Backyard Resport Livin

Custom Backyard Staycation

Don't Just Plan a Pool....Plan the Resort!

Planning a pool without consideration of its setting is missing out on opportunities to maximize your enjoyment of both the pool and the yard. Some of the benefits are functional such as pathways to the pool area, whereas others may be for privacy or best viewing of floral plantings.

Some of the benefits are functional such as pathways to the pool area, whereas others may be for aesthetic enjoyment of having seating areas for best viewing or plantings for privacy or focal flowerbeds.

Consider the complete area in the initial planning stage. Even if the installation is done in phases, having a master plan upfront produces the most pleasing results.  The following are some landscape and yard features to consider.

Water & Pool Features

Every Gib-San pool is unique. Choose from a wide array of options for your pool, from easy-access steps to special water features such as waterfalls, fountains, and vanishing edges that not only please the eye but create music with the soothing sound of water.

Jumping rocks add enjoyment – Large stone slabs have virtually replaced diving boards and slides because of better aesthetics and improved safety.

Pool steps are more than just a point of entry – Even vinyl lined pools can have steps that provide more lounging area with massage jets and a play area for small children. A Gib-San consultant will help choose these options.

Coping options – A wide variety of materials come into play for custom concrete pools. Coping for vinyl-lined pools has changed also with a multi-track option for attaching a winter cover and also colour options of grey or white.

Vinyl liner pattern – If you are getting a vinyl-lined pool you have a wide variety of liner patterns to choose from. Refer to the “Pool Types – Vinyl Lined Patterns” section.

Water and fire features enhance your backyard experience

We simplify this for you by making you aware of your options for key features along with our recommendations. It is our priority to determine your wants and needs in order to provide you with a design that captures your vision. 

Visit our website gallery and Creation Centre for pool and landscaping ideas to help communicate to the designer your vision of a dream backyard resort.

The following is a brief overview of some of these considerations.

The possibilities are endless....and so is the enjoyment!

Cabana design – A cabana can be the focal point on your deck or a shed hidden somewhat by landscaping. You decide how it will be used and how much profile you want it to have. Will it store the pool equipment? Is it a change room, a garden tool shed, an outdoor kitchen and bar, or will some of these functions be located elsewhere?

Outdoor kitchen and BBQ – If these are not in the cabana, then where? With outdoor living trends, grand stainless steel outdoor “kitchens” – complete with pizza oven provide a focal area ready for the master chef to perform!

Gazebo or bridge – Take advantage of a small creek or pond as a focal point, or add a gazebo for both tranquility and beauty in your dream setting.

Lawn sprinkler system – Plan this as soon as the landscape plan is done. Why create your dream and then have another tradesman in later to mar it?

Entry-assist support railings – Customized pool-entry areas and railings can be added for seniors and rehabilitation exercising.

Landscape theme – Our landscape designers are experts at capturing your ideas. Do you like lots of flowerbeds or more formal gardens with a fountain? Do you prefer a rustic natural stone and trees setting? Is there a need for privacy blocks from neighbours? Do you require a large play area with a playhouse and climber gym? Do you need large retaining walls to access lower yard areas better? How about focal stonework with weeping water or rushing waterfalls, or fish ponds and streams?

Fitness accessories – Volleyball and basketball net systems add hours of family fun and can be set into the decking with easy setup and removal options.

In-pool lighting co-ordinated with garden lighting – Lighting enhances both the beauty and safety of your backyard setting. Choose from bold white to mood-shifting colour-sequencing LED lighting to enhance any entertaining mood.

Pool Equipment & Accessories

Gib-San looks after your equipment recommendation based on experience, performance requirement and your budget consideration. Pool equipment technology and innovation has advanced significantly to automate many pool operations and provide greater energy efficiency, while optimizing healthy sparkling clear water.

Primary Operating System – The pump and filter specifications are matched to your pool’s requirements. This may vary depending on specific pool requirements.

  • We recommend cartridge filtration because it has much finer filtering than sand filtration, and does not require backwashing.
  • A variable-speed pump is our preference for both energy efficiency and quietness.
  • An energy efficient heater is always recommended as part of the equipment package for maximizing the season, your comfort and saves you money!

Water Management Systems – The recommended technology for sanitizing pools is a UV or Ozone system with a low chlorine or bromine dispensing system. The same way that bottled drinking water is produced. We will advise you of the pros and cons for your specific pool. We do not recommend salt pool chlorine generating systems on new pools now, but we will service existing systems.  These water treatment systems are both Human and Pet Friendly due to very low chlorine and no salt levels that can irritate our skin. Our goal is to provide our clients with the experience of swimming in bottled water.

G3 Gib-San Branded Equipment – Gib-San prides itself on the quality of our pools. By private branding our equipment line we can control the quality and performance of our pumps, filters and automation equipment. We select products that provide our clients with peace of mind and quality operation. More Information (PDF)

Operations Control Systems automate and simplify operations and can make most functions remote-controllable from inside the house. In fact, we can install a system that allows you to control your pool operation from outside the country or for us to monitor for you.

Pool cleaning options simplify maintenance as well – from suction and powered systems to complete in-floor cleaning systems where water jets pop up from the floor to direct the dirt to the drain.


Pool Covers

Automatic covers provide year-round function with push button convenience. In the summer it stops evaporation to reduce both water and heat loss, while providing more safety. In the winter it is a winter cover, keeping debris out of the pool while providing more safety for children and pets. The key reasons why automatic covers are a wonderful feature is for: safety of pets and children, heat retention and keeping all debris and leaves out of the pool.

Seasonal winter covers – A Gib-San consultant can advise you on the merits of the two cover options that are available.

Winter safety cover stretches across the pool like a custom trampoline virtually eliminating the need to remove water-soaked leaves. It looks better and provides more safety, even for pets, all winter long.

The traditional winter cover sits on the pool water and is held in place by the coping track or by water bags. This is an economical option.


Select fencing for safety, privacy, and aesthetics – Fencing must meet certain safety standards to restrict access from outside the backyard, and in Toronto from the house to the pool as well. Gib-San design and build consultants will advise you on the specifics for your backyard situation.

To see a variety of fencing options refer to the “Photo Gallery – Yard Accessories – Fencing” section. It shows you a wide variety of materials and appearances available that will greatly enhance the beauty of your backyard environment while providing privacy at the same time.


Most regulations are community specific. We will advise you of regulations for your specific community. The following are two regulations specific to Toronto.

Toronto fencing by-law – The by-laws regulating fencing of the pool area were significantly revised in 2008. For details, click here (PDF)

Toronto water disposal by-law – The by-laws regulating the discharge of pool and spa water into storm sewers places significant restrictions and potential fines for doing so. This impacts those with salt water pools. For details, click here.