The creation of Relmar House was a family affair. This three-storey property, which lies nestled in the affluent neighbourhood of Toronto’s Forest Hill, is the brainchild of a couple with an ‘empty nest’, who called upon the help of their son, a builder, to conceive the home of their dreams.

Enlisting the help of local architect Luc Bouliane, the couple who had the pressing need to downsize and had found little satisfaction in condo living, were persuaded by their son to create a new home that pushed the boundaries in terms of design and aesthetic. The result, a customised new build home is a contemporary nest, tailor-made to support its residents into their old age.

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A strong rapport was forged between architect and the clients due to Luc Bouliane’s close attention to detail and his responsiveness to the couple’s lifestyle needs. Top priority was to create a dwelling that would require minimal maintenance. An elevator provides step-free access for the whole home, slip resistant tiles were used in the bathroom areas, and the driveway and back patio feature underfloor heating so that the owners can de-ice with ease during the area’s harsh winter months.

Taking its inspiration from the rocky formations and glistening interior of a geode, the home’s black brick and limestone exterior has a darker, rougher character. At the same time, the internal areas are sophisticated and refined, featuring polished limestone walls, which adorn the large atrium and mezzanine levels.

To minimize construction costs, a smaller detached residence, which will be sold, was created and attached to the north side of the main home. It draws on a similar aesthetic overall, but features a more flexible interior program that will allow the buyers to adapt it to their own needs.