Taking this somewhat dark and neglected 19th century house, bringing it to the present century, while respecting its origins. This is the challenge that Jason and Rachel Schwartz set themselves after acquiring this property on Drummond Street in 2008. Add to that their passion for art, and here we are in this exceptional residence, located in a district which is just as much.

This neighborhood is the Carré Mille Doré1 which takes root at the foot of Mount Royal, in the west of downtown. The place was endowed with sumptuous residences, mainly by the English-speaking bourgeoisie who came to settle there between 1850 and 1930. Since then, some of these houses have had a new vocation, but many have disappeared to make way for office towers. , condos, hotels, businesses… Built in 1891, the townhouse type house that we are visiting today has valiantly resisted.

When Mr. Schwartz became interested in it, it was occupied by an architectural firm. That said, one might think that the deal was sweet for the buyer, but it is here that the proverb of the badly shod shoemaker takes on its meaning. “ It was really a place of creation and work for them, says Mr. Schwartz. There were shelves and samples everywhere. There had been renovations that looked more like DIY, with half a bathroom… We found all sorts of things, even in the walls,” he says amusedly.

Being in the real estate business himself, Mr. Schwartz is used to renovating buildings and giving them new life. In this case, it was a crush, he admits. It was here that he, his wife and their three children, who were still young, were going to settle. Rather than the suburbs, the courtyard and the journey, they chose to be close to everything. Close to universities, cultural life, business, shopping and Mount Royal. “ We don’t have a yard, but the mountain is there”, says Rachel.

If the previous renovations had been made over the years and the needs, those of the couple were carried out in 2009 with great meticulousness, an overview and an obvious love for the beautiful and the good.

In addition to the floor plan, which was worked on with architect Frederic Klein, the couple planned and coordinated the works, interior design, decoration and restoration themselves. “ The woodwork, the arches, the doors, we tried to restore everything we could ”, summarizes Rachel. Elements that were too damaged were copied and redone. In this happy marriage of old and new, there is nothing too much or too little. Just what you need to create an atmosphere, enhance everyday life and surprise the eye.

While an elevator ride is usually boring, here in this four-level house it’s a bit of a spooky journey. This, thanks to the mural that Tim Barnard, artist co-founder of the Montreal collective En Masse, drew in the elevator shaft, all along the route.

In fact, contemporary art, particularly urban art, has pride of place in this property. Each work has a story dear to the masters of the place. This mural in the training room was designed by two artists they met while traveling in Israel. This other, outside at the back of the property, is the work of a Montreal artist. This picture, painted on the wall and dripping elegantly onto the immaculate floor, on the upper floor, is the work of another. The plates that adorn the kitchen walls, creations of the artist and designer Piero Fornasetti, were brought back from Italy, and tutti quanti…

The four levels of the house each have their defined function: the ground floor includes the living rooms; the second floor, with its three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large family room, was the children’s kingdom; the third is the master’s quarters; and the basement is used as an office by the owners, but has everything needed to be intergenerational housing.

The couple still enjoy downtown life and plan to stay there. But since the house has gotten a little too big since the kids have been on their own, Jason and Rachel have decided to put it up for sale to fit in smaller. There will not be far to go, since they plan to move into another of their projects currently under construction, just opposite. Two town and period houses too, which will experience a new life in the form of four apartments.

Asking price: $6,500,000

Valuation: $3,486,900

Description: Stone town house dating from 1891, completely renovated and modernized, while retaining its period character.

Lot Size: 3169 ft⁠2

Property tax: $29,244

School tax: $2975

Broker: Joseph Montanaro Real Estate Group Inc., RE/MAX Action