Tour of Note

Here’s a sneak pre­view of the six homes and gar­dens on dis­play at this year’s event.

Grand Magazine - - FEATURE -


A 1988 Kitch­ener home em­ploys an art­fully hid­den but un­usual steel and con­crete frame­work to repli­cate the style of a South­ern Colo­nial home. A gra­cious curved stair­case and elon­gated crys­tal chan­de­lier dom­i­nate the two-storey foyer. Be­hind a bev­elled glass door an oak-pan­elled study has a mas­cu­line feel, con­trast­ing with bril­liant cush­ions and a cof­fered ceil­ing in the ad­ja­cent liv­ing room. Bold im­pres­sion­ist paint­ings are a uni­fy­ing el­e­ment through­out. Traver­tine floors are a foil for the French Coun­try off-white cab­i­netry of the kitchen. Up­stairs, the el­e­gant for­mal­ity of the master suite is enlivened by the walk-in closet with an en­tire wall de­voted to high-heeled shoes. Nes­tled in the cen­tre of the in­ti­mate back gar­dens is a deep pond with a wa­ter­fall that is home to mul­ti­coloured Ja­panese Koi. Watch for their an­tics as you approach!


On Water­loo’s his­toric John Street, an early 20th-cen­tury home has been trans­formed into a dwelling ex­ud­ing mod­ern com­fort us­ing ex­ten­sive ren­o­va­tions and an ad­di­tion at the rear. The own­ers en­joy the great room, in­clud­ing liv­ing, din­ing and kitchen ar­eas, en­tered from a tra­di­tional front porch set with invit­ing wicker fur­ni­ture. Up­stairs three bed­rooms are in­vi­ta­tions to rest and en­joy a mix­ture of el­e­gant fur­ni­ture and del­i­cate bed­ding. Of spe­cial note is the master bed­room com­plete with a strik­ing sleigh bed and a cozy sit­ting area. Mas­sive cab­i­netry along one hall­way pro­vides linen stor­age. Hostas and ferns line a walk­way to the back­yard gar­den, which is an oa­sis of peren­ni­als nur­tured over many years. A mag­nif­i­cent black wal­nut stands guard at the back, while at the front a colour­ful peren­nial bed reaf­firms the own­ers’ pen­chant for gar­den­ing.


Built in 1988 with a Cape Cod de­sign, this dwelling is now the home of the orig­i­nal own­ers’ daugh­ter. When they took pos­ses­sion in 2015, she and her hus­band started ren­o­va­tions to make it their own. On the main floor, a great room with a uni­fy­ing wide-planked white-oak floor leads to a deck with com­fort­able wicker and teak out­door fur­nish­ings. Nearby, an art­fully con­structed wa­ter­fall cas­cades into a deep blue swim­ming pool. Up­stairs, the for­mal master suite leads to an el­e­gant bath­room com­plete with a retro bath­tub. Just a step away is a young girl’s bed­room with hot pink ac­cents and toys and stuffed an­i­mals ga­lore. Strik­ing art­works adorn the walls of this in­te­rior de­signer’s home where change and in­no­va­tion rule.


A four-square dwelling, built in 1906, one of two orig­i­nal farm­houses on the out­skirts of east Water­loo, has stood the test of time and count­less ren­o­va­tions. Since 2010, a pro­fes­sional land­scap­ing cou­ple has en­joyed the chal­lenge of mod­ern­iz­ing the home while re­spect­ing its vin­tage. Large pieces of art add colour through­out. The own­ers kept some of the old win­dow glaz­ing at the front, while at the back they re­cently com­pleted a kitchen ren­o­va­tion stretch­ing the home’s en­tire width. They have also added a me­dia room, the stair­case to which is graced by a unique iron rail­ing. The own­ers de­signed the rail­ing to com­mem­o­rate a large blue spruce lost due to a wind event in 2013. Out­side, a stamped con­crete pa­tio leads to a wide log­gia made of huge beams res­cued from a Wel­land Canal dock. Spec­tac­u­lar shrub and peren­nial beds punc­tu­ate the hard­scap­ing and lead to a quiet lawn en­cir­cled by flower and veg­etable beds lov­ingly tended by the own­ers from April to au­tumn frosts.


In 2001 the own­ers de­cided to build a French city revival home with Parisian flair, of­fer­ing a mix­ture of an­tique and mod­ern ac­cents. This four-square ed­i­fice rises ma­jes­ti­cally from its two-and-a-half-acre set­ting in Con­estogo. The main floor rooms re­flect the in­ter­ests of a busy fam­ily and in­clude a mag­nif­i­cent La Cor­nue stove in the well-de­signed kitchen. Close by, a green and rose break­fast room of­fers an oa­sis of tran­quil­ity. A grand stair­case leads to a mez­za­nine fea­tur­ing a fam­i­lyre­lated poster and con­tin­ues to a baby grand pi­ano on the up­per floor. A two-way fire­place di­vides the unique master bed­room and bath. Rich wooden floors and cab­i­nets add warmth through­out and are an ap­peal­ing con­trast to huge mar­ble and glass bath­rooms. From up­per win­dows there are glimpses of rose gar­dens and grape ar­bours, a per­fect back­ground for a del­i­cate wooden per­gola where ‘al fresco’ din­ing is a sum­mer plea­sure.


HIs­tory mixes with moder­nity in a Lin­coln Heights home over­look­ing the city of Water­loo. When tu­ber­cu­lo­sis was a scourge in 1914 this build­ing was con­structed as Water­loo’s iso­la­tion hos­pi­tal. The own­ers have been proac­tive in main­tain­ing the orig­i­nal el­e­ments at the front while em­bark­ing on ex­ten­sive ren­o­va­tions and a rear ad­di­tion in 2014. At that time the orig­i­nal double lot was sub­di­vided to al­low for the con­struc­tion of a home for the par­ents of one of the own­ers. The gar­dens have been land­scaped as a sin­gle prop­erty. The home mixes an open-con­cept de­sign with eco­log­i­cally friendly com­po­nents, such as double-walled soy-based in­su­la­tion and wa­ter-based heat over­all. White walls and airy light fix­tures are an­chored by red-maple floor­ing, colour­ful paint­ings and em­broi­dery. Glo­ri­ous 12-foot win­dows over­look a peren­nial “but­ter­fly friendly” gar­den where sumacs bor­der the slope down to the city.

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