In the spirit of Canada 150+, a newly-released HGTV special produced by Toronto’s HeartHat Entertainment provides an educational way to indulge a tantalizing voyeuristic urge: seeing inside the homes of strangers. Hosted by interior designer Tommy Smythe, the hour-long documentary Great Canadian Homes aims to deepen viewers’ appreciation of Canada’s rich history by taking them on tours of 13 iconic and historical private residences from across the country, selected for their special architectural features and cultural significance.
“These aren’t house museums,” says Smythe of the locations, which include Alexander Graham Bell’s Nova Scotian property, Toronto’s Integral House, and Montreal’s Habitat 67. In many cases, the homes featured are making their public debut. “This is the ultimate residential backstage pass,” notes Smythe. “Many of the homeowners have highlighted that if it weren’t a commemorative and patriotic documentary we were making, they might not have agreed to participate. So there was a sense of documentation, of occasion, and indeed duty in crafting this production.” For a peek into a selection of featured homes, see our slideshow above.
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