All stories by Emma Reddington

The Goods

Homes

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Great Spaces: a designer’s Brooklyn sensibility finds a home in Parkdale

Great Spaces: a designer’s Brooklyn state of mind finds a home in T.O.

Great Spaces: a designer’s Brooklyn state of mind finds a home in T.O.Courtney Wotherspoon never intended to settle in Toronto. The 31-year-old illustrator and designer studied at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and always figured she’d start her professional career in New York. But U.S. visa issues got in the way, and she was forced to return, begrudgingly, to her hometown. She moved to Parkdale, which reminded her most of Williamsburg, and as she immersed herself in the city’s arts and culture scene over the next few years, she slowly fell in love with Toronto again—so much so that when, in 2010, she saw a 140-year-old Victorian semi for sale a few blocks away from her apartment, she decided to buy it.

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The Goods

Homes

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Great Spaces: inside a couple’s modish Parkdale renovation

Great Spaces: returning from Barcelona, a couple makes Parkdale feel like home

Great Spaces: returning from Barcelona, a couple makes Parkdale feel like homeIn the summer of 2007, Anna Zalewski quit her job as a Bay Street lawyer, sold her house in Riverdale and moved to Barcelona. Her plan was to decompress, soak up the sun, and maybe learn some Spanish. A year into her stay, she met another ex-lawyer, a Colombian-born man named Felipe Gil, who was studying human rights at the University of Barcelona. They fell in love. A year later, Zalewski was getting homesick, and Gil was eager to settle in Canada. Neither had a steady job in Spain, so they decided to plant roots in
Toronto, together.

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The Goods

Homes

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Great Spaces: a filmmaker turns a former car repair shop into a killer bachelor pad

Great Spaces: Auto Focus

Robert Pilichowski’s family emigrated from Gdansk, Poland, in 1980, when he was eight years old. They settled in what was then Toronto’s Polish enclave, Roncesvalles Village, where they lived for a year before moving to the burbs. Pilichowski, now a photographer and documentary filmmaker, chose to return to his first Toronto ’hood when he was looking for a place of his own. He found a loft conversion that had once been an autobody repair shop and began dismantling unwanted elements—cheap laminate flooring, low-grade kitchen cabinetry, a squat toilet—in order to build his ultimate bachelor pad. His father, Roman, a former shipyard engineer in Poland who worked in factories in Canada, helped with much of the reno. Together, Robert and Roman tried to give the cavernous 2,600-square-foot space some personality. “I hate things that are generic or prefab,” says Robert. “I need things that have history, substance, character—pieces that make life a bit more cinematic.” The furnishings are mostly vintage, and the art is carefully curated. Pilichowski tried to preserve the repair shop vibe wherever possible. (He’s a self-professed gearhead who owns a 1963 Chevy Nova and a 1966 Honda motorcycle, which he parks in his living room.) He also kept the exposed brick and concrete floors, for which he’s found a great use—he often skateboards around the open space to unwind.

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