Cedarvale Ravine House

The ravine system, the most distinctive feature of Toronto’s geography, comprises of extraordinary arteries that flow through the city giving unique access to the wilderness. This house sits on a typical mid-town residential neighborhood street, but to the rear opens to the protected woodlands of the Cedarvale Ravine. The building mass is formed by pushing and pulling the desired volume across the site. This sculptural expression solves programmatic requirements, maximizes views, provides natural light, and enhances the promenade and transition from suburban streetscape to very primal forms of nature.

The circulation of the house weaves through a modulation of intimate and expansive spaces and courtyards that lead to a glass enclosed single-story space at the rear of the property. This is the kitchen and family room, the heart of the house. Large expanses of glass dematerialize the monolithic stone building and dissolve boundaries between the interior and exterior.

At the second floor, a zinc-clad cantilevered superstructure frames views from the inside and gestures to the woodlands. It floats above and beyond the main stone volume and allows the re-naturalized ravine plantings to be brought farther into the site. A lap pool reflects light into the space under the second floor cantilever where a family can enjoy outdoor activities around the pool and barbeque.

Project Team:
Drew Mandel, Allison Gonsalves

Samaryn Homes

Blackwell Structural Engineers, BK Consulting Inc.

Shai Gil, Tom Arban

Ontario Association of Architects (OAA)
Plachta Award

Ontario Association of Architects (OAA)
Design Excellence Award

Best of Canada 15 (Canadian Interiors)
Project Award: Residential