When Stella Campbell moved into her first home over 65 years ago, fresh Canada Bread and Royal Dairy milk were delivered to the front door each day. The roads were cleaned nearly every second week and having a bathtub was a modern luxury of the times – not a standard home feature.
Just up the street, the Colonial Dress Factory hummed with workers and neighbourhood residents shopped at the local mercantile where food supplies stored behind glass-faced displays were weighed and measured to order.
This was life on Guelph’s historic Northumberland in 1953.
A lot has changed on the tree-lined downtown street since then. But one unique fixture remains. The Campbell’s quaint two and a half story home nestled among their award-winning garden sanctuary.
136 Northumberland St. is a renovator’s dream, that’s close to Toronto, in historic downtown Guelph – one of Canada’s most desirable cities for home buyers. Click here to view one of the most interesting properties on Guelph’s real estate market.
136 Northumberland St. dates back to 1922 and was constructed by well-known Guelph builder, Cecil Irving. The timeless two and a half story, three-plus bedroom, red double brick home boasts a “they don’t make them like they used to” quality reflective of the craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into many post-war era structures – immaculate plasterwork, solid wood finishes, and hardwood floors throughout.
The 1,588 square foot home is finished with its original doors, trim and bannisters made from beautifully finished red fir, giving the property a historical refinement, while the original leaded stained glass window in the main foyer offers a level of style and quality that’s fleeting in many modern homes.
“I believe some of the materials came from when the University of Guelph was being constructed,” laughs Stella Campbell as she recalls the history of her first and only home. When the Northumberland house was built, the University was wrapping up construction on the Ontario Veterinary College.
“One of the most special features of the home is the full-sized loft on the third floor,” adds Mrs. Campbell’s daughter, Stefanie Clark. “It’s pine floors warm the room and panoramic windows bring in so much natural light while the view looks out on to the property’s gardens.”
“It’s a paradise in downtown Guelph.”
Another distinctive feature of the home is a walkout basement with over 8-foot ceilings that leads into an expansive backyard. “When we moved in the back lot was empty,” says Mrs. Campbell. “The neighbourhood kids turned it into their own private park where they played baseball.”
Since 1953 the Campbells have laboured to transform a property reminiscent of a scene from The Sandlot to a garden oasis with close proximity to Downtown Guelph and its many desirable amenities.
The property at 136 Northumberland St. is the true showpiece of the home. The oversized lot is plush with gardens holding varieties of beautiful flowers, mature trees and shrubs.
“The border property has huge Norway Spruce trees that are about 100 years old,” says Mrs. Campbell. “We have cedars, rockeries on the east and west sides of the lot, and two very unique Japanese Maple trees.”
There are two beautiful 70-year-old Black Walnut trees in the westside rockery which provide wonderful shade. This larger of the two rockeries is filled with hearty heirloom tulips that come up every spring and were planted prior to Stella Campbell purchasing the home.
The property is also home to the Pawpaw tree – a lush and distinctive dark green tree with drooping leaves.
“My parents spent a great amount of time in their gardens,” says Clark. “And the care they put into the landscaping shows. They’ve created something truly special over the years.”
Other’s agree with Clark’s assessment of the property.
Stella Campbell and her husband earned the Lawn and Garden Championship Award from the Guelph Horticultural Society in 1976 for their celebrated gardens. The 62.45’ wide x 209’ deep lot remains a commodity among the ever-shrinking property sizes in the residential areas of downtown Guelph.
136 Northumberland St. gives new life to what living close to downtown can be. With the characteristics of this home and its huge lot size, the property’s potential is hard to match.
Beyond the home
At 136 Northumberland St. you can hear church bells ringing from the Basilica of Our Lady, a fully restored Guelph landmark. The home is located in the charming and family-friendly Sunny Acres Park Neighbourhood. Residents benefit from great schools, accessibility to Guelph’s transit hub and the weekday Go Train service to Toronto.
Mere blocks from downtown, this quiet street is in close proximity to churches, parks, shopping, restaurants, pubs, Guelph Farmers’ Market, the Guelph Civic Museum, Bookshelf Cinema Theatre, library, River Run Centre for the Arts, the Sleeman Centre for hockey and sports, and Speed River hiking/biking trails.
And it’s just arrived on Guelph’s real estate market for the first time in nearly seven decades (view the private listing here)
For further information on the property including viewing times, please contact Stefanie Clark at 519-822-2848.