Real Estate

Laneway Suite of the Week: How two neighbours at Main and Gerrard built a row of new rentals

This unit comes with two storeys, a designer kitchen and a view of the park

By Andrea Yu| Photography by Nanne Springer, Avryll McNair and Lanescape
The laneway units come with kitchens fit for any designer home.
The history

In October 2020, George Emerson bought two side-by-side semis on Gerrard East, just south of the Danforth GO station. They were both three-unit homes with big backyards facing a laneway that overlooked Norwood Park. Emerson’s vision was clear: build two parkside laneway suitesinspired by London’s famous mewsto rent out.

The build

When he contacted his neighbours about his venture, one of them, Jon Braun, was also jazzed about creating a suite of his own. He had a detached house next door: the perfect site for a third unit.

The two enlisted Lanescape as architects alongside interior designer Carolina Murialdo and builder Maxwell Contracting. Emerson’s units would be roughly 1,500 square feet, each with three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms; Braun’s would be slightly smaller: 1,100 square feet with two bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms.

Construction began in June 2022 and was completed this past fall. One of Emerson’s homes has already been rented out for $5,495 a month.

The tour

This three-bedroom unit faces Norwood Park. Its foyer comes with a coat closet and a space-saving pocket door leading to the laundry room.

The suites face Norwood Park and get plenty of natural light.

Here’s that laundry room as well as the staircase leading to the second floor.

The space-saving laundry room is right next to the stairs.

All three bedrooms are on the main floor. The first one, just next to the foyer, is currently set up as an office. Its horizontal windows have been placed higher up for privacy. The wide-plank flooring is heated and can be found throughout.

This bedroom, with a horizontal window, is currently set up as an office.

Down the hall is the main bedroom, equipped with a wide sliding-door closet.

The main bedroom has a wide, sliding-door closet.

An opposite angle offers a peek into the ensuite bathroom.

You can peep the main ensuite from this angle.

Here’s that ensuite. It has penny-tile flooring and a glass walk-in shower with a ceiling-mounted rainfall head.

Laneway Suite of the Week: How two neighbours at Main and Gerrard built a row of new rentals

Now the third bedroom, with a sliding-door exit to the courtyard leading to the main house.

The third door exits to the backyard of the main house.

This view highlights the wall of mirrors that conceals the closet.

Those mirrors are actually a secret closet.

There’s also a second, shared bathroom on the main floor. Note the large-panel porcelain tiles.

This second-floor bathroom is shared.

Upstairs is the open-concept kitchen, living and dining space.

The open-concept kitchen and dining area is on the second floor.

The dining area’s balcony overlooks the courtyard.

The balcony overlooks the courtyard.

The living area, meanwhile, faces the park.

That Juliet balcony has a great view of Norwood Park.

At last, the kitchen: a three-seat island, plenty of storage, a new fridge and a gas cooktop.

There are plenty of space-saving tricks in the kitchen.

The counters are Caesarstone.

The counters here are Caesarstone.

Those stairs lead to the roof.

That staircase goes to the rooftop.

There’s also a powder room on the second floor. It comes with herringbone-tiled walls and funky flooring.

Note the herringbone tiling in the powder room.

Finally, a look at the exterior facing the courtyard, fashioned with red-brick detailing, composite-wood accents and matte-black metal cladding.

The red brick facade is a nod to Toronto's classic family homes.

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