Ravine scene: Toronto’s ravine lots are renowned for their scenic views, but homes situated on these steep banks have limited options for backyard amenities. However, geography wasn’t going to prevent this homeowner from taking a dip in his own personal pool. He had a foundation wall constructed and put down a concrete pad on which he, himself, built this eye-pleasing entertaining space with Brazilian Ipe wood. The homeowner is a restaurateur and his foodie influence guided the design, which provides a wide open area where guests can mingle and enjoy culinary samplings.

Modern tranquility: A 17-foot-long, 8-foot-wide swim spa provides aquatic recreation year ‘round. Along the length of the swim spa, cedars provide immediate privacy and soft-scaping, while a glass panel at the edge of the deck offers an unobstructed outlook of the wilderness beyond.