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home of the week

26 Trafalgar Rd., Oakville, Ont.

Asking price: $2.95-million

Taxes: $12,097.75 (2010)

Lot size: 155 X 104 (irregular)

Agent: Alex Irish (ReMax Aboutowne Realty Corp.)

The back story

In the Lind family, their homestead at the foot of Trafalgar Road is known as Point O' View for its vistas across Lake Ontario. The neighbours in Oakville's heritage conservation district mostly just call it "the old Lind house" after the large clan that arrived in 1953.

The Linds made their mark in many ways: Every Christmas Eve, they rolled up the carpets and invited the neighbours for dancing and festivities.

"At the time of Hurricane Hazel, the whole town cooked on this stove," said real estate agent Alex Irish of ReMax Aboutowne Realty Corp., as she points to an antique, cast-iron, wood-burning stove that still stands in the mud room.

Records show that the land belonged to William Bond, a carpenter and one of Oakville's well-known founders, when the current building was erected in 1902 as a summer cottage.

A few years after the end of the Second World War, when the British Navy Lieutenant Alexander Lind was looking for a place to settle with his wife Anne, the couple arrived in Canada. During the train portion of their journey, they chatted with a landscape artist who recommended Oakville as the best spot for putting down roots.

When they arrived in the town, the former naval officer was drawn to the lakefront and his wife was attracted to the rambling cottage with its wide porch facing the water.

"Mom was a southerner from Virginia," their daughter, Plum Lind, said. "She was used to big houses with verandahs."

The Linds purchased the 4,000 square-foot summer cottage and turned it into an all-season home. With six bedrooms, a nursery and approximately one-third acre of land, it would turn out to be about the right size for their five kids.

Ms. Lind and her four brothers poked fun at their father with a plaque on the exterior of the home declaring that it belonged to Alexander Lind "slave driver." But Mr. Lind was not only a military man. He also had earned his reputation as a true daredevil who escaped with a group of men on a small sailing vessel as the Japanese invaded Singapore.

His experience was chronicled in the Ian Skidmore book, Escape from the Rising Sun: The Incredible Voyage of the Sederhana Djohanis.

"It was a very harrowing adventure story," Ms. Lind says.

Each of her parents lived in the house until they died in their nineties.

Over time, the kids found that the home's many cupboards were hiding ancestral documents that their parents had tucked away. Ms. Lind learned that one ancestor had been captured as a young boy on a ship in the English Channel and imprisoned in France. Searching through old papers, they came across a log of his many escapes and the pardon he eventually received from Napoleon III.

Ms. Lind says the house has been the setting for many important occasions. Toronto-based designer Virginia Johnson, Alexander and Anne's granddaughter, was married there this year.

"That's what happens when you live in a house for a whole lifetime - you have all these wonderful memories," Ms. Lind said.

The house today

For decades now, the antique cottage has been a year-round house with forced-air heating, but many original details remain. The fireplace in the living room, for example, was built of stones from the lake.

The original butler's pantry, with tall face-framed cupboards and wooden countertops, still stands. Outside, the in-ground swimming pool also serves as a skating rink in winter. In the summer, the house is surrounded by gardens and flower beds.

Ms. Irish says the house needs some updating but it can't be torn down because of its designation as a heritage building.

"The hope is that someone will enhance it," Ms. Irish said.

The best feature

The most amazing thing about the house is its setting right beside the water, Ms. Lind says, as she surveys Lake Ontario from the verandah. The location creates a micro-climate that sometimes brings different weather than the conditions just a few streets away.

To take advantage of its vantage point, the house has 84 windows and the principal rooms offer panoramic views.

Ms. Lind credits the house and its good karma for the artistry it has inspired in so many family members.

"It's wonderful - you have this endless horizon," she says. "There's a tremendous creative energy in the house."