Houses of the Gatineau Hills

The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the February 24, 2010 issue. Reprinted with permission.

Village Poet's party pad up for bidding

by Trevor Greenway

When Phil and Glennis Cohen decided on an addition to their riverside house in Wakefield, they were faced with an immediate dilemma: What to build - an extra bedroom for comfortable sleeping or another living room for functional partying.

Let's just say the Village Poet and his wife really like to party.

"It's a testament to the big parties Phil likes to have," said Glennis, referring to the 1,800 square-foot house that features only two bedrooms, one bathroom, but two large living rooms. "We have had many parties with over 100 people and cars lined up all along Riverside Drive."

Houses of the Gatineau Hills
Phil and Glennis Cohen's 11-acre farm on River Rd. is currently for sale. It features two bedrooms, one bathroom and two large living rooms perfect for partying. Trevor Greenway photo.

The second living room built in 1992 really does turn the house into a "party pad."

The two living rooms face each other and loop around to the kitchen, allowing visiting partiers to go around in circles, literally - greeting guests, pouring wine or stopping at tables for a chat.

Apart from being a "party pad," the house is also the perfect family home.

The two bedrooms are spacious and the upstairs office easily converts into a third. A small nook above the second living room gives children a small space to play games, watch movies or do crafts.

The door is only about two feet high, signalling out of bounds for adults. The kids need their space.

Houses of the Gatineau Hills
The insulated garage boasts wagon wheels and a wakefield sign Below: One of the two large living rooms. Trevor Greenway photo.

When it came to finishing the house, the Cohens wanted most of the workers involved to be local. They hired David McKenzie and Maureen Marcotte to install the tiling on the back splash panels in the kitchen, while Steve Sabean designed and built the cabinets. Glennis was like a child on Christmas morning, showing this reporter all the Lazy Susan drawers, pullout and storage cabinets.

"It's a great kitchen, even though it's small," she said.

The house also has three water sources, one of them a gravity-feed spring whose taste Cohen compares with "drinking champagne."

The couple even had running water during the 1998 ice storm, a feature that brought several area families over to use the washroom and keep warm by the woodstove.

The house sits on 11 acres of lush farmland that is home to a dozen buildings, holdovers from the Copeland family who settled the land in 1834.

The farm features an insulated garage, as well as the old grainery, icehouse and barn.

Houses of the Gatineau Hills
One of the two large living rooms. Trevor Greenway photo.

At the side of the house there's a small duck pond, equipped with a replica of a New York City park bench, perfect for collecting thoughts or writing poetry.

The front porch offers another relaxing spot, for watching the river flow by or the Wakefield steam train rumble past the house.

There's access to the river with a dock and boat storage area.

The Cohens are selling the farm, because they just don't have the energy to use the space properly anymore. But they're letting it go with a twist. The house was appraised at $525,000, but an offer over and above that will be donated directly to the Wakefield Community Centre. Let the bidding begin.

Anyone interested in purchasing the farm must submit a promise to purchase agreement to the Cohens by 6 p.m. May 30. The promise to purchase must be open until June 4. The Cohens also have four cats and only one of them is moving with them. There is the potential that the cats could come with the house, if the buyer was interested.

For more information, contact the Cohens at 819-459-2747.

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