This project was featured in an article entitled “The Evolution of Country Living” which appeared in the premier issue of PIE Digest in the summer of 2015. The Terra Nova Cottages have also been featured in the Globe and Mail February 12, 2016 issue as the “Home of the Week” (Web Article No. 28697863).

Nestled in the Mulmur Hills north of Toronto is the hamlet of Terra Nova. This idylic recreation location is famous for its scenic woodland beauty and rugged rocky landscape.

On the north edge of this hamlet is a small development of four, one and a half acre, treed properties. These country homes are designed as a transition link between the urban hamlet and its rural surroundings. Their designs utilize many technically advanced features, materials and construction techniques to meet and anticipate the needs of today’s complex lifestyles. The house presented here is the first to be completed.

Its massing is a very modern interpretation of an easily recognized local historic vernacular, while its interior design takes its cues from nature. There are not many rooms but their variation in size and proportion provide an exhilarating spatial experience reminiscent of a stroll through the nearby woodland.

Modern in approach, these spaces are minimalist in execution and finely detailed and finished. Each room boasts breathtaking artistically composed views of the surrounding hills enhancing the unique character of each space. Peaked roofs provide extensive cathedral ceilings in the living areas, loft and bedroom.

Designed for minimal maintenance and maximum performance, this building shell incorporates Structural Insulated Panels (SIP) with exceptionally high insulation values. Large high performance windows take advantage of daylight harvesting and thermal heat gain utilizing the concrete floor slab. The high efficiency mechanical systems utilize radiant floor heating and heat recovery systems. These smart systems may be controlled remotely for maximum security and efficiency.

The developer of the Terra Nova Cottages was seeking a sensitive modern approach to rural living. They sought to provide homes with superior energy and operational efficiency executed in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way. The immediate interest in this home has proven this approach to be successful.

Photography by: Sean O’Reilly and Shane Fester