Wolseley residence teems with ambience
THE aroma of freshly brewed coffee greets you as you enter a cosy, turnof-the-century style porch with original fir floors and a white brick backdrop.
Meanwhile, pedestrians meander by beneath mature elms, likely on their way to one of the nearby shops that line Westminster Avenue. This is the genteel lifestyle that surround 168 Home Street, a majestic home more than a century old, says Audrhea, the outgoing owner.
“This home (of rare brick construction) was built in 1910 by a Wolseley doctor who ran his practice out of the home back in the early 1900s,” she says. “We’re only the fourth owner of the home in 100 years. As we quickly found out, you buy the neighbourhood when you buy the house. It’s like urban living. There’s the bus on Westminster, you’re five minutes from downtown and a bakery and convenience store are a short distance away on foot.”
As it turns out, the 2,205-squarefoot, 2 ½-storey home is as magnificent as the mature neighbourhood that surrounds it.
Take, for instance, the foyer. It offers warmth and character thanks to well-preserved oak on floors, window casings, stairwell and baseboards.
“These are the original hardwoods, which we had sanded and refinished,” says Audrhea. “You’ve not only got the floors, but the other oak around the door frames, window casings and stairs. Another original feature is a fireplace (with, of course a handcarved oak mantle) in the living room with a bronze and copper hearth. It was a working fireplace at one time, but is just decorative now.”
RE/MAX Performance Realty’s David Thompson, the listing agent, says it’s rare for a century-old home to be so solid.
“The great thing about this home is that the owners haven’t painted over any of the oak. That makes for an unbelievably well-preserved and wellmaintained home. It even has some of the original leaded-glass windows, which are also in incredible shape. This is a home that has unbelievable character.”
That character can be traced to stylistic touches seen only in homes of this vintage. One example is the dark leather cladding placed on the lower third of the walls not only in the foyer, but on the second floor landing/ hallway.
As was the custom in homes built around the turn of the century, the second-floor features fir hardwood throughout. Add in fir-trimmed doorways with transom windows, a bathroom with separate water closet and bathing area and a centre-plan hallway off which all the rooms branch off, and you get a unique yet functional layout.
Two other features stand out, Audrhea adds.
“Often, closet space is lacking, but we made the room beside the guest bedroom into a walk-in closet/dressing space (with window),” she explains. “And the size of windows in each room is exceptional. It’s something you don’t always see on older homes — big windows that let in lots of light. We also put new, top-of-the-line fibreglass windows (that can flip around to be cleaned) in each room.”
The master suite (which also has a walk-in closet) is the second level’s piece de resistance due to a large east-facing balcony that overlooks the sidewalk, street and trees below.
“It’s a great spot to sit and have your morning coffee or wind down with a glass of wine after a long day at the office,” says Thompson, adding there’s a private yard and garage with work shop.
While old-style character is omnipresent, so too are modern conveniences. A relatively new U-shaped kitchen with white cabinetry and hunter green countertops is functional. The dining room is only steps away through an adjacent doorway. The home comes complete with central air conditioning, high-efficient furnace, updated plumbing and one more special feature on the third level.
“The attic, with its three huge windows and drywalled and painted walls, is a great space that could serve a variety of purposes from bedroom to office to playroom,” he says. “With only four owners in 100 years, this is an immaculate, multi-functional home with incredible karma. It’s ideal for two people or a family with kids. And you’d be buying not only a home, but a lifestyle.”
Bathroom has separate water closet and
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A relatively new U-shaped kitchen with white cabinetry and hunter green
countertops is functional.