Tour Da Jour


Every city seems to have its historical areas with grande old glorious homes. You know, they’re the one’s you need a bazillion dollars to buy, landscape and refurbish. Were you hanging out here when I posted about Old Glenora last year?  The home’s there look like they’ve popped right out of your favourite home magazine, I can never decide which home I love better.

Luckily, it was completely affordable to take advantage of the recent open house at ‘The Magrath Mansion’ .  The event was sponsored by the ‘Historical Highlands Society’.  They’re a local non-profit society dedicated to the awareness and preservation of the Highlands community in Edmonton.

This neighbourhood is filled with beautiful large trees and early 20th century architectural styled homes.  Many of the wealthy residents of the time shaped the early days of our growing city and government.  Mr William Magrath was one such person.  Please join me on the tour………….

Mr Magrath died in 1920. Unfortunately, his family only resided in this beautiful mansion for ten more years. The depression of the 1930’s  hit them hard and left them destitute.  Sadly, in 1931 their home was seized by a sheriff.  Over the last century, it’s seen a few transformations and owners until in March 2000 the current owners Sid and Nellie Braaksma bought it and returned it to its former glory.

Here’s another look at Boomdee’s Highland dream home.  Oh, to have a veranda, sigh.  If I lived here, you could ALL come for tea, xox

Boomdee's Dream House

It was really fabulous to attend the Magrath Mansion  open house and thank you for joining Boomdee on this tour da jour.

Do you fancy historical (character) homes

or modern all the way?

Related Sites

The Boys From Cherry Street – Two Guys In A 1920’s Colonial Revival

Historical Highlands Society Website

The Highlands Golf Club – Boomdee worked here as a teen (not tooooo long ago, HA)


51 responses »

    • It’s funny, it looks giant on the outside and yet not that big inside. Well, as far as houses with ballrooms go, HA. I think there’s so much more interest to the facade of an historical house compared to the box’s they build today. The craftsmanship is so exquisite. Thanks for joining the tour Clowie!

  1. I so love historical homes. It is one of the must things to do on vacations when I travel. This home would be no exception….it always makes me sad to hear how the families lost these beauties in the great depression. I hear this over and over.

    • I’m glad you joined the tour Laurie. We’ve been in a number of historical homes when we travel too. It’s always fun to learn about who built them and their histories. Time sure has a way of repeating itself it seems. Hope your weekend has been fun! Thanks for your message too.

    • That’d just be perfect Steven. It’s hard to find a builder who knows anything except the cookie cutter home here. The housing market is actually booming here in Edmonton because of low unemployment and interest rates remain low for now. Life in a Boom is not cheap.

  2. Your dream house is beautiful! Whenever I see lovely old houses like this one I tell myself that I don’t really want a house like that because there’d be to much maintenance (but a tiny piece of me still wishes that I had a gorgeous old home).

    • It’d probably be too big for us too but they’re in a great spot. In a perfect world, I’d have a brand new home that was built to look like a classic. But you need a lot a room for something like that and the new lot’s here are usually 33′ wide. You can find bigger ones in older neighbourhoods for big $$$’s. Thanks for coming on the tour with me Sheryl.

  3. Loved the tour AND your dream home. Historic homes are my favorites, hands down. Preferably they’d be updated enough to have lots of electrical outlets though! 🙂 Don’t get me started about the lovely Victorian homes in SFO. Also, Atlanta (my hometown) has some lovely old homes; did you see them in the movie Driving Miss Daisy? Like a good Southern girl I grew up in a home with white columns, though nowhere near as impressive as the McGrath home!

    • Thanks for coming with on the highbrow tour. I was telling Alys that there’s a number of weddings there every year. Great venue for photo’s. I bet it’s gorgeous in Georgia. I did see Driving Miss Daisy years ago, I really should see it again now that I know little Julia skipped down the streets. Your childhood home sounds very gracious, maybe you’ll find a quote you like and share a photo one day xK (was it like this?

      • Oh, don’t I wish! Actually, our older son who is in the last year of a 5-year PhD program at Emory University in Atlanta lives not too far from there. As an Emory student he has directly benefitted from the Woodruff’s fortune! But I’ve never seen that B&B – I will have to go look for it next time I’m near Inman Park. If you head to Atlanta be sure to let me know – maybe I’ll meet you there and we can go to Mary Mac’s Tea Room – in the South, a tea room serves way more than tea!

      • Thanks for the invite Julia and for sharing the link.I love places with lots of history. Hey, if His Holiness The Dalai Lama eats there, it must be good. I would guess that’s a day to be OFF any diets…LOL.

  4. Great tour Kelly! I too was having visions of all the Downton Abbey drama happening there. That and and of course a vision of lazy dogs sprawled all over that gorgeous wood inlay floor!
    Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

    • Thanks for coming along Kathryn ! I wonder if they had a dog? Maybe I should find out. Wouldn’t it be great to have all that room for pets? We DO all your pals sleep at night? I imagine they all have a favourite spot next to you. Long weekends rock, enjoy yours as well!

      • Most of my guys sleep spread out around the house, each has their very own big cozy cushion with a fleecy blanket on top. There is really very little bed swapping or stealing, as they are really respectful of each others place… unless of course we are talking cats… they will steal any bed that they can! Eight of my dogs stay full time with the horses (the wild guys!) and they each have a cozy cushion in the saddle room, or can sleep in the hay as they will often choose 🙂

  5. Sweet! Love the narration and hearing your wonderful voice. What a house. Many of the features remind me of the Winchester house includingTiffany glass, carved wood, and the wide facade. They must have been the signs of wealth for the time. I’m a sucker for fancy woodwork. What a skill.

    What fun to visit and have tea on that veranda.

    It’s so nice to find you here today. xox

    • Thanks for all those fab compliments Alys. It took me a while to get that all together, ha. Having fun with iMovies though. I really have an appreciation for how well Will narrates his Video. He’s so spontaneous…..I need practice.

      The veranda is gorgeous and someone actually lives here and enjoys it. I actually had lemonade because it was a hot hot day.

      I’m gasping at the date, are you? August just blasted by.

      (I actually had another post ready to go and ooooppps, put the wrong date on it, so I decided to tuck it back onto the shelf, dah)

      • 🙂

        Will is a natural for sure, but I think he’s done it with some frequency. I predict you’ll be just as relaxed with time. That Eko is so darn cute.

        As for the date: yeah! We can begin a countdown in earnest.

  6. Love the picture of you sitting on that fabulous car! You look great! Thanks for the tour … it’s amazing how folks used to live … and I’m so thankful that someone came along to restore this beautiful home.

    • Well that’s really nice of you to say, thanks LB. I took all the photo’s with my new Samsung 4S. They could’ve been better but I was trying really hard not to get tons of other Lookie-lou’s in the photo’s. Not easy at an open house, HA I can’t really imagine having that kind of home at the time, lot’s a families lived in one room houses, including my own grandparents. It’s on the best lot in the neighbourhood too, great asset to the city for sure. Thanks for being here! xK

  7. Thank you for the beautiful tour. I feel the heartbreak of someone who has the vision to create such beauty to then lose it in a financial calamity. Oh, the loss! Not so different from what’s happening today with the millions of foreclosed homes… perhaps a little less grand in scale, but every bit as painful, all the same.

    • Thanks for joining the tour Kerri. I would imagine Mrs Magrath would have been heart broken at the loss of her husband and home all within 10 years. I should do some digging and see where she went after. Maybe another post 😀

  8. Three cheers for historical homes!!! I prefer them greatly over modern. If anything, I always know where i want to put the Christmas tree in an old, interesting home versus a cold, rigid, modern one. 🙂 This was a great place you visited.

    • Hey, hi guys and you’re welcome. I was happy to pop in and need to take more time to snoop round. It looks like a really great neighbourhood. I tend to always love the older homes, but the Mr wants nothing to do with it. We’re house hunting presently and I’ve seen a few to die for. Lucky you! See you round Cherry Street 😀

    • Thanks for watching Pauline! I think the back stairs drama is every bit as delish as what goes on in the rest of the house. Or so it seems on Downton Abbey! I love that show and can’t wait for the next season. Alys and I are quite heartbroken over poor Matthew though 😦 Those sweet baby blues will be missed 😀

      • Oh yes – the’ Christmas Special’ and they killed him off – how could they do that? I sat there with my mouth open saying “no – no – no – you can’t do this” even while they did! I fear it will be downhill all the way from now on for Downton ….but I shall watch to see what becomes of poor Mary, who is ‘made a good person’ by him do you remember?.

      • YAHHHHH! Another DA fan….of course I remember. Mary was not a treat at all in the first couple of seasons…I hope she doesn’t fall back on her old ways, I like the new Mary. Motherhood may soften her, can’t wait to see!

      • Pauline is going to see them all way before us…gads (as they might have said) we’ll have to be careful not to pre-scoop ourselves. 😀 Have you re-watched any episodes?

      • I haven’t. Maybe we can stay up late and watch a few when you’re hear. You’re right…Pauline will be in the know. We’ll be hiding from spoilers, Pauline. 🙂 Or…maybe we’ll fly over for a visit. 😉

Talk nerdy to me………..

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