About My House
Located at 398 Canboro Road in Ridgeville, Ontario (in the Town of Pelham), we bought this home in June of 2012. It is a typical Victorian Second Empire house. Oddly it is located in the country. This was a manor associated with a large fruit farm in the Niagara Peninsula, built by Josiah Ward in 1880. On the side of this home resides a similarly dated fruit barn in pristine condition. Current work on this home indicate that it was actually built atop an older land grant era homestead.
This home is a two-storey residence constructed in 1880 in the Victorian style with Second Empire and Italianate influences. It has a high first storey and a second storey set in a bell cast mansard roof. The asymmetrical building has salmon-coloured brick accented by buff coloured brick in the voussoirs. A three-window bay flanks either side of the main entrance, which is set on the first floor of a three-storey turret.
The main entrance is framed by a segmental transom and flanking thin sidelights. The one-storey porch that covers the entrance has a mansard roof supported by wooden columns with decorative brackets, a moulded cornice with a dentiled frieze, and metal cresting.
The turret has a pair of tall semi-circular windows with bar tracery on the second storey, a semi-circular dormer with decorative trim set in the third storey bell cast mansard roof and is finished by metal cresting on the roof.
Segmental dormers with similar decorative trim are set in the second storey of the main building. The moulded cornices below the second and third-storey mansard roofs are supported by widely-spaced decorative brackets with pendants. The design of the porch roof is echoed in the side verandah to the west and the roofs of the front bays.
The southwest wing of the building is constructed with a similar architectural design and features. The home is said to have been built to house two different families as there are two separate basements.
To the west of the main building is a T-shaped barn with pitched centre gables. The building, clad with vertical wooden boards, has flat and semicircular 4/4 hung windows on the second storey.
There is a wrap-around verandah on the first storey with sunbeam-themed bargeboard on either side of the support posts and pendants centred between them.
Tips and Tricks
As we work to live in this old home, it is clear that there is always a fine balance between renovation and restoration. In the end, the decision must be made based on ones budgetary constraints while maintaining the architectural values of the house. In our case, it was clear that the house evolved over time (even in the late 1800's), we decided to let it continue to evolve while maintaining and highlighting the features that make it unique and distinctively Victorian.