Journey of an Architect is a blog started by Tim Ung to document his journey to design 30 projects by the age of 30 (May 2020). His posts focus on his design process, thoughts, struggles, and successes throughout his journey.

Airbnb experience in a Historic Gothic Stone Church Home

Airbnb experience in a Historic Gothic Stone Church Home

With the summer coming to an end, my girlfriend and I were ready to head out on our first Airbnb vacation. The first place where we stayed for a night was a historic gothic stone church home located in Perth, Ontario. This unique place immediately caught my attention because of its beautiful architecture as well as the unbeatable price.

Our road trip to Perth, Ontario

After packing all of our belongings the night before and the morning of the trip, we made our way to Perth, Ontario from Buffalo, NY, which was about a 5 hour drive. We put on some music, rolled the windows down, and drove towards the beautiful sun. Once we reached the thousand islands, we paid a bridge toll and crossed the Canadian border.

As we drove over the bridge, we had a beautiful view of all the islands, houses, and a castle surrounded by the beautiful water. The scene was breathtaking and we made our way straight to the church home where we met our wonderful hosts.

Experiencing the church home

Once we arrived, we saw the beautiful church and parked the car in the driveway by the circular tower of the building. The exterior of the building was carefully restored and the room addition on the backside of the building looks like it was a part of the original design. All of the arched openings and meticulous attention to detail makes this place a home with a timeless aesthetic.

We entered the church home from the addition on the backside of the building and immediately walked into a cozy seating area that could also double as a sleeping space with a fold down couch. With the sun beginning to set, we were welcomed by the wonderful colors from the stained glass windows.

Interior of the addition

As we made our way to our bedroom, we passed by the living room that was on a lower level than the kitchen and dining area. This small change in level and the fireplace made the living room feel cozier. The composition of all the furniture in the living room made the space feel comforting and invited conversations from everyone.

Immediately behind us was the kitchen and dining space, which had lots of natural light coming in from one of the original arched openings of the church. The thickness of the exterior wall and sill bounced lots of natural light into the space. The large dining table allowed everyone to sit together for breakfast and have some small conversations about everyone’s plans for the day and the remainder of their vacations.

Finally, the room where my girlfriend and I stayed was adjacent to the dining room and it included the same arched opening with one operable window. Our room was a comfortable size with a full bed and a table against the wall. We opened the window before bed and immediately fell asleep.

Interaction with the hosts

Our hosts at the church home were Janice and Garry who have been working on renovating this church and the building across the backyard for years. Upon arrival, we saw them unloading a truckload of stuff for their next project and Janice immediately came over to greet us and show us to our room. She also encouraged us to use the refrigerator, eat some of the snacks on the dining table, and make ourselves at home.

Once we were settled in, we decided to visit the town for dinner and asked Garry for suggestions on places to eat. He had lots of suggestions and we ended up going to a restaurant called Fiddleheads, which was located right next to a beautiful park and had outdoor seating. So we made our way there and had a delicious meal.

After dinner, we went back to the church home, showered, and read our books in the living room. The other guests from Belgium arrived and we were all chatting in the living and dining rooms. Janice came over to my girlfriend and I and we talked about her renovation plans for the other stone building. She shared her ideas for making it a passive house that generates its own energy and stores it in the Tesla Powerwall batteries.

Then, we asked Janice about something to do locally in the morning and she drew us a hiking map on a trail down at the water locks. She gave us all of the insider tips and secret paths that only the locals would know. The next morning, my girlfriend and I made our way to this hiking trail. Although we took the wrong path, we had a great time and felt like a local!

Location, cost, booking, and conclusion

Janice and Garry’s historic gothic church home is located in Perth, Ontario in a farm-like setting. About 10-15 minutes from their home is a small town with shops, restaurants, and parks. From their church home to the nearby town, everything is extremely scenic and you’re surrounded by nature and beautiful historic buildings.

With all fees included, this one night stay costed us $59 US dollars, which is much less than we’ve ever paid for a stay at any hotel. The information, service, and amenities that Janice and Garry provided made us feel like locals in a place where we’ve never been. Check out the place on Airbnb here.

Our stay at Janice and Garry’s church home was a fantastic experience because of the wonderful hosts and the beautiful architecture. We were able to visit a unique home and feel as if we were a part of their family. We would definitely repeat this trip again in the future and we highly recommend that you spend some time at their wonderful home!


Airbnb experience in a hand built cabin in the forest

Airbnb experience in a hand built cabin in the forest

10 Things I wish I knew about Architecture School

10 Things I wish I knew about Architecture School