993 IRONWOOD ROAD - $597,500 

The Essentials

A bungalow on more than two perfectly coiffed green acres in Grousewood Estates, ten minutes from downtown and five from Highway 401. Lilacs everywhere you look to the south. An open floor plan with granite counters and hardwood floors. A propane fireplace and doors to the deck. A basement completely finished with generous spots for sport and movies and sleep.

The Bigger Picture

There are nearly endless blooming lilacs along the southern border of this rather marvelous property in Grousewood Estates, just a few minutes east of downtown Kingston. I like lilacs very much, and don’t remember them growing in such profusion in England. My grandfather, I remember, was horrified to find a few indoors, in a vase on the dining table when he visited Canada. “Bad luck,” he huffed miserably, though on reflection it occurs to me that perhaps he was just referencing his own life spent without such luxury.

The lingering experience today, though, upon pulling up in the driveway (gravel crunching under the tires as if in some Downton Abbey episode) and spying those mauve trees, is of having arrived at some high-end perfumerie. There are verdant lawns to the horizon, marked only by a perfectly rototilled vegetable garden. A croquet pitch would fit in these surroundings, but so would an extravagant pool, or a good-humoured high maze of hedge and hydrangea. There are just shy of three acres upon which to wander and to dream. I imagine children out there chasing a ball, shrieking with joy; I see deer watching the rabbits nibble away at the arugula.

 You’ll go inside this extravagant bungalow at some point (probably as the sun dips reluctantly over the westernmost oak and the Sauvignon Blanc gives up its last). And that’s no great shame at all, given the distant horizons available inside too; the extensive inventory of fine materials used and elegant sightlines.

 The house itself contains three good bedrooms on the main floor (the master has an ensuite, of course), all well-separated from the open-plan living room which is arranged around a pretty propane fireplace and beside a very stylish granite-countered kitchen. 

THe Vegetable Gardens behind the house. We love them. and there’s Still lots of room between here and the house for a pool.

THe Vegetable Gardens behind the house. We love them. and there’s Still lots of room between here and the house for a pool.

 There are doors out to a deck we haven’t even mentioned. When we first visited the house, there were twin cardinals out there, and off to one side a rose-breasted grosbeak. I could hear its feet scrabbling along the top rail. When it stopped moving there was only silence, my own pale reflection in the glass door. I was - and this surprised me, I must admit; it always surprises me -  smiling.

 In the basement there are two more bedrooms, as well as an office and a rec room large enough for both the pool table and the movie room set-up. It’s quite marvelous. All of it high-ceilinged and bright.

 There is the opportunity at this home to be both sociable - to bring in a crowd and watch it organize itself naturally in the space, like water rushing from the mill into a willow-ringed pond - and also to seek out some solitude in a more distant, quiet corner. It is the best of both worlds.

 The mere details are within the realtor.ca listing, which will appear here, if you care to click through, full of its monotonal talk of taxes and generators, laundries and garages and lot frontages. I suppose this is important too.

 The rest of the iGuide tour, with maps and floor plans, the ability to zoom from one room to another, is behind this window here.


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