Building on the Shield

Home renovation - Toronto, Ontario

Founded on an ancient outcrop of Canadian Shield granite, a dark-clad barn overlooks Baptiste Lake.

The owners of this property brought us to a hilltop site overlooking Baptiste Lake. The family had been on the land for generations, and now the children needed a retreat away from the homestead. We developed a program for a house that was barn-like and lofty, but built into the stone bluff. The roofline would be hidden from the lake by the forest.

One enters the house from below, at the foot of the bluff, rising to an upper level that overlooks the lake. Only at the top of the stairs does the lake come into view.

One branch of the house holds the kitchen, family room and porch, all covered by a tall beamed ceiling. Another wing, more remote, is where the master bedroom and ensuite have been put. A south branch contains guest bedrooms. The house plan wraps around an interior yard of birch forest.

The finishing of the interior is in progress. Despite the pressures of Covid that would otherwise have delayed the project, the industrious builder has completed much of the work. Large windows open to long views over the countryside. The Canadian Shield has been incorporated in the house as a stone foundation wall and as flagstone flooring.

Write us with your ideas!