City Homes

May 8, 2024

A Designer’s Heritage House Is Reborn As A Contemporary Setting For Her Young Family

It’s a dilemma many owners grapple with when renovating their Victorian houses. How do you reconcile original heritage quirks — which often include small rooms and scant storage — with contemporary life? When Jaime Polan Zimmerman and her husband, real-estate agent Matthew Zimmerman, bought this 3,000-square-foot century home in Toronto’s Annex neighborhood in 2022, it had been sliced and diced over the years, and included a separate apartment on the third floor. They needed more space to accommodate their work-from-home lifestyle and an open-concept family room and kitchen that would make spending time with their sons, Otis and Penn, easier.

“I could see the beauty in this house,” says Jaime, principal designer of JPZ Interiors. She was charmed by the grand ceiling height and the original fireplace and stained glass windows, but the interiors desperately needed updating — the layout didn’t make sense and the floors were sloped. She embarked on a full-gut reno. “The family room was closed off from the kitchen, so we opened the whole back area, and added archways as a design motif.” Jaime retained the original stained glass windows in the kitchen, foyer and office, then designed interiors that blended traditional and contemporary styles.

Scroll down for a look into this renovated heritage house!