The Island Yacht Club is nestled in Blockhouse Bay on Muggs Island, one of the many coves that define the Toronto Islands’ archipelago. In 2003, its premises fell victim to a devastating a fire. Reconstruction became an important opportunity to improve upon the original clubhouse and achieve greater communion between building, site and the Island’s many natural attributes.

The new clubhouse is designed to elevate the spaces around it as much as within it. Two, single-storey structures extend along the north-south axis of the island; the so-called ‘front block’ offers multiple public spaces including a dining room, bar, lounge and porch while the ‘back block’ contains locker and equipment rooms. This horizontal distribution ensures minimal disruption of the surrounding cottonwood trees and unfettered views of the water beyond. It also created a more private court well suited to the pool. Outdoor recreation areas are organically integrated through a series of covered walkways that radiate from the clubhouse. Carefully graded, this intricate deck system creates a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors and a highly fluid experience between different spaces across the site.

A distinctly natural material palette was selected to further preserve the character of the site, including the extensive use of wood throughout construction. To best complement broad wood decking and exposed wood-structure, the building is largely enveloped in glass. Transparency works to emphasize the natural beauty of the site and render that which is seemingly man-made minimal. The glazed clerestory components, when illuminated from within, serve as beacons for returning boaters.


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Building Size:

7,600 sq. ft.

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