Some people buy a cottage to get away from civilization. Not Nancy Lockhart. Her circa-1840 clapboard biscuit box house is right in the heart of Ontario’s Niagara-on-the-Lake, and the close-knit community there was a big part of the attraction. “You never know if someone’s going to pop by to chat, which I love,” she says. “It’s the antithesis of my house in Toronto, which is surrounded by trees and overlooks a ravine. It’s beautiful, but it’s quite isolated during the winter.”
Nancy bought the house in 2016, three years after losing her husband, Murray Frum — a legend in the Toronto art world, a longtime trustee of the Art Gallery of Ontario and a dedicated philanthropist. Nancy goes back and forth from her busy life in Toronto as a corporate director, but finds herself spending more time in Niagara in the winter. “You get that beautiful white blanket of snow that stays white,” she says. “It just feels magical; very Dickensian.”
Nancy celebrates Christmas here, and enjoys dressing her antique-filled home with subtle touches of seasonal color. She favors simple and whimsical decorations like the felt mice ornaments she exchanges with her nieces. Every room in the three-bedroom, 1,320-square-foot cottage is subtly dressed for the season. Come December, the home has a distinctly Victorian vibe, decked as it is with freshly cut boughs festooned in ribbons, swags of vintage Christmas cards and an array of scented candles that layer in the fragrance of firewood.
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