Join in Port Dover Holiday House Tour


Rotary Fundraiser November 30th and December 1st

By Donna McMillan

IN 1862, Irish gentleman farmer Arthur Battersby commissioned the building of a grand Gothic Revival home on land he purchased from Thomas and Georgianna Waters located on Prospect Street in Port Dover.
Today, the stunning home at 93 Prospect Street is owned by Andrew and Laura Kicak. Since their ownership in 2016, the couple has sought out trades that specialize in authentic historical restoration. Their renovations have been extensive with their showcase 45-foot front verandah wood, window glass and columns being tackled meticulously to be true to its historical origin.

Above: Andrew and Laura Kicak’s home at 93 Prospect Street and its 45-foot front verandah overlooking Lynn River is featured on this year’s Rotary Holiday House Tour in Port Dover.

It welcomes everyone into a 5565 square foot home that has seen a tremendous face-lift inside and out, including original brick work repaired and repointed; two incredible Neo–classical marble fireplaces found in both the living and family rooms; an impressive chef’s kitchen with exposed brick complimented by exquisite cabinetry; refinished original hardwood floors, cove moulding, baseboards, arches and soaring ceilings as well as tin moulding in distinctive areas.
While respecting its storied history (the home was once owned by Ontario Minister of Agriculture John Martin and his wife Lillian from 1922 and following his death by Lillian until 1957), the Kicaks have ensured all modern amenities are present.
Situated in a park-like setting overlooking the Lynn River, this 14-room home, with its two expansive foyers, has to be seen to be appreciated. Thanks to the Rotary Club of Simcoe’s 16th annual Holiday House Tour, this and other Port Dover homes can be visited.
Laura Kicak has been coming to Port Dover with her family since she was a baby, she shared with the Maple Leaf. She has a background in interior design. While living in Oakville, they were also frequent visitors to Port Dover due to commercial properties they owned in town, Andrew added.
When they saw the Battersby house, “we fell in love with the property and house,” Laura shared. “It spoke to us.” They saw the history and “felt compelled to bring it back to its original splendor.”
Their children James, 13, and Victoria, 9, will be sure to enjoy another Christmas in this special home.
The family celebrates two Christmases, Laura and Andrew shared. With Laura’s Italian heritage, the couple invite both of their families for the traditional Italian Christmas eve at the Prospect Street home serving fish dishes that include salmon, shrimp, calamari and a special tuna sauce over angel hair pasta; a recipe that came from her mother’s village in Italy, Laura said. Christmas presents are opened Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, they go to her parents where Laura shared that her mother prepares special delicacies, also from her village in Italy.
On January 7th, Andrew shared that they celebrate the Ukrainian Orthodox Christmas at the house with both of their families and friends. They eat 12 traditional dishes that include perogies and cabbage rolls.
Their historic home on Prospect Street is the perfect venue for family gatherings.


Other homes on the tour

  • The Thompson Family Home at 11 Prospect St. This stunning Victorian home was built circa 1884 and was noted for its triple red brick construction and detailed gingerbread. It was fully renovated in 2016.
  • The Shirley and Andre Nolet property at 162 Prospect. The Nolet home was the Port Dover Post Office in the 1830s. The Nolets have extensively renovated the original 1901 barn, which now has three liveable floors and is filled with fascinating collectibles.
  • The Nancy and David Cartwright home at 234 Schooner Drive. Built in 2018, this home has all the conveniences for modern zoomers and easy living. Its’ five- foot wide hallway continues into a great room with cathedral ceilings and a view of the golf course.
  • The James and Becky Torio home at 602 Main Street. An extraordinary century building, this Victorian home was built in 1855 by Walker Powell, son of one of Port Dover’s founding fathers. Over the years it has been a medical clinic, bed and breakfast, restaurant and more.

Back by popular demand, tour visitors are invited to visit St. Paul’s Community Hall at 302 St. George Street where they can enjoy a hearty meal and seasonal music for $10. To help with food planning, please call Bruce at 647-669-8400 with expected numbers. Tickets for the house tour to be held on Saturday, November 30 and Sunday, December 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., can be purchased from a Rotarian at any of the homes mentioned during the tour or in advance in Port Dover at Roulston’s, Blade Salon and The Dover Cheese Shop. The cost is $20.


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