17 EUCLID ST., Unionville, Ont.
Asking Price: $2.098-million.
Taxes: $7,138.31 (2010)
Agent: Art Divers and Lesley Divers (Royal LePage)
The Back Story:
In 1991, Mark and Lorrie Boehmer purchased this late 19th-century house in Unionville - now a part of the Toronto suburb of Markham - attracted to its rural and urban mix. “Standing on the property, we felt like we were out in the country miles from neighbours, but in reality we were in the middle of town, just a short two-block walk from Main Street and its restaurants, shops and walking paths,” says Ms. Boehmer an independent sales consultant for the Canadian candle business, PartyLite. Her husband is co-founder of Chartwell Automation, Inc., a process instrumentation company. “We also loved the brick, the porches, the corner lot, the barn, the three historic walnut trees in the front yard and also the bones of the house. We knew we could turn it into a contemporary family home while maintaining the original charm.”
Built in 1874 in board and batten and bricked in 1898 when the first addition was added, the house was dark when the couple first bought it, and the bathrooms were outdated. The furnace also needing replacing. But pine floors, 12-inch baseboards and trim work among other original details made the flaws easy to overlook: “We loved the historic country feel, and my husband could see the possibilities.”
In 1998, the Boehmers commenced a renovation resulting in the creation of new home attached to the existing building with a single-storey link to the barn. Their effort won them the 1999 Markham Design Excellence Award for having created a new structure that blends seamlessly with the century-old dwelling. “Our desire was to have people not be able to tell where the old house ended and the new home began,” explains Ms. Boehmer. “The floors are re-milled old growth pine barn beams and the exterior designed to look like a barn with diamond-shaped windows, fake barn doors and complimenting hardware.” Also new, but created to look old, is the kitchen, a replica of an old farmhouse kitchen featuring tall milk-painted cupboards, milk and a cherry wood island with granite countertop and custom hand-painted tiles.
The grounds have flagstone paths and courtyards surrounded by perennial gardens and a rose garden. The backyard is a park-like setting with the potential of adding a pool and spa with plenty of room for kids to play,” Ms. Boehmer says. “Once the trees have budded in the spring, it's hard to see any surrounding homes and it feels like the country.”