574 Frontenac St - $495,000

The Essentials

An extremely pretty and nicely renovated three-bedroom detached home across from The Memorial Centre, with a garage, a sweet limestone patio, and a green garden at the western boundary. Open house on the 25th between 12 and 2. And any offers are to be reviewed on Monday August 26.

The Bigger Picture

My habit most Sunday mornings has been to walk up from my home on lower Charles St to the Farmer’s Market at the Memorial Centre. We take Pine St for most of the trip and I reckon we must see about half of our friends en route, all of them making the same trip, cloth bags draped empty over a shoulder one way, and loaded full coming back with fruit and veg, fresh bread, the occasional Eccles cake.

I like that routine very much. Am slightly dissatisfied with the day if that hour and a bit is taken away from me. I’m not a really sociable person but I like where I live, and it’s at the market that I am most intensely aware of the good and generous community of which I am an equal part. 

574 Frontenac St is right across the street, giving you front row seats to the weekly market. You can pour yourself a coffee, or maybe put down the hedge trimmers and watch the Monster Pizza guys firing up their magic oven just west of the house. Or you focus a touch closer, on the swell of lime foam being drawn off the Loon Kombucha keg. There is yoga out there too, a half-acre of black lycra and fifty bums in the air, and around all that limber jazz there are pale pans of slip-sliding pierogies and bright punnets of heirloom tomatoes, the stiff whiff of German sausages. 

There is also the splash pad, all neon hose and rainhead showers, as well as the outdoor pool and the off-leash dog park somewhere out behind the old barn, about where they should have put the new high school. The sound of those kids dancing in the mist will seep in through your kitchen windows, better even than late-stage Radiohead, or work around back of the house where you might be out on the limestone patio with today’s New York Times, the book review section first, of course.

We can’t think of a better spot in Williamsville, we really can’t. In a neighbourhood changing by the day, 574 Frontenac seems to us just about the perfect address.

There are three bedrooms here, one of them rather like something out of a Scandinavian edition of Dwell magazine, circa 1974, and I mean that in the most positive way you can imagine. I think if you invented miniature kits that would turn into a room like this once soaked in water, you’d be able to retire before Christmas. There is a sweet wainscot-ceilinged kitchen too, with a granite island, and sliding doors that give onto a limestone patio wrapping around a tree big enough to rise all the way up into the low weekend cloud.

Beyond the garage is a green garden in which you can grow your own vegetables and eventually sell them across the street. If you prefer a different sort of competition, of course, you could practice your croquet trick shots, one foot off the ground, I bet, and your tongue sticking out.

It’s sprawling sort of property, that’s the impression I’m trying to give, one that seems to take up half the block. But at the same time it doesn’t feel too big or too small. The flow is right, is what I mean, as is the light, which falls in great white slabs through the picture window at the front of the house.

You’ll want the drier details of an MLS® listing page, I suppose, something with the taxes, and heat source details. We get that. You can’t be ruled by your heart alone. And that page is through this dark little door right here. The iGuide visuals are here.

We’ll do an open house this Sunday, August 25, between 12 and 2, and if there are offers to review we’ll do that on Monday afternoon.

A Gallery

WE TWO

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