The contractor ripped out all the carpet on the first day (yay!) and got most of the old hardwood out of the way as well. The good news is that the stairs (which were also covered in carpet) appear to be in good enough shape to refinish.
The subfloor looks…well, the nicest word I can think of for it is “primitive.” There are big gaps between the boards, and cracks in some of them. No wonder the floors were so squeaky!
With trepidation, I asked the contractor, “Is everything OK? Can you fix it? Will you be able to make it solid and not creaky?” He assured me that it’s fine. He will add dozens and dozens of screws to tighten everything up. I’m looking forward to having this ugly reality hidden away again.
Historical note: When the contractor pulled away the old floorboards, he found bits of the July 12, 1975 Globe and Mail stuffed into a gap along the baseboard. Could’ve hoped for something older, given the age of the house, but even a 38-year-old newspaper provides a glimpse of a different Toronto.