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It has been a while since posting, time to catch up!   During my routine walk with doggie down my former street in Victoria Park, I once again marvelled at a beautiful yellow brick Italiante Victorian. I have had several chats with the owners, a lovely couple who took over this family homestead, how fortunate to have such a beautiful home complete with historical heritage.

Tobias Shantz

Tobias Shantz

This stunning Italiante residence was built in 1888 for Tobias and Mary Shantz, which has remained in the same family for over a century.  Arched windows with surrounding brickwork and decorative wooden brackets under the eaves are a few of the many distinctive features.

The home was originally situated on two acres of land.  In 1920 the land was subdivided and sold off to develop the residential neighbourhood around it.

Tobias and Mary’s granddaughter, Dorothy Russell, and great-grandson, Harold Russell, “cleaned out the attic”, and although much textual and graphic material remains with the family, many materials have been donated which represent a significant addition to our knowledge and understanding of local history and way of life in 19th-century Ontario, particularly in Kitchener.

Dorothy Russell is a well-known name in Kitchener, especially in the Victoria Park District.  Her passion for photography and her love for Victoria Park is evident in her collection of photographs which have been published and archived.  Many of her photographs are published in a historical and photographic essay on Victoria Park by Rych Mills, who I have also had the pleasure to meet on several occasions, who is truly a ‘walking encyclopedia’, full of knowledge of the history of Victoria Park. This book is available in several book stores throughout Kitchener and Waterloo, and also available at the Victoria Park Gallery which is open mid-May to October on weekends.

A beautiful home…..full of memories which have continued through the family time-line. Very special!

Victoria Park Italiante

Victoria Park Italiante (photo courtesy of Shannon Kyles; www.ontarioarchitecture.com)