Design Catalogue

05 Postwar Backsplit





The Postwar Backsplit type were built in the 1950’s to 1960’s



Commonly found in the neighbourhoods of North York and Scarborough, the Postwar Backsplit is a variant of the Postwar Bungalow with one storey at the front of the house that splits into a lower and upper level facing the rear yard. The lower rear level is usually aligned with the elevation of the backyard to create a walk-out living area. The plan is organized around a central interior stair and often includes a secondary entrance off the side yard. This makes it easy to provide a separate entrance for a basement unit. Backsplit properties often have quite generous lot frontage and depth, with large front yard setbacks from the street.

They typically include a long driveway and an attached garage or carport incorporated into the overall roof geometry.



Real Estate Listings



Presented below are a few examples of the Postwar Backsplit type for your viewing and pricing reference.


Fulwell Cres, North York
Lot Size: 50.0 x 120.0 ft
For Sale: $1,078,000 (Jan 2021)
Hullmar Dr, North York
Lot Size: 50.9 x 135.7 ft
For Sale: $895,000 (Aug 2021)

Glentworth Rd, North York
Lot Size: 50.0 x 120.0 ft
For Sale: $1,630,000 (Jul 2021)

Patina Dr, North York
Lot Size: 59.0 x 150.0 ft
For Sale: $2,016,800 (Apr 2022)

Cobbler Cres, North York
Lot Size: 30.0 x 89.4 ft
For Sale: $999,000 (Jan 2022)


Torresdale Ave, North York
Lot Size: 50.5 x 120.0 ft
For Sale: $1,550,000 (Mar 2022)
Warden Ave, Scarborough
Lot Size: 45.0 x 144.1 ft
For Sale:$1,100,000 (Jun 2022)
Kirk Dr, Markham
Lot Size: 55.0 x 130.0 ft
For Sale: $1,700,000 (Mar 2022)

Jondan Cres, Markham
Lot Size: 55.0 x 110.0 ft
For Sale:$1,440,000 (Jul 2021)
Grandview Ave, Markham
Lot Size: 60.0 x 125.3 ft
For Sale:$1,800,000 (Sep 2021)


Pricing as of June 2022


Neighbourhood Aerial



Aerial view of a sample neighbourhood with a Postwar Backsplit highlighted in orange.





Existing House Plans





Housing Option: Low



The “Low” Option explores interior renovations within the existing building to create more housing.

This scheme prioritizes minimal construction costs to introduce three additional dwelling units. Each level of the existing backsplit is converted into its own unit. The two rear units and the basement unit are acessed through a shared entrance from the side of the house. The detached garage is maintained as parking.

This scheme involves significant plumbing and electrical work, and requires fire separations between each dwelling unit to meet the Ontario Building Code.

Occupancy and Density:
Total Unit Count = 4 Units
Total Occupancy = 6 Beds
Lot Area = 558.5m2
FSI = 0.39

Housing Stats:
Second Floor Area = 74.8m2
Ground Floor Area = 143.1m2
Basement Floor Area = 75.4m2 (excluded from FSI)
Total Floor Area = 293.3m2





Housing Option: Medium



This scheme is limited to minor additions, accessory dwelling units (Garden Suite or Laneway Suite) and renovations within the existing building footprint, and may include the scope of work included in the ‘LOW’ option.

A minor addition behind the existing garage expands the rear ground floor unit to create two bedrooms and a more generous living space. The addition also provides private outdoor space as a roof terrace for the unit above. A sunken entry courtyard is excavated from the front yard to provide a small dedicated outdoor space, more daylight and direct access to the basement unit.

Occupancy and Density:
Total Unit Count = 4 Units
Total Occupancy = 7 Beds
Lot Area = 558.5m2
FSI = 0.43

Housing Stats:
Second Floor Area = 74.8m2
Ground Floor Area = 143.1m2
Side Addition Floor Area = 20.8m2
Basement Floor Area = 75.4m2 (excluded from FSI)
Total Floor Area = 314.1m2




Housing Option: High



This scheme is limited to major additions or a combination of minor additions, accessory dwelling units (Garden Suite or Laneway Suite) and renovations within the existing building footprint, and may include the scope of work included in the ‘LOW’ and ‘MEDIUM’ option.

This property is not serviced by a laneway, hence a garden suite option is proposed. The lot has sufficient depth and width to accomodate a one-storey garden suite with firefighting access from the public street. There are also no adjacent tree protection zones.

The one-car garage could be converted into a small studio by

insulating and/or doubling the stud frame walls and replacing the garage door with a large window and patio door.

Occupancy and Density:
Total Unit Count = 6 Units (4 + Garden Suite + Garage Conversion)
Total Occupancy = 9 Beds
Lot Area = 558.5m2
FSI = 0.48

Housing Stats:
Second Floor Area = 74.8m2
Ground Floor Area = 143.1m2
Side Addition Floor Area = 20.8m2
Basement Floor Area = 75.4m2 (excluded from FSI)
Garage Conversion Floor Area = 28.9m2
Garden Suite Floor Area = 60.0m2
Total Floor Area = 403.0m2









Housing Option: New



The “New” Options propose demolition of the existing house and the construction of a new multiplex within the zoning/built form permitted for single-detached houses.

The large lot area of offers flexibility for the design of a new multiplex. Many of the other types have significant constraints that make it challenging to fit four units in the main building, whereas this site can easily accomodate more units. This new multiplex shows six units in the main building, and is inspired by the staggered floor levels of the original backsplit to influence the design.

Three one-bedroom units face the street and three three-bedroom units face the rear yard. All of the units are accessed from a main entrance and open into the shared interior stairwell. This interior stair is also extended up to the roof level to provide access to a shared roof garden. A second exterior exit stair is added at the rear to meet the building code requirement for two means of egress. The lower level (semi-basement) unit at the front gets a small sunken courtyard and direct access stair. Although the design shows a full basement with storage rooms for each unit, this could also be deleted to reduce construction cost.

Occupancy and Density:
Total Unit Count = 7 Units (6 + Garden Suite)
Total Occupancy = 13 Beds
Lot Area = 558.5m2
FSI = 0.80

Housing Stats:
Third Floor Area = 110.0m2
Second Floor Area = 168.2m2
Ground Floor Area = 168.2m2
Basement Floor Area = 137.7m2 (excluded from FSI)
Garden Suite Floor Area = 60.0m2
Total Floor Area = 644.1m2















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