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BC family is Elmira-bound after TV win

Elmira is set to gain three new residents, as a B.C. family is the winner of million-dollar home on Park Avenue.

Ally Hanscom, 31, was declared the winner of HGTV Canada’s Home to Win: For the Holidays competition in the season finale that aired December 15. She, along with her husband Matt and daughter Anna, will be moving into the newly renovated Victorian home from their trailer in Armstrong, British Columbia.

“It has been the most surreal experience of our lives for sure,” said Hanscom.

“We could not be more grateful. Our hearts could not be more full,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “We will spend the remainder of our lives working towards giving back the kindness that was shared with us through this experience. Our gratitude will never cease.”

She emerged victorious against two other competitors: Jen Vandermaar, 39, from Charlottetown, PEI, and Natasha Smart, 45, of Milton. The other contestants didn’t walk away empty-handed, however, as runner-up Vandermaar took home $5,000, while third-place Smart received $2,000.

HGTV Canada’s Park Avenue, Elmira home was won by Ally Hanscom of Armstrong, BC on Dec. 15.

“It’s pretty amazing that we’re finally here at this point,” said host Sangita Patel. “Every family, all three of them were deserving of this house, but to see Ally come out at the top … you can feel her energy, she was very emotional.”

Throughout the fourth season of Home to Win, the all-star cast of builders, designers, and contractors renovated a century home, the show culminating with the renovation-themed competition between the constestants.

The cast included popular network personalities such Bryan and Sarah Baulmer, Dave and Kortney Wilson, Scott McGillvary, Sarah Richardson, Mike Holmes, Sebastian Clovis, brothers Jonathon and Drew Scott, Jo Alcorn, Paul Lafrance and Brian McCourt. Like other seasons of Home to Win, each uses their expertise to best prepare one room or outdoor space, with different combinations of people taking on different rooms.

Patel notes the house underwent a considerable makeover during the course of the season.

 “It’s a very dramatic change – I remember walking into the house for the first time and the first reaction was ‘There’s a lot of work to be done here.’ It seems like whoever lived in it before was trying to do some kind of construction in the house, but never completed it. It wasn’t in great shape,” said Patel.

“The way it came together was just spectacular. Colours I wouldn’t even think about, the bedrooms upstairs were just amazing, the bathrooms were incredible, the kitchen is so unique in terms of the colour. I wouldn’t even think about putting a dark green kind of colour into the kitchen. The transition … I was blown away, to be honest.”

Contestants compete in several renovation-related challenges that put their DIY skills to the test. The cast observes each one closely, deliberates, and then each individually votes for a winner.

During the first challenge that involved the construction of a mini library, it was Smart who was eliminated, which made it a head-to-head competition between Hanscom and Vandermaar. After the second challenge that required competitors to redesign a rec. room, Hanscom was eventually declared the victor.

“The other competitors don’t know who voted for who, at the end … we count that ballots and see who gets the most votes,” explained Patel. “That was great because when I announced who won, the cast doesn’t know who won. So it’s a moment for everybody.”

Under the contest rules, the winner was handed the keys and granted the house immediately, though logistics make it difficult for the B.C. family to call the place home in time for holidays.

“Obviously they’re coming from outside the city, outside the province, it will likely take them a bit of time before they get settled,” said Julie MacFarlane, a spokesperson for Corus Entertainment.

The season finale, along with other episodes in the series, can be streamed online.

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