The renovated heritage J.T. Payette House in Penetanguishene, north of Barrie, defies the misconception that Victorian homes are dark and full of uncomfortable furnishings.
Its original maple floors have been restored to a gleaming base for the large, airy space. Penetanguishene’s Marcelville upcycled floor-to-ceiling cabinetry to include back-lit and glass-fronted cupboards. An open rack displays a collection of milk glass plates. Trim throughout is Benjamin Moore’s White Dove, sourced from Penetang Quality Home Products.
The homeowners explain that while people love Victorians, they don’t want to live as Victorians, so every chair in this home had to be comfortable.
The journey to preserve the home of Penetanguishene’s first mayor included a full rewiring (Georgian Electrical), replumbing (J. Plumbing Ltd.), repointing (Coldwater’s Hobson Masonry), renewing and re-olding, with many rooms being stripped back to the frame and subfloor. They relied on carpenters from Bremel Enterprises to get it right. Wye River Flooring Co. Ltd. provided new tile and hardwood where necessary.
Built in the early 1900s by stonemason Wenceslaus Blanchard of Lafontaine, the house was named after its best-known resident. J.T. Payette, a successful foundry owner and colourful personality, served as Penetanguishene’s mayor from 1921 to 1924. In converting the building back into a single-family dwelling, state-of-the-art mod cons were ensured throughout, while making sure the house stayed in keeping with its original period.
Now that the renovation is complete, the homeowners are loving “putting in the bling.” Adding to thrift store gems, they found antiques at Marcelville and Recollections, chandeliers at St. James Vintage Lighting in Shelburne and worked with Midland’s Cabin Boy for new furniture and design consultation.