Great Escapes with Colin & Justin

Time Schedule

Mon 11:30 | Tue 15:30 | Thu 19:30 | Fri 22:00 | Sat 17:00 & 00:00 | Sun 12:30 & 21:00


Great Escapes is a documentary series presented by International Designers, Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan.  In each episode, they explore the North American wilderness to discover what lengths people will go to in order to create their perfect country retreat.  Design and Historical experts provide critical analysis on all the properties – from hidden island cabins, to log lodges and eco homes – this series examines architecturally significant builds.

13-19 July: Episode 4

Eco Homes

On this episode of Great Escapes, Colin and Justin are invited to explore three rural eco homes.  They meet a couple who built their homestead 30 years ago, using only materials found on their land, and a history book for the design.  Next is an Eco Lodge built for scale and sustainability, with a babbling brook running through the middle of the foyer.  And finally they visit a two family shared home – built with individual pods.  An investigation into how far homeowners will go to be truly sustainable.

Episode 5

Waterlocked Builds

On Great Escapes, Colin and Justin’s rural journey takes them on a voyage of discovery into water locked homes.  Visiting two unique island retreats, and one boat access property, the design duo meet three architects that have gone to great lengths to build their dream home on the lake, using very different techniques.

Episode 6

Past, Present, Future

On Great Escapes, Colin and Justin examine the past, present and future of architecture in a rural setting.  Starting with a surprising design that perfectly preserves a 40 year old family built cabin, they then visit the modern retreat of hockey legend Wendel Clark. The final cabin is a look into the future of design – using passive solar energy, geothermal heating and architecture that reflects the landscape, the episode spans generations of design.

Episode 7

Wild About Wood

Colin and Justin are following the story of how and why architects choose to build with wood. The first property embraces the Japanese concept of forest bathing, with pine exteriors that match the surround woodland. The next property was a nostalgic impulse buy for its owner- who then spent years restoring the lodge and cabins to their woodsy former glory. And the final property is a red herring, a timber clad cabin, surrounded by forest but its frame is made of recycled airplane steel.

Episode 8

Embedded in Nature

Colin and Justin are exploring the challenges and successes of truly embedding a building into its natural surroundings. The first property is a 16,000 square foot mansion on private island. Constructed 107 years ago, the surrounding gardens and landscaping are older then the home and create a truly magical escape. The next is a 20 year old home on Howe Island, a modern design that has stood the test of time, thanks to its thoughtful and meticulous natural setting. And the final property appears from one side to be a modern barn, but opens out onto lake views. Built on stilts so as not to impose on the wildlife trying to find their way to the water, the owners have created a home generous to all their neighbours.