Tag Archives: Colin and Justin

Colin and Justin return to their roots in Great Canadian Cottages

Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan’s recent Canadian television programming has seen them up to their elbows in rotten wood, bugs and questionable style choices in three seasons of Cabin Pressure. In that series, the duo purchased and renovated their own cottages while offering tips and tricks to DIY projects.

Now the pair is back with a new series—Great Canadian Cottages, debuting Thursday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Cottage Life—that harkens back to their early days in the business.

“This is really us going back to Colin and Justin, Stage 1,” McAllister says over the phone. “Our background is newspapers and magazines and we’ve interviewed stars and celebs about their homes. We’ve always been in the market to listen to people and share their stories. We’ve done it in print media for years but this gave us the opportunity to do it on-camera.”

McAllister says Great Canadian Cottages is a natural evolution from Cabin Pressure. In that program, episodes followed their story from destruction and renovation to completion. Great Canadian Cottages turns the cameras on other cottage owners as they explain the inspiration for their getaways and digs deep into the nuts and bolts of building outside of big cities. There are also experts on hand who weigh in on some of the construction choices made. In Episode 1, that includes the windows utilized in a shimmering glass block built for a professional photographer so he could make the most of natural light.

Each 30-minute episode finds McAllister and Ryan telling the stories of distinctive cottages with amazing architectural flair, uncovering the carefully crafted design features of each home and learning more about the geographic regions they are built upon. (Fans of the pair can meet them in person at the 2018 Cottage Life Show in Toronto this weekend. Click here for more details.)

There have been plenty of surprises in Season 1. Among them are a getaway made out of straw and clay that has no 90-degree angles and the abode built by former Toronto Maple Leafs great Wendel Clark. It turns out the gritty goal scorer has a knack for gardening and a flair for fashionable homes.

“He’s a real bruiser, so we figured [his cottage] would be like a sports bar with a giant TV,” McAllister recalls. “We get to this beautiful house and gardens that you would pay money to visit. Wendel and his wife, Denise, are the most humble, down-to-earth lovely people. He talked us through the house they made, the garden that they do themselves with their own four hands. And he talks about transitional furniture and just bloody owns it.”

“Colin and I walked away from that saying, ‘If a hockey player can become an interior designer, do you think an interior designer can become a hockey player?” he continues. “I think it’s time for Colin and Justin to take up the puck!”

Great Canadian Cottages airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Cottage Life.

Image courtesy of Blue Ant Media.


Blue Ant Media brings Colin and Justin back to Cottage Life channel in new series, Great Canadian Cottages

From a media release:

Blue Ant Media, an international content producer, distributor and channel operator, today announced that it has greenlit production on Great Canadian Cottages (working title), a brand new original 8×30-minute documentary series, produced by Architect Films for the company’s Canadian television channel, Cottage Life. Presented by renowned design experts Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan, the series will delve into the fascinating stories of Canadians who live in extraordinary cottages and cabins built in the Canadian wilderness. Great Canadian Cottages is set to premiere exclusively this fall on the Cottage Life channel. The series will be available for international licensing through Blue Ant Media’s distribution arm, Blue Ant International.

In each episode, Colin and Justin will travel to unique cottage country locations across Canada, giving viewers a personal tour of distinctive cottages with architectural flair. With the design duo’s trademark humour and wit, audiences will meet the owners and architects to analyse each home’s significant design features, while learning more about specific cottage country regions in Canada. The series will have a 360-degree presence across Cottage Life’s television, online and print platforms. In addition to the television debut, 16 digital videos featuring cottage-friendly tips, will roll out on Cottagelife.com. Additionally, Colin and Justin will be on hand at the Fall Cottage Life Show, taking place in Toronto from October 19 to 21, 2018, to celebrate the series and meet with fans personally.

Great Canadian Cottages is produced by Architect Films with Mike Sheerin serving as Executive Producer and Joanne Virgo serving as Series Producer. Sam Linton, Head of Original Content, Canadian Media, Blue Ant Media is overseeing the series.


Colin and Justin get down and dirty for Season 3 of Cabin Pressure

Anyone who’s done grand-scale home renovations knows that feeling of hopelessness. A “simple” job that grew to into a catastrophe, a project that morphed from costing a few thousand dollars into a massive bank black hole. Such is the case for Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan, the Scottish design duo who return for a third go-round of Cabin Pressure this Sunday on Cottage Life.

The timing of the series couldn’t be better—Cottage Life is currently in an eight-week free preview—plenty of time to watch the lads’ cottage country exploits and commiserate when things go wrong. And do they ever. Episode 1 quickly sets up the premise—the pair have purchased a Haliburton, Ont., cottage to renovate and use as an income property—before plans go awry.

“We’re trying to redevelop one of the worst cabins on one of the loveliest lakes in Haliburton,” Ryan said. “It’s been a huge challenge from start to finish.” As in Season 2 with a reno of their own cottage, the pair wanted to lift this cabin off the ground and dig out a basement. But decades of moisture and a bad foundation threaten to shatter hopes and bank accounts. Ryan’s frustration at being over $80,000 in the hole just days into the work is plain. Thankfully, there is good news; sections of the fractured foundation could be saved and most of the floor joists escaped spreading mould, meaning a return to the hilarious (and sometimes very un-PC) comments Colin and Justin fans love. Well, that, and the ingenious design ideas they come up with, sometimes costing just pennies to do, like the coffee-stained walls utilized in Season 1.

McAllister and Ryan’s design inspiration for this project is a black-on-black European minimalism transported to cottage country, something not only reflected in the building itself but deck too. Ryan remembered how they were struggling to find someone to build the deck until a woman named Andrea contacted them via Twitter. Her boyfriend’s St. Catharine’s company, Boys with Big Decks could complete the 2,400 square-foot task.

“We’re now boys with big decks,” McAllister quipped.

“Actually, we’re boys with massive decks,” Ryan corrected.

Cabin Pressure airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Cottage Life.


W Network’s Game of Homes returns on April 12

From a media release:

W Network’s biggest competition series Game of Homes returns for its second season with new host, Dave Salmoni and resident judges Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan. Season 2 takes place in  Toronto and follows four teams renovating rundown homes as they compete for the prize of a lifetime – a house and a plot of land to put it on. Produced by Great Pacific Media in association with W Network, Game of Homes premieres Tuesday, April 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Throughout the new season, Dave Salmoni guides four teams of skilled amateur home renovators as they compete for the chance to trade in their skills for their very own home. The teams save rundown houses from the wrecking ball and week-by-week revive them into dream homes, one room at a time. Each team works side-by-side, around the clock, to completely transform these dumps into show homes – while also living in them through the entire renovation. They will battle small budgets, tight deadlines, cramped quarters and each other for a chance to win a home and change their lives forever.

The teams include hard working married couple Kim and Harry, who want to win the house for more financial freedom and a chance to spend more time with their kids; best buddies Domenic and Michael, hoping to move out of their parents’ home; engaged couple Courtney and Tyler; and mother and son duo Shelley and Alex, looking to win the house to secure financial stability for Alex’s future.

Bringing their expertise to this season of Game of Homes, Colin and Justin will vote for their favourite room renovations based on design and workmanship, working alongside a stellar cast of celebrity guest judges including Kortney and Dave Wilson from Masters of Flip, and Jillian Harris and Todd Talbot from Love It or List It Vancouver. In the finale, both the judges and the public will casts their votes, and in the dramatic and life-changing conclusion, the winning team is awarded their spectacular new home.