Along with the influx of visitors that comes with the holiday season, Elmira will see one new family join its ranks – but first they’ve got to win the chance to call it home.
A Park Avenue Victorian house, renovated by a cast of HGTV Canada stars, is the prize up for grabs in the latest round of the “Home To Win” show.
“It’s not too far away from Toronto, it’s close to Kitchener-Waterloo. It’s a sense of community when you’re there,” said show host Sangita Patel of why HGTV chose the property in Elmira.
For its fourth year, HGTV has done something a little different by giving the show a holiday theme, with the three families competing to win the home just in time for the Christmas season, explained Patel.
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The all-star cast of builders, contractors and designers all chose a nearly 100-year-old Victorian house this year to renovate and prepare for the winning family.
“Whoever wins this house, it’s going to change their lives,” Patel said.
With an old house comes a lot of repair work, however, notes Sebastian Clovis, one of the 24 cast members who is working on the renovations.
Clovis took on renovating the kitchen and restoring the backyard with his team of contractors, many of them selected from local businesses in the Elmira area, he noted, adding this is the first time the crew has worked on a home that is entirely made of brick.
“The thing that is beautiful about this home for us is that its different than any other home that we’ve ever worked on in this show,” said Clovis.
From creating an aesthetically pleasing new kitchen to adding a pergola to the backyard, Clovis said is excited of the changes to the property.
Aside from Clovis and Patel, the team also includes the likes of Bryan and Sarah Baeumler, Dave and Kortney Wilson, Scott McGillivary, Sarah Richardson, Mike Holmes, Jonathan Scott, Drew Scott, Jo Alcorn, Paul Lafrance and Brian McCourt. As with previous seasons, each of the TV personalities is tasked with using his or her expertise to ready a part of the home for the eventual winner of the competition.
Many of these well-known contractors, designers, and builders have their own television shows, but what is unique about this experience is bringing them together on one show for one great cause, said Patel.
“We’re in season 4 and they’re like family – they know each other. This show is about them coming together, but also building this gorgeous house with the best of the best,” she said.
Much of what attracted the team to this Victorian house in particular was the community it was in, said Clovis, emphasizing that Elmira has so much culture and heritage that they tried to preserve when repairing the home. The house was modernized to extent, but the team also made sure to pay homage to its roots.
The most rewarding part of it all is the final episode when the winning family is announced, said both Patel and Clovis.
“It’s very emotional, I’m about to say a family’s name and their life is about to change – they’re about to win a house. If you think about that, it’s pretty spectacular. And on top of that, it’s a house that is designed from the best people at HGTV Canada,” Patel added.
The Canadian-original series Home To Win premiered its first episode this week and will continue to play every Sunday at 10 p.m. on HGTV Canada. Applications to win the home are still open until November 11, with information available online.