545 BAGOT ST - $295,000

The Essentials

A three-bedroom (or four in a pinch) red brick Century townhome at the corner of Bagot and Corrigan. Intensely pretty and character-full with barely a right angle to be found. Doug Fluhrer Park and the river is right there at the end of the street. You walk to Novel Idea in eight minutes; to The Elm in three.

The Big Picture

I’ve been watching this house for weeks now. We knew it was coming to market and that we’d likely be listing it, but not much more than that. And so we waited. Impatiently.

We saw the new and very lovely dark-framed windows being installed. Figures moving behind the glass with their paintbrushes and their palm sanders, their laser measures and their pots of varnish like melted glass. Those silhouettes were performing in a play, was how it looked, a mute drama of transformation and rebirth. Occasionally someone would pop out the back door (the stage door?) and stand in the sun, head tipped back and smiling, as if accepting warmth as payment. I wanted a tour desperately. I probably muttered a bit.

But it was the beginning of this week before we were finally allowed in. And then, as we walked the boards, and ran a hand here and there over a gracious curve of plaster, a kitchen drawer angled just so, the owner and her partner watched us, with a mix I assume of pride and anxiety.

None of us had anything to worry about. The truth is, 545 Bagot St is an utterly charming red-brick townhome, renovated to show off its history, and situated down at the corner of Bagot and Corrigan. You can see the river at the end of the street, for crying out loud, and Novel Idea is only an eight-minute walk (one must always know how far away the bookstore is), with the Elm Cafe three minutes in the other direction.

There are painted tin ceilings. Yup. And their reflection is visible in the original varnished floors that catch and bounce the light that pours in from every direction. The rooms are not perfect squares. This is really a collection of parallelograms as interesting in its jumble as the old geometry sets we used to pull out in math class.

There is an enclosed side porch painted creamy white that's as pretty as any room I know. George Clooney in all his Lake Como finery doesn’t have a better place for his Nespresso than this slim haven of brick and glass. Just saying.

And the wood floors in that porch. My word! They’re as mottled and worn and beautiful as the hides of cows left for years in green fields with the sun and the clouds and the flies all beating down, scratching themselves idly against barbed wire fence. Those are floors that have seen it all. The Iggy Pop of floors. We should sell tickets just to see them.

Upstairs there are three pretty bedrooms, all askew and bright as this screen turned up high, plus a den, or a nursery (we just don’t want to tell you it’s a fourth bedroom and then have you cursing our names.)

In the modest bathroom there's an old enamelled tub with brass taps. It’s a spartan, pleasing aesthetic. Being the vain bastard I am, if it was my place I’d likely grin and offer up my congratulations for having bought so well, every time I caught sight of myself in the mirror

You could even expand into the attic here, by the way, if you wanted. They did it next door. But from this particular treetop you could peer south towards the downtown core. The window is already in the side wall up there.

It’s a rare bird at any price, that’s our judgment in a nutshell, but at under $300,000 it's really remarkable. I mean, look at those floors. Those windows. The iGuide, for a closer examination, is right here. And the realtor.ca listing is here.

We’ll run an open house on Saturday between 12 and 2 pm, and perhaps another at the end of the day next Tuesday, maybe 4-6 pm. Any offers will be reviewed on the 17th.

The Gallery:


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