Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | May 11, 2017

Horovitz house – 2nd St W

Immediately east of the Legion Memorial Park on 2nd Street West at Bedford Street is a beautiful family home that many still fondly think of as the former Mayor Aaron Horovitz house (he also had a home on York Street as well as an estate east of the City.) Bill and Darlene McGimpsey purchased the house in November of 2016; Bill’s insurance office is conveniently located across the street.

Since 1878, the property was passed from the Gillie family to the Camerons, and Smiths then to the Horovitz family in 1926, remaining in their family until the early 1990s. The house itself was constructed circa 1900 and started its life as a brick structure on a stone foundation. Judge Pringle’s history of the district mentions James Gillie as being one of two engineers in the fire company which was formed in 1840. Pictured here is Aaron Horovitz on the front steps in 1934.

About 20 years ago, the new owner performed major upgrades to the house, including the addition of tilting security windows, steel roof resembling clay tile, copper eaves trough and downspouts, hot water heating, central air, and a 200 amp electrical service. Recent Upgrades include a 120 gallon water heater, new central air, walls were painted, some new floors installed, an indoor sauna and outdoor hot tub were also added.

Exterior:  The front verandah was closed in and is now a foyer. The double doors provide great security, weighing well over 200 lbs each.

A patio sits atop the front entry, affording views of the street and park.

The driveway is made of wood.

Main floor: This very inviting upscale five bedroom house features high (approx. 9’) ceilings, crown moulding and ample custom cabinetry, spacious rooms, and plenty of natural lighting.

West side: The formal dining room is at front with an adjoining parlour at the rear.

Side bay parlour windows overlook the patio and Legion Memorial Park. Double and single French doors lead to the front hall. Previously these two areas were reversed.

East side: The everyday dining room is at the front, connecting to modern kitchen.

Rear addition: The sunken family room features gorgeous walnut paneling and views of the patio, park and yard.

Second floor: Over the family room, between levels, we find the master bedroom with ensuite. The walls connecting the main house to the addition are very deep.

The second level of the main house contains the other family bedrooms and a sunny lounge is at the front, providing access to the elevated balcony.

Third floor: A door on the second level accesses stairs to an open concept walk-up loft.

Lower loft area: Sofa and tv with exercise area opposite. The sauna was recently added. Windows bring in sunlight.

Large raised loft area: showcases a large hot tub surrounded by marble. On the same level are his and hers pedestal sinks and behind a privacy screen is the toilet. A rough-in exists for a bidet. Overhead is a (approx 10’ by 10’) skylight that was covered over due to leakage. Two large dormer windows bring in wonderful natural light and provide a great elevated view. Should the McGimpseys ever be so inclined, this area would make a spectacular honeymoon suite in a charming Bed and Breakfast.

Basement: Includes a modern laundry room, additional storage as well as a 120 gallon hot water tank, air exchanger, central air and large electronically controlled boiler for heating the home. Supplemental area heating is provided via heated floors and gas fireplaces. The decorative hot water radiators were cleaned and re-installed ca. 1995.

Yard: The garage was built ca. 1900 as a carriage house. A canine building with three outdoor kennels was added ca. 1995. All of the roofs and two of the buildings match each other.

A patio sits to the west of the house, overlooking the park, with partial view of the street.

A hearty ‘thank you’ is offered to the McGimpseys for allowing me, and thereby all of you, to experience their new dream home, as well as some wonderful Cornwall history. Kudos on this wonderful example of a century home that has been very tastefully maintained with the old and the new complementing each other.


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