Sept. 16, 2021 | Mario Toneguzzi
My First Home: Deborah Yedlin, Calgary Chamber of Commerce president and CEODeborah Yedlin, the new President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, says her first, and only, home purchase had quite the history.
She and her husband, Martin Molyneaux, purchased the home in 1993.
"We found this house in Elbow Park and it has a story. The parents had split, and they left two sons in the house and one of the rooms in the house was painted garbage-bag green, including the ceiling. It was disgusting, and the sons were dealing (drugs) in the house to the great consternation of the neighbours, because cars would show up in the middle of the night and things would happen," said Yedlin.
"We didn't really know any of this until we bought the house . . . These guys were doing all these bad things, and then we had some of their clients sort of show up randomly for the first three or four months looking for their supply, which didn't exist anymore."
Once they were in the home, Yedlin discovered another problem: all the doorways were not high enough for her husband, who is 6-7. Every door was eventually re-done to accommodate his size.
"It had lovely oak hardwood floors. Lots of windows, lots of light. It was a lovely house. It didn't make sense to renovate it. We needed to make the footprint bigger, so that's what we did."
The couple lived in the house for five years, but it wasn't large enough to accommodate three children. After having their third son, they decided to tear it down and rebuild on the same site.
"We didn't want to leave our neighbours. We had the most incredible neighbours and one of the families is still across the street," said Yedlin, adding that one of the former neighbours shared a gate with them along the fence between the two houses where the children would go back and forth all the time.
"They played hockey together. They went tobogganing together. It was just a wonderful way to grow up."
The original home was a bi-level design with a lot of great features.
"It had lovely oak hardwood floors. Lots of windows, lots of light," said Yedlin. "It was a lovely house. It didn't make sense to renovate it. We needed to make the footprint bigger, so that's what we did."
Yedlin and her husband weren't the only ones in the area who opted to tear down and rebuild, either. Over time, she says every house on their side of the street has been rebuilt.
"We tore our house down in 1999," she said. "We built a very traditional brick house that you'd never know when it was built."
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