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The Globe and Mail

How architects reshaped a Toronto back yard

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Old decks were ripped out and replaced by stone steps leading from the back door straight down to the patio in the reinvention of this South Hill, Toronto back yard. ‘Our strategy was to get down as quickly as possible to the yard so you would feel the expanse of the space,’ says architect Lisa Rapoport.

Peter Legris

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When they bought the home a few years ago, the new owners loved the nine-foot-deep pool and its smooth curves. It was showing a few signs of age, but overall remained in solid shape. It was everything surrounding it that had to go.

Peter Legris

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The groundcover – which includes scotch moss and sweet woodruff – creates a very simple textural carpet of different leaf shapes.

Peter Legris

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Architect Lisa Rapoport decided to mirror the curves of the pool in the concrete deck that surrounds it, then add a thin frame of weathering steel. The material, also known as corten steel, can be formed into any shape and it oxidizes to a rich, deep brown.

Peter Legris

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In the planting beds, existing lilacs and other shrubs stayed in place. A tall maple provides shade and also screens a condominium building. Also added were beech trees, hydrangea, dogwood, bloodroot and a redbud tree to provide colour in the spring and fall, while keeping the simple garden palette of green and white in the summer.

Peter Legris

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