" Sustainable characterizes the relationship that architect Paul Dowsett and his team develop with their clients. To this client's delight, they adopt responsibility for a project from concept through execution, working effectively with the contractor and trades, sourcing specialized expertise where required, and coordinating those picky missing pieces that make the difference between good and amazing.
Paul makes sure you get what you’re looking for. His creative approach marries design with function and execution - a surprisingly rare attribute among his peers. Beyond that, Paul and his team are simply a pleasure to work with. They are professional and down-to-earth, and they bring thoughtful, solution-oriented confidence to what can sometimes be a challenging experience for a homeowner undertaking renovations. "
" Paul was highly recommended to us by a close friend who had worked with him on a previous project which was a sustainable and substantial renovation to an Art Deco masterpiece. While our similar buff brick home in South Rosedale was no masterpiece, we thought that with the right touch, it could become a home showcasing our mid-century modern sensibilities.
We interviewed many architects, but Paul was the first to immediately understand what we were after: simple, sensible, and sustainable - with a nod to Mondrian. That was the easy part.
As the project progressed, Paul continued to impress us with his experience and ability to work with everyone: the Zoning Department, Heritage Preservation Services, the Regional Conservation Authority, Committee of Adjustment, the Building Department, our contractor, and the various outside suppliers. Throughout, he continued to provide the guiding hand that kept the project moving forward - and without once losing his cool! We could not be more pleased. Throughout the process, Paul has remained very conscious of our overall budget. The importance of that cannot be overstated.
We have no hesitation in recommending SUSTAINABLE.TO. His plain-spoken and straightforward manner is a pleasure to deal with. He is no longer just our architect; he has also become a friend! "
- M + J
" Paul was the second architect we hired to design our off-grid straw bale home. When the first proved incompetent we asked Paul (a neighbour) for advice. He returned days later with a full presentation to win our business. We hired him and never looked back. He listened to our requirements and designed a house for our needs and desires.
When there were problems he was there with solutions. When we found out that the windows were 2" too tall for the cupola, Paul came up with new plans (at 5:30 on a Thursday afternoon). Just one of the many times he went the extra mile.
A technologically complex house like ours requires that everybody work as a team to make sure the systems all integrate. Paul maintained a level of professionalism and a lack of ego that was refreshing. He'll cheerfully admit when he doesn't know something, then he'll find the resources and come back with answers.
I highly recommend Paul to anybody looking for an architect for any project, big or small. "
" Paul Dowsett worked attentively, sensitively, and tirelessly on the lengthy and complex renovation of our 1930's home with the added challenge of green design. He is one of the most experienced sustainable architects in Canada, yet his humility is refreshing. I've been around new construction and renovations (including two other renovations of my own) most of my adult life and I can safely say Paul is one of the best. If you're even considering incorporating sustainability in your project, you would do well to meet with Paul and SUSTAINABLE.TO. "
"This was our second architectural job where we employed SUSTAINABLE.TO and worked with Nicholas Discenza as our primary designer, but overseen by the principal, Paul Dowsett. I think the best endorsement, is repeat business!
Nicholas is a good listener, and provides us with everything on our “want” list. He suggested many creative designs that suited our individual needs and so much more. We now have a brand new house with “street appeal” and functioning interior. Nicholas is the best and he remains professional even when things get tense and yes with construction, there are stresses.
There is great talent at SUSTAINABLE.TO and Paul Dowsett is always in the background when problems arise and he always had resourceful workable solutions as complications arose that needed a solution. This architectural firm looks to the future in their design for sustainability. In areas such as energy consumption, environmentally friendly insulation and materials, good cross ventilation to keep the house cool without the use of Air Conditioning, a 50 year steel roof and proper water drainage. They also worked with us to design a house that we can live in, well into our senior years, with only minor modifications to accommodates.
We kept the Toronto Victorian exterior but the interior is very contemporary. We want to thank Nicholas Dicenza, Paul, Donald and all at SUSTAINABLE.TO who helped us achieve a fully functioning and aesthetically pleasing house. Also for the support in getting us past those bumps and grinds of construction issues. We are thrilled with the result! Thanks to all at SUSTAINABLE.TO and especially to Nicholas Dicenza."
"We live in an area of Central Etobicoke where all the 1000 square foot bungalows or 1-1/2 storey houses in the neighbourhood are gradually being bulldozed and replaced by stucco boxes. 5 years ago, we bought one such house, which was built in 1932 but had received some cosmetic updates to the interior. While we loved the location of the house and its proximity to transit and shopping, there were several issues with original structure.
After living in the house for about 4 years, we compiled a list of everything we wanted in a renovation. We interviewed a few architects and in the end we chose Paul and Steve initially for their expertise in energy efficiency and also for their folksy, down-to-earth manner and their flexibility with meetings and correspondence. We knew that SUSTAINABLE.TO would not come cheap, but given the nature of the project, we didn't want to settle for price alone. This matched the ethos of SUSTAINABLE.TO. They approach architecture with a focus on durable, long-lasting and efficient materials and houses that are designed to last generations.
When we were satisfied with our plan, Steve and Paul used their expertise to guide us through the city permit process as well as the selection of reliable, professional and honest construction professionals that could build up to their high standards. In the end, we went with a builder that we would have never found without their input.
SUSTAINABLE.TO is not cheap, but you will not be paying for frills and extravagances. What you pay for is technical expertise and a scientific, analytical and practical approach to solving a given set of problems. If this is the approach you are looking for in your project, we heartily recommend SUSTAINABLE.TO."