Introducing: Cliffside Frontenac House

If you’ve only been reading this blog, you might not know that Solares has a soft spot for rural builds.

Before building Toronto homes, Solares’ very first project was a rural new build, a 2,775 sq.ft., 2-storey house in Gananoque 10 years ago. Ever since, Solares has built and designed urban new homes, rural builds, urban renovations, and rural over-hauls. Don’t get me wrong – We love urban projects, but there’s something especially satisfying about getting our hands dirty in the Ontario countryside.

We’ve headed outside Toronto to do just that – get our hands dirty on a new rural build! Frontenac House is a brand new project, shrouded by forest, perched on a rock and overlooking a lake – sounds like a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of Toronto’s busy streets, doesn’t it?

Here are some reasons why I’m so excited to tell you all about Frontenac House.

First of all, this project’s site is beautiful.

Dec-4-On Ridge on West side of Building - North E to South Panorama


In picturesque Eastern Ontario, the small 5 acre lot is pinned between trees, granite rock outcroppings to the west, and cliffs to the north and south. The southern cliff gives way to a beautiful lakeside view. This is a huge advantage to the property, because southern exposures collect the best sun. The property’s southern clearing makes this site perfect for a passive solar home, which is designed in relation to the sun, in order to collect and deflect natural light and heat.

Secondly, our clients are awesome and pragmatic nature-lovers.

She’s a nature-blogger and freelance writer. He’s a project manager who works half the week in the city, half the week at home. Together, they spend their free time seeking wonder and respite in equal parts.They enjoy the peace and quiet of country living, and like thoughtful, restful activities like reading, yoga, and hiking. So what a perfect place for them to set up shop!

Because of their love of nature, they wanted to make sure their home disrupted the surrounding environment as little as possible. They wanted this home to be a home that would exist alongside the environment, instead of control the environment. Plus, they wanted a home they could grow old in together.

And thirdly, this build will be HARD!

Not too hard, of course – We’ve mastered hard builds in the past. But it will certainly be a challenge, and we sure love a good challenge. The lot, because of the granite rock outcroppings and forest, has only one small clearing, and even that restricted area is rocky, uneven, and nearly impossible to build on. Nearly!

Aside from that small space, our clients had important requests, like an at-grade entrance to ease potential future mobility issues years down the road, and a covered garage to keep their car safe from the frigid Ontario winters. Our clients also wanted their forever home to meet as many Passive House standards as possible, a feat Solares loves striving for. With all these factors, we sure have our work cut out for us.

I’ll be following this project through the design phase, its construction, structural work, envelope, systems, and interiors, and this will definitely be an exciting project to see through!


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