When you’re gently swaying in the swing chair in Monica and Jonathan Maile’s bedroom, the city feels like it’s a million miles away. The house backs onto a lush ravine, where the couple’s young daughters, Rees, 8, and Tate, 5, like to forage for organic treasures. The home’s location in Baby Point, an upscale neighborhood in Toronto’s west end, was ideal for the family, who spend as much time as they can outdoors.
The house itself, however, was far from perfect. Over the years, layers of makeshift renovations had turned the aging abode into a patchwork of small, dark rooms. They asked local architects Jodi and Andrew Batay-Csorba to design both the exterior and interiors with two seemingly straightforward goals: to bring more natural light into every room and to add a suite for Monica’s mother, Candace Tate. The final result is a comfortable space for three generations that’s surrounded by nature, and designed with areas for gathering together or spending quiet time alone. It’s the family’s dream home, but it also reflects changing ideas about what the ideal home entails.
“I wanted the house to be a function of humanity, not a museum where you show things off,” says Monica. “There’s a loving, welcoming energy that really enables the family to be together.”