Don River House

In an affluent area of Toronto, on the bank of the Don River, the site for this project included two houses surrounded by typically suburban, manicured, non-native gardens, with a non-permeable driveway. The clients sought an atypical project that represents a new form of luxury: a holistic and bio-diverse environment that will engage their multi-generational family with their setting and foster long-term wellness.

We began by demolishing the neighbouring house and replacing it and the surrounding gardens with a series of connected outdoor rooms: a forecourt, a bird and butterfly wander garden, a pool and pool house, a rain garden, formal and informal decks with seating areas, shade gardens, a family-lawn, and a sand play and exploration area— all planted with diverse, robust and indigenous species. We remediated the riverbank and the existing trees and integrated the house with its surroundings with deeply planted green roofs that increase views and access to the outdoors.

Now lively and richly populated with vegetation, birds and butterflies, the project is a leading example of private environmental stewardship, providing long-term ecological and social benefits and suggesting new possibilities for luxurious living.

Project Size: 2,800m2
Date Completed: 2012
Owner/Client: Private Residence
Project Team: LGA Architectural Partners (Lead) / Scott Torrance Landscape Architect Inc.
Location: Toronto, ON