blue mountain ontario

Toronto family completed their dream home in Blue Mountain just as lockdown hit

One Toronto family wound up completing their dream home in Blue Mountain just as the pandemic hit, meaning their plans to entertain in the splashy new space were dashed, but also that they were able to shelter in place very comfortably.

Designed by Toronto studio Wolfe, the newly completed home comes with a two-storey fireplace flanked by windows, a two-storey great room with a wraparound hallway, and a kitchen featuring an island seating 12, a bronze mirror backsplash and lots of natural stone.

blue mountain ontario

Kitchen with island perfect for entertaing over a dozen people at a time. Photo by Ryan Emberley.

"Clients wanted to bring the outdoors in so we made sure to create a sense of openness on a grand scale using the ceiling height and full length windows along with maximizing our use of natural materials throughout," President & Creative Director for Wolfe Jessica Neilas told blogTO.

"We needed to make sure the space felt warm, especially for winter months. Therefore we implemented warm tones of wood, textured barn wood, walnut veneer for a gradient of rich tones, bronzed mirror, and we made the heart of the home a gathering space in the great room around the wood burning fireplace.

"There was also a focus on choosing lighting fixtures and sources which created a warm alluring glow."

blue mountain ontario

Exterior of dream home just a couple hours outside Toronto. Photo by Ryan Emberley.

The location in nature has been as much of an advantage as the house itself during this time according to the residents, who wish to remain anonymous.

"We designed a space that would help bring our family and friends together regularly and would be a meeting place for years to come, yet would still feel intimate when our immediate family was there alone.

"The house was ready two weeks before COVID hit, and we have spent the majority of the time there working from home with our kids in online school," they told blogTO.

"We have really valued the space, and the ability to spend time outdoors: snowshoeing and skiing in the winter, and swimming, hiking the trails, playing tennis and kayaking in the summer. We feel very fortunate to have the ability to enjoy the property during these difficult times."

blue mountain ontario

Large dining room where the whole family could normally gather at holidays. Photo by Ryan Emberley.

These more independent activities have been the family's entertainment instead of the giant parties they were planning on throwing in the space, of which they were only able to have one in early March.

"We had two long weekends with 20-plus guests in February/March 2020, just before the pandemic hit. It feels so long ago, but was the last time we saw many of our friends and family in person. The weekends were really special, and exactly what we designed the space for. We hope to be able to do this again, when appropriate, some time very soon," say the residents.

blue mountain ontario

One of 10 bedrooms in the massive new dream home. Photo by Ryan Emberley.

"Because this was a space where the clients would entertain on a grand scale (10 bedrooms!) we needed the space to be inviting. To create a welcoming feel throughout we added features such as a lowered living room which is the first room you experience after the foyer and has three sides of stairs which can be used as seating," says Neilas.

"Oversized sofa and textured blankets and cushions work to beckon the passerby to come relax, all the furniture was oversized and easily accessible and all the finishes are chosen to be durable for high use and traffic so that families could use the spaces without feeling like they had to 'be careful.'"

blue mountain ontario

Two-storey great room with fireplace and beckoning furniture. Photo by Ryan Emberley.

Though they wouldn't have to be as careful as they thought with the finishes due to rowdy guests, the spaciousness of the home with its many designated rooms turned out to be more useful than the residents ever could have imagined.

"We were lucky to have designed a designated office on the second floor as well as a built-in desk in the master bedroom and the kitchen, with the anticipation that work and play would be prominent activities of this vacation property," says Neilas.

"All of the three boys have their own bedrooms which works well for virtual classes. The fitness space on the lower level, indoor sport court and indoor golf simulator have made keeping fit easy during the winter months while the swimming pool, tennis court, property bike trails and vast outdoor expanse make the summer activity options almost endless."

blue mountain ontario

Fitness space on the lower level. Photo by Ryan Emberley.

While these luxuries have made life easier while under restrictions, they can't replace what none of us can have right now, and all want back so badly: the joy of carefree gatherings with larger groups of family and friends.

"We hope to continue to use the home to relax and unwind at the end of our busy weeks, and to spend as much vacation time there as possible. The prospect of casual together time with extended family and friends feels like just what the doctor ordered as lockdowns lift and life can return to a new and improved version of as we knew it," say the residents.

Lead photo by

Ryan Emberley

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