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Caledonia, Ontario

Suburban Sanctuary

Kids and dog swimming in pond

The Vision

A pond, a pool… or both?

This family wanted a sanctuary in their backyard — a place to unwind, but also to play the days away. For these outdoorsy folks, a conventional swimming pool wasn’t really what they were looking for. But they wanted a pond.

Enter... the swimming pond!

The Design

Taking the plunge!

The homeowners came to us with a local landscaper’s drawings in hand — and we helped with the water part. Swimming ponds are always a blast to design. This one is a “plunge” pond — three feet deep, with friendly koi fish, flagstone steps & floor and a waterfall that you can sit in!

Our favourite part? What we call “sitting spots,” which are basically a natural take on the Baja shelf. These little nooks are shallower spots on the edges of the pond where one can sit in the water while basking in the sun.

Backyard pond surrounded by patio stones and adirondack chairs

Key Design Features

Fish swimming in pond
Flagstone Steps & Floor
Locally quarried natural flagstone lines the steps and bottom of the pond. Granite edges reminiscent of the Canadian Shield make this pond feel like Muskoka!
Dog sitting in swimming pond
Sitting Shelves
Take a seat on one of the shelves lining the edge of the pond, or maybe wander over to the waterfall and sit there instead.
Kid climbing out of swimming pond
A Healthy Ecosystem
No more beautiful days wasted playing videos games — instead, the backyard is the place to connect (with nature, that is!)

The Results

Cooling off has never been so much fun.

Today, the swimming pond is the focal point of the backyard, with a firepit built right next to it. Our clients’ two kids can be found swimming and exploring the ecosystem with their dog on hot summer days.

Dog climbing out of swimming pond biting a freeze-bee


This property was recognized for its excellence by Landscape Ontario.

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