90 Million-Year-Old Jerusalem Stone at Home in Ottawa


Stone with a history dating back thousands of years is the cladding of choice on this modern home.

Our Homes Ottawa Winter 2017/2018A version of this article originally appeared in the Winter 2017/2018 issue of  OUR HOMES The City of Ottawa, p.30. Find local businesses in our Ottawa directory.

Parts of this recently constructed home by Patterson Homes in the west part of Ottawa date back some 90 million years. The stone that clads portions of this particular house was formed when prehistoric shells and corals were compacted and compressed during the Cretaceous Period. This same type of stone was then used in construction for more than 3,000 years in Jerusalem – and more recently, quarried from ancient mines still in operation, loaded into a shipping container and transported to our nation’s capital.
The homeowner was introduced to Jerusalem stone – the name applied to the various types of pale limestone, dolomite and dolomitic limestone quarried in the Jerusalem area – during a trip to that city. After he determined the material was a suitable construction material for Canadian building practices (the stone is extremely dense) and would easily withstand the extremes in temperature encountered throughout our four seasons, the homeowner ordered one single shipping container to be delivered – more specifically, 22 metric tonnes.  
On this new Ottawa build, the Jerusalem stone traverses from the exterior facade into the inside entry. There, rising up into the two-storey space, it catches the eye with its creamy white hue shot through here and there with light and dark brown veins. Sunlight draws out a soft glint from the stone. The stone was also used for the fireplace, a powder room and a back wall in the lower level theatre room.
Dark flooring is the canvas throughout the dining area, family room and kitchen and adjacent breakfast nook. A substantial island is lit by pendant lights from Living Lighting, as is the breakfast nook and pot lights elsewhere.
A mudroom, accessed from the two-car garage, opens to a passageway containing a powder room to one side and a pantry to the other, allowing groceries to be put away immediately before sliding the pocket door open to step into the kitchen.  
Upstairs, a linen closet straddles the space between the laundry room on one side, and the en suite, with its Mondeau fixtures, on the other. Each side sports doors to conceal the novelty, where clothing and towels are sorted before being laundered and then stored away.