Saturday, December 5, 2009

Today, a friend and I spent a rather chilly day lining up to see 8 homes in Oakville (Ontario) near the lake for the annual St. Andrew's Church Christmas house tour. A few homes were beautiful and livable, one we left shaking our heads and another, well you'll have to see at the end of this post. We weren't able to take any photos but I found these on the builders' websites as some of them had been renovated or newly built in the last few years. It was interesting to note the construction activity in the area (total teardowns and renovations) as well as the many houses that were for sale.

Our first stop was this beautiful home owned by the owner of House Warmings, a decor store in Oakville. The home was featured in the November 2009 issue of Style at Home.

Love this exterior...dormers, blue siding, generous porch.

This home, I mean mansion, is the Edgemere Estate set on 12 acres of prime Lake Ontario waterfront. It was the home of Mattamy Homes president Peter Gilgan who sold it a few years ago for $35 million, the highest residential sale in Canada to date. A developer bought it, plans to tear it down and build 30 luxury condominiums. The residents in the area are still challenging this, I understand.

The developer has said that several heritage buildings on the property, including a gardener's cottage, stable, teahouse, greenhouse and boathouse, will be restored and preserved. They were built by James Ryrie after he merged his jewellery business with Birks in 1905.

Walking through the main residence was almost eery as the home is a cavernous 32,000 square feet. It has been transformed from when the Gilgans lived there and is being used as a sales/design center for the developer.

All I could think of was the waste - it had only been lived in for 15 years and now is being demolished.


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