This is what a luxurious off-grid home looks like in Ontario
A Toronto couple found the perfect escape from the city in a dream home built to blend into the landscape of Manitoulin Island.
Solares Architecture architects Christine Lolley and Elyse Snyder designed the off-grid house for a remote part of Manitoulin Island that doesn't have access to hydro, and therefore had to be self-sufficient, said Solares Architecture supervising architect Christine Lolley.
"It is off-grid by necessity, there is no grid for them to tie into on that road," said Lolley.
The main power system is the solar panels that charge a battery bank to power the home, but propane is needed to provide enough power year-round.
"We just do not have enough sun in the wintertime to run a home," she said.
The building code requires homes have sufficient energy for appliances, hot water and heat, she added. There is a large propane tank that the couple will fill once a year.
There is also a back-up generator to charge the battery bank.
"It is a proper home, you are never going to end up in a situation where the sun is gone and you don't have any power."
Aside from the off-grid aspect, the home is beautiful. The cedar wood siding blends into the sandy landscape.
"It almost feels like a sandcastle coming out of the beach."
The owners are both artists, and have sophisticated taste.
"They see beauty in the organic nature of the wood siding."
As much as possible, they wanted sustainable and local building materials. The wood siding came from a local mill.
The house is built on a piece of waterfront land that the homeowners bought about 10 years ago and used to camp on.
"Every room has a view of the lake with the exception of the bathroom, the front entry and the mechanical room."
The views of Lake Huron are stunning.
"It is really more like being on the ocean."
Because they are artists, the couple wanted space for large paintings and good light.
The home is modest, basically a one-bedroom, one-bathroom, 1,500 square-foot home, with a office that doubles as a guest room, and a detached bunkie. There is a walk-in shower and shelving for storage.
Because of the remote location, Lolley said she didn't visit during construction and left it in the hands of Quantum Builders Inc. who went above and beyond to ensure the home was well-built, she said.
During the lockdown Lolley is finding there is more interest in this type of sustainable, custom-built, country home.
"In the past, we might get two (calls) a week and now we are getting two or three a day."
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