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Michael Kluckner has been observing an interesting change in his east-side neighbourhood:

It is the conversion/modernization of one of the ubiquitous single-storey stucco “starter houses” – the little ones with the hipped roofs – that are so common all over East Van and in areas like Marpole and, even, Dunbar.  Usually when they’re sold there’s a complete demolition, new foundation and a big Contemporary Builder/Monster House put onto the lot. But this is different:

Starter 6

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It kept the foundation, concrete front steps and main floor framing, then added a modern treatment of a traditional century-old house, fitting in well with Parker Street in Grandview. The contractor’s website talks about low energy, low impact design.

Starter 2

Starter 4

The other interesting part is the speed with which they worked – the project began in mid-July and there are already people living in it. I don’t know about costs, but it must be considerably cheaper than building from scratch.

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Also, from the Toronto Star: Can living in laneways fix Toronto’s density issues?