Restoring a historic Italianate style home can be a daunting task, with many complications and challenges to be found along the way. When Thomas and Susan Kydd purchased 12 York Street in historic downtown Orangeville back in the spring of 2017, they sought to find a professional contractor/builder who would have the vision and ability to help them to realize their goal of a complete renovation that would honour the original architectural style, and satisfy the requirements of the local Heritage Society.
After meeting with the team at Ferguson Fine Homes, they knew they had found the right people for the job. “Sometimes all a house needs is a new perspective” says Chad Ferguson, co-owner and master carpenter at Ferguson Fine Homes. “We felt confident that we could bring new life to this home with a complete custom renovation and the home addition. We wanted to create a functional space with modern conveniences, while maintaining the original charm and character of the 1880’s when this fabulous home was originally constructed. Older homes hold a charm that can rarely be duplicated and that is why we pay keen attention to detail to restore century homes with respect to their original beauty and craft”.
The homeowners worked very closely with Designer and Business Manager Vanessa Claridge to pull together every single element from start to finish. As a Visual Art and Design major, Vanessa is uniquely qualified to work on such a project, and her 15 plus years of design experience helped Tom and Sue to bring their dream to life. It has been quite a lengthy process for them, although it is clearly evident that it has been a labour of love for all parties involved. “Not only did we have to go through an extensive permitting process with the town, we also had to present our design plan to the Heritage Society for approval. Although this process was quite lengthy, once they (Heritage Society) saw our plans for the home, they quickly approved our submission at Town Council and our project was able to commence”, said owner Tom Kidd when asked about how long the project has taken from start to finish. “It has taken just over a year from the time we actually began construction, and we are thrilled with the final result” – and so they should be.
From the moment you walk in the front door, it is clear to anyone who enters that this home is special and unique. Unlike most century homes, one of the first things you will notice is the light and airy feel, which can be partially attributed to the soaring 10’ foot ceilings found throughout the home. The grey slate entryway and main floor parlour room (converted to a stunning office space), lead the way into one of the most stunning renovations I have ever seen (and as a realtor I have seen ALOT of renovations!). From the 8” wide plank flooring (Canadian Hickory Hardwood brought in from B.C.), to the spectacular waffled ceiling with impossibly intricate trim detail, this home can simply be described as “perfection”.
The grand dining room is impressive and elegant, with custom sideboard and wainscotting, and a crystal chandelier that lights up the room and adds a hint of decadence. The oversized custom windows with replicated trim allow for an abundance of light, and only further accent all the many intricate details found everywhere you look. Despite the obvious grandeur, the home is warm and inviting, making you want to stay a while, and the radiant heated floors throughout are just an added bonus.
The custom kitchen is located where an old addition once existed, and features all of the modern conveniences, including top of the line Stainless Steel Appliances, an oversized farmhouse apron sink, quartz countertops, custom kitchen cabinetry and a matching pantry with lead glass inserts which feel like a furniture piece and helps to maintain continuity throughout the main floor. The blown mercury glass light fixtures add an interesting touch and a hint of modern to the grandeur of the home.
A one of a kind custom window with incredible curved trim detail and walkout to the back patio maintains the open flow of the home right through to the beautifully landscaped backyard. An entertainer’s delight, the mature trees provide privacy and the oversized lot makes you feel as if you are in the country and not just steps away from the conveniences of Broadway. There is even a lovely cabana/bunkie nicknamed the “Kids Cave” which is more like an extension of the home, and features a large dormer window, a spacious rec room area and a full kitchen. The reclaimed brick on the addition is almost an exact match to the original, and you would never even know that it had not been part of the home when it was first built.
The upper level of this home is no less grand, and it features a spacious master bedroom and spa like ensuite that words can simply not do justice to. The Freestanding tub with matte black finish fixtures invites you to enjoy this peaceful retreat, and is complimented by heated slate tile in the floor. The walk-in glass shower is no less inviting, and the custom black plumbing fixtures and porcelain hexagon and penny tiles are modern and clean, yet they never retract from the original charm. The guest bedrooms and bathroom are equally impressive and delightful with the intricate basket weave marble heated tile floor and the convenient added built-in laundry room. Located down the hall from the master, they offer an abundance of space and privacy for everyone.
Of course, a century home would not be complete without a wraparound porch to enjoy on warm summer evenings with a glass of wine, or a cup of coffee in the morning as the sun rises. The refinished trim on the porch is complemented with a cedar tongue and groove raised ceiling with inset pot lights, and it is an unexpected feature that further emphasizes the attention to detail and thought put into the restoration of this fine home. The only piece that remains from the original residence is the staircase and balustrades which have been lovingly restored. Every other piece of woodwork in the home was meticulously recreated to reflect the architecture of the time and to maintain the charm that was originally intended.
It is this attention to detail that differentiates the team at Ferguson Fine Homes from their competitors. The absolute craftsmanship of this project including the intricate woodwork and transoms are not only the result of the Fergusons’ obvious talent and carpentry skills, but they are also a reflection of their creativity and vision, and their commitment to perfection. They truly did justice to the grand old lady of 12 York Street, and in doing so have helped to preserve a piece of Orangeville history in the process.
Bill Ferguson has been working in Orangeville, Caledon, the GTA and surrounding areas since 1995. He graduated from college with his carpentry degree in 1994 and has since been expanding his expertise through courses and workshops. He has earned certificates in ICF (insulated concrete forming) and won contests for most original design on a project. Chad graduated Cambrian College with a diploma in Carpentry in 1999 and began building dream houses with his brother. In 2008 Chad joined Billy as part owner of Ferguson Fine Homes. Chad brings his dedication, attention to detail and his pure talent to the company. Tapping into the experience and creativity that Bill and Chad possess is what creates and builds the final exceptional project. They take the time to listen to your needs and wants, make suggestions and communicate with you from the beginning stages of design to the final cleanup of the completed build. Ferguson Fine Homes is located at 74 Centennial Road, Unit 1-2 Orangeville, ON L9W 1P9 (519) 938-0464.
Written by: Tanya Bottomley | Photography: Paul Spears