Demolition Day

Mea Culpa. It has been a while, make that a long while since the last update on the house that I am building for myself in Downtown Toronto. The honest truth is that I just couldn’t manage. I couldn’t manage being knee deep in the renovation and reporting on it at the same time.

Anyone who has undertaken a renovation, big or small, will know that it can be overwhelming ; I was overwhelmed!

In any event, is the house finished? Yes it is. Have I regained my sanity? Yes I have. What’s more, I am ready to continue with the story.

Press here for the  Demolition Day Video.


Wish Big: Richmond Reno Pt. 3

It’s not enough to wish, why not wish big?

While the crumbling house that I bought was far from the big and beautiful building I saw myself moving into, reimagined, I knew it could be transformed into something else, something I could call my home.

To that end I started my research, spoke to architects, interviewed some contractors, got some quotes then hired a builder.  I put all of my savings and trust on the line. In August of 2012, the next phase of this new journey began.

Click on the picture below if you’d like to see part 3 of my video digest. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V1Bf5SWNH8)

Richmond St Project


Richmond Reno Part 2

Every girl needs options. It is the ultimate kind of freedom.

My options were to stay in a big beautiful house I could no longer afford, start anew in something small and affordable or take on a challenge. I decided to take the challenge. Still, being one of those people who cling to comfort, luxury and familiarity. I was about to get out of my comfort zone….In fact I’m still out of my comfort zone.

Just click the image below for the latest video update.

Pt 2



What was i thinking

While we all know that change is good, you have to admit that change is not always easy.

I purchased this property in downtown Toronto in May of 2012 at a very turbulent time in my life. My marriage of 17 years was coming to an end, I was selling my family home, issues with our landlord was forcing my business partner and me to close our design store, my niece had developed a very serious illness and my father had recently passed away; Alzheimer disease took his mind then his life but not his spirit.

All I knew was that If my dad were alive and well at the time, he would have seen the house, shook his head and with a big chuckle tell me to ”Run for the hills Ter, it’s too much work.” My mother who is still very much alive would have agreed with him. Nevertheless, what she said to me was, ” What the hell Terese, if you love it, why not take a chance.”  Both of my parents were hard workers who through their lives experienced plenty of turbulence and took many chances in an effort to find a better life for themselves and their family”

So I took a chance.

Click on the picture below to view my first video.

Richmond Reno Video Pt.1

Richmond Reno Video Pt.1




The House that Terese Built…Almost

I always loved the Ugly Duckling fairytale.  Oh such woe I felt for the sad little grey bird. He was unloved and cast aside by all the others in the farmyard because of his plain looks. So, what a joy it was to read the part, where after a lonely and miserable winter spent by himself, the bird re-emerged in spring a strong and beautiful swan.

That story literally flashed into my mind when I turned the corner and saw this building. Pt 1- 1

It’s a tiny semi detached, 2 storey house on a corner lot, fronting on a main street in a once downtrodden part of Toronto’s Old Town neighbourhood.  Built in a modest 2nd empire style of architecture in the late 1800’s, the building hasn’t been lived in for several years.

Pt 1 -2

It was ugly, not because of its historic style; people know that I love this city’s beautiful old buildings. It was ugly because for too many years it had been unloved; crumbling bricks and mortar, a sinking foundation, rotting wood, broken glass, a tarp even covered a portion of the roof. It was an absolute and total wreck.

I had to have it.

Pt 1 -3

Pt 1-4

Much more to come……