Considering a few people have asked me about my own home in Old South I thought the timing was a perfect opportunity since physical distancing has made it a challenge to meet new subjects of my column.
Since being in lockdown, I have been with my husband, Paul Bremner, my son who is temporarily here from Toronto and our golden retriever, “Queen” Lizzie, passing the time while working from home.
We live on the lovely treelined street of Windsor Ave. and have lived here for close to 25 years. We have always lived in older homes, and when we moved to London, we were drawn to Old South. Old South offered many of the things we were accustomed to living in the Annex in Toronto. We were able to walk downtown, had easy access to grocery shopping and we could enjoy many restaurants and little shops, exactly what Old South offers. We left Toronto for the same reason many are still now: affordable living.
With our passion and love of older homes we found the perfect home that had all of the charm of an older home: high ceilings and baseboards, history, stained glass windows, yellow brick, leaded glass windows and solid wood doors.
Over the years we have lovingly renovated our home, and 20 years ago, Paul decided to go back to what he loved doing- being a contractor/renovator. He has had his business ewog Renovations for the past 20 years and has renovated many homes in Old South and Old North. You may have seen his signs in the neighbourhood. Paul comes by his business honestly. His grandfather was also a general contractor, in London in the 1930’s and had his own business “Bremner Contracting”. He built many of the older homes you see along Commissioners Road between Ridout and Wharncliffe and in pockets of Old North. Paul learned a lot from his grandfather and even has some of his old tools. He learned that he loved taking things apart and putting them back together again and he is really good at it! His love of old homes is evident in the care he has taken to re-plaster our entire 1920’s home. It is almost a dying art. It was a natural progression after a stint as a Computer Engineer, he came full circle to being a contractor. While living in Toronto, he renovated many houses in the older parts of Toronto, in the Annex, Forest Hill and Rosedale during our university days.
We aren’t quite suffering from “the cobblers children doesn’t have any shoes syndrome”, but it does ring true sometimes in our home. Fortunately, we recently renovated our own kitchen and it has been an absolute joy to cook and bake bread and cookies like many other families during this time of staying home.
As a Realtor and Contractor, we pack a one two punch – Move it or Improve it is our tagline – where we work together to help people envision either a new home or ways in which they can make their current home their own by renovating it. Either way, we love what we do and we love the community in which we do our work.