It is a house with a history that stretches all the way back to the 1890s, when Victoria was still on her throne and folks all over North America were singing After the Ball around the pianos in their parlours.
Mary Lamey and I have this gorgeous Victorian-era house for sale in Verdun. It has a lot going for it, including high ceilings, original mouldings and wood floors. It’s also conveniently located two minutes from the Lasalle metro and a Maxi grocery store, and not much further from all kinds of other stores and services. It has new doors and windows and an elastomer membrane roof that was done in 2005.
This is a good-sized house, with livingroom, diningroom and kitchen on the ground floor and four full bedrooms upstairs! At the very reasonable price of $330,000 you’d think it would attract buyers with several children, but most of the visitors we’ve had have been singles and couples. Families may have reservations because the lot is not big: the house is attached on both sides with just a small enclosed back yard. But it seems the main drawback for most buyers is the view out the front windows: a concrete viaduct leading on to the Champlain Bridge.
Okay, it’s not everybody’s idea of a great view, but most agree that once you are inside the house, you hear very little traffic noise. They built them solid in the 1890s: this house has a thick stone foundation, double bricking on the façade and, as I mentioned, good windows. (Would it be catty of me to mention that the bridge only opened in 1962 and it is crumbling, whereas the house was there 60 years before that and is still going strong?)
We’ve been seeking the perfect buyer for this place for a while now, and I think I’ve got it figured out. This house needs buyers for whom that solid construction works both ways: they won’t be bothered by exterior noise and their neighbours won’t be bothered by their interior noise, and when I say noise, I mean music. This house, with so much history and so much character, cries out for musicians!
A 100-year-old piano would be right at home in the front room. And the more than 6 foot high partially finished basement fairly screams “Recording Studio”. If one building can be both living and work space, doesn’t that $330K price tag look better and better? Plus the fact that with all those bedrooms, several struggling artists could pool their resources to buy it. I’m thinking the next great Montreal sensation is waiting to be born on May Street in Verdun!