Originally posted on my Toronto real estate blog Urbaneer.com, this piece explores how our domestic architecture and interior design may change in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thank you for reading!
Our shelter is often designed - or modified - to support our changing domestic needs, to reflect fashionable trends, or as a response to the opportunities or constraints of our holistic environment. For example, the movement of artists into factory spaces in New York and Paris in the 1970s and 80s fueled my own career in the adaptive reuse conversion of non-domestic spaces in the 90s and 00s catering to liberal progressive non-conformists here in Toronto. I share that experience in The Differences Between A Hard Loft And A Soft Loft. Our city's vintage Victorian housing stock, originally designed as a series of separate rooms reflecting the formality of the era, which helped keep your servants mostly out-of-sight, and were easier to keep warm at a time when central heating didn't exist have, since the 1970s, frequently been 'gutted to the studs' and reorganized in their layouts to reflect the growing Popularity Of The Open Concept Space Plan. And, more recently, we're seeing advancements in building technologies inviting new approaches to residential design as property owners become committed to Making Our Homes ‘Net Zero’ Heroes.
So, it’s not surprising to me that, given our history of adapting to different (and extreme) living conditions - both inside and out - that in light of COVID-19 we may soon see our homes undergo a new evolution in design in response to the pandemic.
At the time of this writing, we're just three months into Canada's lockdown response to the arrival of the virus, so what we understand about the pathogen is just in its infancy, as is our capacity to mentally, emotionally, and spiritually process the potential magnitude of what living thru a global pandemic looks like. While most of us understand that until there are accurate reliable tests aplenty which quickly confirm we have or have had the virus; that governments develop real-time tracking data to reduce or limit the risk of those infected from exposing others to the virus; or humanity's expert scientists develop a COVID-19 vaccine which is trial-tested, approved, licensed, and manufactured at a global scale so as to effectively eliminate its risk to humans, we're going to have to be hyper-vigilant in taking precautions with a commitment to self-isolating and social-distancing. Personally, I suspect we may witness concentrated outbreaks popping up in places randomly for the foreseeable future leaving us anxious and stressed as we collectively navigate our health and wellness in a world where Mother Earth reminds humanity that our culture of consumption is wreaking havoc on nature's life balance. As this happens, our living spaces will be modified or redesigned to respond to this environmental change which, as it pertains to shelter, will begin at Long Term Care facilities which have proven to be ground zero for the majority of deaths (and prompted my piece exploring With COVID-19 Outbreaks In Long-Term Care Facilities, Is Multi-Generational Housing Better?). And, when the by-product of a lightening-speed global lockdown - where citizens were ordered to self-isolate and most industries were shut down - was a dramatic reduction in air, light and noise pollution, it points to a Captain Obvious correlation that our current addiction to manufacturing the worst of crappy everything represents all that's wrong with the world (oh, and the greed of the 1% who could donate most of their fortunes and still live a pampered existence beyond what we 99% could ever dream of). Commenting as a housing conceptualist and realtor, I believe government policies should mandate all real estate development players (and any person or business engaged in any aspect of the built environment) have the responsibility to create products and spaces that enhance health and well-being, rather than jeopardize it. As I wrote in my post called Healthy Home: The Irony Of Navigating COVID-19 On The 50th Anniversary Of Earth Day the inter-connectedness of climate change, the virus and late-stage capitalism is fueling our own demise. And we're going to have to invest significant capital into our dwellings to protect us from the increasing strains of environmental calamity.
When it comes to changing or modifying our housing, some design solutions will focus on adapting our existing spaces to the possibility the pandemic will re-occur, while others will be a response to our experience of self-isolating during the lockdown in our current residences. For the past three months, many residents have been confined to their homes, where they've been experiencing a painfully prolonged and critical eye to the inefficiency and functional failures of their dwellings. And, given we live with a 24-hour loop of houseporn media reminding us all of what's shiny, new and 'on trend' (see Behold The HGTV Effect On Toronto Real Estate), the privileged have been enjoying their leisure time exploring how their homes can better maximize comfort and still look great (or even better!). Did you know that the construction trades are booming right now? This is because the professional class - the ones for whom the Demand For ‘Forever Homes’ In Toronto’s Downtown Family Neighbourhoods Persists Despite COVID-19 - are now working from home day in and day out, forced to bear witness every waking moment to the slow decay of their vintage pile of bricks and mortar. And, much like patting one's head and rubbing one's tummy at the same time, they scan the MLS listings on Realtor.ca while speed-dialling their contractor inquiring, in weary resignation, whether they Should Renovate My House In Stages, Or Do A Full Gut?
So, in light of our current situation, here are my thoughts on how we may redesign and reconfigure our homes in the near future.
The Return Of The Foyer
In our love for open concept living, the practicality of a foyer has been abolished by many an urban homeowner (and flipper) in their quest for visual expansiveness. However, given the modesty of most Canadian homesteads, this is just plain wrong, because a foyer - or even a small contained vestibule - is essential in a shelter where one has to mitigate the temperature extremes between inside and out. In fact, as a realtor, I consider it my professional duty to share how I became highly attuned to the discomfort caused by having a front door that opened up directly into my open-plan loft at The Button Factory near College Street in Little Italy. For years, there would be occasions where a friend would open my front door and announce their late arrival with the bitter draft of the arctic's frozen winds promptly licking the legs and bare shoulders of my fashionable female guests. And believe me, no greater a frosty reception was ever cast than by the high spirits of a table of timely guests whose journey to inebriation and gluttony of feasting had been interrupted by the chills.
Today, the lack of a foyer isn't just about missing a crucial design element, but about meeting the growing necessity of ensuring greater (social) distance between the outside world and our inside living quarters. A separate foyer is the opportunity to create an essential efficient transitional space to meet the ways we live. Not only can it be air-locked for extreme temperatures and a place to take off all the gear we need for inclement weather, but it can be the space to receive all your Amazon, Pret A Porter, Grocery Gateway, and Order-In Restaurant Deliveries while retaining appropriate physical distancing. This separate room will be finished in durable materials which are easy to sanitize. It will have a big bench to put on and take off our boots, a closet for our seasonal outerwear, a reception table or counter for our boxes and bags, and a powder room to wash up before entering the living quarters. By the way, did you know the main floor 2-piece was originally introduced in domestic design for visitors, guests and delivery people to use instead of the family bath, in an attempt to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in the early 20th century (Thanks Architectural Digest!).
Besides, I think it's high time the foyer made a comeback. After all, who doesn’t love the drama and grandeur of a foyer like the homes of yesteryear? I explore this - and share a personal amusing anecdote - in my post called Welcome To The Foyer.
This dreamy WFH office is located in a 2.5storey renovated semi in Prime Riverdale. The house, listed at $1,995,000, sold for $2,170,000 at the beginning of June 2020.
The Need For A Great WFH Office
One change that is likely to stick post-pandemic is working from home, if not all the time, at least some of the time. The sudden lockdown served to demonstrate that the employees of companies who did not need to go to a specific destination in order to complete their tasks are largely adaptable and that we have the technology to make working remotely successful. In fact, the pandemic has prompted many companies to acknowledge a willingness to adapt, if not embrace, changes to their organizations including flexible work options, having experienced first-hand how productive at-home work can be.
I also suspect the decision by nation states to implement coronavirus lockdowns and temporarily 'freeze economies' has unintentionally created the opportunity for any industry, conglomerate, or platform to 'file for chapter 11', implement massive layoffs or eliminate key positions and people (who until now had job security) because "the pandemic caused substantial financial duress" when, in fact, it's a ruse to reduce expenses, automate, and increase profits. This will include how companies employ people. Instead of the current convention of large corporations predominantly hiring permanent staff, I wouldn't be surprised to see companies replace 'employees' with 'independent contractors' who 'work from home' most of the time, only coming to the company HQs for team meetings. These contract workers won't have an office to go to, nor will they have benefits or vacation/sick days. They'll basically be self-employed doing the same job but for less money and less security.
In the meantime, bigger picture issues like how do we affect social distancing when there is a crush of commuters using mass transit: how do workers navigate high-rise office towers with their centralized elevator banks; and what are the risks to workers when the virus has been identified transmitting through HVAC systems, need to be sorted and resolved (Ias outlined by Rachael D'Amore this Global News article: "Can COVID-19 Spread Through HVAC Systems? Canadian Researchers Seek To Find Out"). This, in itself, will be reasons why employees continue to work from home.
Theoretically, with more people working from home, it portends many corporations won't require the same amount of square footage as they currently have at some point in the future. However, right now most corporations (who typically have long term office space leases) are probably focusing on how to reconfigure their existing spaces so that when employees do start returning to the office the appropriate precautions, measures and social distancing requirements are in place. With this, we'll see offices incorporate "more sensors to reduce touchpoints, such as on light and power switches and door handles, antimicrobial materials, more and better air filtration, temperature monitoring at entry points, and desks that are spaced farther apart" (CNBC). Even when people do return to work, their traditional environments will likely be different to promote physical distancing. Here's a thought-provoking article on Vox.com, in which author Rani Molla predicts "The End Of The Office As We Know It".
In the interim, a lot of workers suddenly discovered the implications of living and working without a proper home office or dedicated workspace. People adapted in a hurry, creating workspaces at home, often sharing open spaces with partners and kids trying to homeschool. This, in and of itself, created a whole new level of stress. And, moving forward, the WFH movement may result in the home office becoming one of the most important spaces in a home.
Many newly constructed executive homes often feature a flexible-use front room, which traditionally has been used as a reception room when hosting more formal events. But given these homes typically have massive open plan family/kitchen zones these front rooms are ideal spaces, especially if there is a physical division between that front room and the rest of the home. Even better if there is a powder room located within that space that could be separate. for people who work from home. These front rooms could conceivably be closed off from the balance of the residence, drawing the line between business and family. This is also possible in much of our older freehold housing where the living room could become a proper Work From Home Office
Even if one isn't necessarily receiving clients, having an area that is closed off anywhere in the home is ideal. Not only would this create soundproofing from the rest of the fam for that Zoom call, but the physical separation of space would also be helpful in the event that someone in the household becomes ill and needs to distance themselves. Productivity theoretically wouldn’t be hampered.
Even if having a separate room isn’t possible due to space and configuration, having an area dedicated to work is important. You can set up workstations functionally, and take care of noise issues with earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones. No matter where your home office is located, make sure you have the right furniture - like a desk or an appropriate table, along with a proper chair. There are numerous reports of people suffering back and neck ailments from working for weeks on non-ergonomic chairs (think rocking chairs, folding chairs, stools and more!).
Some other tips for harmonious working at home? I talked about this, among other ways to keep happy and healthy during quarantine in Dear Urbaneer: How Can I Feel More Comfortable At Home During Self-Isolation & COVID-19?. When it comes to telework, treat your work time as though you were heading into the office. Have set hours and don’t tend to home matters during those work hours. Similarly, shut off from work during those “off” hours. Schedule breaks and time for physical activity and outside time. On the upside, the commute when working at home is very favourable! Here are 5 expert tips crafted by Canadian Architect for working from home in a crowded house during the coronavirus pandemic
An Ensuite Washroom For Every Bedroom
Having a dreamy spa ensuite bathroom is often an alluring part of a master suite - and a big selling feature! However, pragmatically speaking now, having the opportunity to dedicate individual washroom space to separate individuals is even more important. It is in the washroom where germs are very likely to be spread among household members.
In the event that someone in the family falls ill and needs to self-isolate from the rest of the household, having a separate bathroom attached to a single bedroom is a quick and easy way to place as much distance as possible - where it really matters. In fact, the modern washroom as we know developed alongside outbreaks of tuberculosis, cholera and influenza; and its standard fixtures, wallcoverings, floorings, and finishes - like porcelain sinks, enamel bathtubs, and white subway tile - were implemented, in part, to promote health and hygiene in the home at a time of widespread public health concerns.
This interesting article by Elizabeth Yuko of CityLab.com - "How Infectious Disease Defined The American Bathroom" - talks about how our relationship with a disease as a society has largely shaped the design (and placement in the home) of the bathroom. It talks about how bathrooms evolved to be more sanitary over generations - as well as more pleasing in terms of décor for the users.
An Accessible Suite(s)
More and more in the City of Toronto (and across Canada), high housing prices are pushing the bounds of affordability, and challenges in finding the right home in the right price point and/or location is causing homebuyers to seek more creative solutions to homeownership. My past blog, Dear Urbaneer: What Are The Important Considerations Surrounding Multi-Generational Housing?, I discuss how it's become increasingly difficult for young couples - particularly in the low and middle-income brackets - to afford a property of their own, and on their own, which is fueling a movement among families: an increase in multiple generations residing under the same roof. Some big benefits to these arrangements? Well, first, for many if one's parents are involved in the purchase, the purchasing power is expanded, raising the odds of finding a suitable home in a desirable location. Second, if you have children (or are planning to), having your parents close by can mitigate another major cost - childcare! Similarly, there is the peace of mind having your ageing parents nearby, knowing that you will be able to support them as their health and lifestyle alter. The biggest challenge for multi-generational homebuyers is finding a property that is spacious enough and laid out appropriately to accommodate the needs of all family members. At the very least, it must have the potential for specific renovations that could accommodate more family members over time.
Historically, housing has evolved to meet the changing needs of our society, technology and our lifestyles, just as it will in the aftermath of the current pandemic. In my recent post about multi-generational housing, in which I suspect that there will be an uptick in this housing arrangement due to the problems facing LTC facilities during COVID-19, I talked about some of the design features necessary to make a home functional for this: With COVID-19 Outbreaks In Long-Term Care Facilities, Is Multi-Generational Housing Better?
For example, it’s important to have an accessible suite, fitted with all the necessary implements to allow ageing in place. These suites should be mobile-friendly, on the main floor for ease of accessibility, have a dedicated washroom and kitchenette, and include the essentials wide doorways, railings, and grab bars in the washrooms. For many, these secondary suites could be used as an income supplement until such time as it's required.
I believe we will likely see more dwellings constructed with this feature, or more homes renovating existing space plans to accommodate this need.
What we also need in the City of Toronto, is a broad change in zoning which allows our single-family residences to become multi-unit as-of-right so that it's much easier to create housing that meets the needs - and can accommodate - more households. And this isn't just for a multi-generational family, but for a group of friends cohousing in an effort to collectively age in place, or multiple units that are more affordable for rent or purchase. I write about this in Toronto Real Estate, Yellowbelt Zoning & The Missing Middle: Part One - and Part Two.
The Increasing Importance Of Outdoor Space & The Home Garden
Having access to outdoor space has always been a “want” for urban homeowners, whether it’s a spacious terrace or a generous backyard. Today, having private outdoor space to call one’s own is becoming the full-on need for many now, as it provides a way to decompress closer to nature while self-isolating. Basically, our mental health is more balanced when we're connected to the natural environment. Don't underestimate the benefits of lounging under a canopy of trees, hearing the birds and bees by day or the sound of crickets (and raccoons) by night!
Outdoor space has always generated a premium among buyers, but now it is going to be even more important. In fact, if you own a condominium I broke down the value metrics in a blog entitled How To Assess The Value Of Outdoor Living Space. It's a 'must-read' as there aren't many posts that document with a real-time example how two nearly identical condos of a similar floor plan and aspect - except for their outdoor space - garnered different sums.
For those with outdoor space on terra firm, I believe we'll see a renewed commitment to self-sustainability, and where it will start is through our efforts to grow our own food. Anyone who has been the designated grocery shopper in their households the last few weeks can tell you of the rigours of gathering food for the family, and how some items are much more expensive as of late (I recently spent $9 for a small bunch of grapes at Loblaws). We’ve already experienced panic buying and the fear that comes from not having a reliable food source - whether that is the truth or not. It’s the fear that is real and spurs panic buying and hoarding.
Home gardens have been gaining in popularity prior to the pandemic, mostly out of a growing desire for people to be able to have more choice and control over what they are eating from a health perspective. Gardening is also good for the soul, so there was a mental health draw as well. Now, it is another piece of the self-sufficiency plan that homeowners are gravitating towards.
CBC Radio's The Current recently broadcast a piece by Debbi Goodwin, called "This Author Says Growing Your Own 'Victory Garden' Could Help To Ease The Anxiety Of The COVID-19 Pandemic". In it, she talks about how pandemic gardening serves multiple purposes and has many benefits, ranging from the pragmatic to the soulful. In fact, the home gardening trend has already skyrocketed in the past few months, as reported by Alberta's Bridge City News: "Pandemic Gardens Have Caused 'Unprecedented' Demand For Seeds".
Nurturing vegetation for your own consumption provides you moments for contemplation and invites a break from your daily routine, especially during self-isolation. And, as we've discovered during lockdown or quarantine, it's an excellent opportunity to learn more about indoor gardens – how to grow plants from seeds and create a food ration, even if you live in a multi-storey building, like this post on my sister site Houseporn.ca Bring Spring Indoors With A Mini Indoor Greenhouse. Also, the value of growing plants includes the very important benefit of creating oxygen. The trend in phytowalls - check out Houseporn.ca's Living Walls By Vancouver’s Green Over Grey - is underutilized in interior design, and we have yet to fully embrace the benefit of landscaping as I wrote in my post Incorporating Biophilia Into Our Home Design.
Healthy Sustainable Homes - And Self Sufficiency - As Part Of Emergency Preparedness
In an ideal world, Canadian housing would be producing energy rather than consuming it. Our shelter should be healthy, be easily maintained, produce food and water, cause no pollution, and be entirely self-sustaining. While this is far from the reality many of us live in at the moment, it's going to be increasingly important. Right now, in my eye, you're participating in sustainable living when you embrace any of the available approaches, big or small. Yes, I applaud anyone who lives using solar or wind-turbine energy solutions, well water, a composting toilet, or a wood stove. I'm already your fan if you built your homestead using natural (rammed earth, cob or logs) or recycled materials (like tires or shipping containers) or if you've subscribed to the tiny house movement (see some great examples of this on my student mentorship site on Canadian Housing called Houseporn.ca).
As I wrote in my post On Building Sustainable Housing In Canada, according to Matthew Sachs' "The Business of Green Housing", property owners should focus on improving their living environment with these four main areas, distilled from the many design principles involved regarding Indoor Air Quality; Water Use; Building Materials; and Energy Efficiency. Living 'on the grid' in downtown Toronto, my sustainable shelter philosophy - and those of many of my clients - includes incorporating high-tech materials and systems like LED lighting, high-performance windows and insulated wall assemblies, smart app operating programs, plus high-efficiency HVAC components. As a recent convert, I'm mesmerized by the most recent green inventions, including solar cladding, FLEXpower energy storage systems (which allow owners to sell their surplus energy back to the grid), bioplastics, and structural 3D printing.
However, although sustainable homes are essential to shift our commitment to climate change, what's going to be increasingly important regardless of whether you live in the city, the suburb, cottage country or in a rural environment the extent to which your home is self-sufficient. In Dezeen's "Life After Coronavirus: How Will The Pandemic Affect Our Homes" Ukrainian architect Sergey Makhno predicts building systems will include their own water supply and heating. "Geothermal wells are gaining popularity already. In addition to water, they can partially provide a home with heating. There will be several other sources of heating to have as a safety net: a stove, a fireplace, a solid fuel boiler, a fuel generator, solar panels. Autonomous mini-stations generating alternative power will become a reality. The goal will be independence from the outside world, minimising risks in the case of a full shutdown".
Mr Makhno goes on to identify how we'll place more importance on water, air filtration systems, and different approaches to eradicating pathogens. "People will be willing to pay for the excavation, surveys and filtration systems needed to install a well. Smart home systems will not only control the temperature of the air in the house, but also its quality and, if necessary, they will automatically clean it. Air from the outside will, of course, be filtered". Antiseptic dispensers will help keep our homes clean after deliveries or guests, and we'll see items like lamps "that generates ultraviolet radiation, which can kill some harmful organisms, viruses and bacteria". As I see it, people will be more inclined to be self-sufficient as much as possible, which means that there may be an increased interest in having systems in place that use alternative power sources, like solar, wind and back-up generators. We may also see an uptick in the installation of panic rooms, which can provide homeowners with an extra cushion of peace of mind.
I have a whole series dedicated to living with Healthy Homes. Check it out!
Although Canadians are weathering this current pandemic wave together with success, there is no denying the fact that this is stress-inducing on a scale we’ve not experienced for generations. The speed and depth with which the pandemic has hit and completely, fundamentally altered our lives is not something to underestimate. I anticipate we're going to see a lot more households paying attention on how to prepare for a situation that jeopardizes our comfort and well-being. And by this, I don't necessarily mean a pandemic, but being the victim of any emergency that may befall us whether it's floods, blizzards, an extended power outage, or issues with the food supply chain. After all, on the west coast, they frequently run advertisements about Earthquakes that proclaim "It's not if, but when" and advising residents to have their Grab & Go Bag close to you which contains water, food, medications and identification, etc. You can mitigate this to some degree by being prepared, which will no doubt be something that homeowners focus on more moving forward.
In my post How Can I Prepare My Home For Emergencies, I wrote about protecting your home against fire and flood, as well as what essentials to have on hand at home in an emergency kit. It’s all about taking steps at home to reduce your vulnerability physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Freehold Housing Versus Townhome Versus Condominium Living
There's no question that money buys you space. It buys you a bigger home, a bigger car, a private box at the opera, symphony or sports arena, a booth in an exclusive restaurant, or room in a private club.
In the downtown Toronto real estate market, the scarcity of low-rise housing stock has long pushed prices upward at a rate faster than high-rise high-density dwellings. Real estate development companies continue to develop empty parking lots (which were once the locations of industry) or tear down low-rise freehold housing to build new high-density stock. New condominium suites are increasingly smaller, in an effort to keep the acquisition cost affordable while serving the demand of a younger demographic and the investor profile.
Now, living with the uncertainty of this pandemic and how the virus spreads, what's being called into question is the risks associated with common parking garages, elevators, lobbies, hallways, common areas and, how one can maintain any consistent measures of physical distancing. Will this impact property values?
Just after the lockdown was implemented in mid-March, the unit in my Riverdale duplex which I had put up for rent received a lot of inquiries and rented quickly. Why? My new tenants were a couple in their 70s who lived in a high-rise condominium and their children felt it would be prudent for them to move out and into a house where the risks of infection were substantially reduced because of the lower-density and limited impact of other residents. The value of having your own front door and private outdoor space went up a notch in the psyche of prospective tenants and buyers.
I anticipate there is going to be increased attention paid on whether you have your own front door to a street or outdoor common area, or if you have to go through a massive lobby shared by multiple high-rise high-density towers to your elevator banks, and the extent to which you have to traverse common areas to get to your suite. It's certainly getting a lot of press, like this Globe And Mail piece called "COVID-19 Puts Urban Density To The Test", and this piece by the University of Toronto called "Urban Density And Disease: An Interview With U Of T Historian Richard White On Whether COVID-19 Will Influence City Planning".
Moving forward, I do see status becoming a measure of your physical and environmental security. The notion of the family compound is going to become a hotter commodity. We're already seeing Cottage Country booming as The Globe And Mail recently shared in "Pandemic Sends Buyers Scouring Ontario’s Cottage Country". And whereas I anticipated those facing financial hardship would first sell their cottage rather than their principal residence here in the city, the factors being reconciled are more about whether you can 'Work From Home' at your cottage and commute to the city when necessary, as well as who you are demographically. I expect a segment of Torontonians, including couples with young children as well as Boomers, are going to elect to cash out and relocate to smaller urban centres or communities where they have easy access to good health care services but without the density and higher risk of infection that accompanies places with more people. Here's a Global Television piece called "Some Canadians Say Coronavirus Was The Push They Needed To Leave The City For Good".
This amazing article by placemaker and author Jay Pitter arguing for an equity-based understanding of urban density during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond is well worth a read: "Urban Density: Confronting The Distance Between Desire And Disparity" With money buying you space, it's heart-wrenching to read how the marginalized and poor - the ones who also have the essential jobs in cleaning, delivery, uber, security, etc. - and who live in community housing have the greatest risk of being exposed to the virus.
Small Projects Make A Big Difference
In times of struggle and challenge, even small changes can improve living environments and daily life! It doesn’t take a great amount of time or money to spruce up your home and freshen your décor. It may be as simple as slapping on a new coat of paint, experimenting with an accent wall or taking on some DIY décor projects. De-cluttering and reorganizing can create space that you didn’t even know you that you had - all without swinging a hammer.
Check out this TorontoStar post for inspiration, and to see what some fellow Torontonians have tackled in their homes during quarantine: "Before & After: These DIY Decor Updates Make Their Homes Happier Places During COVID-19".
Anticipating trends is easier done when you have decades of experience to draw on. It can help to make decisions easier for today to provide for your needs tomorrow.
Here are our other COVID-19 posts at Urbaneer.com :
~ Posted by Steven Fudge, the purveyor of Houseporn.ca and proprietor of Urbaneer.com, a division of Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage.