The Green-Blais residence is located on a rolling field overlooking Beaver Valley on the Niagara Escarpment, one of Canada’s most significant landforms and a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. The valley was settled by European emigrants in the early 1800s, and was a major agriculture and logging centre throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. More recently, tourism and recreation have overtaken these traditional uses, and the valley has become a popular location for second homes owned by residents of the major cities of southwestern Ontario’s “Golden Horseshoe.”
The 3,500-square-foot house is sited on a rolling property, midway up a slope that rises diagonally across the site from northeast to southwest. The slope was regraded to create a promontory from which the house could partake of panoramic views of the valley. An access road ascends from an entrance point at the southwest site of the property, through an apple orchard, and then into an S-curving path up to the house. The house and a stacked garage/studio outbuilding are organized on either side of the drive court, framing a spectacular view of Beaver Valley (plans are underway to construct a second outbuilding to provide privacy for guests and older children). An allée of trees extends from the drive court to frame a view of fields to the south.