Dream home re­al­tor’s le­gacy to Selkirk

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - DAVID SQUARE

IT was in 1996 that Doreen Sisto be­lieves her brother Robert went crazy. “I don’t mean crazy-crazy. I mean he be­came com­pletely ob­sessed with a dream to ren­o­vate a house he pur­chased the minute af­ter he walked through it,” said Sisto, a real es­tate agent with her late brother’s Cen­tury 21 fran­chise in Selkirk, Robert Jef­fer­son & As­so­ciates Re­alty Ltd. Though the house was old­ish, likely built dur­ing the Sum­mer of Love in 1967, Bob, as he was known, be­came starry-eyed when­ever he thought about the master­piece he would cre­ate out of the aging rock star. One of the fea­tures he most ad­mired was the pie-shaped lot on which the 1,600 square foot bun­ga­low was lo­cated. The lot was a Fris­bee-toss from the me­an­der­ing Red River and the land was suf­fi­ciently el­e­vated to cancel any con­cerns about spring­time flood­ing.

Said Sisto, “If that lot floods, the rest of Man­i­toba will be un­der wa­ter, too.” Be­ing river­side prop­erty, it is a nat­u­ral haven for wildlife such as deer, ot­ters, beavers and rap­tors. In­deed, while I was re­cently view­ing the in­side of the house, a bald ea­gle landed in a Man­i­toba maple tree in the backyard. I watched it through floorto-ceil­ing win­dows that com­prise the wall of a ma­jor ren­o­va­tion added to the back of the orig­i­nal house. Sisto said when her brother took pos­ses­sion of the house, he com­pletely gut­ted the in­te­rior, hir­ing his tal­ented neph­ews to build a dou­ble-sided fire­place in the living room out of solid red oak. Trims, frames, in­te­rior doors and much of the home’s cab­i­netry were also re­placed with the lovely quar­ter­sawn wood. Ceil­ings through­out the house have inset light­ing con­trolled by dim­mer switches; the walls and ceil­ings are painted con­ser­va­tive whites and beiges, with a splash of lighter earth tones in some bath­rooms and bed­rooms. On the main floor, dark-stained T&G oak boards were used to cover the most of the area, in­clud­ing the ad­di­tion to the home’s back el­e­va­tion. A sec­ond-storey suite, also a new ad­di­tion, was out­fit­ted with a com­plete kitchen fea­tur­ing curly-cherry cab­i­nets, black-wal­nut T&G floor­ing and walk-out doors lead­ing to an out­door porch with a glo­ri­ous view of a bend in the Red River.

“Depend­ing on which level you are on, the view of the river changes like that of a paint­ing ob­served from var­i­ous


Owner Bob Jef­fer­son was a hockey lover who ren­o­vated the base­ment by adding bar

stools up­hol­stered with the lo­gos of NHL teams.

The front el­e­va­tion of Bob Jef­fer­son’s com­pleted home. The living space of the orig­i­nal 2,500 square foot house was more than dou­bled by the time the ren­o­va­tion

was fin­ished.

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