An iconic New Westminster historical property has hit the market.
At the end of a small street in the heart of Queen’s Park is 403 St. George St., also known as Rostrevor, a stunning Queen Anne revival mansion.
Once named by The Province as one of Metro Vancouver’s “10 magnificent mansions,” Rostrevor is the rare combination of a sprawling historic estate and smart home.
“I think Rostrevor is very special,” Kristina Eng, the listing agent says.
“With so many homes, you either have a well-preserved or restored historic home, or you can have all these wonderful technological lifestyle enhancements, but it’s rare to get the two together.”
The current homeowner works in technology and carefully upgraded the home to be smart-controlled.
“On one hand, you have a fabulous, historic masterpiece. On the other hand, hidden, which you wouldn’t know unless you lived there, is a smart-controlled home.”
The home features whole-house air conditioning and heating that can be controlled via mobile device even when you’re away, so you can warm up or cool down the house ready for your return. The fire and house alarms are networked and monitored, with notifications available on your mobile device.
“When you’re living there day to day, you notice the difference these smart features make to your quality of life,” Eng says.
The smart home options are a hidden bonus to the stunning features of Rostrevor.
The elegant 5,840 square foot home sits on a huge 12,672-square foot sun-filled south-sloping corner lot with raised garden beds and a micro-watering system. Nestled behind the house is a large private courtyard for quiet relaxing and entertaining and a fully fenced area ideal for children and pets.
The yard features one of the oldest monkey puzzle trees in Western Canada. It now towers above the street, but originally arrived at the home as a tiny seedling brought back by the then-owner of the house, who was a ship captain involved with the building of the Panama Canal.
“The house is set back from the road. The front aspect doesn’t quite show how extensive the house is,” Eng says.
“It’s a little of a hidden secret you don’t realize, perhaps until you go inside, quite how magnificent it is.”
Built in 1890 by Charles Hendry Clow and Samuel Maclure, the architect behind some of B.C.’s most famous mansions, Rostrevor has a rich history of over 130 years.
“The original family who built the home must have been astoundingly wealthy because everywhere there are signs of quality and detail that went into the house,” Eng says.
You might have seen the house in the hit TV show “Once Upon a Time”, as Rostrevor was turned into Mr. Gold’s house during season one.
Rostrevor features soaring 11-foot ceilings, beautiful wood paneling and the original solid wood floors. Stunning crystal chandeliers hang throughout the house, and there are five working fireplaces—three of which are gas and two of which are wood-burning. The original stained glass windows were made by the famous, and first in B.C., glassworkers Bloomfield and Sons, and are among the oldest remaining examples of their work.
Despite its stunning architectural details, it is still very much a comfortable family home.
“It would be incredible for a family. It’s a magical house for children,” Eng says.
“If you had older teens or young adults, it would be ideal because there are so many areas of the home where you can be independent.”
The historic neighbourhood of Queen’s Park has a reputation for being family-friendly and walkable, with excellent schools. From May to October, the farmer’s market in Tipperary Park is just a short block downhill from Rostrevor.
“This house would also be perfect for successful people who are looking for comfortable but gracious living, and want to entertain and host their guests in style,” Eng says.
While no one is doing much entertaining these days due to COVID-19, Eng notes Rostrevor is the perfect space to accommodate a work and schooling from home set up.
“Now that the home has been so upgraded on a technological level, it has the power and the infrastructure to allow everyone in the family to have their own space, their own office, and run all their computers and internet needs with no problem,” Eng says.