Handyman Special SOLD - 146 Wellington St North, St Marys, ON


A highly ornate little Folk Victorian (circa 1880) has come up for sale in St Marys, Ontario.
It's located in my neighbourhood, a block away from the nature trail and the spectacular Sarnia bridge. The shot above comes from our town's museum, the St Marys Museum and Archives, and was taken many years ago when it was at it's loveliest. It was originally built to house the custodian of the now demolished St Marys Collegiate/Arthur Meighen School.

St Marys Collegiate, St Marys, ON - photo from St Marys Museum, ON
If you or anybody you know, would be interested in saving this little gem, please read letter below and share my blog post.

Words from Paul King, a dear friend and heritage conservationist.

Hello Everyone, 

For your information, the property at 146 Wellington Street North (next door to the Arthur Meighen Development site) is listed for sale with Re/Max. This is an exclusive listing so it only shows up on the local Re/Max a-b Realty Ltd. site. http://www.stratfordhomes.ca/m-property.php?id=1122002 . Also, there is no real estate sign on the lot. The list price is $224,900.

My concern is the effect on the neighbourhood if the developer of the Arthur Meighen Development Site purchases this property. The house would undoubtedly be demolished and the development site enlarged.

Also, as many of you know, I have an abiding interest in heritage properties. This house dates from the 1880s and, if restored, would again be a gem in our neighbourhood. I caution that the property needs substantial restoration work both inside and out. (There are no interior photos on the real estate listing website for good reason.) If you know someone with handyman skills looking for a project in an excellent neighbourhood, here is an opportunity. Also, with respect to the development of the Arthur Meighen site, as far as I know the Town is still waiting for the developer to come back with a revised plan.

Regards, Paul King

Note the carriage house/garage behind the wooden fence belongs to the property.

Restoration of the DV's Front Steps and Railings

The DV-2013
I return to my blog after a long silence, with a huge project that will most likely take the entire summer to complete. The restoration of our front steps and railing. I was procrastinating knowing it would be a very demanding job, but the last time we gave attention to our front steps was in 2013 and that was on a purely cosmetic level. We no longer can ignore the rot in the scrolled pieces of the railings and the loosening boards of the steps.

The railings were removed to repair and replace the boards of the steps. It also was more comfortable to work under the veranda, rain or shine. Each handrail counted thirteen upright scrolled pieces, totalling twenty-six, but only six were salvageable and stayed in place.

I also removed the decorative molding trims topping our pillars. 
Of course, there's always a ripple effect when we start a project. This area gets so much abuse from the Western exposure. 


Below are some of the scrolled pieces removed, showing extensive rot at the bottom.

Starting with the steps, several boards were simply flipped as the underside looked new. Other boards were unsalvageable so we purchased new ones. The new boards have to cure so they will most likely be painted next spring.

To recut the scrolled pieces, Brian's father gave him his scroll saw. Here he is cutting along the lines I drew for him from a template.

The inner holes were made using the drill and a round saw attachment.

The arrow shape was done with an electric jigsaw. Cutting out a hole beforehand, made it easier.

The scrolled pieces were reinstalled in a slightly different manner. Originally, each piece rested in a 5mm deep channel, top and bottom. The water would infiltrate and collect in the bottom channel. In time, rot would start to appear. I filled in the bottom channel with wood cement epoxy and cut my scrolled pieces slightly shorter. I wanted everything to be super tight so precision was imperative. 
Below is the handrail primed (upside down). 

Below is a close up of the upright scrolled pieces resting on top of the rail, instead of in a channel. Screwed in place from under to avoid water infiltration.

One side was re-installed. 

Top of pillars primed and...


One side done, now for the other. 
At least we can use our front steps again.