As Canadians retreat indoors this winter for cozy nights at home, a fireplace may be one way to keep the outdoor chill at bay. From crackling natural-wood burners to plug-in fabulous faux fires, there is a range of fireplace options available to add character and decorative warmth to any style of home.
1. Masonry fireplaces: A classic flame
A built-in, wood-burning fireplace and its mantelpiece can make a dramatic focal point and style statement for a traditional home. Keep in mind, however, that traditional fireplaces are designed for their looks, not as a heat source. If you need heat, consult a professional fireplace installer to weigh your options.
2. Stove-style fireplaces
More than three million Canadian households burn wood as a heat source, and today’s high efficiency, EPA-certified woodstoves can offer improved air quality and reduced smoke compared with older models, according to Environment Canada. And if kitschy cast-iron isn’t your thing, imagine the clean, crisp look of a contemporary firebox enclosed in glass.
3. Gas fireplaces and inserts
This can be a luxurious option — even for a bathroom or bedroom. Traditional finishes such as black marble are still popular, but other considerations could be glass tile or stainless steel. Options can include remote controls to start your fire and adjust the size of the flame from the comfort of your sofa.
4. Electric fireplaces
With no gas lines to run or chimneys to install, these devices can quickly warm up the look of any interior wall in a house or condo. The latest models can be built in as part of a contemporary entertainment unit, complete with high-tech controls to adjust the crackling sound, brightness of the “flame” and special effects such as embers and sparks. —
About the Author
Farhaneh Haque is the Director of Mortgage Advice with TD Canada Trust, a leader in residential real estate mortgages and home equity lines of credit. With over 18 years of lending experience, she is entrusted with the responsibility of offering mortgage advice to help Canadians make informed decisions about home financing and ownership. Farhaneh and her team draw upon research commissioned by TD Canada Trust, which reveals consumer attitudes and behavior related to home ownership such as choosing and buying a first home, renovating and greening a home, as well as understanding gender, regional and other demographic preferences. They also have access to proprietary research from TD Economics on topics such as Canadian interest rate forecasts and Canadian housing market insights In her personal time, Farhaneh is an active member of community groups promoting youth education; in particular helping high school students in securing funding to pursue post secondary education.