Sunday, 7 June 2015

Under Renovation

This elegant Victorian brick house was built in 1889 for Mr. John Baker, a wealthy lumber mill owner. It's had numerous owners since then, and the current owner bought it in 1978. It had been empty for a while and needed a lot of TLC.

The house has been covered in scaffolding ever since.  I had a tour through the house many years ago, and it was in really bad shape. The owner acquired enough slates to cover the leaky roof, but as slate is so heavy, the rafters and the roof framework had to be strengthened. The scaffolding came down on this side of the house for the Doors Open event, but it's still there on the other side as the roof's still not completely finished.

The third floor (originally the attic) is being renovated and made into an apartment. Will it ever be finished? Maybe. It's only been 37 years so far. Plenty of time to get it done. That round hole used to be a circular stained glass window, now it's just a round hole.

The view over the neighbouring rooftops out of an open door on the third floor. Where does the door lead? To the scaffolding of course.

Meanwhile work continues throughout the rest of the house. The owner opened the house to the public for Doors Open day. Needless to say, lots of locals crowded into the house eager to get a glimpse of the progress had been made inside the infamous "scaffolding house" over the past 37 years. When I was there around the middle of the day, over 750 people had already been up and down the stairs.

It's going to be a lengthy project I think.

 Interested in a reno challenge? The owner says it may be going on the market in the near future.


  1. That looks like a job and a half, but what an interesting house. Seeing all the boarding inside I wonder if some of the character is being taken out of the house....still overall, it would be good to have the work finished.

  2. I enjoyed having a nosey through the house. I find these projects interesting, but the time this is taking would frustrate me if it was mine. Still, even unfinished its probably worth a lot more than it cost in the 70's! The stained glass is gorgeous.

  3. It looks very interesting. That's the sort of place that would appeal to me, but not the hard work restoring it! I'll wait until it is completely renovated and then make my bid!

  4. Wow. And I thought our remodeling at the cabin was taking a long time. It's only been 7 years.

  5. Oh, what a treat it must have been to tour this old home!

  6. Good Morning!
    It is interesting story that the old Victorian style house is being renovated.
    As for a big Victorian fan,it is a little bit sad to see that some of the elegant characters might be taken out, but it could turn a convenient safe dwelling!
    Great photos of many different angles you took!
    Have a happy day!

  7. It's such a charming house that it's a shame it has been unloved for so long.
    I hope they reno enough to have some new owners that will bring it back to its' former self.

  8. It looks to be a fine building, it would be a shame if it has lost interesting features during renovation, but at least the building has survived.
    In the UK we have the "Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest" this has saved many fine buildings from being destroyed. I am not sure if you have any similar safeguards in Canada?

  9. Looks wonderful - I hope whoever buys it does not ruin it!

  10. Really nice spot, hopefully the renovations will improve it all and make it homely for its new owners.


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