Lisa Logan photography spread covers the Globe and Mail Architecture section


Arlington Street, Toronto


A building meant to make music

Architect Ted Footman renews John Johnson and Kathy Irwin’s home in a converted gospel church


The Globe and Mail Last updated: 

By 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon, there’s a radiant God ray that runs right across the length of John Johnson and Kathy Irwin’s house. Of course, it could just be the glow of the sun, but the artistic couple’s newly renovated space was once a lively gospel church – so there’s something divine about the way the light hits.

The rejuvenated, open-concept house in Toronto’s Wychwood neighbourhood is the work of architect Ted Footman, who took the former church from a recent iteration as a Sai Baba temple and brought it back to the good book of modern design.

“The door was in the wrong place, the windows were all wrong, this whole thing was wrong,” Mr. Footman says of his first impressions.

“I told them, ‘Let’s break a few eggs, make an omelette, rip ‘er off and start over.’”

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