Kulbir Ghuman and Nav Amole have lived all over the world. Born in India, they lived in Toronto, Japan and Europe during their studies and jobs. But it is in Old Montreal that they found their true home.
“Living in a building so rich in history, in a neighborhood offering such quality of life, is quite exceptional,” exclaims this financial director of a pharmaceutical company, before listing his favorite cafes and restaurants in the neighborhood. . “And the Old Port promenade is right next door! »
The couple moved into this 2,200 square foot condo in 2020, located in one of the oldest still standing buildings in North America. Built in 1750, this beautiful stone building was once used to process fur for the Hudson’s Bay Company. Renovated many times, it has been able to retain its typical masonry facades, evocative of the colony era, as well as its pretty large-paned windows.
The foundations hide an underground parking lot, which is accessed through the old stable entrance. “This is where horses were originally kept!” », marvels Mme Ghuman, professor at INRS.
The interior echoes this heritage heritage.
The open concept first floor, where the dining room, large living room and kitchen are located, evokes the building’s industrial past. The raw wooden beams, the thick stone walls, the high ceilings and the large floor recall the hard work that was accomplished there in the past.
“Look at the arrangement of these stones,” said the owner of the place, admiring the mantle of the majestic fireplace. “They weren’t cut to look pretty. This was an industrial building here, and the masons built the fireplace for its utility, not its appearance. It’s a raw beauty. »
The imperfect charm of the terracotta tiles on the kitchen floor reinforces the artisanal atmosphere of the building, while matching the copper color of the wood, notes Kulbir Ghuman.
Even the resolutely modern cabinets and kitchen counters surprisingly respect the building’s manufacturing past with their garage storage look.
Another successful concession to modernism? The beautiful interior staircase with a single metal stringer and glass railing. “Its minimalist aesthetic reminds us of Japan, where we lived for two years,” says Mr. Amole, who had transparent risers added when his son started crawling everywhere.
“We really appreciated the Japanese simplicity. As we grew up in India, we would tend to decorate the house with bright colors, like orange or bright yellow. But we discovered the calm that the natural side of Japanese interiors brings,” he adds, surrounded by splendid green plants.
A real lemon tree (with a lemon hanging from the top) also sits in the entrance hall. “The pandemic hit as soon as we moved in. What to do when you’re locked in the house? We grew plants,” says M.me Ghuman laughing.
The apartment is bathed in natural light which enters through the windows without curtains or blinds.
“The windows face west and north. They give us enough darkness in the morning, and beautiful light throughout the day,” explains Mr. Amole.
The three bedrooms are located on the second floor of the condo. There is also the bathroom and a laundry room. Here again, a skylight brings sunshine to the center of the floor.
This apartment represents in several respects the sum of the couple’s life experiences, especially marked by their stay in Japanese society, but also by their time in Switzerland.
“We lived near a river and we developed this beneficial bond with water. Here, we have the St. Lawrence River which flows two blocks from our home! », underlines Nav Amole.
This place is undoubtedly unique!
Nav Amole, co-owner
And what about the tourist bustle, especially at night, in the area? “We never hear the noise from the street,” assure these two teleworking enthusiasts, who have installed a powerful repeater and wired connections to ensure seamless internet access throughout the house.
“I need supercomputers located all over the world for my work,” explains this specialist in computer-aided materials design. “I couldn’t settle for internet access that fails at any time. »
The WiFi router screwed to a wooden beam perfectly symbolizes the working history of the building, notes Mr. Amole. “It remains a workplace, but in a different era. »
The idea of leaving this house is painful, confides Mme Ghuman, whose son has just celebrated his fourth birthday. She already thinks with regret of the big friends’ parties which were held in the large room transformed on occasion into a reception room.
“The only negative point of this house is the absence of a primary school in the neighborhood. If we stayed here, we would have to plan for an hour of transportation to and from the nearest school. »
The couple will therefore pack their boxes again, but this time, with the conviction of having made Montreal their true home.
Consult the property file
The property in brief
- Asking price: $1,399,000
- Municipal assessment: $1,282,100
- Year of construction: 1750
- Pieces: 16
- Living area: 2168 ft2 (201.4m2)
- Property tax: $7,735
- School tax: $1052
- Condominium fees: $6,204
- Energy expenses: $3480
- Broker: Nicholas Dipatria, Century 21