Forest Hill Kitchen

Kitchen renovation of a semi-detached home in the Forest Hill area.

The existing kitchen had a nice flow for cooking but lacked a connection to the backyard. We replaced the existing kitchen with a new FSC certified walnut custom kitchen cabinets and pantry. The former eat-in breakfast nook was removed and a comfortable lounge area for homework and reading was added. The new seating area is adjacent to the french doors leading onto the newly landscaped backyard. To open up the kitchen further, we installed open shelving made from reclaimed wood in place of more upper cabinets.


This kitchen renovation was part of a larger whole home renovation including three bathrooms and extensive finish upgrades throughout the home.

We removed the existing kitchen and refinished the existing wood floors. Once the new custom FSC cabinetry was installed, we put in a new backsplash using reclaimed cut wine corks. There are three different countertop materials: FSC certified PaperStone, FSC certified butcher block and recycled stainless steel. We built custom shelving throughout the kitchen and finished all of the new woodwork with low to no VOC paints and sealers.

A new HRV system was installed during the renovation that removes stale air from the kitchen (and other parts of the home), and supplies fresh air to the living spaces and bedroom. Electrical has been completely upgraded in the kitchen and includes new LED pot lights and LED low-voltage under counter task lighting.


  • Greening Homes created a waste diversion plan before we started this project to identify potential waste/recyclable materials the project would produce
  • The existing kitchen cabinets, plumbing fixtures, light fixtures and other salvageable interior elements, like doors, were carefully removed and donated to Habitat for Humanity. The tax receipt for the donation was given to our client.


  • FSC certified Paperstone and butcher block kitchen countertops
  • Recycled stainless steel kitchen countertop and fixtures
  • FSC certified custom walnut kitchen cabinetry
  • Upcycled wine corks were cut down and used as a custom backsplash in the kitchen
  • Custom built-in kitchen shelving from reclaimed wood
  • A 97% recycled drywall product was used throughout the home
  • All framing lumber (where possible) is FSC certified
  • All trim, crown molding and interior doors are FSC certified
  • California standard, lead free plumbing fixtures


  • Heat recovery ventilation (HRV) installed to recover the heat energy from exhausted air (it’s used to pre-heat fresh cold air coming into the home)
  • LED lighting throughout using 2.5w pucks in the built-in cabinets and kitchen, and Aroni pot lights in the ceilings


  • All panel products for kitchen shelving were NAUF (no added urea-formaldehyde)
  • Non-toxic soldering flux was used on all plumbing components
  • Eco-Logo certified no VOC adhesives and caulking
  • No VOC primer and paints
  • Refinished original wood floors with low VOC sealant
  • New HRV system installed
  • The HRV system exhausts stale air from the kitchens, bathrooms and laundry, and supplies fresh air to the living spaces and bedrooms


  • This site was a five-minute walk away from the St. Clair subway station and allowed the majority of the Greening Homes crew to take the TTC
  • Trucks and other vehicles were used for moving materials and tools when they were required (not for day-to-day commuting)