Bala Park Island


As with all our cottage work, this site had a major influence on the design. The main level of the building nestles up against a distinct granite ridge. The ridge provides a perfect landing for the second level which anchors the building back onto the Canadian shield. The landing for the upper level walks out to a path that follows the ridge to a future bunkie. The design incorporates a simple roof line that tilts upwards revealing the ridge through clerestory windows. The floor levels follow the slope varying the interior ceiling heights. The exposed Douglas Fir roof joists provide a continuous rhythm across the entire ground floor ceiling.

Sustainability Features

  • Program and Spatial Optimization
  • Integration with the ‘Natural Assets’ of the Site and Terrain
  • Site Specific View and Vista Optimization
  • Passive Solar Heating
  • Natural Ventilation and Passive Cooling
  • Natural Daylighting
  • Material Optimization and Modular Design
  • Renewable Materials and Finishes
  • Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and Non-toxic Materials and Finishes
  • Advanced Wood Heating Systems (ie. Contraflow Masonry Heaters)
  • Solar Hot Water Systems
  • Low Energy Lighting & Appliances
  • Water Conserving Appliances & Fixtures

Being a seasonal dwelling, our main concern was keeping the building cool in the summer and providing an economical and sustainable means of providing enough heat during the early spring and late fall to keep the cottage comfortable. High clerestory windows induce a lakeside draft to vent the summer heat. A Tempcast masonry heater burning at over 90% efficiency provides radiant heat on demand.

Altius Project Team Architecture

  • Trevor McIvor

Project Partners

  • Construction: Dyer Contracting - Port Carling
  • Engineering: CUCCO engineering + design - Toronto