Homey WorkspacePublished on May 1, 2023

Photo by: Ted Simpson

You can’t miss the real estate office of Ian Charlebois. Coming down from the Queensway off-ramp for Kent Street, the building is unmistakable with bold lettering affixed to the dark façade and a monolithic glass window stretching from edge to edge.

As you might have guessed, there’s a story behind this building. And to get it, we must go inside and meet the man behind the madness.
Ian knew he wanted to establish an office in the historic Glebe neighbourhood, but he was looking for something different — a location with character. So, through door knocking and negotiation, he acquired one of the first homes ever built in the Glebe, dating back to 1915. The agent purchased the house from the family of the original owner.

Over the years that he’s owned the space, Ian has been working to transition the century home into a client-friendly, modern office that still retains the original character.

“I wanted a nice, central location to be representative of my business,” says Ian. “So clean, functional, efficient inside and out, but I also want to appreciate the history of what I own.”

The interior structure of the building was modified and reinforced to allow for an open‑concept design with no interior walls on the first floor — not something you’d typically find in such an old house. At the same time, the ceiling was stripped back to expose the original floor joists overhead.

The centrepiece of Ian’s office space is the exposed brickwork of the old fireplace chimney that has been ensconced by a beautiful, glass-encased wine rack. As a personal touch, Ian likes to gift each of his clients a bottle of fine wine after closing their sale. He also wanted an interior showpiece for his office that would catch the eye of rush‑hour commuters and passers-by to really leave an impression.

Ted Simpson

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