$209 900

When I was a kid, growing up in an ancient village just outside Oxford in England, I was, for a few months, studying the Canadian Shield, and the effects of glaciation on the Ontario landscape. It was a distant, largely unimaginable land, so hard-seeming and unforgiving, compared to the green valleys and fish-full streams I was used to. And I had no idea that the next year I would fly one April morning into Toronto and move not much later to Kingston, where I live now.

Those geography classes made it a little easier for me to understand the country I had landed in.  I was shy, and slow to make friends, but I found solace in the granite outcroppings and pitted limestone.  And you know, I still look forward to my drives north of the city, which is why this new listing, at 4331 Desert Lake Rd, just 1 km north of Verona, is an exciting one for me. That and the fact that it’s a great, well-priced house.

It’s a wooden clapboard house painted a brilliant white, and its silhouette enhanced with some elaborate gingerbread trim. The metal roof is a classic and the sense is of a house that’s always been there, so comfortably does it settle into the rock and forest and sky and wetlands off to the west.

You might reasonably expect a tired interior, I suppose at this price. But instead you’ll find a refined and gracious set of spaces, well-renovated and friendly. The propane furnace is less than a year old, and the windows have been done, and the floors, and the main-floor laundry and bathrooms (this is a subway tile sort of renovation – modern and with clean lines, rather than a country kitsch sort of get-up). The kitchen is very large and has a woodstove in it, and a table and chairs up against the window, so you can watch the world change through the seasons, and the wildlife tiptoe or wing through the yard.

I like it very much and the photos (courtesy of Lucas Tingle) should give you a more eloquent sense of what I’m getting at. It’s a sweet and also cool house.