Monday, January 22, 2007

Natural Stone: Credit Valley Sandstone

Credit Valley Sandstone: This is a widely popular Natural Stone used throughout the GTA and Southern Ontario. It was made popular in the 1900's by it's widespread use for building facades and patio/walkway materials.

(Photo courtesy of

Origins: Sandstone is known as Sedimentary Rock and is formed from layers of sand-grain like material being compressed together over time. Credit Valley stone would have had some help in being compressed from the glaciers of the last ice age. Through pressure and heat, the minerals in the sand grains bond together and form the hard material we see today as sandstone.

Character: Credit Valley stone is usually quarried out as a chalk-white colour with a sandpaper-like texture. It is a soft stone that is easy to shape and work with for masons. As it ages, it can change colour according to sun exposure. Most often the aged stone is seen in various shades of grey with a slightly weathered texture.

Common uses in landscaping:

  • Random Flagstone (loose fit): When taken from the ground in the raw format, Credit Valley stone breaks off in sheets of various sizes and irregular shapes. This type of stone is commonly used for an informal path such as in the picture below. This layout allows for planting groundcover perennials between the stones. (i.e. creeping tyme)

  • Random Flagstone (motared): A more formal and clean look for the random pattern. This application provides a more stable pavement surface in which the stones have been shaped by hand tools or a saw and then mortard by a mason.
  • Steps: As seen in the picture above, this is an example of Credit Valley stone being used for steps. This application shows the stone mortared in place with a riser and tread arrangement.

  • Square Cut Flagstone (dry-laid or mortared): In this application, the stones have been cut and shaped into square or rectangular patterns. It can be used for a very formal look in either a mortared application or a dry-laid (no mortar) application. (Photo courtesy of

  • Wall Stone Facing: This application is very commonly seen on older buildings such as the Eaton Hall located in King City. It gives a very formal and traditional look to wall faces for both buildings and retaining walls.

  • Coping Stone: Much like the square-cut stone, Credit Valley stone was also widely used for capping walls or framing pool edges.
(Photo courtesy of

Due to the expensive nature of this stone, it is not so widely used in today's landscape construction. It is often requested in first considerations for materials until budget comes into play and the thought is to look for a cheaper stone alternative.

For small job applications or for jobs where the budget allows... it is one of the nicest natural stone materials you can use.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a stone mason from London Ontario that uses almost excusively Credit Valley sandstone I have to concur it is the best stone available in North America. You can see some good examples of its use on my website Dan Wrightman