Real Estate

For $2.4 million, you can buy this net-zero corrugated-steel home in Ontario

The one-of-a-kind property has a wood-burning stove and mezzanine loft
Andrea Yu

In October 2016, industrial designer Robert Iantorno dreamed up this low-maintenance, high-efficiency property as a home where he and his wife, Maria, could live and eventually retire. By July 2017, the Iantornos purchased a five-acre plot of land in Singhampton, 90 minutes north of Toronto, surrounded by sumac, wild raspberries, wildflower meadows and cedar forests.

Iantorno teamed up with architect Andy Thompson to complete the 3,163-square-foot home. Construction began in October 2017 and the Iantornos moved into their new property in October 2018, but two years later, the couple decided to RV through the southern U.S., so they rented the property out on Airbnb and to seasonal tenants. They now have plans to relocate to Nova Scotia and put their home on the market for $2,395,000.

The semicircular arch structure and corrugated steel were chosen for their strength. The home is attached to a six-foot-deep foundation. Then, on top of the steel, there are six inches of spray foam, a drainage layer and galvanized-steel roofing.

Just past the front door, there are guest bedrooms on either side. The barn doors are made of rough-sawn white pine and the flooring is diamond-polished concrete.

The original plan was for the Iantorno’s to live in the home well into their senior years. For accessibility, they installed a full bathroom on the ground floor with a walk-in shower. There’s an in-floor drain, teal glazed tiles from Spain (meant to invoke Mediterranean waters) and quarried limestone tiles on the walls, also from Spain. The walnut vanity cabinets are custom made, and there’s built-in lighting in the mirror. Just across from the main-floor bathroom, there’s also a mechanical room, with a washer and a dryer, plus a pantry with open-wire restaurant shelving.

The main hallway leads to an open kitchen, living and dining area. The ceilings here are 20 feet high.

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In the kitchen, there’s a 14-foot island—a Mennonite-made maple butcher block—that seats four people.

The south end of the living room has a wall of triple-glazed, argon gas-filled windows. The main source of warmth is in-floor hydronic heating, but there’s also a cozy wood-burning fireplace in the living room

Iantorno and Thompson designed a second-floor mezzanine for the home’s primary suite. To reach it, there are open-tread stairs made of rough-sawn white pine

The upper level has white pine hardwood flooring. The primary bedroom space is an open loft, but it’s designed so that the bed itself isn’t visible from the lower level.

The primary ensuite has a separate water closet with a wall-hung Toto washlet bidet, a two-person soaker tub with a large chrome brass filler, an enclosed glass shower with the same Spanish glazed tiles as the main-floor bathroom, and a separate vanity area. LED lights illuminate the “flutes” of the arches, which Iantorno says is meant to evoke Art Deco style.

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This mezzanine space overlooks the great room.

Iantorno, a sports car and motorcycle enthusiast, calls this 1,200-square-foot shop his “garage mahal.” It has two garage doors on either side, which Iantorno will open in the summer when he’s hanging out inside.

In the summer of 2022, Iantorno added a wood-burning cedar barrel sauna and a cold plunge pool to appeal to short-term renters. The region is especially popular with winter sports enthusiasts—the property is a 10-minute drive to Devil’s Glen, a private ski club.