A Good Home, Architecture, Architecture and Design, Author Cynthia Reyes, Bond Head Harbour, Canadian History, Canadian Homes, Canadian life, Country roads, Ebor House, Frederick Farncomb, Getting lost, Heritage nieghborhoods, Historic Bond Head, historic neighborhoods, Home Decor, Homes, Inspiration, Interior Design

PAVING PARADISE

 

I got a surprising note today from a man named Brian. It’s about a place I wrote of in 2014, when I got lost and came upon an amazing house in a strangely beautiful neighborhood.

 Here is Brian’s letter:

“Cynthia, I just stumbled on your blog because I live on the same street as Ebor House in the beautiful historic area called Bond Head and I’m doing some research to fight the Clarington Town Council’s plan to redevelop our area.

They are planning street widening, curbs and sidewalks. Classic paving of paradise. They are even considering a splash pad and monkey bars at the little parquets where the fishers do their thing.

Does everything need to be developed? What is wrong with having a few gems left untouched to remind us of the past?”

And here is “Lost Without A Clue” — the first post in a series that became by far the most widely-read story on my blog. You can read this post alone or the entire series:

https://cynthiasreyes.com/2014/08/07/lost-without-a-clue/

A Good Home, Architecture, Barns, Canadian life, Christmas, Christmas Decorations, Christmas in a Village, Heritage Home for Sale, Heritage Homes, Heritage nieghborhoods, Home, Interior Design, Ontario

One Last Christmas in a Beloved Home

I’m repeating this story from last Christmas because the house and village are both charming examples of ‘Canadiana’ at Christmastime.

~~~

Christmas is a special time in Unionville, a village just north of Toronto.

Blog Photo - Unionville Main Stree at Christmas -  Lorne Chapman Photo

The main street sparkles with decorations and, starting this Friday, Christmas activities.

Main Street photos by Lorne Chapman
Main Street pictures by Lorne Chapman

Locals and visitors alike will enjoy the Olde Tyme Candlelight Christmas Parade, skating on Toogood Pond, shopping in the stores and farmers’ market.

Karyn Boehmer photo
Karyn Boehmer photo

Christmas is also a special time in local homes, and perhaps none more so than at this home, below. The family who has lived here for 23 years is selling and moving on; this will be their last Christmas in this home. 

Karyn Boehmer photo
Karyn Boehmer photo

Interested buyers may visit the “open house” on Sunday Dec 14 from 2  to 4 p.m. 

Homeowners Lorrie and Mark created the large addition that connects the original brick house, above left, to the old barn, extreme right and below.

Karyn Boehmer Photo
Karyn Boehmer Photo

Blog Photo - Stiver House L and Charlie

Blog Photo - Stiver Staircase

Blog Photo - Stiver Christmas Decor CU

The original house was built in the 1870’s by Charles Stiver, a carpenter whose family ran the local mill (now the site of the local farmers’ market). Its history is recorded in documents and paintings, such as this one above the fireplace.

Blog Photo - Stiver House Family Room Fireplace, Painting and Chair

Every Christmas here has been special, says Lorrie. 

“Our most memorable Christmas was undoubtedly last year with the ice storm! We were without power for five days and hosted Christmas dinner for 21 by candlelight! The three fireplaces kept us toasty and the food was heated by stove-top and a nearby neighbour’s oven.” 

Photo by Karyn Boehmer
Karyn Boehmer Photo

Three children have grown to adulthood here. 

Blog Photo - Stiver House Christmas Mat

Lorrie’s fond memories include baking with the children and “the kids banging pots in the kitchen”. There have been many meals and discussions; homework; celebrations; laughter, tears, arguments and hugs.

Blog Photo - Stiver House Kitchen Area 1

She remembers extended family visits, especially her mother’s. Everyone — adults, kids and dogs — loved walking the nearby trails, stopping at the ponds.

**

Mark and Lorrie honoured their home’s heritage in the addition. 

Blog Photo - Stiver House Chair in Conservatory

Blog Photo - Stiver House Conservatory Wideshot

Karyn Boehmer Photo
This photo and the two below are by Karyn Boehmer

Karyn Boehmer Photo

Blog Photo - Stiver Staircase

The results earned the couple a heritage award. Their work has been “a pride and joy” for Mark:

“The 12-inch baseboards in the addition were milled to match the ones in the old house. The antique barn beams in the addition mimic a post & beam structure. The pine floors are milled from 100+ year old pine barn beams. The stairs, railings and fireplace surround were milk painted and distressed on site.”

There are whimsical touches in several rooms, including the mural in the master bathroom, painted by an acclaimed artist.

Blog Photo - Stiver House Mural Poppies and Iris

Blog Photo - Stiver Hosue Mural2

Blog Photo - Stiver House Unionville Mural1

After 23 years here, the family is moving on with mixed emotions.

They can never forget this place. They hope that the new owners will love it.

Blog Photo - Stiver House Entry and Courtyard

blog photo - stiver house christmas urn

blog photo - stiver house window box

**

Christmas decorations by Jan Corbett.

Thanks to Karyn Boehmer, Lorne Chapman and the Unionville BIA for their images.

A Good Home, Autumn leaves, Farmers' Markets, Heritage nieghborhoods, Maples, Natural products, Small towns, Villages

Natural Goodness Available Here

Photos by Hamlin Grange

I’m a sucker for certain things.

Like autumn days, farmers markets, natural products and villages.

So I’m smiling as I write this. A huge smile.

Blog Photo - Farmers market leaves on ground

My husband and I recently visited one of Ontario’s best-preserved villages: Unionville, northeast of Toronto. Founded in 1794, Unionville’s charm draws visitors from far and wide.

Blog Photo - Farmers Market Village Street and autumn leaves

But for the families who live here, it’s home.

Blog Photo - Farmers Market Story Old house

Some of our friends have lived here for decades – so Unionville is a very familiar place.

Blog Photo - Farmers Market Story Village Church

There are restaurants and specialty shops on the main street.

Blog Photo - Farmers market Story Street and pedestrians

An art gallery, churches and a square with live music every summer.

Blog Photo - Farmers Market Story Unionville Village Square

One of our favourite spots is the farmers’ market. Held outdoors in the summer, it moves indoors into the old Stiver Mill in the fall.

Blog Photo - Farmers Market Barn

Blog Photo - Farmers Market Sign and Vendors

Here, one can buy a wide variety of products – such as honey, fruit preserves and baked goods….

Blog Photo - Farmers Market The Strudel Guy

Blog Photo - Famers market Corey holds strudel

Trout, sausages and other smoked fish and meat….

Blog Photo - Farmers Market smoked Goods display and customers

And wine…..

Blog Photo - Farmers Market  Wine sign

Blog Photo - Farmers market Wine Vendor

Goodies galore and vendors with interesting stories.

That’s one of the reasons I like farmers’ markets: the people selling the products are often the same ones who grew or made them. They’re usually happy to chat.

Hilda Crick-McDermott worked for an international chain of luxury hotels and traveled to many parts of the world.

Blog Photo - Farmers market Hilda and Customer

When her son developed a skincare ailment called Kawasaki disease, she started making natural products for his skin.

“I struggled to find a natural product good enough to help my eczema-ridden kids, yet pure enough to be trusted for their dry and sensitive skin. I even wrote to a skin care manufacturer asking for help, but that resulted in rejection.”

Blog Photo - Farmers Market Hilda's Products

That rejection led to extensive research and eventually, a whole line of products, made by hand. Some ingredients used are: coconut oil, shea butter, peppermint and lavender.

Blog Photo - Farmers market LotionHilda says 90% of her SpaHket products are “anhydrous solid lotion; this means our lotions contain no water and as such are 100% pure natural goodness.” 

Yes — I tried Hilda’s products. They really are as soothing and fragrant as she says. They’re not cheap, but a little goes a long way.

Blog Photo - Farmers Market Shampoo Bars

Facing challenges, some see opportunity. Hilda seems likes such a person.

Her three children have done enormously well in school, she says contentedly.

Somehow, I was not surprised when she quietly added: “They were home-schooled.”

Blog Photo - Farmers market CR and Hilda

**Dedicated to all resourceful people.**

More about Stiver Mill Farmers’ Market:

http://www.guidingstar.ca/Stiver_Mill_Farmers_Market.htm

More about SpaHket products:

http://spahket.com/collections/

http://spahket.com/pages/ingredients