When you live in a 126-year-old house that’s been only moderately updated over the years, you learn to live with some discomforts.

For Shelley and Paul Williams, that meant warning guests to wear extra layers in the winter because their Toronto house in the Beach was completely uninsulated. Navigating the gaps between the creaky hardwood floors. Getting dressed by the glow of a flashlight in the upstairs hallway because the bedroom closet was tiny and the feeble ceiling lights didn’t make a dent in the dark, windowless passageway. Then there was the worrisome knob-and-tube wiring and ancient plumbing that lurked behind the plaster walls.

For years, the couple debated making small changes or gutting the place to modernize it. Then they reached a fork in the road.

THEN: The old, small kitchen was at the back of the <a href=house.” width=”605″ height=”807″/

“The kicker for me was the day I opened a kitchen cupboard and the whole door came off in

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