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Niagara Falls
Sunday, February 5, 2023
New owners have ‘no intention’ of tearing down Cobbler’s House
Keri Rickwood, Aris Zakinthinos and their daughter Norah are happy to take possession of the Cobbler’s House in NOTL. Evan Loree

For two Niagara-on-the-Lake newcomers, living in a historic house is a dream come true.

Keri Rickwood and husband Aris Zakinthinos are the new owners of the old Cobbler’s House at 329 Victoria St. in Old Town.

The couple took possession of the property Oct. 27 and are thrilled to be spending their retirement days on the historical property.

Town council was initially concerned for the future of the property after it went up for sale and was listed as a possible tear down property in August. 

“I sure would not like to see the Cobbler’s House torn down,” Lord Mayor Betty Disero told an Aug. 19 council meeting.

At the time, the council asked the heritage committee to review the historical significance of the Cobbler’s House, so it might be listed as a heritage property. 

Rickwood contacted The Lake Report after reading about council’s concerns.

We are not going to demolish the Cobbler’s Cottage and hope to spend the next 50 years (we are in our early 50s) as the caretakers of the Cobbler’s Cottage,” Rickwood wrote in an email.

“The purpose of buying this house was as a retirement home when the kids finally left,” Zakinthinos said in a phone interview.

The couple have been together 26 years and have been frequent visitors to Niagara-on-the-Lake, drawn to it by its storied history.

They decided 10 years ago that when they were ready to retire, it would be in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Rickwood is a special education teacher and Zakinthinos works in a senior role in the technology industry. They are moving slowly from Toronto as their 14-year-old daughter Norah continues her high school education.

The couple started house hunting in 2016, but didn’t get serious in their search until last August.

Six weeks later, they found their dream home. 

“Why would you want to tear down this piece of history that seems – kind of – kind of bizarre,” Zakinthinos said over the phone.

As they move slowly into their new property, they have plans to preserve the historical character of the building while doing some renovations to a free-standing garage on the property.

They said they look forward to being able to walk to Queen Street from their front door and are happy for the change of pace after spending their professional lives in Toronto.

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