The Story of 161 ANDOVER

by Janie and Paul-Alexandre on Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Back in 2015, we learned that we would be having our second child and immediately our needs changed as a family. We realized we would need to find a house big enough for the four of us. Our wish list was long and there were few things we were willing to compromise on. We wanted a safe, bilingual, neighbourhood with just the right mix of urban accessibility and suburban peace and quiet. 
When we found Beacon Hill, we loved the mature trees, the proximity to the train, highways, and shopping. This home in particular had a spacious backyard, great natural light, and an ideal location on a quiet street. 

Despite the poor condition it was in when we first saw it, this home offered the perfect opportunity for Paul – the engineer and construction guy – and myself – the working mom with a passionate eye for style and interior design. We immediately recognized the potential it had and knew that we could breathe new life into this amazing house. 

What makes this house special from the outside are its unique appearance and the fact that it sits on higher ground than all of the other surrounding homes.

Over the past four years we’ve continuously added and improved to the property, adding our personal touches and shaping it to compliment our hectic family life. We are proud of everything we’ve done to the home and transformation it’s undergone as a result of all our hard work. 

Paul invested a solid six months into managing the renovation project in between a job transition a few years ago. We literally put our lives on hold while the bulk of the work was being done, which the neighbours certainly took notice of. Paul became known as the guy who never stops working! It was a tough time to get through, but now we couldn’t be more pleased with the results and we can truly say that it all turned out exactly the way we hoped it would. 

This house now boasts a modern layout and décor, a dream backyard with a complete grassy play-area for the kids, as well as a brand new inground pool.  The master bedroom was enlarged to include a spacious walk-through closet leading  to a luxurious ensuite bathroom with glass shower and stand-alone tub. 

We have so many fond memories of days and nights by the pool, outdoor movie nights with the kids, kicking the soccer ball in the backyard, picking fresh vegetables from our garden, and preparing family meals together in the kitchen.

Once most of the renovations were complete, our home became the centre of attraction for all of our large family gatherings. Every summer we have a pool party that has become the official kick-off to summer, and during the Christmas Holidays we play hosts to both our families. 

Our neighbours are simply fantastic. Everyone on this block knows each other and looks out for one another which adds to the strong sense of community we feel here. There is a certain pride that comes with being a resident of Beacon Hill, and that feeling rubs off on you as soon as you move into this area. When we go away on vacation, our garbage bins are magically taken out and brought back in for us. Sometimes we discover our driveway has been shovelled by a mystery neighbour, and the kids are spoiled with surprises at Halloween. One of the dads down the street converted his garage into a “Man-Cave” where we all congregate to watch the occasional hockey game together.

Family life is abundant with the nearby community pool, elementary school and parks that offer summer day-camps, tennis and basketball courts, skating rinks, tobogganing hills, and both soccer and baseball fields. The outdoor spaces are alive with action all year long. 

We hope that the passion and pride that have for this home will be passed on to the next owners, and that they will be able to create their own lasting memories within these walls. We’d love to see another young family move in, and watch their children grow up in this wonderful community. 

We imagine the next owners might have a lot in common with us. A family that enjoys long, sunny afternoons by the pool, entertaining family and friends, and who have an appreciation for custom design and quality construction. Here’s to the next chapter in the story…!