Ask any Canadian about their childhood aspirations and you might get this response: “I dreamed of being on a hockey card.”
Nick Kypreos not only dreamed it, he did it.
The Toronto-born Kypreos says he was “hooked” on hockey the moment he started watching games with his dad on a black-and-white TV. He started playing at the age seven.
But he later had the idea of getting into the family’s restaurant business, even taking some college business courses to prepare.
All that changed when he signed his first pro contract with the Philadelphia Flyers and met his idol, Darryl Sittler, at training camp – “one of the highlights of my career.” He was with the NHL for eight seasons, playing 442 games with the Capitals, the Whalers and the Maple Leafs. He was part of the 1994 Stanley Cup-winning Rangers.
In 1998, he joined the then-new Sportsnet network. He’s currently the Hockeycentral analyst and also appears on Sportsnet Radio. “I am a player’s broadcaster,” he says. “I understand what the players are going through and convey their feelings to the viewers.”
Nick and Anne-Marie Kypreos invited Star Spaces into their home.
Q: How would you describe your home in one word?
Q: Tell us about your home.
Nick: It is a 3,800-square-foot farmhouse in [the Toronto neighbourhood of] Leaside. It was built in 1902 and is one of the original homes owned by the Lea family.
Anne-Marie: We renovated in 2004, keeping a lot of the original woodwork and style, and doubling the living space. We have a big porch and a turret in the back that lets in plenty of light.
Nick: The brick is original and had to be reclaimed from different parts of the house to keep the integrity. The living room has a wood-burning fireplace, which we use often during the winter.
Q: What attracted you to this space?
Nick: A large yard. There is plenty of room for the kids to run wild.
Q: Who else shares your home?
Nick: Our three children. No pets yet, but our children are desperate for a shaggy dog.
Q: What is your favourite room and why?
Nick: The turret off the main-floor living room. It is windowed on five sides and is a front row seat to winter hockey games in the backyard.
Q: How would you describe your decorating style?
Anne-Marie: Very eclectic. I love antiques and often bring home interesting old finds. We collect pieces when we travel. There is lots of wood and texture. Our kitchen harvest table is a 150-year-old map table from a library in Austria. We have a collection of first edition children’s books. We love things with a story.
Nick: I am a homebody. What I want most is to come home and feel comfort. Nothing is very uptight because most of our pieces have had a full life before we even bring them home. For instance, we have an old clock face from the movie Prince of Tides that we found in LA. The grandfather clock fell down two flights of stairs after the movie wrapped, and all that was left was a beautiful hand-painted 150-year-old English clock face. It keeps time right in the centre of our home.
Q: What is your fondest memory in this home?
Nick: Entertaining with friends and having family over. Anne-Marie’s chili open house has become a Halloween tradition.
Q: What’s the one item in this house you can’t live without?
Nick: I’m kind of fond of the people in it. A distant second is the home theatre, which was added during the renovation.
Q: Weekends at home, what are we most likely to find you doing?
Nick: What all good Canadians do – watch hockey.
Q: If your walls could talk, what would they say?
Anne-Marie: “This is one loud Greek family.”
At the home of ex-NHL player and Sportsnet broadcaster Nick Kypreos. (photo: jordanprussky.com)