When you first drive by 194 Roxborough Drive, you might not think of it as a multiple award winning house. In fact, you might not think much of it at all. As only two storeys rise above the street-level, this house serves as a concrete example for there always being more than meets the eye.


However, once within, one can truly begin to marvel at its wonder. This 18,000 sq-ft masterpiece has been built into the side of the ravine it overlooks, resulting in 3 additional below-street storeys. A quick dive into the history of this house, however, makes you marvel even more.


The History

In the late 1990’s, James Stewart, a professor at McMaster University (as well as an accomplished Violinist and Mathematician) had an idea for a house of a different kind. His vision included ideas of curves resembling those commonly derived through calculus. After commissioning Shim-Sutcliffe Architects in 1999 to convert his dream into a reality, Stewart set about staking land for his future masterpiece. In 2002, a house on Roxborough Drive was demolished, and in early 2003 the house began to take shape.

In 2009 – six painstaking years later – his work of art was complete. Already gaining traction from local news sources and Architectural Digest, Stewart realized his brainchild would require a name. He settled on Integral House, taken from the calculus Integral – as Stewart owed his wealth to his widely-popular calculus textbooks.

Integral house has received recognition from Architectural Digest, The Governor General, and more.

The Architecture

At 18,000 Square Feet, this house is gargantuan. The house features a wide array of eco friendly features – including Geothermal temperature control and a planted roof.

The lowest level is perhaps the most impressive. This indoor swimming pool is separated from the outdoor patio solely by a 24 foot towering wall of glass. At the touch of a button, the glass lowers into the floor and disappears.

Integral house's Indoor Swimming Pool

Gorgeous indoor swimming pool with a disappearing glass enclosure

Above the pool on the second floor is the study. Overlooking the ravine, this area features a gorgeous view in any season.

The third level was uniquely designed for Stewart himself. He wanted a concert hall that could be used for intimate performances…perhaps of his own violin recitals.

third floor recital hall

Stewart’s recital hall ensured a performance was only a staircase away

The upper levels, located at street level and above (respectively) contain all the features you’d expect of a house…kitchen, laundry, bedrooms, a guest suite…etc.


With a kitchen looking like it came from the space age, You’ll never forget you’re in a modern luxury dwelling

With its high price point, the Integral house may be a tough sell. Hopefully, however, with the right persuasion, the right buyer with an appreciation for architecture and music may strike out of the blue.