Modest on the outside, redesigned on the inside, a 1954 home is updated for the 21st century. Looks can be deceiving, and a good example of that is this house, which straddles the boundary between downtown Montreal and Westmount. From the street, it looks like a relatively modest red-brick structure, at least by Westmount standards. But it is actually an expansive mid-century home that cascades down the side of the mountain, providing stunning views from all three levels at the back.
There are renovation stories and then there are renovation stories. The latter are not characterized merely by upgrades and dramatic transformations, but by complete architectural renaissances, in which old buildings are re-imagined and restructured. The process takes a clear concept, plenty of planning, a dash of daring and bit of a budget. But the result is singularly spectacular. It’s almost magic.
Montreal’s St. Henri district has a long, storied history. From its early days in the late 1800s as a working-class neighbourhood, where residents toiled in its tanning factories along the Lachine Canal and laboured on the nearby railroad, to its struggles in the last century as many of those same factories shuttered their doors, St. Henri has had to find ways to adapt to change.
Sometimes, a house is like a book. It should not be judged by its cover. Because once you open it up, you might be surprised by the wondrous tale that awaits. You might just find yourself getting lost in an adventurous journey that transports you to another time. So with that in mind, let’s take a peek behind the door of what – from the outside – looks like a typical Montreal duplex in the city’s Plateau Mont Royal district.
Its name is mud — mudroom that is. But despite the unpromising moniker, in today’s houses, mudrooms are taking on new importance and lots of style. No longer an afterthought, “Eighty per cent of the large renovations we do have mudrooms on the wish list,” says builder Dave Evans, partner at Cliff and Evans Ltd., a construction company in Toronto.