Homes for the holidays
Unique properties along Red River decorate to support Nova House
The holidays invoke images of lavishly decorated homes where mantles overflow with lush boughs of fir and pine, snow-white candles glisten through dark window panes while dazzling silver and gold ornaments shimmer on the tree by their light. Wood crackles in the fireplace as it warms the room and guests gather to speak quietly while sipping mulled wine or rich eggnog. Carollers stroll from home to home in their garbs of old singing the gay songs of the season.
This year, for the first time, you can see these images come to life, enjoying luxuriously decorated homes and heritage sites along the north Red River, all while donating to a worthwhile cause.
Soak in the magic of the season as you drive down the historic River Road to Lockport. Between the town and the Highway 4 Bridge, known as the “bridge to nowhere”, nine homes and heritage sites will be decked out in their holiday finest.
Homeowners have been working with skilled decorators, designers, florists, landscapers and crafters putting extra effort into their decorating as they prepare for the Homes for the Holidays: House and Heritage Tours slated to begin this November. They will open their doors for three days of self-guided tours.
Visitors will enjoy custom Homes for the Holidays coffee, sweets, bannock and tea along the route. You can even take in some carolling and do a little pre-Christmas shopping at the sites!
“There are some magnificent properties in our communities up and down the Red River and they look so fabulous during the holidays that we thought it would be good way to launch the season and get a sneak peek into places we might not be able to see otherwise,” said Heather Hunter, Co-Chair of Homes for the Holidays: House and Heritage Tour.
“Tours like this are quite common in southern Ontario and we’ve modelled our work after some great successes in that region,” says Hunter.
Homes for the Holidays: House and Heritage Tour is being created as a new tourism initiative under Red River North Tourism. This year the proceeds will go to Nova House, the women’s shelter serving the Interlake and North Eastman region, as it prepares to build a new $2.3 million home for women and children escaping domestic violence. For Anna Pazdzierski, Nova House Executive Director, the project is a perfect fit at a perfect time, “When you think about the importance of a safe and happy home in all our lives, the gift of opening up a home to help fundraise for our new home is a very appropriate gift.”
What a wonderful way to get decorating ideas for your home and get in the Christmas spirit.
Each home featured on the tour is unique in style, design, decoration and history. Some of the heritage sites on the Homes for the Holidays tour include St. Andrew’s Rectory (1854), Little Britain Church (1874) a stone structure and Bunn House (1862). In Selkirk the Colcleugh House (1872) and Benjamin’s Pantry in the Traders Bank Building (1906-07) are both provincially designated heritage buildings that will decorate for the event. Others include McLeod House (1912), the very modern Deer Rapid Home (1999) and the 10,000-squarefoot Harlequin House Bed and Breakfast (opened in 2011). Shelley Molitowsky, recently retired organizer and co-owner of Scattered Seeds will also open her home near Highway 4. (See a feature on Shelley on page 27.)
The tour dates are Thursday, Nov. 19, Friday, Nov. 20 and Saturday, Nov. 21. The Homes for the Holidays: House and Heritage Tours tour is organized entirely by volunteers.
“There’s something for everyone regardless of how you spend the holiday season. We all know we’re doing this for women and children at Nova House,” said Muir.
The Homes for the Holiday: House and Heritage Tour is open to the public Nov. 19, 20 and 21, 2015. Tickets for the Friday and Saturday hours are $30. Tickets that include the Thursday pre-tour are $50. To order tickets in advance contact Louise at 204.482.7892. Learn more at Homes for the Holidays Red River North on Facebook or www.redrivernorthtourism.com
Festive entrances welcome you.
All set for a cherry Christmas dinner.
Modern white and black decor.
Old fashioned teddy bears ready for Christmas.
Even the sunroom is decked out for the holidays.
Morning light falls across this decorated bedroom.
Another jolly entrance.
Candy cane kitchen.