In This House: MacAskell restoration

Since 2012 the MacAskell family along with their husky Aspen have enjoyed living on the lovely tree lined street of Marley Place. If you have ever taken a stroll down that street you will find an eclectic mix of homes – some new, some old, some narrow and some massive.

Chris MacAskell, is a master carpenter who works at MacAskell Haindl Design Build in association with Cardinal Fine Cabinetry.When he isn’t working on building furniture and cabinets you will find him lovingly restoring his 1920’s home.

For the past 10 years he has been whittling away at restoring the exterior. It is in the heritage district on the #2 designated watch list – which means you have to replace the exterior pretty much exactly the way it was way back in 1920.

Presently, MacAskell is fully restoring the windows and doing everything by the book which involves replacing what already exists with identical material. It also means stripping the double hung sash windows where has found the original paint colours over the years. So far he has 100 hours into the restoration of the windows and originally calculated it would take 800 hours and has since revised his estimate of time to 1,000 hours. Once restored MacAskell figures they could last another 100 years.

What is really interesting about this home is the fact that it was made from a kit. Yes, a kit, much like putting together an airplane model. It was purchased from a Sears Catalogue, which I understand wasn’t all that uncommon back in the day. These kits were built in a factory out West and shipped via rail to London. In fact, he found the 1922 Sears Cataloue in his upstairs bathroom.

The original home owner would be responsible for the heavy stuff, like the foundation, the masonry and furnace.Through the years MacAskell has uncovered parts of the home that has the clearly stencilled name of Frank Hawkins. Obviously, the builder and the home owner and a proud one as his name is found on each stud, piece of trim, beam, the windows, everywhere. Perhaps in hopes that someone would one day uncover it. Another unique feature of the home is all the stained glass in the home has a western nature theme with wheat motifs.

MacAskell has lived in Old South 2003 and loves his home on Marley Place. Not only that but he attests that “Old South is the coolest neighbourhood in Canada! It has an urban feel filled with colourful, interesting tapestry of people. There is so much richness in the area and filled with accomplished folks and creativity. Everything is right there – how could it not be the coolest?”


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