Home Tour: Laneway House - TSA

Home Tour:
Laneway House

Join us on a tour with architect Brigitte Shim, co-founder of Shim Sutcliffe Architects, as she shares the stories behind her award-winning laneway house, a pioneer in the laneway housing movement in Toronto. This tour is part of the #TSAhometours program, an online tour series celebrating and exploring homes designed by architects for themselves.


About the Laneway House

“Living in a laneway enables you to feel like you are live in a village in the heart of an enormous metropolis. Laneways have the potential to create intimate community clusters which operate at a smaller scale within a large, thriving city.”

Brigitte Shim, Interview with Better Dwelling


In 1993, after previously being turned down by the City of Toronto’s Committee of Adjustment, Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe gained approval from the Ontario Municipal Board for the construction of their laneway house. Located within Toronto’s network of laneways, the project is sited on a lot which combined three small adjoining vacant lots formerly used for storing abandoned cars. The award-winning project, recipient of a Governor General’s Medal for Architecture,  set an example for laneway housing in Toronto showing the potential of this housing type to gently densify the city, provide diversity in housing and create intimate community clusters within the metropolis.

Want to learn more? In 2003, Brigitte Shim and Donald Chong co-edited Site unseen: laneway architecture and urbanism in Torontoa publication researching the potential of intensification in laneways and their role as vibrant, viable and innovative additions to the public realm of the North American city. The publication received an Award of Excellence in the “Visions and Master Plans” category for the 2003 City of Toronto Architecture and Urban Design Awards.


About the TSA HOME TOURS Series

Having spent the last year and a half working, playing, and resting in our homes, residential design has never been more topical or top of mind. Last year, we toured some very special homes of our very own TSA members, and this year we are continuing our home visits across the GTA! Each tour will have a new architect or designer feature their home and share with us the stories, challenges and opportunities that shaped their residences.