium, bamboo trees add a touch of nature to the interior; the atrium’s glazing brings natural daylight into the lower level entertainment and recreation rooms. An open-riser concrete and steel stair, nestled between the tall vegetation and an indoor waterfall, accentuates this space. The main living area encompasses an open kitchen, a dining room, and a screened porch, which has the ability to merge with the interior or the outside of the dwelling. The slightly lowered living room is fully-glazed and is connected with an ipe balcony.

Location: Whitby, Ontario

Solution: A fully-glazed car garage for the client’s vintage car collection looks out onto the surrounding ravine. The house features finished concrete floors throughout with radiant-in-floor heating and cooling, ample daylight, and natural ventilation. The master ensuite, a spa-like nook, is located within the master bedroom. Keeping age in mind, a pneumatic see-through elevator shaft was integrated into the design, connecting all levels.

Construction and materials: The house is constructed of fully-engineered structural steel and concrete ICF foundations. Elements of whitewashed Douglas fir cedars and soffits, mahogany, concrete, and glass appear throughout the house, providing a natural palette.


Additional Information

Completion date: July 2018

Gross square footage: 5,000 square feet  

Total project cost: withheld

Client: withheld



Trevor McIvor Architect Inc, 134 Peter Street, Suite 1301, Toronto, ON, M5V 2H2


Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:

Trevor McIvor (Project Architect, Partner), Steve Choe (Drafting and Design)


Architect of record:

Trevor McIvor Architect Inc


Interior designer:

Dorota Jackowski



Blackwell Structural Engineers


General contractor:

Ortolan Building Design Ltd



Adrian Ozimek (416) 278-6765



Structural System

ICF foundation by Nudura, Structural steel by Norweld, Truss joist TJI

Exterior Cladding

Masonry: Granite

Metal/glass curtain wall: Wood Curtain Wall by Ross Windows

Rainscreen: Breather board

Wood: Maibec

Moisture barrier: Tyvek and Blueskin

Curtain wall: Wood Curtain Wall by Ross Windows


Elastomeric: Sarnifil


Wood frame: Lepage Windows


Skylights: Velux


Entrances: Liebster Fine Carpentry

Metal doors: Lepage

Wood doors: Liebster Fine Carpentry

Sliding doors: Ross Windows


Security devices: Automation Media

Interior Finishes

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Liebster Fine Carpentry

Paneling: Liebster Fine Carpentry

Floor and wall tile: CIOT

Raised flooring: Bleached Douglas Fir

Special interior finishes unique to this project: Bleached Douglas Fir


Tables: Build by BEN


Exterior: Contrast

Dimming system or other lighting controls: Automation Media Inc


Elevators/escalators: Lucanus Group


Other unique products that contribute to sustainability: Waltite ECO foam