Project Location: Christie Lake, Ontario

Our client desired a functional and aesthetically pleasing solution to improve accessibility from their beautiful cottage to Christie Lake’s waterfront. The primary objective was to enable wheelchair access to the lakefront, ensuring ease of movement as the client plans to enjoy their property into their golden years.

Project Challenges:
The main challenge in this project was navigating the rugged terrain characterized by the Canadian Shield surrounding the property. The natural rock formations and elevation changes posed significant obstacles to creating a smooth and accessible path from the cottage to the waterfront.

Project Scope & Landscape Solutions Implemented:
To address our client’s needs while respecting the natural landscape, the following solutions were implemented:

Retaining Walls: Two large armour stone retaining walls were constructed—one at the bottom near the waterfront and another at the base of the cottage. These structures were critical in splitting the grade and stabilizing the soil, flattening the slope to make it navigable for a wheelchair.

Switchback Pathway: A switchback pathway was designed to ensure an appropriate gradient for wheelchair access. This design not only facilitates easy descent and ascent but also blends naturally with the surrounding landscape, minimizing environmental impact.

Land Fill: Extensive filling was undertaken to accommodate the changes in grade along the pathway. This ensured a smooth transition between the different levels created by the retaining walls and the natural ground.

Environmental Considerations: In close collaboration with the local conservation authority, a natural buffer zone was established along the waterfront. This buffer helps protect the lake’s ecosystem while allowing for the enjoyment and accessibility of the space.

Regulatory Compliance and Collaboration: Throughout the project, there was ongoing dialogue and cooperation with the conservation authority to ensure all environmental regulations and guidelines were met. This collaboration was instrumental in adapting the project plans to align with conservation goals, resulting in mutual satisfaction between the client and the regulatory body.

Client & Stakeholder Feedback:
Both the client and the conservation authority expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the project. Our client was pleased with the enhanced access to the waterfront, which significantly improved their quality of life and long-term usability of the property. The conservation authority appreciated the careful consideration of environmental preservation and compliance with local regulations.

The Christie Lake Landscape Waterfront Accessibility Project stands as a testament to thoughtful engineering and design that respects both the client’s needs and environmental integrity. By leveraging natural materials and innovative landscape construction techniques, the project successfully enhanced property accessibility without compromising the scenic beauty and ecological health of Christie Lake.

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