toronto backyard patio

Someone in Toronto totally transformed their derelict backyard into a patio oasis

It may still be a week or more until hanging out on a patio becomes a possibility for most people, but one Toronto couple took it upon themselves to transform their filthy backyard into a patio that even the fanciest Yorkville restaurants would be jealous of.

Diana Di Poce and Christian Smitherman became first-time home owners last year, but unfortunately for them the home included a backyard that could only be described as an overgrown nightmare.

The backyard was infested with weeds, rusty structures and an army of raccoons so the couple put forward a plan to turn that nightmare into a dream come true.

"The backyard renovation was the first project we planned, months before moving in," Di Poce told blogTO.

"We are first-time DIYers - my background is in art direction and my husband is a Software Engineer, so we went into this with zero experience. We both love watching DIY projects, which is what inspired us to take on this project and we had a lot of fun along the way."

After hours spent planning, drawing mockups, and watching countless online tutorials, the two spent a few hours every evening and most of their weekends working on the project that took about a month and a half to complete. 

toronto backyard patio

Before the transformation

By the end, the total project cost them close to $20,000 including everything from landscaping to materials and furniture. While it may seem expensive, it ended up being only half of the $40,000 that a contractor had estimated the cost would be.

toronto backyard patio

After the transformation

The yard has served every function from relaxing evenings, to an outdoor office for the couple to work from home.

With a taste for the DIY bug, the two are already setting their sights on more home renovation projects, and offer plenty of advice for others hoping to do the same.

"Our top piece of advice would be to spend time planning. Lots of planning! Do your research, watch tutorials and mock-up your plans," Di Poce said.

"Don’t be afraid to make changes as you go—even though we spent a lot of time planning, we had to re-evaluate and make some adjustments along the way, and that's okay."

Photos by

Diana Di Poce


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