Renovation & Design

River Heights classic updated to perfection

Modern amenities meet charming elegance

This classic has a terrific blend of modern function and yesteryear character.

The kitchen has modern function and flair.

Photos by Todd Lewys / Winnipeg Free Press

The sitting room oozes charm with its beamed ceiling, gas fireplace with brick surround, and gorgeous wood-trimmed windows.

The foyer features ornate woodwork and a pristine oak staircase.

As much as folks love River Heights for its character-filled homes, there’s one thing some don’t love — the fact many of these classics lack modern function.

In many instances, kitchens tend to be tiny, or separated from the dining room, and there’s no main-floor mudroom or a home office.

And while there may be potential to create a modern kitchen/dining area and add on a mudroom or office, the added expense often prompts buyers to look elsewhere for a home that has those contemporary conveniences.

Chris Pennycook of Royal LePage Dynamic Real Estate says there are no such issues with a home he just listed a home at 202 Oak St.

"This home has been completely renovated," he says of the 2,364-square-foot, two-storey home, which was built in 1923. "While it’s not a brand-new infill home, it provides everything that such a home provides. The renovations — in particular the addition at the rear of the home — give it the modern function that people are looking for."

Like a high percentage of River Heights Classics, the 98-year-old home features a centre hall plan with a sitting room to the right and dining room/kitchen area to the left.

And right on cue, there’s a gorgeous oak staircase at the end of the landing on the side wall — it’s in pristine condition — that provides access to the home’s upper level. Add in a warm oak floor and original oak door casings, and the home simply oozes yesteryear character and warmth.

However, a quick glance into the dining room/kitchen quadrant to the left quickly serves notice that the home is just as modern as it is traditional, says Pennycook.

"Of course, you’ve got the traditional sitting room to the right with its brick fireplace, beamed ceiling and gorgeous, oak-trimmed windows," he says. "The dining/kitchen area, though, is anything but traditional."

In fact, it’s a wonderful traditional/modern hybrid.

A wall that once separated the kitchen from the dining room was removed, opening the traditional dining room up onto a thoroughly modern peninsula kitchen.

"This is where the renovation by Garnet Construction really starts to shine," Pennycook says. "You get a spacious peninsula-style kitchen with an eating bar for two, quartz countertops, white cabinets, a tile backsplash, tile floor and newer stainless appliances. From there, the addition at the back of the home flows properly, as if it was here right from the start."

Walk down a brief hallway to the rear of the kitchen and you find yourself standing in the newly created area, which holds three spaces.

"It’s just an incredible area," says Miller. "It features a big landing that’s perfect for the kids to take off their coats and footwear, a powder room and a main floor office that, like the landing, is surrounded by windows. A door on the rear wall leads out to a private backyard with a huge deck and new double-detached garage."

Take the well-preserved staircase upstairs, and you find a wide landing around which four bedrooms and a four-piece bath revolve.

The three secondary bedrooms are a good size with large (newer) windows and ample storage, while the next-to-new primary bedroom is a revelation, says Pennycook.

"All I can say is that it’s extremely rare to get a big primary bedroom that’s surrounded by windows plus a huge walk-in closet and luxurious ensuite with walk-in shower, gorgeous herringbone tile floor and modern white vanity with quartz countertop. Everything is so well-done."

He adds that the home’s lower level also offers plenty of contemporary utility.

"It’s fully finished with a rec room with a media area plus a three-piece bath with corner shower and a room that could be used as a legal bedroom if its window was widened out a bit," he says. "The bathroom was done in 2018, and the carpeting was installed in 2020."

Miller says the impeccably remodeled home is a rare find.

"You get everything you’d get in a new infill home — the modern style and function — plus you get original character that includes all the gorgeous woodwork, crystal doorknobs and a classic front porch and staircase. It offers a perfect combination of modern and traditional design themes in a location that can’t be beat."


Location: 202 Oak St., River Heights

Year Built: 1923

Style: two-storey

Size: 2,364 sq. ft.

Bedrooms: four

Bathrooms: three-and-a-half

Price: $739,900

Contact: Chris Pennycook or Val Miller, Royal LePage Dynamic Real Estate, 204-989-5000


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