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Outside The Bx Inc.

53 Dunn St., Oakville, Ont.

Asking price: $5.35-million

Taxes: $17,939.00 (2023)

Lot size: 104 by 104 feet

Agent: Julie Rennie, Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage

The backstory

Tom and Julie Stanton had outgrown their three-bedroom heritage bungalow on the corner of Reynolds and William streets in Oakville’s heritage district, known locally as Old Oakville.

With their third child on the way, they wanted a five-bedroom house with modern amenities, a spacious backyard, and some charm.

They had always admired the properties in Old Oakville, where the Heritage Conservation District has preserved an array of 19th-century Georgian, neoclassical, Victorian and classical revival houses.

Determined, Dr. Stanton went door to door asking homeowners if they had ever thought about selling.

Then, luckily, 53 Dunn St. came on the market.

The house was built by Justus Wright Williams in 1838 and sits on a double-sized corner lot. Off-white siding is paired with four-pane windows encased by black shutters. White pillars and an edgy trim mark the entrance featuring a 500-square-foot covered wrap-around porch.

Mr. Williams – a former contractor from Vermont – was one of the first merchants in Oakville. He bought two lots of land for $100 in 1831 to build a house with a general merchandise shop next door, filled with dry goods, hardware, groceries, and medicines, according to the Oakville Historical Society website.

Dr. Stanton said they found a four-foot-long scripted signature of Frederick Chisholm – the second owner of the house – when they were taking up the subflooring during a renovation.

“We actually cut out that section of the boards and framed it in the house as sort of a connection to that era of the house,” Dr. Stanton says. “So that was kind of a fun; sort of little treat that we unearthed by lifting up the floor.”

During their second viewing of the house, the Stantons brought architect Gren Weis along to discuss the possibility of building a two-storey, 1,500-square-foot addition, which soothed their hesitancy about whether the house could accommodate their growing family.

After the renovation in 2003, Dr. and Mrs. Stanton were eager to unpack their belongings and create special memories with their two toddlers and newborn baby.

“When Tom and I got married, I remember saying to him how much I would love a house with a front porch. And we certainly did get a beautiful wrap-around porch on this house,” Mrs. Stanton says.

“That was one of the appealing things for me … that you could just sit on and watch the neighborhood go by,” she says.

The house today

  • Home of the Week: 53 Dunn St., Oakville, Ont.Outside The Bx Inc.

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Since 2003, the house has undergone multiple renovations, including a large, modernized kitchen renewal in 2017.

They installed white custom cabinetry with a white tile backsplash and Caesarstone countertops. Above the 14-foot kitchen island, which includes enough space to prepare food and seat five people, is a custom tin ceiling design.

While the gas fireplace adds a comforting warmth to the dining room, and the round table in the kitchen seats five just as well, Dr. and Mrs. Stanton say they’ve always preferred to eat with their kids at the kitchen island.

“When anybody comes home to visit, that’s where we sit for dinner,” Mrs. Stanton says. “We all just gather around the island and because you just sort of all feel like you’re inclusive and there together.”

This is also where many family games have erupted in laughter, heated debates, or in some cases, the burning sensation from testing different hot sauces to see who could withstand the heat.

But over the past few years, Dr. Stanton said the area had sparked a sentimental tradition.

“Twice a year we would send a homemade video that the family had done to whoever was still in university to try and keep them going during exams,” he said. “Our video inevitably would start or end filming around this island. So, it’s kind of a focal point for us as a family.”

Their children – now aged 27, 25 and 21 – have all moved to Toronto.

“I really would like another family to come in and enjoy this house as much as we have. It’s time to move from this house so yeah, it feels sad. But I feel like we’ve created a really, really special and unique place that it’s time to let another family enjoy,” Mrs. Stanton says.

The couple says they have a strong connection to the Oakville community. They like that their home is two blocks from the restaurants and shops in Downtown Oakville and a block from the walking trails and picturesque view of Lake Ontario.

“This area has meant a lot to us. It’s part of who we are,” Dr. Stanton said.

The best feature

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Outside The Bx Inc.

The French doors from the dining room open into a four-season sunroom, which has a 9 1/2-foot tall wood paneled ceiling, heated stone flooring and a gas fireplace.

Dr. Stanton says they added this 300-square-foot “beautiful and bright” space, which he designed, in 2013. It overlooks the rear garden designed by Christopher Campbell Landscape Architects Inc.

“It was an opportunity to kind of refresh the house, but still keep its character,” he says.

In the summer, the floor-to-ceiling windows can be converted to screens. In winter, the fireplace creates a cozy atmosphere, Mrs. Stanton says.

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