Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Support quality journalism
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24weeks
The Globe and Mail
Support quality journalism
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Globe and Mail website displayed on various devices
Just$1.99
per week
for the first 24weeks

var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){console.log("scroll");var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1);

James Leiper/James Leiper

The listing: 2950 Lobsinger Line, Heidelberg, Ont.

Asking Price: $700,000

Taxes: $4,552 (2019)

Story continues below advertisement

Lot Size: Half-acre

Agents: Jamie Kubassek, Remax Twin City Realty

The back story

The home is in the small town of Heidelberg, Ont., north of Waterloo.

James Leiper/James Leiper

Tell a prospective home buyer that you’ve got a large century home that has been faithfully and tastefully renovated and restored, has a huge lot and is below nearby market comparables and they’ll have just one question: What’s the catch?

In the case of 2950 Lobsinger Line, what is one buyer’s catch might be the another buyer’s strongest selling point: It’s located in a village of Heidelberg, which is a little less than ten minutes north of Waterloo, Ont. In census 2016, the town’s population was 666 people.

“You don’t have to sell people on the house, you have to sell people on the town,” said listing agent Jamie Kubassek, with Re/Max Twin City Realty. He sold the house to its current owners, lives in another nearby small town himself (Conestogo) and sells quite a few houses in the small villages that ring the Kitchener-Waterloo city region.

“You have to have people who are small-town people … it’s not everybody’s cup of tea.”

James Leiper/James Leiper

The backyard includes a vintage barn.

James Leiper/James Leiper

For Jane and Steve Warner, it was the exact flavour of tea they wanted 20 years ago: a big house to raise their four children in. They come originally from Owen Sound area, have lived on farms and in small towns, and they wanted something with that pre-1900s charm. Not that there weren’t years of work to get it to this state: The interior of the house had undergone a “modernization” in the 1970s that did everything from lower the ceilings to replace all the panelled doors with flat featureless slabs.

Story continues below advertisement

“We did a lot of contextual renovation, sensitive to the history of the house,” said Steve, who transitioned from a career in music to run a mini Airbnb empire in recent years. “We got from a friend a bunch of old baseboards from a barn, and had that installed.

“We did put an addition on the side of the house… a sunroom/dining room. The biggest compliment we get is it looks like it’s been there a long time… the [exterior] saw-toothed trim and cornices and brackets, we had all that reproduced” by local Mennonite craftsmen.

The children have mostly moved out, and Steve and his wife, Jane, a chiropodist who has an office next door and in Elmira, hope another big family wants to live in small-town Ontario. That said, they do wonder how a young family could afford to buy in the village. The region is booming, and property prices are high in part because there’s been a restriction on new subdivisions in order to protect farmlands. “There will be no more growth in Heidelberg,” Steve said. Their son moved to even-more rural Palmerston looking for affordable housing options.

The house today

A grand piano sits in a bay-window nook of the living room.

James Leiper/James Leiper

Like many of Ontario’s small villages, the oldest houses in Heidelberg are right on the main road, and Lobsinger Line (a.k.a. Regional Road 15) can be a busy route (the nearby town of St. Jacobs is a popular draw). The traffic out front is just as likely to be horse-drawn carriages as summer cruising motorcyclists and pickups and family-packed SUVs.

But while the front yard may deal with traffic, the backyard is almost a half-acre lot, including a vintage barn. Mr. Kubassek said that can be another disincentive for people who might romanticize acreage they’ve never had, until they can see up close how much lawn that is to cut or rake.

The house is a muted yellow brick with deep green trim, very common features in the area. There are two front doors, but the one on the covered porch opens into a central foyer. To the right is an updated kitchen with maple countertops (made by those local craftsmen) new cabinets and an island with seating. Through the kitchen is the addition (more on that below).

Story continues below advertisement

The updated kitchen features maple countertops built by local craftsmen.

James Leiper/James Leiper

Left from the front door is a grand living room with Steve’s grand piano in the bay-window nook, the focal point of many a carolling and sing-a-long session from those family events. Marble fireplace, pale floors, stolid and thick mouldings and trim give it the feel of an update on an 1890s parlour.

In the back of the house is smaller lounge, with a stand-up piano and another fireplace; this is the less-formal living room.

Next door is a big mudroom combined with a laundry room that backs onto the rear deck (with hot tub). Faux-wood tile for durability, more wood panelling for that modern-country feel. There’s also a powder room on this level, with a full soaker tub. The house has two bathrooms and four bedrooms, which must have been interesting with four kids and two adults.

The staircase to the second floor features a handrail in a deep-brown farmhouse stain.

James Leiper/James Leiper

The staircase upstairs starts in the kitchen hallway (thick railing, solid posts and that deep-brown farmhouse stain). Two of the four bedrooms on this level have lofts for storage (a feature that probably wouldn’t work in a house with anything less than 10-foot ceilings). There’s a walkout balcony deck looking over the rear yard here, too.

The 10-foot ceilings allow for loft-like storage spaces in the bedrooms.

James Leiper/James Leiper

The main bathroom on this floor is recently updated, black and white checkerboard tile, shower tub and fluted ceramics.

The house has one more surprise in the basement: Underneath the addition is what feels like a 1950s diner, a space built for the kids with exposed wood, black and white tile, a bar area with vintage fridge, a red leather sectional couch and a home entertainment centre with a projector for video games or movies. It’s the kind of games room you might find at a resort, not in Mennonite country.

Story continues below advertisement

Favourite space

A three-piece chandelier dangles over the vast dining room in the home's sunny addition.

James Leiper/James Leiper

The whole house feels like a mix between cottage and farmhouse, but the sunny addition is on a different scale.

It seems almost too big for its use: The dining-room table sits in the middle of a vast tiled floor – oversize rectangular tiles with underfloor heat – surrounded by windows that cover three-quarters of the space between ceiling and floor. The shared wall with the kitchen is the old exterior to the house, and the brick is exposed here.

A three-piece chandelier dangles over the table; a big fan on the ceiling probably helps for those August afternoons. Two armchairs share an ottoman in the corner, and there are a couple side tables along the red walls that can’t dim how bright it all is.

Armchairs sit in the corner of the dining room, making it a flexible space for entertaining.

James Leiper/James Leiper

The Warners’ host a lot of Christmas and family functions, and this room is flexible for multiple uses. Even though it’s new, they went all out to make it feel older. “When we were putting in the light switches, we ordered push-buttons,” of the type introduced in the early days of electrification, said Steve.

Your house is your most valuable asset. We have a weekly Real Estate newsletter to help you stay on top of news on the housing market, mortgages, the latest closings and more. Sign up today.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct

For sale in this area

View similar listings below. Clicking on the map will take you to the listings below.

Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
1395000.00
#3112 -77 HARBOUR SQ, Toronto, Ontario
KELLER WILLIAMS REFERRED URBAN REALTY
Bedrooms
3
Bathrooms
2
Building Type
Condo/Strata
Property Type
Single Family
Forever Inspiring Home. Unobstructed Water, City And Skyline Views! Owner Cherished Living Space (1221 Sf). Highest '12' Suite Available. Preferred 2 Bedroom Layout. Separate Den/Office To Work Or Relax At Home. Completely Renovated Fully Open Concept Kitchen Creating A Truly Unique Experience That Is Only Possible On This Floor - No Other 12 Unit Can Have This Open Kitchen Layout. Two Fully Renovated Bathrooms With Closets Galore! Move In, Relax & Enjoy.**** EXTRAS **** Warm & Inviting Cherry Hardwood Floors. Large Balcony - Perfect For Enjoying Sunsets & Fireworks, Entertaining Guests Or For Just Relaxing While Admiring The Ever-Changing Waterfront Scenes Below. (id:31729)
Listing ID C4728912
Salesperson GEOFFREY W. FULTON
Brokerage KELLER WILLIAMS REFERRED URBAN REALTY
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
659888.00
#511 -2000 ISLINGTON AVE, Toronto, Ontario
RE/MAX REALTY ENTERPRISES INC.
Bedrooms
3
Bathrooms
2
Building Type
Condo/Strata
Property Type
Single Family
Fully Renovated 1525 Sqft Unit In Heart Of Etobicoke. Open Concept, Spacious & Bright With Floor To Ceiling Windows. Features Include Hardwood Floors, Granite & Quartz Countertops, Renovated Kitchen & Bathrooms, Open Den/Office Space. Gated Community With Easy Access To Pearson Airport, 401 & 427, Ttc, Go Train. Plus 2 Parking Spots & Locker!!**** EXTRAS **** Resort Style Living! Featuring 9.5 Acres Of Award Winning Gardens With Tennis Courts, Outdoor/Indoor Pools, Squash, Bbq Area, Library, Sauna, Gym, Waterfall, Lily Pond, 24/7 Gatehouse Security And Much More! (id:31729)
Listing ID W4737414
Salesperson CAITLIN HOWELL
Brokerage RE/MAX REALTY ENTERPRISES INC.
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
340000.00
#75 -42 PINERY TR, Toronto, Ontario
PURPLEBRICKS
Bedrooms
2
Bathrooms
1
Building Type
Condo/Strata
Property Type
Single Family
Beautiful 2 Bedroom End Unit On The Main Level With Lots Of Upgrades In Highly Desireable Location. Close To Tons Of Amenities Including, Shopping, Schools, Parks, Ttc, And Many More. Ideal For First Time Buyers Or Small Families. (id:31729)
Listing ID E4736294
Salesperson RANDALL WEESE
Brokerage PURPLEBRICKS
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
720000.00
#1901 -20 TUBMAN AVE, Toronto, Ontario
CENTURY 21 WENDA ALLEN REALTY
Bedrooms
2
Bathrooms
1
Building Type
Condo/Strata
Property Type
Single Family
Mayfair Model At The Wyatt Condominiums, Built By Daniels Corporation. Minutes To The Dvp And Public Transportation. Live In The Heart Of The City. Spacious One Bedroom And A Den With Beautiful Views Of The City And The Lake From The Spacious 115 Sq Ft Balcony. Kitchen Island With Built In Microwave; Stainless Steel Appliances; Full Height Storage Unit And Parking Included. Live, Work And Play; Minutes To Shopping, Restaurants, Parks.**** EXTRAS **** All Stainless Steel Appliances; Custom Window Blinds; Capped Ceiling Outlet; Quartz Kitchen Countertops; 1 Full Size Locker And 1 Parking Spot. (id:31729)
Listing ID C4733187
Salesperson ISHRAT BUTT
Brokerage CENTURY 21 WENDA ALLEN REALTY
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
1199900.00
#4704 -12 YORK ST, Toronto, Ontario
SUTTON GROUP QUANTUM REALTY INC.
Bedrooms
4
Bathrooms
2
Building Type
Condo/Strata
Property Type
Single Family
Welcome To The Ice Condos. This High Floor 3 Bedroom + Den Corner Suite Features Designer Kitchen Cabinetry With Stainless Steel Appliances & Granite Counter Tops. Bright 9Ft. Floor-To-Ceiling Wrap Around Windows With Hardwood Flooring Throughout Facing Stunning Unobstructed C.N. Tower & Lake Views. Steps To Toronto's Harbourfront & Rogers Centre. Connected Directly To The P.A.T.H., Union Station, Scotiabank Arena, Longo's, Financial & Entertainment Districts**** EXTRAS **** Fridge, Stove, Microwave & Dishwasher. Stacked Washer/Dryer. 1-Parking & 1-Locker. 24Hr Concierge. The Luxurious Amenities Include Fitness & Weight Areas. A Yoga Studio. Business, Party & Meeting Rooms. Indoor Pool W/Jacuzzi & Steam Rooms. (id:31729)
Listing ID C4721071
Salesperson ELIZABETH GOULART
Brokerage SUTTON GROUP QUANTUM REALTY INC.
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies