Heritage architecture has always interested Caspar Geurts, and restoring old buildings is his passion.
Before moving to Canada from Holland, he worked full time restoring centuries-old buildings under the strict heritage codes and regulations in that country.
The knowledge he gained and the skills he acquired proved invaluable when he and his wife Monique moved to Victoria-by-theSea and began to restore the former Dunrovin/Palmer home and cottages at 33 Nelson Street. They believe that, by restoring these structures, they are contributing to the heritage character of the village and bringing in business through tourism, which they believe helps everyone. The previous owner, Kay Wood, was the first to offer farm vacations in PEI, so the Geurts family is proud to continue that tradition.
They have been working on the Nelson St. property for eight years, inside and out, and they recently built an addition to the house in the same architectural style as the original house and using only old building materials. Six cottages on the property were completely renovated, and a heritage-style barn was built to replace a derelict barn that was beyond repair. Caspar does all the carpentry work, making or repurposing all materials himself. Occasionally, he has enlisted assistance from local carpenter Billy MacQuarrie.
The restoration and renovation of the buildings has involved replacing rotten pieces of wood, replacing plastic windows and doors with pine windows and doors made by Caspar, installing new shingles on exterior walls, laying new floors with old materials from a former church, re-shingling the roof, replacing a fireplace, restoring a chimney, and painting inside and out. They also upgraded the electrical service, the plumbing, and the insulation and built a new deck.
And that’s just the house. The cottages too required major renovations inside and out.
For their efforts to restore this historic property, Caspar and Monique Geurts have been chosen to receive a Heritage Recognition Award.