Homes for the hol­i­days

Unique prop­er­ties along Red River dec­o­rate to sup­port Nova House

Manitoba Gardener Magazine - - HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS - By Ta­nia Mof­fat

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.

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