On Top of the World
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It's astonishing to think a stunning Victorian home, situated at the top of Theresa Street, has been in existence for as long as Canada has been a country.
Located on the highest natural elevation in the downtown core, the property overlooks Collier Street, boasts stunning views of Kempenfelt Bay and is considered one of the highest quality estates in the city.
Almost 150 years old, this three-storey home has more than 10,000 square feet of finished space, main floor living room, family room, library, dining room, large kitchen with harvest table, various sitting areas, side-entry mudroom and two staircases leading to the upper levels. Six bedrooms including the master are located on the second and third floors, in addition to a sewing room, laundry room, children's library and additional TV areas.
While grand in size, the house is everything a family home should be – warm, inviting, full of character and charm, and lived in.

This feeling is instant from the moment you step onto the manicured property and pass through the home's main entrance. Period mouldings and doors, stunning oak staircase and warm paint tones in the foyer set the stage for what's in store.
To the left of the foyer is the library and homeowner's office. An original space in the home, only the shelving was updated to better support the vast collection of literature that resides. Yet, it's the fireplace that catches your eye as you step into the room. It was moved to the library when restoration work began in 1995, its story unravelled further as repairs to it commenced.
“This fireplace is composed of seven pieces of slate with a marble mantle that holds them all together. Initially, it was painted black (marbleized), as this was something they did around the turn of the 20th century, late 1890s, so that it looked like black marble. I wasn't fond of the colour, so I had someone come in to clean it up. What they uncovered was this green English slate,” says the homeowner. He notes that it was most likely mined between 1800 and 1825 in a quarry just north of London, England known to produce this green slate. Once a possession of the home's initial owner Judge Ardagh, the fireplace made the journey overseas in the mid-1800s and took up residence in this Barrie home.
And while the home does have its fair share of historical features, it also encompasses the homeowner's personal tastes and flair.
“We loved the house when we bought it in 1994, but then as we started to renovate and restore it, I think we both loved it even more,” says the homeowner. “Preservation was important to us and it was important that things were done right, however, there are also many changes and we've incorporated our own personal style too. We didn't do anything for show, we did everything in the taste of the house, as our goal was to create a liveable space for a large family.”
Moving into the living room, elegantly decorated with plush cream couches and stunning art work, it's the large bay window that initially drawn you in. “I always liked the tall windows,” says the homeowner, as he points to the original latches that are still in working order. Framed by 150-year-old California shutters and dressed with lush custom drapery made by a family friend, the space is anything but stuffy. The once coal fireplace has been updated with gas, while a modern stone mantle frames it out.


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