A house may just be a building — four walls with a roof on top, maybe some doors and windows, too — but a home is so much more. It’s your happy place where you return after a long day. It’s where you cook and sleep, laugh and cry, grow and age.
A home is more than just a house, and nobody knows this better than one real estate agent duo in Canada. Still, when they received some perplexing details about curious Toronto house, they were skeptical it was something anyone could ever call home — until they heard the owner’s story…
In November of 2018, a real estate agent received a call from an elderly woman who asked for help selling her house. When they heard where the house was located, they jumped at the opportunity. But then she told them something else…
The house hadn’t been touched since 1972! The 96-year-old Canadian woman told the real estate agents that nobody had remodeled or updated it in decades, so the realtors weren’t quite sure what to expect once they finally got inside.
The woman, who introduced herself as Joyce, lived on 148 Jane Street in the Old Mill neighborhood, a beautiful, peaceful area not far from Toronto. The sister team had sold houses there in the past for quite a hefty price — and thus a hefty commission.
However, when they first took a look at the front of the house, the women reacted with skepticism. It seemed like a plain, suburban home that, if in good condition, could be worth an average amount of money. The key words being IF in good condition.
The ladies walked around the side of the house to take a look at the backyard, which was covered in snow and ice at the time. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, but the Spizzirri sisters were still wondering what Joyce was hiding inside.
Naturally, Gladys and Carla suspected that an old woman living alone would not be able to keep up a house. If she didn’t repaint, fix plumbing issues, order pest control, or even clean, the interior of the house would surely be a disaster.
Another theory that the realtors came up with was that Joyce might be a hoarder. Why hadn’t she updated her house in so long, even when she was younger? Could it be because it was filled to the brim with old garbage?
Joyce assured them that no such thing would be found inside her lovely home and that the ladies would understand what she meant when they came to view the house’s interior. Finally, their love for the Old Mill neighborhood and their desire to help this woman won them over.
A few days later, Gladys and Carla came over to visit Joyce’s home as planned, and when they walked through the door and glanced around the hallway, their jaws nearly dropped to the floor.
The entire house was preserved exactly in the style of the 1950s! In fact, at the time Joyce had given it her own personal touch with pastel pinks, blues, and greens, antique white furniture, elegant wallpaper, and golden decorations.
Every room reminded Gladys and Carla of a vintage Barbie dream house, in the best way possible. It felt like each and every room was competing with the others to tell every visitor, “See, I look even better than the living room.”
A 1950s house wouldn’t be complete without a bachelor-pad-style basement, complete with a bar and a fireplace for the chilly Canadian winters. This was the only area not completely pastel-colored, as it was meant as a place to relax for Joyce’s late husband.
The home contains three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, a dining room, a breakfast nook, a kitchen a laundry room in the basement, and, of course, the previously mentioned bar area. It’s hard to believe all that could fit in the home, but perhaps it had a touch of magic to it.
The reason why the house was styled to a T was that Joyce was actually a seamstress who already had an eye for design when it came to clothing and linen. She had always wanted to dabble in interior decoration as well. “I’ve always tried to be individual, and follow my own styles,” she said.
“I like soft colors, and I like things to match and flow well together,” she said. “I prefer tone-to-tone to bright colors.” Her taste was obvious: she gave her house an elegant and yet calm and friendly look, with pink, blue, and turquoise themes downstairs and purple and lilac themes upstairs.
You won’t find any modern appliances, furniture, or decor pieces anywhere in the house. The only room that was once updated was the kitchen, but that was still in the 1970s to adjust the space to new appliances that made cooking a little easier.
Unfortunately for those interested in buying the house, it wouldn’t come with its priceless furniture. While the wallpaper, lamps, bathroom and kitchen details remained, valuable and wonderful pieces like the breakfast nook set stayed in the family, as Joyce’s daughter asked to keep them.
And with a little sun, even the backyard has a ’50s theme, complete with swan statues and astroturf. Since Joyce didn’t spend much time in the yard due to her age, it is the only part of the house that looks a bit plain.
While Joyce was sad to sell the house that she has lived in for 72 years and trade it in for a retirement community, she spent many happy years there and hoped that the next owners would too — and that they will at least keep some of her original themes!
Dozens of potential buyers and curious Torontonians have stood in awe at 148 Jane Street, relishing in the magical work Joyce had put in all those years. Though it’s unknown whether the house has been sold, the asking price was posted at about 700,000 Canadian dollars. However, a place like this is truly priceless.