As a departure from the regular krousehouse update, I wanted to share a post highlighting a special home tour that belongs to a really awesome family here in Grimsby.
Bob and Michelle Friesen happened upon their cottage home purely by accident after taking a wrong turn on the way to a friend’s place. When you see the narrow streets of this tucked away little neighbourhood known as “Historic Grimsby Beach” you know right away that serendipity had to be at work. They had no idea that this enclave of cottages even existed or that it would become the home in which they would settle and start their family so many years ago .
Historically, the Grimsby Beach was known as The Chautauqua of Canada. Chautauqua’s were popular in the late 1800’s as a way of spreading academics, knowledge and religion through music, culture and lectures. It seems like perfect karma that Bob and Michelle would be drawn here given their love of music and community and their ability to bring together friends and neighbours who share that passion.
Their spontaneity is what led them to buy the little 1880’s era cottage by the lake after finding it by chance. The deal was sealed once they took the path leading to the backyard and found stunning views of Lake Ontario, a generously sized property and access to the beach below. Clearly not ones to shy away from adventure, they put an offer on the place almost immediately.
Their purchase was like many old cottages; a warren of tiny dark rooms. Renovation started with opening up the main floor living space. Layers of wallpaper were stripped to find particle board instead of plaster or drywall and virtually no insulation. The kitchen was moved from one side of the cottage to the other and updated to accommodate family life and the kind of large-scale entertaining only the Friesen’s can do.
Respecting the history of the Beach while making the cottage their own has been fuelled by Michelle’s incredible energy and Bob’s skill as a handyman. Their love of community has fostered many lifelong friendships here . “These aren’t places to grow old in…there are no bathrooms on the main floor, there are lots of stairs and lots of maintenance.” That being said, it is the home that the Friesen family has grown in to and the friends and neighbours they have found here make it the kind of place they can’t ever imagine leaving. I hope you enjoy a peek into this truly special place.