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Look inside a restored 119-year-old home in North Point Douglas

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When you step through the front door of Matthew Jacobi's 119-year-old home, it's like jumping back through history.

For the past year, Jacobi has been restoring his Queen Anne Revival-era home in Winnipeg's North Point Douglas neighbourhood back to its former glory.

"It's been a challenge, but well worth it," he told CTV News.

From original stained glass windows to special order mother-of-pearl light switches, even the lightbulbs themselves – the details of the house are exactly as they were when it was built in 1905.

That's just the way Jacobi likes it.

Matthew Jacobi's house in the Winnipeg's North Point Douglas neighbourhood. April 23, 2024. (Danton Unger/CTV News Winnipeg)

"I think the Victorian and Edwardian eras were just a simpler time in many ways," he said.

"They really appreciated tea parties and garden parties and some of the finer things, and it was a slower pace of life. And I think that we really need to return to some of those things."

While there's still work to be done, Jacobi has completed most of the home's main floor – the front parlour, the dining room, and the kitchen – complete with an electric stove from 1920 and an ice box.

"No dishwasher, and I'm happy about that," he said.

Jacobi has been interested in restoring homes since he was young, visiting his grandparent's home that had been built in 1894. He started this type of restoration project about 15 years ago, and is hoping to complete many more.

Matthew Jacobi standing in the dining room of his restored home in Winnipeg's North Point Douglas neighbourhood. April 23, 2024. (Danton Unger/CTV News Winnipeg)

"We have all the technology, we have all the power tools, but there's something about a home built with hand tools and in a simpler time with the level of detail," he said. "It's not only about the physical structure, but it's about the stories and the people that those embody as well."

Jacobi's work on the home was recognized by Heritage Winnipeg, naming him as one of three winners of the annual Preservation Award.

"It's a testament that you don't need to have designation to protect and bring these homes back to their opulent glory," said Heritage Winnipeg Executive Director Cindy Tugwell.

"I think particularly to give focus to North Point Douglas and the North End. We can't abandon that part of the city. It's really where a lot of our history started, so these beautiful historic homes represent our history."

While sourcing materials and furniture from the early 1900s has come at a cost, Jacobi said it has been rewarding. He hopes his home will inspire others to help keep Winnipeg's history standing for generations to come.

"Once these houses are lost, they cannot be replicated. It's important to preserve them," he said.

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