Sunday, March 6, 2011

This Old House

Carolyn from Carolyn's Shade Gardens visited and let me know that Les at A Tidewater Gardener is currently hosting a meme called Winter Walk Off and encouraged me to add this post to the challenge.  After viewing Les' blog I was very happy to do so.  Les is encouraging people to get outside and go for a walk, documenting their journey on the way.  What could be better as spring approaches to get outside and take in some fresh air after a long winter inside.  Now obviously some of the photos below weren't taken recently but I'm hoping Les will forgive me as the snowy photos at the end were taken just last weekend.  Although I will admit that day the wind was so biting cold that our walk ended sooner than expected and we found ourselves instead lounging at a local pub.  

If you would like to join the Winter Walk Off Challenge you can find more details here.

p.s.  I would highly suggest trying the bread pudding with rum sauce at Rum Runners in Charlottetown. just saying

This Old House magazine recently chose Charlottetown, PEI, as one of Canada's best Old House Neighbourhoods for 2011.  To celebrate this achievement I thought I would post a few pictures of some of the homes you can see around the city.  One of my favourite past times is walking around some of the neighbourhoods on my lunch hours and ogling the beautiful homes.  Here are some of my favourites.

That's me drooling over this house while Jody takes a picture from across the street.

Just as beautiful in winter

No gaps between these old houses, they're using each other to keep warm
Some of these historical homes are public spaces and open for touring.  Beaconsfield, seen below, is one of them.

This home is just as beautiful inside as it is outside.  Chock full of intricate details from exotic wood paneling to tiled floor there's enough to see here to keep you occupied for hours.

 Even the door hinges were beautiful.

If you're interested in seeing more photos of historic houses located in Prince Edward Island or learning about their history I would highly recommend the following books:  Inside Island Heritage Homes: Two hundred years of domestic architecture on Prince Edward Island and Heritage Houses of Prince Edward Island: Two hundred years of domestic architectureBoth are written by local author James W. Macnutt  and are beautifully photographed.  We own both of these books and often refer back to them when thinking about the work we are doing renovating our own historic home.

Heritage Houses of Prince Edward Island: Two hundred years of domestic architectureInside Island Heritage Homes: Two hundred years of domestic architecture on Prince Edward Island
Clicking on the images will take you to Amazon where you can purchase these volumes for your own library.


  1. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!! I would much rather live in an old home full of character than one that's identical to its neighbors. I am forever grateful that I was able to live in and help renovate a house built in 1895 while in NY. So much history!!

  2. Thank you for the architecture tour. I love old structures and can see why Charlottetown was voted a best Old House Neighborhood. So much detail you don't see now a days.

  3. I love love love old houses. Our house is about 120 years old and I love it. I have probably over 1,000 pictures of old houses throughout PEI and NB. I love taking pictures of houses. Poor hubs has had to drive slowly for me, and he has even turned around so I could capture a house. I'm going to get the two books you recommend. One I have is "The Historic Houses of Prince Edward Island" by H. M. Scott Smith. I love it. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures. I'm drooling over the houses too.

  4. I just LOVE the archictecture of the older homes which is why I bought an older home not a new one. That's very good info about being able to tour inside of some of them, I didn't know that so will check that out this summer when I am there.

  5. Wow.. lovely houses - such spectacular architecture! I love the houses that are all interconnected..

    I just found your blog (thanks to gardeningbren).. can't wait to read some of your older posts!

  6. Ahhh, I just love Charlottetown. Another maritime favourite for gorgeous heritage homes is Fredericton, New Brunswick. I'm so glad they are cared for and preserved for the next generations.

    Lovely photo trip! :)

  7. TS - Besides being so beautiful you've hit upon one of the things I find so interesting about owning an old house - the history. I love hearing stories about people who used to own our house and the changes that have happened over the years.

    Donna - these old houses really do have a lot of details, gingerbread trim, finials, shingles. Somewhere along the way we lost the art in our architecture.

    Johanna - thanks for the tip on that other book. I haven't seen this one before but I'll look out for it now. I looked at the index of houses and it amazes me how many are listed for such a small island.

    Jane - There's so many houses to see you shouldn't have any problems. I can think of Government House, Yeo House, Green Gables, and MacPhail homestead to start. You'll also find that a number of them in Charlottetown are B&B's or Inns and will let you have a peek inside.

    Niki - welcome. I love those houses too. Apparently it was common many years back to build houses together like that to conserve heat.

    Ms.S - There are so many great places to view old architecture in the maritimes, Charlottetown is just one of them. I loved our trip to Lunenberg last summer and spent much time there just looking at the houses.

  8. Oh wow, they are such beautiful looking houses - no wonder your lunch hours are spent wandering past them.

    I feel that if I go past a house which has caught my eye often enough, I ought to be allowed to have a look inside. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way!

  9. So unique and full of charm and character! I wish that details like that were still commonplace in homes. Thanks for the enjoyable tour.

  10. Beautiful cottages --- they all look so welcoming. I love how the row cottages are attached to keep each other warm! PEI looks like a very nice place to live (and to wander around on one's lunch hour)

  11. I would happily live in every one of those! :)

  12. Geez, I forgot to mention this in my last comment. I brought some goodies back from Italy and I'd love to send you something. Can you please email me here with a snail mail address:

  13. Oh, what beautiful homes! They had character inside and out. That's one thing I miss from modern homes: character.

  14. Goodness, how could you not drool over those! How wonderful.

  15. Goodness, there is so much to learn about PEI. Those houses are beautiful. I must now do some research on Prince Edwards Island to understand what industry support such lovely lifestyles.

    The hinges were beautiful.

  16. Did you decide what colours to paint your house?

  17. Bub - I have that problem with gardens. I always want to go walking into people's yards and meander around.

    Cat - I wish newer houses had these details too. One of the things about these houses is that they were difficult to build. All those fancy shingles and whirly bits. People really put extra time and effort into building them.

    Laurrie - I've never seen that building style before and many of the older cottages right down by the water are like that (attached to each other). I thought it was funny but when I realized the reason it made a lot of sense.

    Kate - it's definitely difficult to pick a favourite.

    On My Soapbox - again, it's the details that modern houses seem to miss. I guess it's the cost factor?

    Plantaliscious - I wonder if the owners get tired of people peering over the hedges at them?

    Cheri - It used to be fishing and farming that were the main industries here. Today many of these homes are sold to silly come-from-aways, like myself, who get sucked in and spend ridiculous amounts of money to revitalize them. (I'm only partly joking, almost every non-islander I've met has bought one of these houses)

  18. Dianna - We're not 100% settled on a specific colour scheme yet but I believe we're leaning to the cream/white combo with a bright trim (purple or green maybe?) The roof will come first this summer and I think we'll likely go with a speckled charcoal for that. One of the factors is that the shed, garage and outhouse are already a black and white combo so painting the house, say red, would look a little funny. As well, just about any plant combo will go with a white/cream house. What colour were you voting for?

  19. Thanks for taking us on a tour of your town. The homes are beautiful and very interesting. You should submit your tour to the meme at the blog Tidewater Garden, which is supposed to be bloggers walking around photographing their neighborhood.

  20. Carolyn, great suggestion thank you! I just visited Les' blog and I'm intrigued. I'll be visiting him again and contributing this post to his Winter Walk Off challenge.

  21. What a beautiful tour of such grand homes. Prince Edward Island will go on the list of places I want to visit. Thanks for taking us along with you on your walk.

  22. They're all beautiful. I think if I had to pick a favourite, it'd be the 5th one. Kind of Anne of Green Gables-ish. Well, except for the 'green' part.

  23. Janet - To me that's part of the beauty of blogging, we can 'travel' anywhere in the world. Right now I'm spending a lot of time in southern garden blogs as they have all the spring flowers coming up while I'm looking at a bank of snow outside my window.

    Liz - In case you missed it, if you type 'green gables' into my blog search you'll find some pictures of the actual green gables when we visited last summer. It's a beautiful house. I'm thinking maybe I should do a country house tour next. The city houses are beautiful and all gussied up but I love the character and architecture of the country houses as well.

  24. Great post!

    I've been meaning to take pictures of the grand old houses that I see ...

  25. Kim - I have so many photos it's ridiculous. I had to cut myself off or that post would have gone on forever. We have taken a lot of photos because we're looking at painting our house so everytime I see something nice I want a shot of it so I can compare what it might look like on our house.

  26. Oh these are so lovely...they have such wonderful, unique character.

  27. I hope I am not too late for the bread pudding. Is there any left?

    Thank you for the tour. I love those old houses with all thier character. I am not sure why, but I did not expect to see such grand Victorians in a climate that far north. But it could just be my ignorance of Prince Edward Island.

    Thank you also for participating in my Winter Walk Off and good luck in the drawing.

  28. Les - Gone. Desserts don't last long around me unfortunately! My understanding is that when immigrants landed in Canada they wanted to bring their European roots with them. Only the latest in Victorian style would do! couple that with the fact that PEI was owned almost in entirety by rich English land barons...