Thursday, February 24, 2011

Real Estate of the Day

Here's the latest MLS listing to make me shake my head. Asking $225,000, it's on Eastern Avenue, across from the film studio (as the listing proudly points out). It turns out to be a concrete block garage behind the first house on Heward Avenue, apparently taking up the entire backyard. The listing says "Condo Alternative Without The Maintenance". But check out the picture of the inside - there are no maintenance fees, but there is definitely some work to be done!

I'm amazed that the city allowed someone to sever the land (7.83m by 10.03m) that this garage sits on.

The entire listing text says:
"Located Across From The Toronto Film Studios, Condo Alternative Without The Maintenance, Plenty Of Street Parking, Access To Downtown, Highways, Ttc And All Leslieville Shops, Cafes, Restaurants, Zoned Live/Work. Concrete Block Construction.**** EXTRAS **** Opportunity For Builders And Contractors. Sold 'As-Is, Where-Is'. Needs Renovations. (R3Z1.0 Zoning)"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Farmhouse Hearts and Darts, Part 9

We were finally up at the farmhouse for a weekend!

The first task I set for myself was a sort of archeological expedition through the layers of wallpaper in the living room. I could see next to the trim in one place that there were multiple layers that had been applied, with the occasional layer of paint thrown in for variety. Here you can see snippets of at least six different wallpapers, in various states of decomposition. Although some paper had been stripped off at various times, my current theory is that the pink and lime green patch in the bottom right is the oldest paper. I was a bit surprised to see that there is no finish coat of plaster on the walls; the original wallpaper seems to have been applied directly over the rough plaster coat. I'm happy to continue that theme, if I can find a wallpaper that won't be too overwhelming over the entire room.

Speaking of overwhelming... here is the "good" picture! Isn't this great wallpaper? This great stuff was only one layer down, under something reasonably modern that had been painted. I think the paint somehow made it easier to strip off the top layer, because I managed to get all this uncovered in only about a half-hour. Oddly, beneath this was a layer of wallpaper depicting ducks in a marsh... and beneath *that* was another layer of this paper, but this time upside down! I managed to find an edge piece that said "Made in Canada by Waldec", so now I'm hunting for old Canadian wallpaper catalogues that might show it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Farmhouse Hearts and Darts, Part 8

We've had a couple of comments lately about how we're getting up to the farmhouse a lot, I guess based on these pictures I've been posting. Sadly, work is getting in the way of life as it often does, and these pictures are all ones we took over the Christmas holidays.

I have to admit that I have totally run out of pure "Heart" pictures! So, this picture will have to serve for both the Hearts and Darts side.

This is upstairs - as you can see, there's a fairly large bonus space up here, which will probably eventually have my desk and a bunch of bookshelves in it. This shot is taken from the top of the stairs. The door to the bathroom is just out of sight on the right-hand side of the picture, and the doors you can see opposite lead to the two bedrooms. You can just see the handrail over the stairs on the left of the picture.

The most exciting thing about this picture is something you can't see, and that I'm not even really sure is there. Where the board is leaning against the wall, we think there is an original doorway blocked up and covered over. It's directly over the front door, and many Ontario cottages on the island have this door, which my dad likes to call an "in-law door" - leading from the second story out into thin air. The idea seems to have been that once the farmer had more money, they would build the front porch with a balcony for that door to give access onto. I can't wait to find out whether it's really there, and to be the one to finally build that porch the house has been waiting almost 100 years for!