“James worked with my wife and I to create a beautiful, distinctive, and functional lakeside home which perfectly suits our site on the lake.”

David Chapman

Doe Lake Cottage

Creating one-of-a-kind places for the way you want to live

There are many inspirational quotes about the importance of home. ‘There’s no place like home’ is a simple but enduring one. At Lakeside Architecture, we like to think, ‘There’s no place like this home’ is equally inspirational because we know a good design will transform the way you live.

Creating a home that truly reflects who you are includes knowing the style of home or cottage you envision, the materials you like and dislike, and whether your lifestyle is formal, casual, relaxed or active. Are you inspired by your travels or the home in which you grew up? And that’s only the beginning. We take inspiration from the property, including sources like water, rocks and forest, creating a personal oasis that makes an effortless transition between indoors and out.

Guides you through the process, from start to finish

At Lakeside Architecture, we take pride in working on our projects from concept to creation, beginning with an initial design based on your vision and our site assessment.

From there, we create 3D images and perhaps a simple basswood model, so you fully understand the proposed layout, scale and look of the final design. Your approved design drawings include everything from scaled floor plans to the location of plumbing fixtures, doors and windows so there are no surprises down the road, helping you avoid changes once construction begins, saving you money and valuable time.


Respects your budget

The cost of designing a project varies from one project to another and, as you can imagine, depends on a huge variety of factors. We’re happy to put together a proposal following a consultation that will discuss your vision for your project; applicable zoning, setback and conversation authority requirements; and your budget and predicted construction costs.

While there are fees associated with hiring an architect, we’re confident you’ll recoup a substantial portion of those fees through the cost savings we’ll help you realize by monitoring your budget, negotiating to get you the best materials and workmanship, and by designing layouts that allow you to maximize every square inch of your cottage or home while also reducing energy and maintenance costs.

Many of our clients tell us they chose Lakeside Architecture for numerous reasons, including the fact that our services are more reasonably priced than other firms and because our creativity helps them manage their budget without sacrificing their vision. Perhaps you want to incorporate stone to connect your cottage to the site both visually and spiritually, for instance. Constructing it entirely in stone would cost an exorbitant amount but using stone selectively could achieve similar results with a more affordable price tag.


Provides hands-on expertise

True mastery of architecture doesn’t come from book knowledge but knowing how to put a building together on site. In keeping with his belief that an architect’s mind and hands need to meet, James has carpentry, framing, joinery and building techniques training and experience under his belt.

James is a cottager and knows firsthand how to build in cottage country. That includes understanding road restrictions on cottage roads or winter weather conditions that provide a short building season that needs to be carefully planned and managed to maximize costs, time and resources.

In addition to having a roster of surveyors, tradespeople and manufacturers throughout cottage country, James has a good relationship with local planning and building departments, thanks in large part to Lakeside’s well-earned reputation for providing complete and accurate drawings that take all planning requirements into account. We’re pleased to act as your agent at any committee hearings that may arise.


Shares professional expertise

James graduated from the University of Toronto School of Architecture in 1995 as its top student. He was awarded the Gold Medal in Architecture and nominated for the School’s Governor General Silver Medal. The Royal Architecture Institute of Canada named him the student most likely to be an Architect of Distinction.

James was a runner-up in the Rethinking the Future 2018 Global Architecture & Design Awards for a conceptual residential design exploring the relationship between the Canadian landscape and built form. He’s a frequent contributor to Cottage Life magazine and a regular speaker at the Cottage Life Show. James was a part-time Professor of Architecture at Sheridan College – School of Architectural Technology.

Takes the time to get to know you

It’s not uncommon for James to cast a line with a client at their property or take a swim to better appreciate their site. It’s all part of getting to know you and your vision inside and out so we can push ideas further and help you through a maze of decisions.

While there may be prestige in hiring a large firm, remember that means you’ll be dealing with multiple people. You might be assigned a junior-level associate who will be responsible for sharing your input with the principal. When you hire a firm like Lakeside, you deal directly with the principal of the firm, ensuring efficient and effective communication with the person most invested in your project’s success.

We work hard to earn your confidence and trust!

Design your Dream.

The Design your Dream workbook is a 68 page guide that helps you describe and prioritize the key aspects of your custom cottage, home or boathouse.  This guide will provide you with the essential starting point for envisioning, planning, and designing your dream cottage or boathouse.