Home of the Week, 240 STERLING RD., Toronto. Asking price: $1.375-million.Kent Monkman bought a small factory building near Bloor and Landsdowne in the early months of 2008 after the internationally acclaimed multimedia artist ran out of space in his storefront on Christie Street, where previously he had been living and working. “I had five assistants and we were on top of each other,” says Mr. Monkman whose latest show, Casualties of Modernity, opens Friday at the Denver Art Museum. (Tomasz Majcherczyk)
The 28-foot wide property, once the workshop of landscape architect Terry McGlade, came with two large skylights, a mezzanine loft and a large parking pad. But best of all, it came with 16-foot ceilings. “It wasn’t going to be a stretch to turn it into my art studio,” says Mr. Monkman.
When work is done, Mr. Monkman retreats to the rooftop garden that Mr. McGlade designed before vacating the property five years ago. This is where Mr. Monkman unwinds and regenerates. (Tomasz Majcherczyk)
Toronto designer Jason Halter, a former associate of Bruce Mau Design, worked together with architect Anthony Provenzano in carrying out the renovation that commenced in 2009 and lasted six months. (Tomasz Majcherczyk)
The renovation transformed the entire space, starting with the infrastructure, which had to be modified to allow for the flexibility of a live/work environment. An old furnace was ripped out and replaced with a more efficient heating system. The original garage door was removed to make way for a new commercial door-and-window system that instantly made the interior brighter. Mr. Halter also removed a dropped ceiling and replaced it with the addition of a large skylight to increase the flow of natural light throughout the space. (Tomasz Majcherczyk)
The renovations, “...made for a great place to make art,” says Mr. Monkman, who used the space to create a series of large-scale paintings, among them Les Castors du Roi, which he created for the Montreal Museum of Fine Art. (Tomasz Majcherczyk)
Among the architectural changes introduced were a galley kitchen, a bedroom with a bathroom, polished concrete on the floors and exposed wooden beams on the ceilings. The open concept living room doubles as a gallery. (Tomasz Majcherczyk)