By Jason Cramp
This project was built for a family living in the small community of Queensville, located northeast of Toronto. The homeowner had no immediate neighbours and the property provided a picturesque view of the sprawling countryside. This made the setting ideal for Pool Craft, a pool design/build firm based in Richmond Hill, Ont., to create a backyard oasis that would appeal to all of the homeowner’s recreational and professional needs.
To create this open concept outdoor living space, the property’s grading first had to be modified to incorporate multiple elevations that would suit the main features of the design. In working with the backyard’s down-sloping hill, two sets of natural stone cascade steps, surrounded by garden beds, were built to provide access from the house to the pool area, which was built on a lower grade.
The pool, a 6- x 12-m (20- x 40-ft) custom vinyl-lined humpback-kidney design, features a raised spill-over hot tub, and a large 3-m (10-ft) slab rock and boulder waterfall, which was constructed adjacent to the hot tub, alongside the pool’s deep end. The pool’s ledge rock and imperial-black coping co-ordinate with the surrounding pool deck, which was built using patio stones with slate-like textures to achieve a cut-stone effect. Four integral deck jets were also incorporated into the pool surround, which create impressive arcing water features. The patio expands throughout the property comprising a number of retaining walls to create various levels for garden pockets and seating areas. The retaining walls feature a hand-crafted stone finish, providing an antique, weathered feel to co-ordinate with the contemporary style the homeowner was seeking.
Also located on the patio, not too far from the pool, is a fully loaded, open-concept cabana which features a sliding-door entrance, fireplace, TV, stainless steel fridge and stove, granite countertops, and tile flooring.
River rock surrounds the perimeter of the patio which accents the square-cut stone, creating a distinct look between the property’s hardscaping and softscaping features. Finally, a set of guillotine limestone steps with a stone-link weathered edge lead to a path around the house.