BRANTFORD -- A historic 144-year-old home is on the move in Brantford but, it didn’t go as smoothly as planned.

On Sunday morning, the one-storey Crystal Cottage was removed from its site on Chatham Street. The dwelling’s new address is beside the Brant County Museum and Archives on Charlotte Street; however, the transfer was delayed after the tires blew on the truck carrying the heritage home.

The home was left in a parking lot and will be moved to its final destination later in the week.

“Probably be about three or four days now because we have to bridge the street you see to the level,” said Nestor Kozey, one of those in charge of moving the building.

The home was built around 1876 and features rows of glass bottles on its front and side walls.

“It was the most unique house I've ever seen in this town,” Randi Scott, a Brantford resident told CTV News. “They have the glass bottles as part of the decoration for the brickwork and I've never seen that anywhere before on any house.”

The city designated the structure the Crystal Cottage in 1985.

“The glass structures in there, the name Crystal Cottage, it has been a feature in our downtown community for many, many years,” said Tim Philp, Chairman of the Brant Historical Society.

Philp said the building will be placed on its foundation later this week before the Brant Historical Society decides what to do with the structure

A new development forced the home to move from its original site.

Dan McCreary, the Ward 3 councillor for the City of Brantford, said the development will be a multi-residential building that he hopes will begin construction fairly soon.

“It's going to really do a lot for the City of Brantford, it's going to add a lot of residential units to our mix,” McCreary said.

The bulk of the transfer is being paid for by the developer while the city paid for foundation work and the Brant historical society paid for studies and foundation.

City staff also worked out the details for the new location.

McCreary called Brantford a development hotbed and expects to see similar projects in the next five years. He said the city and the Brant Historical Society value heritage properties and continue to look for land for similar opportunities.

“New development does not have to completely destroy old heritage,” Philp said.


Building mover Nestor Kozey, 94, has been moving homes since 1950. In 71 years, he’s moved houses across Ontario and once moved a ship in Thunder Bay.

“Well, it was kind of fascinating to be able to, and [there’s a sense of] satisfaction when you're done. You've done something for somebody,” Kozey said.

He said he plans to retire soon, but doesn’t know if he will ever really stop.

“I don't know what else to do. If I take three or four days off at home I get into trouble,” Kozey said.

McCreary said the city has learned a number of lessons from Kozey that he plans to apply to other projects in the future.