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Saturday, November 27th, 2021
The house embraces the landscape
The house embraces the landscape - large sliding doors open out to the backyard and pool, and an exterior planter reappears inside between the great room and dining room | Photograph © Doublespace Photography Inc.

Fishleigh Drive Residence by Taylor Smyth Architects

Perched fifty feet above the lake at the edge of the cliff formation known as the Scarborough Bluffs, the house is focused on a two-story great room, skylit along one side, and fully glazed at the back ..

The clients, Jesleen and Jihad, a young professional couple expecting their first child, approached Taylor Smyth to design a new residence, having been impressed by one of their other contemporary houses nearby, winner of the People’s Choice Award for the Ontario Association Design Excellence Awards (“House on the Bluffs”). Both sites feature breathtaking views over Lake Ontario, perched fifty feet above the lake at the edge of the cliff formation known as the Scarborough Bluffs.

Front of house situated in the Scarborough Bluffs, Toronto, Canada
Front of house situated in the Scarborough Bluffs, Toronto, Canada | Photograph © Doublespace Photography Inc.

Maximizing the views to the lake and embracing the landscape were guiding design inspirations. The house is focused on a two-story great room, skylit along one side, and fully glazed at the back, with large sliding doors that open out to the backyard and swimming pool. An exterior planter extends inside, along with a vertical screen of oak slats, to define the separation between the great room and dining room. An open feature stair winds through the center of the house up to the 3rd floor roof terrace, specifically requested by the client where they could enjoy spectacular views of the lake above the tree canopy.

Fishleigh Drive Residence by Taylor Smyth Architects
Photograph © Doublespace Photography Inc.

Outside, the white stucco walls and black metal accent panels are combined with warm oak-look phenolic panels (Trespa) on the garage door and soffits, chosen for their no-maintenance composition, important considerations in Ontario’s widely fluctuating summer and winter climate.

Large sliding doors open out to the backyard and pool, and an exterior planter reappears inside between the great room and dining room
Large sliding doors open out to the backyard and pool, and an exterior planter reappears inside between the great room and dining room | Photograph © Doublespace Photography Inc.

The material palette inside features light oak floors throughout, with accents of both white and black large-scale porcelain, the former reproducing the rich patterns of Statuario marble. The second floor contains three bedrooms. The master bedroom features a spacious and luxurious ensuite bathroom and walk-in closet, where the white and black porcelain slabs are combined to create a dramatic contrast. 

The ground floor is centred on a dramatic double height great room, separated from the kitchen/dining area by a vertical wood screen
The ground floor is centred on a dramatic double height great room, separated from the kitchen/dining area by a vertical wood screen | Photograph © Doublespace

Since moving into the house, the client has welcomed their second child and the house has become a frequent destination for large extended family events. “My daughter loves it here,” Jesleen says. “Every morning she comes down to the living room and says, ‘hello world! She likes to wave out to the birds and the trees.

Fishleigh Drive Residence | Project Details

  • Architects: Taylor Smyth Architects
  • Area:  4,300 sq.ft.
  • Year:  2020
  • Photographs:  Doublespace Photography Inc.
  • City:  Scarborough
  • Country:  Canada
  • Program
    LOCATION
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