Decorating & Design

May 26, 2021

This Eighth-Floor Terrace Is A Sanctuary In The Sky

“You can sit outside and read just as easily as you can inside.” Jeff Shaddick couldn’t argue with his daughter’s initial observation. It’s just that when he looked at his condo’s terrace, it didn’t exactly beckon, even though it overlooked a park in Toronto’s Summerhill neighborhood and measured a sprawling 1,485 square feet. Landscape architect Kate Fox-Whyte of Fox Whyte Landscape Architecture & Design agreed. “There was some hardscaping, some stone paving and a couple of pergolas, but they were undersized and not suited to the scale,” says Kate. The terrace was also about 17 years old and showing signs of wear, including water leaking into the unit below. “There was a bit of planting, but it wasn’t doing well,” she adds.

Jeff has three adult children and twin six-year-old granddaughters, and he wanted a space to host his family. So Kate drew up a plan that divided the terrace into three distinct areas: a dining area with a barbecue, a lounging area and a private terrace with a sitting area off the principal bedroom.

The result is a four-season outdoor space that doesn’t require much tending, since Jeff, a semiretired actuary, isn’t the type to fuss with pruning or watering. “One of the top things Jeff asked for was a no-maintenance garden, and there really isn’t any such thing,” says Kate, who brought in Coivic Contracting for the construction and planting. But she made it as easy as possible to maintain by using perennials that mean no replanting is needed in spring.

“Kate’s strategy was to create a terrace that made me want to go out more, and it’s worked. It’s a nice spot to sit and socialize outside; the kids love it,” says Jeff with a laugh. It’s just the incentive he needed to leave that indoor armchair behind.

Scroll down to tour this serene outdoor oasis in the city!

Author: Wendy Jacob

Donna Griffith


House & Home May 2021


Sally Armstrong


Landscape architecture by Kate Fox-Whyte