As one of the most idyllic places in the Edmonton area, there aren’t many reasons to leave Sturgeon County. But for this husband and wife, sometimes it’s nice to be in the centre of things. “We decided that we didn't want to live on an acreage anymore by ourselves,” she says. “It was just very quiet, and we couldn't really socialize or go out that much.”
When they did make it downtown, one building always caught their eyes. “We used to drive by the Excelsior for years, when we’d come down to the farmers’ market from [near] St. Albert. And we used to say, ‘What’s inside?’ It always intrigued us.”
They originally bought the fourth-floor unit — one of six that were added onto the three-storey building when it was converted in 1992 — as an investment. Then COVID hit, and acreage life became even lonelier, so they decided to make their move. When the neighbouring unit went up for sale, they snatched it up too and knocked down the dividing wall (it’s kind of a theme for tenants in this building). Then the renovations began with Carson Built.
When most people think “downtown loft,” they think of exposed brick. But this unit was largely drywall, so they bricked up much of it in true loft fashion. Each original unit had its own second floor, and now they’re connected by a walkway (with a new sewing room in between) that overlooks one of the most unique homes in the city. One of the standout features are the custom railings and steelwork by Nova West Steel Works.
Decorating was the relatively easy part, thanks to Bold Blinds and a lifetime of travel spent buying items they literally can’t get here, including a 100-year-old diamond and the sign from her grandfather’s old butcher shop. The whole place is full of what looks like one-of-one items, and with its wrap-around patio and view of Rogers Place, you can tell they love their one-of-one loft. But they love the location just as much. “We lived on the acreage for 12 years, and Sturgeon County is beautiful. But now we’ve joined the art gallery, the museum, Ballet Edmonton and, of course, the Oilers. And we see people all the time.”