Little portugal hero

Little Portugal

A full-home renovation with a rear addition resulting in a spacious, light-filled home in the heart of Toronto's west end.

Primary walk-in closet

Our Clients

Kelly and Bart knew they wanted to live in Toronto's Little Portugal after falling in love with the vibrancy of the neighbourhood

They liked that they could bike to the waterfront, Kensington Market and Trinity Bellwoods Park. So, they purchased a home with the intention to renovate it and create a basement apartment for their daughter. The house hadn’t been touched in decades, but they saw the hidden potential: the city skyline could be seen from the third floor, with a clear view of the sunset.

Kelly and Bart chose MENATWORK because they wanted a team that understood the complexity of renovating old Toronto homes.

After a lengthy and exhaustive real-estate search, they were hoping to move in as quickly as possible, but a front addition was in the plans that necessitated approval from the Committee of Adjustment (CoA). Because the front addition could be built after the rest of the house if properly planned, we separated the project into two stages. We developed two sets of plans and obtained a building permit to complete the lion's share of the work as we awaited approval from the CoA. After obtaining the necessary approval, which lined up with the substantial completion of stage 1 of the project, we completed stage 2. This ultimately allowed us to complete this project 6 months more quickly than a typical permitting approach would have called for.

The entire house was gutted from top to bottom. Front and rear additions were added and the basement was lowered to allow for more space. The second and third-floor terrace decks were refinished. Every inch was reimagined. The result is a spectacular transformation that uses every nook and cranny to create a spacious, well-thought-out layout that brings the outdoors in and a design with a nod toward the home's Portuguese heritage.

Map showing the streets of Toronto

The Neighbourhood

Little Portugal

Located in the west end of downtown Toronto, bordered by Landsdowne Ave, College St. and Ossington Ave., Little Portugal is a neighbourhood in transition. In the 1950s, thousands of Portuguese immigrants made their first home in this west-end area. Although it is still home to the largest Portuguese population in the country, steadily over the years, the original residents have moved to the suburbs. Urban professionals have moved in, drawn to the area because of its cool bars and restaurants, quaint shops and family-run cafes and bakeries.

The neighbourhood is a mix of commercial properties and residential homes featuring Victorian and Edwardian row, semi- and detached and brick-front homes ranging from working-class cottages to mansions with a touch of European flair.

Most of the homes, although well-preserved, are long, narrow and cut up by many walls and doors and do not reflect the open-concept lifestyle that modern families crave.

The ground floor was opened up to create a spacious, modern layout which included a full redesign of the kitchen to maximize space for storage and entertaining. A front addition was added to accommodate a spacious mudroom. Large front and rear floor-to-ceiling glass windows were installed to bring in loads of natural light. 

A rear addition was built to expand the second-floor footprint, allowing space to create an additional bedroom at the front of the house. Sliding doors now open up to a deck on not only the second floor but the third floor as well - various spots to take in the views of the city.

All bathrooms and the primary bedroom were updated. The entire basement was renovated and we converted it to include a separate suite with 1 bedroom, a kitchen, a 3-piece bathroom and a den.

Project Challenges


Drawings & Plans


“I’m a big fan of the Design+Build process. The Project Manager was the glue that held the renovation together from beginning to end.”



"The heavy use of custom millwork throughout the house made this project truly special. All of the unique design elements and eclectic finishes give the space so much character."

John Cera

Project Manager

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