2018 Minto Dream Home for CHEO

Luxurious modernity, a cheeky nod to the 1970s and delightful connections to nature define this year's stunning Minto Dream Home, the Creekside.

Located in Stittsville's fast-growing community of Potter's Key, the Creekside is the 2018 CHEO Dream of a Lifetime Lottery grand prize. Valued at $2.1 million, the home continues the 18-year partnership between Minto Communities and the CHEO Foundation that, has so far raised almost $55 million for the hospital.

The 5,577-square-foot Creekside was designed by our team at Minto Communities in collaboration with Tanya Collins Design and supported by Christopher Simmonds Architect.

The two-storey home commands a pie-shaped lot, with the kitchen, great room and other spaces at the rear of the home overlooking the Feedmill Creek conservation area.

The Creekside's emphasis on natural light and a fluid transition between the world outside and family life inside is a hallmark of Christopher Simmonds' approach to architecture. It also encapsulates our commitment at Minto to building homes that connect with the community and environment around them.

Flow and light

For Tanya, who took over design of the Minto Dream Home this year after KISS Design Group did an outstanding job for almost two decades, the home “is all about flow and light. The space feels good, and I like how you don't have to navigate to get from room to room.”


She has expanded on that flow and light with design choices like light grey oak flooring, designer lighting fixtures, and glass staircase panels topped with black maple rails.

Tanya's decor decisions lean to the bold, timeless, sleek and sexy, whether in furnishings or finishes.

For instance, geometric pattern in floor tiles (hello, 1970s!) and a scheme of elegant blacks, whites and golds with bright pops of colour help define and link the home's many different spaces while adding visual warmth. It's a smart colour palette that extends even to interior doors, which are painted black and have gold hinges.

It's all very different from earlier Minto Dream Home designs and in keeping with the move of the Minto Dream Home from our Mahogany community in Manotick, where it had been for years, to Potter's Key in the rapidly evolving west end.

“The first phase of Mahogany was sold out and we wouldn't have a new phase until this fall,” explains Karen Van Der Velden, our product design manager. That would have made it too late for the 2018 Minto Dream Home. So, she says, the home was moved to the west end where “we had this beautiful lot in Potter's Key that has the feel of an estate lot.”

A gathering spot for family and friends

The heart of the home on that estate-like lot is the open-concept kitchen and great room. They form a generous, inclusive space where family and friends will instinctively gather.


Anchoring the kitchen is a massive island topped with black Marbalis quartz from Spain. Manufactured by Compac and veined with white, the quartz is a dead ringer for marble. The same material is used for the kitchen countertops and in the powder room.

Mountain Granite donated the Marbalis, just as many other suppliers donate materials and furnishings for the Minto Dream Home. “We do it to help children,” says Mountain Granite owner Nancy Lauzon. “I have three children. They are all healthy, but I know if they were sick, CHEO would be there for them.”

The kitchen also features sleek, touch-latch cabinetry designed by Tanya and built by Laurysen Kitchens. It blends black doors with others in a brown, Art Deco-style zebrano pattern.

“Laurysen was great in meeting my millwork specifications,” says Tanya. “The cabinets are very simple, but it's the small details in modern design that make it look richer.”

Great Room

As for the great room, it is, indeed, great.

It has a '70s Hollywood sensibility and is, as its designer notes, relaxed but chic. The soaring ceiling and oversized windows underscore the room's spaciousness, while a massive two-sided fireplace separates; it from the adjoining dining room.

The fireplace surround is dark Jurassic marble with swirling black, grey and white veins. It's also from Mountain Granite. Tanya says she “fell in love with the stone as soon as I saw it in the showroom”

A warning: Don't sink into the room's charcoal-grey leather furniture by La-Z-Boy or you may decide to spend the rest of your life contentedly gazing at that fireplace or out the windows at the restful creekside view.

A studio suite condo

The main floor also features a library with built-in bookshelves at the front of the home and, at the rear, and in-law studio suite with its own door to the sweeping back deck.


The space is outfitted like a studio suite condo, with a kitchenette and dining, living and sleeping zones all in one space.

Tanya has gone to town in the in-law ensuite , using green wall tile — from Ceratec, it's a rich, calming shade — that connects visually with the bedroom's Palm Beach vibe and the home's natural surroundings. The floor is also tiled, but in a small, white hexagonal pattern that echoes the black-and-white tile in the home's main entryway.

Karen, who was closely involved throughout the home's design, says the in-law suite looks to the future. “Minto has never done this before, but the market is seeing more and more of this as the population ages.”

Second-storey glories

The top floor is given over to four bedrooms, a children's bathroom with his and her sinks (“so they won't fight,” jokes Tanya), a show-stopping laundry room, and a loft-like space that's all about unwinding with the big-screen TV and comfy sofa and chairs.

Here as elsewhere, approach is a modern, clean design that's warm and stylish yet still comfortable and practical for a wide demographic.

Never one to shy away from making a design statement, Tanya painted the boy's bedroom chartreuse green paired with black and white (“Teenage boys usually like moody black, so I did this one in a sort of edgy colour”) and paired fushia and orange in the girl's room.

A third bedroom, which can be accessed from the girl's room by two wall tunnels, is designated as a general-purpose “kids' room.” It's hung with artwork by CHEO's young patients for the duration of the CHEO of a Lifetime Dream Home Lottery.

Master Bedroom

The master bedroom is sheer serenity. Its wood plank ceiling, luxurious hand- knotted rug by Feizy and Zen-coloured paint conspire to create what Tanya terms a Bahamas look.

Serenity and style carry through to the ensuite, with his-and-her showerheads and faux white marble tiles accented by taupe tones.

Not for the faint of heart

Roller-Skating Room

The basement has been designed as a fun gathering spot for the entire family. One large, recreational room boasts a roller disco theme complete with a disco ball dangling from the ceiling.

The other finished space is a media room. It's painted orange with a leopard print couch. —“and is “not for the faint of heart,” says Tanya with a grin.

Whether it's the lively media room, the family-friendly kitchen or the meticulously landscaped exterior, the 2018 Minto Dream Home will spark conversation among visitors, which typically number about 35,000 with an additional 60,000 doing online tours.

That conversation is a good thing for CHEO, according to Dan Champagne, CHEO Foundation's Vice-President of Development and Corporate Relations. “For sure, (the home) raises the profile of CHEO,” he says. “This is our largest single fundraising event.”

Here at Minto, there's also lots of enthusiastic conversation and excitement about this year's stunning home.

“Once again we feel proud that we created something new and exciting for people of all ages to dream about!” says Karen. “And as we do this for the 18th year straight, it's still so exciting to see the reactions and comments about the home.”

“As a company, we're proud to continue our relationship with the CHEO Foundation by building the Minto Dream Home again this year for the CHEO Dream of a Lifetime Lottery. We just love it!”

Tickets for the CHEO Dream of a Lifetime Lottery can be purchased on their website here.

Back to Creekside

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