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Fire Pit or Outdoor Fireplace for your Cambridge, Ontario Backyard?

A fire feature is an exciting addition to any backyard, especially in places with colder climates like Ontario. Homes in Cambridge can fully utilize the benefits of a fire pit or outdoor fireplace. They provide warmth, atmosphere, and entertainment for family and guests, while also increasing property value. But the question is which one is best?

Fabulous Fire Pits

These usually consist of a round pit with surrounding walls, however, they can also be square or rectangular in shape. The walls require a material that is both resistant to the heat of the fire and aesthetically pleasing in order to contribute to the overall ambience. This makes Unilock wall systems the perfect option for the construction of a fire pit. Fire pits can burn a variety of fuels, including wood and gas, and can be built to any size, almost anywhere in a backyard or patio provided there is enough ventilation and there are no overhanging structures that may pose a fire hazard.

  • Usually small and can be placed anywhere
  • Low to the ground, therefore they don’t obstruct any views
  • Open on all sides, meaning there’s space for a crowd
  • Roaring flames provide excitement and atmosphere
  • Inexpensive to install


  • Can potentially pose a fire hazard
  • Cannot block the wind without additional surrounding features
  • Can require a large amount of wood as well as storage space for the wood
  • Gas fire pits need to have a gas line installed


Ambient Outdoor Fireplaces

These are large permanent fixtures with a hearth and a chimney. Outdoor fireplaces allow a variety of sizes, styles and custom designs. Because an outdoor fireplace has a chimney that funnels smoke away from the area, they can be attached to a patio, terrace, or the exterior of house itself. If the backyard is large enough it can also be free standing.
Outdoor fireplaces can also be built to any size. Consider the space in your Cambridge, ON backyard, as well as how you would use it. If you regularly host large gatherings you may require a larger sized fireplace because everyone will want to crowd around for warmth and light.

  • Flexible: can be custom built to the appropriate size
  • Reduces smoke
  • The fire is well contained, therefore posing a low fire hazard risk
  • Contributes to a more vertically inclined landscape design
  • Shields against the wind
  • Provides privacy


  • More expensive compared to a fire pit
  • Can require building permits and knowledge of building regulations
  • Can obstruct views of your property
  • Normally requires more space than a fire pit


Which One is Right for Me?

The choice between the two depends on your individual needs, the design of your landscape and what your purposes or budget may be. Take a look at the above mentioned pros and cons and ask yourself which one best suits the backyard vision you’re creating. Ultimately, either one will offer long term service and hours of outdoor enjoyment for you, your family and your guests.

The title image features a fire pit and accompanying low seating wall built with Brussels Dimensional Stone.

Fire Pit or Outdoor Fireplace for your Cambridge, Ontario Backyard?

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