Backyard Oasis: Showcasing beautiful backyards in the GTA – Toronto

If you ventured out to your local garden centre after nurseries got the green light to open in early May, you likely would have been met with long line-ups and limited plant material.

Nurseries were unsure of how much to order, but then faced incredible demand amid the coronavirus pandemic.

That same demand has reached home improvement supplies and backyard renovation companies, continuing well into June.

Jeremy Lerner, co-founder of of the landscape and design company, Land-Con told Global News his phone has been ringing off the hook during Ontario’s lockdown with homeowners looking to add a swimming pool or spruce up their backyard space with a pergola — but these are generally big ticket items.

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“An average range for a backyard fully landscaped with a decent sized pool, a wood structure … you should have a budget of between $120,000 to $150,000,” said Lerner.

With few places to go, people have been looking to their backyards and balconies for some fresh air and peace of mind.

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Kristi Bartlett of Aurora, Ont., sits in her award-winning backyard designed and constructed by Land-Con Ltd.

“We appreciate this backyard more now than ever before because we can’t go anywhere. We’re able to come out here and just be at home but yet feel like we are on vacation,” said Bartlett.

On the border of the Annex and Yorkville in Toronto, Ben Zlotnick, founder of Eden App, created a backyard oasis in a 20-by-30 foot space.

More people doing home renos to relieve stress during COVID-19 pandemic

More people doing home renos to relieve stress during COVID-19 pandemic

“We wanted to create many features that would allow them to come out the backyard, enjoy their time and at the same time, host others,” said Zlotnick.

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But since there isn’t a lot of hosting others right now, the homeowners here, Michael and Vanessa Hyatt, have been enjoying their backyard oasis with their infant daughter Sofia on a regular basis.

“My favourite feature is the pergola they built here because it gives you just enough shade … it’s very peaceful. You wouldn’t think you were in the heart of the city here,” said Hyatt.

In the Beaches neighbourhood, homeowner Patricia Russell enjoys an expansive shade garden filled with ferns, hostas and 2 flowing ponds while giant oak trees stand almost as protectors of the space. This backyard has been ten years in the making — carefully planned by Kim Price Landscape Design.

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“This is not a low maintenance garden. One of my crew is here four days a week, 5 hours a day,” said Price.

Russell told Global News she too, will spend hours in her backyard – following the sun, moving from relaxing space to space throughout a day.

“I really do feel privileged always but especially in this time when it’s so hard when you can’t touch and feel and and hug other people … so, the garden is really joyful,” said Russell.

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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