42 ORDNANCE ST - $485,000

The Essentials

A three-bedroom red-brick home as close to the downtown core as it is possible to be without spontaneously bursting into flames. A courtyard garden like something out of southern France, and parking too.

The Bigger Picture

You know this stretch, I’m sure you do. An attractive row of red-brick homes between Bagot and Rideau Streets on the south side. Ring a bell? At first glance it seems as if they’re all attached, doesn’t it, but we’ve got semi-detached homes here and a fully detached one at the eastern end. We’ve sold some of them before. And that’s no surprise, really, given that it’s nearly impossible to live closer to the downtown core without putting yourself in a walk-up rental above the shops, or in a condominium. They’re hot commodities, these places. They really are the definition of urban living in Kingston, their picture next to the term in the dictionary etc etc. That old line. But they’ve got parking and some lovely little courtyard gardens, and most of them still have character to burn. You walk out the door and can pretty much fall right into the pool at the Artillery Park Aquatic Centre. You could almost leave your towel at home, or dig a tunnel there over a rainy weekend and never have to step outside. It’s a thought. Not my best idea, maybe, but still a thought.

Novel Idea is about three blocks south, but that’s a hell of a dig. Saigon Delights another half block. Pasta Genova is five minutes. The university is about a fifteen-minute walk and the river is maybe five. Skeleton Park? Four and a half; I’ve timed it. Central Public School, where you’ll send your kids to school if you’re smart (which I’m positive you are), is just up the hill, between the pool and the park.

Number 42 is a three bed, one bath number. The house next door is for sale too (for a bit more money) and you’d never really know they were related because it has a different floor plan with just the two beds but an extra half bath. You’ve got a choice to make, in other words.

Here’s the pitch for ours. We’ve got oak strip floors in here. And sure they’ve seen some wear but that just means they’ve taken on the colour of slightly burnt honeycomb, and I don’t know how you fake that. You can’t really. You have to walk back and forth for the better part of a century, dropping the odd pot, dragging out the occasional body.

The walls are plaster and unmarked; the ceilings are a mile off. The light pours in here like a squad car full of detectives looking for answers. 

The kitchen is brand spanking new, all of it. And it shines and if you ask me it damn near winks at you as you enter. It wants your cookbooks; it wants to see you at work on its butcher block counters. It wants you sweating under the new and very stylish lights.

I told you about the three bedrooms. You could take a sledgehammer to a wall I suppose and make a big master bedroom, but you sleep in there, that’s it really, and do you want to be able to up your step-count for the day just getting to the other side of the room for some clean socks? If I was spending money here, I’d expand into the attic, which has high ceilings and, depending on which side you add your dormer, you’ve got views of downtown or the river.

The place has been painted top to bottom in a thick gallery white, which was a very good call indeed. The house is crying out for your art on the walls. I picture some lovely Don Maynard abstracts in the dining room and, if I thought he wouldn’t mind, I’d pop one of his little sculptural pieces in the bathroom (here’a a link). That living room would suit a Jon Claytor. A big imposing portrait would do wonders, I really believe that. You don’t know his work? Well you really should. Do you remember the Gord Downie solo album, Battle of the Nudes? The cover of that one boasts one of Jon’s pieces. The boy with the pistols and the angel’s wings? Here’s Jon’s site. Now picture 42 Ordnance dressed up that way. Man, it’s beautiful, don’t you think?

The virtual tour, with all those blank canvas walls, just crying out for your collection of modern (and local)  bits and bobs, is right here.

And the MLS® listing is right here.



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