Pale grey limestone steps and terraces float through the gardens drawing the visitor into the landscape. A gradual approach to the house softens the steep site and strengthens the connection of the house to the street and neighbourhood.
A materials palette of pale grey limestone and weathering steel reference the light aluminum accents and white brick of the house. As does the planting, designed in a contemporary matrix style, with a complementary colour palette of pale blues and silvers. Varying textures of grasses, bold architectural plants like the Liatris and Sea Holly, and the soft silvery mounds of the Lamb’s Ear contrast beautifully against the clean lines of the steps and terraces, and simple forms of the house, and add a dynamic seasonal element to the site.
Nestled into the ravine, a part of Toronto’s Black Oak Savannah, the back garden is divided into three zones.
The main living area is defined by a weathering steel border and a pale grey limestone terrace. A flush transition from the living room onto the terrace blurs the lines between house and garden. A custom built-in BBQ unit constructed of weathering steel and black porcelain counters extends the lines and materiality of the interior fireplace into the garden. Incorporated into the BBQ are wood storage for the interior fireplace and a custom bench for casual seating when the clients are entertaining larger groups. At the heart of the terrace is a gas fire bowl that doubles as a coffee table when not in use.
Recessed down one step, to follow the contours of the existing landscape and minimize disturbance of the protected oak trees, bands of limestone and local black granite gravel reference the materials of the house and define the intimate dining area.
Viewed from many vantage points throughout the house, a grove of serviceberries at the back of the garden, nestled in a matrix planting of ferns and native groundcovers, provides a contemporary nod to the ravine setting and a dynamic seasonal backdrop.