NCSFT Grundy Lake Dining Lodge

Grundy Lake Provincial Park, Ontario

A summer camp lodge with operable walls provides a light touch on the land and tremendous flexibility and impact for its users.


In Grundy Lake Provincial Park, approximately an hour’s drive northwest of Parry Sound, we were asked to design a dining lodge and cultural heritage centre for Native Child and Family Services of Toronto’s residential summer camp. The wood structure provides a platform and central gathering space from which to enjoy the outdoors while also protecting campers from the extremes of Northern Ontario’s summer climate.

The lodge offers a functional and symbolic heart for the camp’s array of activities, containing a kitchen and space for dining, programing, ceremonies and performances. Sliding exterior wall panels and screens enable the structure to become an open pavilion, or a semi or fully enclosed shelter from inclement weather. It can also be fully closed and secured in the off season. Photovoltaic solar panels generate enough electricity for night lighting and charging a mobile device.

This building had to meet stringent Ontario Provincial Park environmental protection regulations. In response, we designed a simple, lightweight structure with scissor roof trusses that was prefabricated off site and delivered and installed on site in one day. The wood deck was constructed using local labour. Great care was taken to not disrupt the natural setting, to minimize disruption of the surrounding area and to avoid construction waste. The lodge’s timber crib floats on footings over compacted granular beds to avoid causing impacts to the soil or the water table.

The structure’s simple design and materials enable the camp to easily maintain and adapt the structure as needed. And we also designed the structure so that it can be completely disassembled and re-installed at a new site if needed.