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Historic Low-Martin home goes on the market for $3.4M

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Loaded with charm, beautiful woodwork, decorative ceilings, leaded glass windows, the Low-Martin House is a Walkerville wonder with a pedigree and a passion project for its owner Vern Myslichuk.

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But Myslichuk, a Windsor businessman, made the difficult decision to put his home on the market. The asking price is $3.4 million.

“I’m a businessman and now seems like the right time,” Myslichuk said of the nearly 100-year-old stone-clad English cottage-style building that took two years to restore.

“It’s the right time and it will certainly be a very sad day for me…because there’s a lot of passion in the house.

“I have other buildings that I buy and sell all day but this one is going to hurt.”

Vern Myslichuk, owner of the Low-Martin home, is shown at the historic Walkerville home on Monday, Feb. 21, 2022. He has put the home on the market for $3.4 million.
Vern Myslichuk, owner of the Low-Martin home, is shown at the historic Walkerville home on Monday, Feb. 21, 2022. He has put the home on the market for $3.4 million. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

Walkerville has become a sought-after neighborhood for buyers in a popular seller’s market.

“I know homes go up for sale and don’t last long, but it’s the same all over town,” Coun said. Chris Holt, whose neighborhood includes Walkerville.

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“I don’t know if Walkerville is different from other parts of town.

“As far as the real estate itself, Walkerville is pretty iconic in terms of the architecture and the streets and just the vibe,” Holt said. “It’s very different from all the other parts of the city.”

Much of Walkerville was a planned community – a company town – built by whiskey baron Hiram Walker for his workforce.

Holt pointed out that many buildings were designed by famous architect Albert Khan and other prominent architects of the time.

“So it’s definitely very different from any other neighborhood in the city,” Holt said. “I would definitely say it’s becoming more and more popular.

“That’s what makes Walkerville so popular is the architectural aspect,” he added.

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“And not just the look but also the way the houses are close to the street, the vast majority have porches, large porches. It’s a very distinct urban design in Walkerville.

“The streets are narrow, the cars tend to drive slower, there aren’t many alleys so the houses are closer together. And it really has a very distinct vibe because of that urban design.

Vern Myslichuk, owner of the Low-Martin home, is shown at the historic Walkerville home on Monday, Feb. 21, 2022. He has put the home on the market for $3.4 million.
Vern Myslichuk, owner of the Low-Martin home, is shown at the historic Walkerville home on Monday, Feb. 21, 2022. He has put the home on the market for $3.4 million. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

At 4,800 square feet, the Low-Martin house offers plenty of room to spread out.

Built in 1928 by Windsor rumrunner Harry Low, the house was then known as Devonshire Lodge according to the Windsor Public Library website.

The Cotswolds English cottage-style home of rough stone cost $150,000 to build.

Low lived there with his wife, Nellie, until 1934, when they defaulted on the mortgage and were forced to move.

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The Lows have hosted a number of infamous guests such as Al Capone and members of Detroit’s Purple Gang, a criminal mob of bootleggers and gangsters that operated in Detroit during the Prohibition era of the 1920s.

Vern Myslichuk, owner of the Low-Martin home, is shown at the historic Walkerville home on Monday, Feb. 21, 2022. He has put the home on the market for $3.4 million.
Vern Myslichuk, owner of the Low-Martin home, is shown at the historic Walkerville home on Monday, Feb. 21, 2022. He has put the home on the market for $3.4 million. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

In 1960, Alice Eleanor Martin, wife of Paul Martin Sr., purchased the house. The Martins hosted incumbent prime ministers Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau. And their son, Paul Martin Jr., was elected on the 21st Prime Minister of Canada from 2003 to 2006.

Myslichuk bought the house in April 2012 and spent the next two years restoring it.

Owner of BetterMade Cabinets and La Verns Market, a grocery store on University Avenue West, Myslichuk also owns the former Vermouth at 333 Ouellette Ave.

He plans to reopen the space in the coming months as a jazz bar called Vernmouth, an addition to his cocktail bar on Erie Street called Verna-Q-Lar Lounge.

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He lives in his Walkerville mansion and doesn’t yet know where he will go once the house sells – if it sells.

“I like the house. It’s a beautiful house,” Myslichuck said. “It’s absolutely breathtaking.

“I’ll move from here and wherever I go, it won’t be the same. It will be a very sad day. I’m not looking forward to that.

“I almost hope it doesn’t sell out.”

Vern Myslichuk, owner of the Low-Martin home, is shown at the historic Walkerville home on Monday, Feb. 21, 2022. He has put the home on the market for $3.4 million.
Vern Myslichuk, owner of the Low-Martin home, is shown at the historic Walkerville home on Monday, Feb. 21, 2022. He has put the home on the market for $3.4 million. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

The home has three bedrooms and five bathrooms over two stories, situated on a 0.651 acre lot. There is also a 1,200 square foot shed on the property.

Myslichuk ran into trouble with the city when he rented the house for charity events, weddings and other events, even though the property is zoned residential and those uses are not permitted.

A neighbor’s complaint resulted in a charge under a settlement which was dropped when Myslichuk agreed to no longer use his house as a public house.

He said that didn’t factor into his decision to sell his house.

Now he hopes the new owner will love and care for the house as much as he cares.

“I remember when I first passed. I literally stopped, got out of my truck and stood there. Just like a house stalker, right. I was so upset,” he said.

“It’s a big house and I hope it goes to a big family or someone like me. There’s a big part of me that’s really hoping it doesn’t sell out. it’s not selling, it’s never going to come back on the market. That’s for sure.”

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