Christmas is a time for giving - and also for getting. Some very nice people gave me some very nice things this year, but none can compare to what a fellow named Mr. Wong gave me.
Two days before Christmas, the previous owner of our house pulled up in front of our walkway, and knocked on the front door. When I answered in my disheveled, sleepy, lounging-around-doing-nothing-on-the-holidays state, he gave me the sweetest gift of all. Not homemade cookies, not sugar plums, not chocolate truffles. No, he gave me the original, nearly 70-year-old blueprints to our house.
Having an architect for a grandfather, one who designed the renowned Dofasco Park, and having briefly considered architecture as a career myself, this was an incredible gift.
In my dining room I slowly unfolded the 1939 plans, and was amazed by what my eyes first fell upon: a note from the builder, handwritten in ink, which read,
These are the plans referred to in agreement bearing date & day of May 1939 and made between S.W. Robb Ltd. as builder and Gertrude Roden, married woman, pertaining to house to be built on parts of lots 228 & 229 in (this) survey. Dated this 20th day of June, 1939.
From conversations with elderly neighbours, I learned that the Roden's lived in the house for a whopping 56 years - from 1939 to 1995. No one knows what happened after that.
Examining the crusty plans and viewing the front elevation, especially the garage, Suz and I both instantly agreed we had to transform the house back to its former state. I was excited to see the fuel room, and we both kind of laughed at the hide-away ironing board in the kitchen. But then again, times were different in the 1930s. I checked our kitchen, and found that some patchy lines are still visible from where the ironing board was once hidden.
The stamp in the bottom right corner of the blueprints indicates the designer was Edward Glass. Is it the same Edward Glass as I found here? Quite possibly.
I was hoping for some snow, dreaming of a white Christmas. There was none. But I can't complain about the blue Christmas I got instead.