NRRA Newsletter – Winter 2018


Volume 16 | Issue 1 Winter 2018/19

“A Rosedale Walk About”

By Terrel Wong


When you are strolling through the neighbourhood, you will notice the rich tapestry that is the architectural heritage of Rosedale. It is a cornucopia of Arts and Crafts, Victorian, Georgian, and modern homes on winding streets under an urban forest. The buildings are linked by scale, rich materiality with smatterings of unique details.

To better my drawing skills I am slowly sketching the homes throughout North Rosedale. Below are a few examples with some tidbits gleaned from historic data and the internet. It is a work in progress and I would love input from my neighbours to update this heritage database.

51 Roxborough Drive | The Wolf House

In 1970 Barton Myers, with local architect AJ Diamond, designed himself a very modern home at 19 Berryman Street. It came to the notice of Lawrence and Mary Wolf who were looking to build something similar. The resulting Wolf House with its exposed metal structure and mechanical system is loved by UofT architecture students and modernists worldwide.

The original structure was two storeys built above grade on steel columns allowing the ravine edge to flow under the building. In the 80s a lower level glass box was added. The interiors were altered by Yabu Pushelberg in 1995. They were altered again in 2008 by Heather Faulding.

This Fall I had the ultimate pleasure to get a personal tour from the current owner. What a treat! As an environmental architect this building causes me both delight and dread as it is essentially an uninsulated glass box. To wrap it in insulation would be to ruin its architectural expression and would be pointless as the metal frame would bypass any insulation added. The only thing I suggested to the owner to improve comfort and reduce his carbon footprint would be in order of importance: air sealing, operable exterior shading, PV panels on the roof, and finally better windows (once the older ones fail).

Below are several good sites to get more information about this iconic building.