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Holiday House Tour logo

Day Tour

Friday, December 6 &
Saturday, December 7, 2024

9:30 am - 4:30 pm

 $45 early bird   |   $52.50 as of November 08, 2024 

Your day ticket is good for both days – Friday and Saturday. *Eventbrite fees apply. 

 

If you like interior design, architecture, and seasonal decorations, the annual Niagara-on-the-Lake Rotary Holiday House Tour is for you. Tour 6 gorgeous, beautifully decorated homes; visit local historic and cultural sites; sample complimentary tastings from 3 featured wineries and a winery/distillery; and enjoy specially priced luncheons for attendees as well! And all the profits go to charitable causes.

House 1: Ballard Barn

House 1 on the Holiday House Tour

Decorator:
Van Noort Flower Studio
June Floral & Garden
Julie Ballard

Presented by: NOTL Realty

One of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s most enchanting houses, today’s Ballard Barn was a simple, 150-year-old barn when it was discovered in Vermont in 1998, brought to Niagara in pieces, then transformed into the house that exists today. But it was the home’s current owner, Lori Morris Design’s Creative Director, Julie Ballard, who crafted the luxurious comfort and magical garden that captivates hearts now. A soft, almost Moroccan pink colour unifies stunning rooms in the gorgeous, multi-level, French country interior. In the backyard, an exquisite greenhouse fronts a luxurious hideaway and tricks the eye into seeing the garden’s small triangular shape as double its size with multiple ‘rooms’ carefully positioned throughout. Squirrels tap at windows, and whimsy rules in this fairy tale, one-of-a-kind, Niagara-on-the-Lake dream.

Inspired by the eclectic collection of art, antiques, and hand curated items in this unique property, VanNoort Flower Studio and June Floral & Garden will be using foraged and collected greenery, mosses and other natural elements, intending to present a tranquil, forested and lush feeling to this holiday home. 

The current owners were living in Virginia when they heard that a Niagara-on-the-Lake house, an exact replica of an historical home they loved in neighbouring Williamsburg, was up for sale. Having both grown up in Niagara, and anxious to return to their families, they followed up. Fast forward a few months and the two were busy expand-ing the space of their new home while taking great care to respect its authentic character. With one of the two being a celebrated artist, the most important work centred around the creation of an art studio. Construction on that project moved quickly and the result was the beautiful, light-flooded space that exists off the garden today. Paintings crowd the studio’s walls and floors, and admirers, both local and international, come to see the work you’ll be enjoying on the tour.   

Award-winning florist, The Village Flower, will be bringing lush evergreens and beautiful, seasonal blooms into the home, accented with natural dried florals and wood elements. Traditional holiday warmth will greet you from the moment you arrive at the entrance and throughout this incredible space. 

House 3:
The Garden Party

House 3 on the Holiday House Tour

Decorator: Homeowner & Team
with Regal Florist & Garden Centre

Presented by: Bosley Real Estate

It was the brick fireplace in the kitchen of this 180-year-old heritage home that The Garden Party’s current owner first fell in love with. Then, there was the gorgeous wainscotting and trim in the dining room, plus the solarium, of course, which always seemed to be bathed in sunlight. She was also enchanted by the flow of the house. But this owner, a renowned creator of her own magic, had a vision of what the house could be, and work began. Months later, with painters, carpenters and trades of every kind having come and gone, that vision was unveiled. This historical building, once an inn, a pub, and a popular B&B, had been brought back to life. Now resplendent with the old-world charm of its roots, and finished with more than a sprinkling of ‘Glam’, the home had become the cozy, country sanctuary she had promised.

Renowned for her legendary Christmas decorations, the Garden Party's new owner is expected to outdo herself again this year. Elegant florals and shades of hot pink, soft green, and navy will set the mood, as trees studded with glamorous silver and toile balls steal the holiday show.

Built by a local shipwright in 1842, the original Davy House reflected the period’s fondness for elaborate verandahs and whimsical trims in the front of a house, and steep, sloping roofs with lean-to kitchens in the rear.  Reflective of the owner’s vocation, the bay window in the kitchen was designed to replicate a view from the Captain’s quarters of a ship, and remains in place to this day. A century-and-half later, the same care that went into creating the original house was used to seamlessly integrate a new wing into the existing structure. Also added were a coach house, hot tub, multi-hole putting green, and modern amenities which cemented Davy House’s position as one of the most alluring and popular country inns in the area. Now privately owned, former guests continue to knock on the front door to ask if they can still book a stay.  

Regal Florist & Garden Centre has participated in the Holiday House Tour for 24 years. We create unique designs that reflect the style of the home-owners while preserving the integrity of their home. Our original plans often take a surprise direction as we experience the unique personality of the home.

House 5: Willowbank

House 5 on the Holiday House Tour

Decorator:

Garden Club Of Niagara

Presented by: Shaw Festival 

Built in 1834 as a private residence for Alexander Hamilton, Willowbank is considered a Heritage Site of national historic significance. In 2001, its future was jeopardized when its owner threatened to demolish the home if his request to build a subdivision on the property was not approved. Thanks to the intervention of a group of concerned neigh-bours, Willowbank was saved and today is home to a School of Restoration Arts that attracts students from around the world. Although their work on the main house is ongoing, layers of exposed wallpaper in the living and dining rooms continue to serve as a testament to lives well lived. Local folklore has it that Alexander’s wife, Hannah, can sometimes be glimpsed peering out a second-floor window as she continues to watch over her beloved home.    

Garden Club of Niagara: Willowbank will be festooned with garlands, dried and fresh florals for a celebration reminiscent of a bygone era, resplendent with a formal dining table, a luscious desert table laden with floral culinary delights, and a tall, sparkling tree adorned with dried flowers from local gardens.

House 6:
Woodlands Cottage

House 6 on the Holiday House Tour

Decorator: 
Gauld Nurseries

Joanne Young
Elaine Bartolini

Presented by: St. David's Veterinary Clinic

Woodlands Cottage likely originated as a farmer’s house in the mid-1800s, built on property owned by David Secord, (Laura’s brother-in-law). Even then, the town was a popular visitor destination. Steamers would drop passengers at nearby Queenston wharf and horse-drawn rail cars would carry them across the escarpment to the Falls. Reminders of that history remain with the property to this day. When the current owners bought the home two years ago, they discovered remnants of railway ties from the Erie & Ontario Railroad hidden in the forest,
halfway up the escarpment in their backyard. During subsequent reno-vations that inluded a new kitchen, they uncovered original foundation walls, beneath the current living and dining rooms, that were two feet thick – strong enough to support a modern condo building!   

Gauld Nurseries and their gardening coach, Joanne Young, have collaborated with the owner, Elaine Bartolini, in bringing to life her vision of a Woodland Cottage Christmas. The team has integrated handmade ornaments, dried flowers and natural greenery to create a charming country ambiance.

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