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A Floating Pier Transforms a Summerhill Garden


Joel Loblaw turns a decommissioned Toronto pool into a landscaped pier

Imagine a romantic walk down a pier on a summer’s eve – in your own backyard. Joel Loblaw’s landscape studio crafted just that for a Summerhill home, with its clever transformation of an expired in-ground pool into a tranquil cottage escape. A knotty cedar “boardwalk” passes over the concrete foundations of the pool, now veiled in ground-cover plants and scattered boulders that recall the rugged textures of the Canadian Shield.

Flanked with thickets of under-lit hydrangea, dwarf Korean lilac, dogwood and serviceberry, the walkway leads to a comfortable outdoor room defined by cedar slat walls. The lantern-like lounge is illuminated by a frosted glass prism at its centre, which acts as both a usable surface and the hearth of the garden. Like a peaceful rural dock, the urban wooden platform is as well suited to mornings with a good book as to chatty nights with friends and Caesars.

Originally published in our Small Spaces 2019 issue as Joel Loblaw. Read our profile of the landscaping firm here.


Get a closer look at what you can expect to find in the 2024 New Builds Issue of Designlines Magazine

In the 2024 Spring/Summer Issue of Designlines, we focus on New Builds and “celebrate the profound impact of creating something new, not just as an architectural endeavour but as a testament to laying down roots and shaping the very essence of our city’s identity,” editor-in-chief Joseph Cicerone writes.



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