H&H FEBRUARY 2015 TRANSFORMING A 100-YEAR-OLD manse into a family-friendly hangout zone without stripping the grand dame of its historic elegance is a tall order. But with the help of Toronto architect John O’Connor of Basis Design Build and designer Kim Lambert, homeowners Ellen and Sam Webster have created a place that’s casual enough for […]

MATTHEW HAGUE TORONTO LIFE MAGAZINE MARCH 2014   Mary Abbott grew up outside of Guelph in an old farmhouse so secluded that her parents didn’t bother with curtains. “The land around us was made up of fields and forests,” she says. “It was extremely private.” Abbott has since left the rural life behind. She’s a […]

KELVIN BROWNE THE NATIONAL POST MARCH 29,2008 “We just bought the ugliest house in Rosedale,” its owner confessed to architect John O’Connor. Without missing a beat, my friend John replied, “Oh, you must mean the house at ?” Shock, then laughter all round. John had begun to design a renovation for the previous owners of […]

CAROLYN LEITCH GLOBE AND MAIL MAY 9,2008 Iain Morris and Fiona Macfarlane lamented the one-of-a-kind Vancouver home they left behind even as they celebrated the career moves that brought them to Toronto. The couple had spent three years building a contemporary family home with a spectacular view over the water. But they had scarcely settled […]

KELVIN BROWNE INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN SUMMER 2008 Architect John O’Connor talks to Kelvin Browne about THE VIEW Kelvin Browne: You’re currently working on a large project on an island in Georgian Bay, Ontario. What are you learning from this experience? John O’Connor: When you’re designing a house on a unique property, one with waterfront […]

KATHERINE ASHENBURG TORONTO LIFE MAGAZINE MAY 2006   John O’Connor’s reinterpretation of his 130-year-old Cabbagetown cottage may irk the preservation association, but spirit trumps historical accuracy At first glance, Amelia Street is a typical stretch of Cabbagetown, lined with houses in late-Victorian styles, lovingly tended by their preservation-conscious owners. But Amelia, just south of Wellesley, […]

JANE GADD THE GLOBE AND MAIL APRIL 7, 2006   Architect John O’Connor warns that the beauty of the city’s Victorian charmers may be only skin deep During a massive overhaul of a charming mews house in his neighbourhood, Cabbagetown architect John O’Connor realized the writing was on the wall for Toronto’s flimsier downtown neighbourhoods. […]

KELVIN BROWNE THE NATIONAL POST SEPTEMBER 29, 2005 Design/build team can ease the pain of creating a house If you’ve ever built a house, you know that a lot can happen between finalization of plan and budget (often after months of anguish) and the project’s completion. The “design-build” approach recognizes the construction phase of a […]

MARTHA UNIACKE BREEN STYLE AT HOME MAGAZINE JUNE 2005   A Toronto architect and homeowner reinvents the past in clever ways to create an inviting modern home Is it possible to build a modernist temple in the heart of a staunchly historic neighbourhood and actually enhance the surrounding streetscape? The house that architect John O’Connor […]

JOHN O’CONNOR The cottage needed to be torn down, but the neighborhood needed the cottage. Dilapidated as it was, the 1870s cottage was an essential element on Amelia Street. So I worked with it. I still had to tear down most of it, but I rebuilt the cottage with the original form and footprint in […]

SUSAN KLEINMAN METROPOLITAN HOME JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2005 This Canadian architect expanded the 19th-century worker’s cottage into a home and studio compound for the 21st. John O’Connor, Toronto, ON “It was the last bad thing on a good block in a great neighborhood,” architect John O’Connor says of the dilapidated worker’s cottage in Toronto’s Cabbagetown-exactly the kind […]

GEORGIE BINKS TORONTO STAR AUGUST 14, 2004 Couple renovates and expands wide-open loft after live-in experiment. Background tracks for a Celine Dion hit were recorded here. When musician and composer Stephan Moccio, 31, listens to Celine Dion sing her hit A New Day Has Come, he swears he can hear the sound of his wife, […]

GEORGIE BINKS TORONTO STAR JANUARY 17, 2004 Family’s Scarborough home is designed to complement its natural setting. The Open concept house capitalizes on sun, wind and view of the lake. When you find the perfect lot to build on, the last thing that you want to do is shut out the beauty of nature. When […]

KATHERINE ASHENBURG TORONTO LIFE DECEMBER, 2002 Moving from a three-storey house to a one bedroom flat allowed Helen Rayne and Jane O’Hara to adopt a cool, modern aesthetic. Their rallying cry “Death to tchotchkes” A warren of low-ceilinged, gumwood trimmed rooms, the apartment had spelled domesticity in 1920s Toronto. But in 2001, it simply looked […]

KATHERINE VANSITTART CANADIAN HOUSE AND HOME JUNE, 2001 A city semi gets a modern facelift that answers the evolving needs of a young family. There is a small crowd of mothers with young children on the front porch at Kathryn and Michael Bowen’s residence. Seems I’m late for a tea party but a little early […]

JANE GADD THE GLOBE AND MAIL JUNE 18, 2004 Renovation adds a thoroughly modern twist while staying true to a house’s humble roots How do you hide a three-storey addition to a one-storey cottage? Toronto architect John O’Connor figured it out when he set out to expand one of Cabbagetown’s humble worker’s cottages into a […]