Houses of the Gatineau Hills
The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the October 26, 2011 issue. Reprinted with permission.
Scariest part of ideal Halloween haunt is washing its 77 window
by Trevor Greenway
Tammy Scott always has a tough time washing her windows. It's not that they are filthy or hard to reach; it's just that her Chelsea home has 77 of them, most of them stretching from floor to ceiling.
"We were bored one day, so we counted our windows and we have 77," said Scott, sipping coffee from her Tuscan-style villa just off Ramsay Road
"We're hoping they won't have to be replaced anytime soon," she added with a laugh.
Even though the home has more than 70 windows, not one looks out on a neighbouring property. It makes for a totally private retreat in the Gatineau Hills.
Scott and her husband Trevor Manning came across the gorgeous 2.2-acre property just over a year ago and when they saw the old barn and the ancient ruins in the backyard, the two were completely sold on acquiring it.
"It's the spirit of the place," said Scott, giving the Low Down a grand tour of the 2,200 squarefoot house.
"If you don't like a kitchen, you can change it, but you can't put ruins on a property. You can't fake that."
The ruins are concrete pillars, what's left of the stable that burned down in 1939. Former Hills real estate agent Jackie Smith was behind the house design, and Scott is happy she had the insight to include the ruins in the overall decor. She said she would someday love to meet Smith, who has since moved to the East Coast.
Although the ruins are enough alone to wow visitors, the house comes alive at Halloween. Manning takes the spook-filled day seriously and he loves to scare the crap out of kids.
"I'll hang some fishing line between here and the trees and then I will put up some inflatable floating ghosts about 40 feet in the air," he said, pointing from the barn, across the driveway and into the backyard.
The ruins are transformed into a creepy cemetery with skulls and fog rolling in from the hill above. A giant spider web completely covers one of the back decks while over 20 pumpkins, all of which will be carved, line the driveway. It's a scene that delights the young trick-ortreaters.
Inside, the couple has only started realizing their vision for the home. The bungalow features two basement wings: one for a workshop/utility room with the other doubling up as a family room/guest suite.
The stamped concrete radiant floor easily keeps one's feet toasty in the morning, and the upper loft lends itself to rest and recreation. The plan for the loft, now under construction, is to convert it into a reading room.
Even though Scott and Manning left behind a raft of friends and family members when they moved here from Toronto, they don't plan on giving up the Chelsea rural life anytime soon - or ever
The couple intends to grow old in this house, and so will their child, Lucas, a two-yearold Lucas. If the family grows in number, no problem. The fourbedroom, three bathroom home is big enough for today's modern family, and then some.
Meanwhile, they'll put the extra space need to good use: storing the Halloween decorations.
Return to list.