In 2017, Mary Dubeau convinced her husband Troy Dubeau to buy the old police station in Port Hope, Ont. Five years later, the couple is hoping to entice someone new into taking on the project.
At roughly 6,000 square feet, the long brick police station on Walton Street is nearly triple the square footage of the couple's previous home.
With a long office-lined hallway, the police station had 32 rooms — too many for even a family of eight to use fully. So while the six Dubeau kids weren't quite gung-ho on moving in where police officers used to work, they were swayed by the promise of individual bedrooms and an extra room turned into a massive ball pit.
"That does sound neat," Joshua Dubeau, the couple's second eldest, now 19, said after his parents made their sales pitch. And it has been.
From 14 to 19, Joshua says his house was the preferred friend hangout. There was an evidence vault and an interrogation room. His parents added a home theatre and an arcade room with an air hockey table.
And as for the basement jail cells? Well, Joshua said: "You get used to that pretty quickly."
The two cells might be one of the station's novelty factors, but they're not really part of the family home. "Our kids have never slept in there," Dubeau said.
The station provides some intense home security. The camera coverage proved useful in solving the mystery of which child was moonlighting as the school snack thief, Dubeau said.
The building comes with a parking lot that fits 14 cars.
It also comes with an air of mystery. Once, the Dubeau kids discovered a package of DNA evidence while playing. They had to stop and call the police.
Now that the children are older, only three still live at home. Dubeau said the couple is running out of steam for the required maintenance and renovations.
"I'm going to go back to boring, regular houses," Joshua said, "It's not going to be the same."