After more than 15 years and some 100 houses, Hospice Care Ottawa is nowhere near to running out of homes to showcase beautiful design and seasonal decorating in the 2019 Homes for the Holidays tour.
With the tour now in its 17th year, this year’s iteration offers eight homes stretching from Rockcliffe Park to Westboro and Manotick that are dressed for the holidays by top local florists and designers and open to visit from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. over three days in November, from the 15th to the 17th.
The tour is a major fundraiser for Hospice Care Ottawa, which provides palliative, end-of-life and bereavement care to families at no charge. Since the tour began in 2003, more than $2.3 million has been raised, the charity says.
Tickets are $50, which gets you entry to each of the homes and two specialty locations: the Holiday PopUp Shop at the Irish ambassador’s residence in Rockcliffe Park and the Holiday Bake-Off & Handmade Bazaar at The May Court Club of Ottawa/May Court Hospice in Old Ottawa South.
Tickets can be purchased at the Hospice Care website.
Here’s a look at the homes on this year’s tour.
Rockcliffe: A bit of Belgium
This stone and clapboard house in Rockcliffe Park was at one time the home of Graham Towers, the first governor of the Bank of Canada. Today it is the residence of the ambassador of Belgium.
The living and dining rooms reflect the diplomatic career of the ambassador, showcasing eclectic art from around the world, including Senegal, Syria and Hong Kong. With Belgium being the birthplace of the globally recognized comic strip Tintin, visitors will be immersed in Tintin’s world as soon as they enter.
Rockcliffe: On its own
Along with being a new build, this home boasts an unusual trait for an urban dwelling — it’s the only home on its street. It was designed by local architect Denis Kane and built by the property owner.
The home features open spaces, over-scaled windows and a blend of modern design paired with antiques, all coming together in a unique transitional style.
Glebe: 100 years on
This century-home is a typical centre hall plan popular at the time, but the house also underwent extensive renovations this century to update and add an enlarged master suite, exercise room, soaker tubs and an elevator — all while still respecting the architecture of the period.
Designed by architect David Younghusband in 1917, the four-bedroom home retains such features as stained-glass windows and solid wood floors. And although out of season, also on view will be gardens that last year won an Ontario landscape design award.
Cape Cod at Dow’s Lake
Built in 1942, this Cape Cod-style home occupies a piece of land that plays an important part in Ottawa’s history. It was built on what was once the Booth lumber yard — part of the empire of John R. Booth, the Canadian lumber tycoon and railroad baron who supplied the wood in the construction of the original Parliament Buildings.
The home has been extensively renovated since the current owners purchased it in 1989. They especially enjoy the home’s orientation — the front, with the kitchen, is east facing, while the dining room enjoys western sunsets. While renovating, the owners sought to retain the original character of the home by repeating woodwork details that already existed and adding new cabinetry consistent with the age and style of the architecture.
Westboro: Light & privacy
This contemporary home on a corner lot in Westboro definitely has a wow factor. Designed by Alex Diaz of Art House Developments and Candace Sutcliffe, president of restaurant supplier C.A. Paradis, the multi-award-winning home strikes a fine balance between the need for light and for privacy.
Wall-to-wall windows at the top of the vaulted ceiling create a bright and airy interior with lots of wall space to hang art while managing the need for privacy. The heart of the main floor and entertaining central for the homeowners is the sophisticated kitchen — an open space with virtually no walls and a bank of windows overlooking the entertainment-styled backyard — where hammered stainless steel, porcelain and wood combine in a truly dramatic effect.
McKellar Heights: Understated gem
Grand but intimate, this bespoke house is beautifully set on a corner lot. Designed by John Henry of Terra Nova Construction, the attention to detail and craftsmanship has created a luxurious effect that is apparent throughout the house, including the doors, trim work, and distinguished staircase.
Following the trend to home automation technology, many aspects of this house can be controlled from a smartphone. Conceived as a space for entertaining, large, airy spaces are balanced with spaces for relaxing. A recent addition is a newly outfitted home office/lounge.
Manotick: Transitional transformation
Look for before and after photos on display detailing the transformation of this home from a traditional 1980s bungalow to today’s streamlined, on-trend, tailored style. Nestled in a park-like setting among towering trees, this custom home has been extensively renovated to showcase an open concept complete with sleek, modern finishes.
A transitional design style sets the interior tone to a Zen-like vibe. Blending trend with function highlights an impressive transformation to contemporary, comfortable casual living. The lush grounds also offer private, tranquil outdoor living spaces.
Manotick: Estate living
This elegant home in an estate setting pays tribute to the classic Georgian style. Although built in 2011, it embodies historic character through symmetrical architecture and period details.
The columned front portico, ellipse entry transom, decorative roof blocks, dormer windows, cupola-topped rear porch, and classic red brick are the hallmarks of an authentic Georgian esthetic. The interior carries a consistent traditional feel, with a tailored, retrained design.
The landscape was specifically designed to nestle the home in a natural setting, create an impressive reach approach, offer various areas for entertaining and include formal gardens. The sophisticated home, interiors and landscape are the work of Eden Design.