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by Hazel Lloyst

Lynn VanderHerberg’s




An architectural journey through Picton’s streets by Lindi Pierce


global canvas

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by Catherine Stutt

by Jennifer Shea




by Debra Mathews





by Lindi Pierce



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by Alan Gratias


Cover photo: Lynn VanderHerberg by Daniel Vaughan

there, too, with her anecdotes of smalltown Idaho and small-town Picton, and experiencing the same view through the tangle of thickets and the foothills of the Rockies.

ately, I’ve spent time thinking about conversations. I wonder how they will start again, how people who have decried everything about others could possibly come together again and start a dialogue anew. How can they overcome the bitterness of being disparaged by those who exclude, who hate, who humiliate?


They give me hope, these three women, artists in our community. They are, whether they realize it or not, an integral part of the solution. Lynn, Karole, and Celia see things differently than those who look to wrap their world around a narrow vision. Lynn, Karole, and Celia see things as many others don’t. They see them as they are, as the marvels of architecture and art and nature and colour and light, and they cannot resist the artist’s call to interpret, to bring out the best of that image, that moment in time, that slice of history, and to share it with their world.

I wonder how that first step is taken, how it is received, how long it will take for us to walk in concert again, our steps aligning for a while, our separate paths respected, if not shared.

Then I read Lindi Pierce’s work, which is a joyous celebration of architecture – the most accessible form of art for all of us. Lindi goes far beyond explaining period elements; she takes on a journey through time, our neighbourhoods are her canvas, the buildings her storybook.

And then I speak with Lynn VanderHerberg at her kitchen table, and I hear the joy of her travels, of her home life, of her small town and big planet. Then Karole Marois’ words echo, her tales of Italian streetscapes in our nation’s capital and Canadian art installations in Dutch city halls. Celia Sage’s voice is

Celia and Karole have met, the others have not. Celia and Lynn are mothers and grandmothers, Karole and Lindi are not. Lynn and Lindi worked with people with special needs, Karole is a lifelong artist, and Celia worked in the family construction business. Karole is francophone, Celia is from Idaho, Lindi


is United Empire Loyalist stock, and Lynn lived where her father’s military career took the family, married into a Dutch family, and is soon headed to China to visit her granddaughter. They are so different in so many ways, and I just want to sit down and listen to the four of them chat together. These are the conversations we need; the bigger themes of perspective and openness. They won’t solve the very real and very frightening problems on our horizon, but they will start the dialogue on common ground, and give us a sense of something greater, something timeless, something familiar. As a new school year begins, my wish is for students to learn to be open to new ideas, new cultures, and understand we can be proud of our own history while being inquisitive and respectful to that of others. It doesn’t diminish what we are, it strengthens who we can be. It’s a good conversation starter. We hope this issue of County and Quinte Living starts a few, too. Thanks for turning the page.

Catherine Stutt, Editor, County and Quinte Living editor@xplornet.com


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County & Quinte Living is published quarterly and is available free of charge through strategic partners, wineries, golf courses, real estate, and chamber of commerce offices, retail outlets, and advertiser locations. County & Quinte Living may not be reproduced, in part or whole, in any form without prior written consent of the publisher. Views expressed by contributors are their own opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of County & Quinte Living. County & Quinte Living is a division of Metroland Media Group Ltd.

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Belleville Farmers’ Market Entering a third century of market to table Story by Hazel Lloyst Photography by Daniel Vaughan In honour of the 200th anniversary “Establishes the market (except for of the Belleville Farmers’ Market, the wood) on Lot 21 on the west side of Market Association Bicentennial Pinnacle Street.” Indentures dated Committee chose as their 1838, 1848, and lastly 1861 gave final commemorative souvenir a coffee ownership of the property to the City mug emblazoned with a beautiful of Belleville. sunflower and the words, “Market to In 1906, City Hall promotional table – Belleville Farmers’ Market 1816 material stated, “The Belleville market – 2016.” Sunflowers are considered is not excelled in Ontario,” and again symbols of good luck and loyalty. in 1919, “Belleville is surrounded by How prophetic those words now one of the richest agricultural districts seem given the tumultuous history of in Canada and has a remarkably fine one of Belleville’s oldest commercial enterprises. This jewel of a market public market. This is one of the with its beautiful Douglas fir shelters principal factors in the low cost of matching the timber frame design living in Belleville.” inside the renovated city hall has had The end of the Second World War to fight for survival on many occasions seemed to mark the beginning of the since its inception more than 200 end for the market. Attractive new years ago. supermarkets emerging in the postEven before Belleville was a city, an war boom proved an irresistible lure original grant from the Crown in the to customers. The decline continued Charter of 1816, Bylaw 107 states, from the late 1940s until the late 1960s.



On Jan.31, 1961 a proposed $20,000 expansion project for Belleville City Hall added another nail in the coffin, making the inside market a piece of history. From there, the size of the farmers’ market steadily reduced. Also with the passing of years, health regulations tightened. The result was, according to one long time vendor, “Many of the vendors do not care to bother anymore,” and yet another link to the past seemed to disappear on the local scene. The market continued though, and in 1971 there was renewed interest in local produce in the city, enough that the Quinte Exhibition and Raceway proposed to turn the largest Quonset structure at the fairgrounds into a yearround farmers’ market facility. Much debate and media coverage ensued but in the end, the market remained on Market Square. In 1976, the future of the farmers’ market was again in jeopardy when 12






a parking garage was proposed. More than 90 area farmers banded together to defend their right to an open-air market and formed the Market Square Farmers’ Association. They went before city council with a petition containing 1,200 names in support. The market remained as it was. The market again came under fire in 1980 with a recommendation suggesting

an expanded indoor/outdoor market utilizing the Memorial Arena. An inspection of the facility was conducted with the result the Belleville Farmers’ Market would stay outdoors – rain or shine. A 1986 proposal to establish a second market at the Quinte Sports Centre and a city hall consideration to expand into the existing Market Square led to public

meetings and consultations. Council subsequently approved the formation of the Civic Square Committee which later became the Belleville 2000 committee with a mandate to address the long-term use of the Civic Square and enhance and expand the farmers’ market. In April 1990, Mayor George Zegouras stated, “The Belleville Farmers’ Market will stay where it is.” In 1995, the


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Belleville Farmers’ Market received its historical designation under the Ontario Heritage Act. More positive news ensued and in 1996 council secured a $400,000 grant to revitalize the Belleville Farmers’ Market. On October 5, 1996 under sunny skies, and with a crowd of 300 in attendance, the revitalized Belleville Farmers’ Market and Civic Square was rededicated. Attending the event was 93-year-old, Audra Brickman who spent 75 years as a vendor and quipped, “It’s lovely but I don’t know why they had to wait until I was off the market to put it up; I stood in the rain for a lot of years.” Despite a historical designation and a lovely structure, it is the vendors and the customers who give life, longevity, and vibrancy to the farmers’ market. On a Saturday in peak season, visitors can expect to see about 40 vendors, all offering the freshest of produce and products, along with a lot of history. Clifford Foster’s family, of Fosterholm Farms fame has been on the same farm along the shores of East Lake and West Lake since 1924. Clifford was the only one of seven siblings who stayed on the 75-acre farm, expanding it to its present day 600-plus acres. This threegeneration family farm has 60 acres of vegetables, sweet corn, and potatoes with the balance dedicated to cash crops including 7,800 maple syrup taps. Clifford and his sister Mary, in their

1929 Chev truck, started coming to the Belleville market in the 1940s. Always with a ready smile and a story, Clifford and his family set up at market early every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Clifford has seen a lot of changes over the years. “Our customers want to know if the produce is local and when it was harvested. The number of customers isn’t as great as in past years and we don’t see as many young people, but I still remain very positive about the future of the market.” Quinte Isle Farms, located on Huff ’s Island Road, has been coming to market for the past 19 years. Market days find second generation Stephen and Jen Black selling cauliflower and broccoli along with other seasonal vegetables. The family has 70 years of weather journals and has never experienced the drought of last year or the high water levels of this year. Despite losing a large amount of land to flooding this year they still dedicated 10 acres to vegetables and 600 acres to cash crops of corn, soybeans, and wheat. Stephen says, “Despite the hard work and the crazy amount of hours put in, it’s worth it to be able to work with my father and grandfather bringing produce to market.” Jackie Tapp is the long-standing president of the Belleville Farmers’ Market as well as proprietor of Jackie’s Market Stand, coming to the Belleville market year ’round for the past 27

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years. Her parents owned a large dairy Karen Poste, Belleville’s Manager of operation in Quebec before moving to Economic and Strategic Initiatives is the County where they planted an apple a fan of the market and recognizes its orchard and started market gardening; value. “Farmer’s markets are far more to her Mom going to Trenton market and a community than just a place for local her Dad going to the Kingston market. farmers and artisans to sell their products. Not wanting to compete against her All manner of people come to the market parents, Jackie chose the Belleville – some to sell, some to buy, but they all Farmers’ Market. It wasn’t the better come understanding and valuing the market at the time but she has seen great ability to buy and sell locally to their friends and neighbours. These markets strides since those early years. can function as business incubators – Along with fruits and veggies, Jackie often vendors start off selling from their is well known for her baked goods homes, they graduate to the farmer’s including breads, cookies, and especially market, and some eventually to their cinnamon buns, which are now her own independent location. The market biggest seller. “The vendors have to keep is a cultural flower pot where all kinds of up with the times and listen to what artists and artisans can test their wares the customers want,” advises Jackie. “I on the public and they of course support have an Interact machine because so many kinds of agribusiness. The network many of our customers no longer carry of businesses at the market also functions cash. Where our customers used to buy as an informal business consultancy a dozen corn, they now buy only one or – everyone helping, advising, and two cobs. Customer needs and wants are referring to each other. These markets changing and we have to change with are effective and lasting community them.” building organizations that help grow and diversify the local economy.” Jackie thoroughly enjoys the children coming to market and stresses the need As the Belleville Farmers’ Market for interaction and activity so they can enters its third century, it is a cherished be a part of it and learn about their food and vibrant part of the downtown sources. “Your customers become part of community, and a destination for quality your family over the years, you get very vendors and those who place a premium attached. They share things with you on locally grown, locally produced, and as you laugh with them, cry with them, locally supported farmers’ market finds. and share hugs; and you won’t find that kind of interaction between vendors and customers anywhere else.”


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Ferguson Streetscape

Walk this Way

An architectural journey through Picton’s streets

Story by Lindi Pierce Photography by Daniel Vaughan

With apologies to John Cleese fans, this story has nothing to do with silly walks. Instead, it has much to do with thoughtful and engaged walks, walks devoted to peeling back the layers of a town’s architecture to learn its stories. “Walk this way” encourages you to explore Picton’s distinguished

architectural heritage with curiosity, awareness, and delight. We modern folks need reminders to slow down and look around us. Mindfulness is the mantra. In our gosomewhere-buy-something culture, we eagerly consume fine art and ice cream, antiques and beach wear, ever on the COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING AUTUMN 2017


Macaulay House, Church Street

quest for something useful or clever to take home. Let’s slow down, look about us, and just listen to the stories our built heritage can share. What were they thinking? The question might be a good way to approach architectural history. Certainly, the builder/owner would have strived for the best he could provide for his family. Then, if means provided, he would want to display his taste, wealth, and status. Most visitors travelling East Main Street and adjacent old residential streets are wowed by the size and presence of the homes with their deep shaded lawns and dignified trees. But apart from their grandeur, the buildings are really quite different. They stand waiting to tell us stories, if we understand the language. And the language is that of house styles. Identifying house styles is not birdwatching or trainspotting; it’s understanding what the form and detail of a structure says about the time it was built – what influenced design, what people thought, what materials and skills 22


they possessed, the taste pretentions of the time. If a wanderer should recognize style elements, she can deduce a build date. If he knows the date of the house, he can more fully appreciate the details of the town’s 19th century dwellings. Our Loyalist ancestors built austere Georgian style homes from the 1780s on, expressing their allegiance to Britain and recreating homes lost in the breakaway Thirteen Colonies. The Georgian houses of William Southard (circa 1830) and neighbour George Macdonald (circa 1835) survived a flurry of plaza development in the 1980s. Archaeological discoveries of ancient Roman sites influenced the architectural vocabulary on the 19th century. Lighter decorative touches of the Neo-classical style such as elegant elliptical fanlights, pilasters, and cornice detail began to adorn the symmetrical Georgian form. The circa 1835 Henry Johnson farmhouse and the incomparable Reverend William Macaulay house (circa 1830) illustrate

these refinements. Even later discoveries of a Greek civilization buried under the Roman created a stir, in the United States especially, and showed up in temple form houses and heavier exterior and interior trims. The Gothic Revival (1830-1890) infused domestic building with the spirit of medieval cathedrals. Stone tracery was translated to pine vergeboards and pointed arches, hood moulds and finials appeared on Georgian forms. Other builders branched out on their own into more picturesque forms. Grove Place, the circa 1858 home of John Pepper Downes (now mercifully under restoration) draws on the Gothic imagination. The style also spawned the ubiquitous peaked-gable Ontario Gothic cottage or farmhouse. A new wave of overwrought Romantic sentiment (think Delacroix paintings and Wagner operas) changed the way our ancestors built homes. The appeal to the senses, to emotion and imagination fostered a new aesthetic:


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low profile Regency cottages opening to picturesque landscapes through verandahs and French doors. A remodelled circa 1848 example remains, aloof above a supermarket parking lot.

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delightful 1878 Edward Merrill house combines soaring Gothic gables (12 of them) with a square Tuscan tower. Perhaps conservative Picton found the over-the-top character of high Victorian styles a bit pretentious. A small Second Empire with the trademark Mansard roof stands modestly on Centre Street, but with taste more methodist than catholic, Pictonians left the imperious Romanesque Revival style to Toronto industrialists.

The Romantic imagination was also captured by Tuscan country villas and ancient urban palazzos. The idea found its way into Italianate fashion. High style examples with irregular profiles, square towers, moulded brackets under deep eaves and belvederes didn’t catch on in town, but the Italianate spawned a justThe Queen Anne style (1890 – 1914) a-nod version adopted by many home is what many envision when they think owners. The style retains an emphasis of heritage houses: towers and verandas,

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Chapman house, 35 King Street


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The Italianate mixed well. Elements can be found combined with Gothic and other later Victorian styles. Picton’s

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irregular form, porches and verandas, lots of detail. Victorian builders, weary of all the drama, turned to this lightened-up look at the craftsmanship of ages past and produced playful eclectic confections in brick and frame. The red brick Richard Hadden home (circa 1895) and the more typical circa 1897 Painted Lady of Augusta Wilcox are beautifully maintained and delicious.

Then there are the revivals, to create those is-she-or-isn’t-she moments. Around 1900, builders began to recycle design ideas from the Georgian era – and still do. Colonial Revival houses, such as the darkly handsome shingled J. Roland Brown house from circa 1900 revisit the spirit of colonial New England. The difference is in scale, modern construction methods, and 26


exaggerated detailing. The exquisite streets. Monmouth, a Tudor manor Claramount, circa 1900 home of Edward house with its half-timbering, jettied Young, displays flamboyant detail: second storey, oriel window, and multiporches and verandas, large curving paned bays looks older than its 1911 Palladian windows, and a monumental birthdate. portico with pillars. Meanwhile, Period Time marched on and so did Picton. Revivals hearkened back to medieval Vernacular Victorians. Dignified building methods and decoration. Tudor, Edwardians, some with Arts and Crafts Elizabethan, Jacobean, and Cotswold touches, such as the circa 1903 treasure cottage looks pop up on leafy residential on Barker Street. Craftsman bungalows.

Brown house, 2 Johnson Street

Moderne apartments. Mid-century Moderns. For another walk.

fires spreading between adjoining rooftops. Two commercial buildings in Picton, the Stephenson Block, now home to a cafe, and the North American Hotel, at Picton’s famous town hill intersection (both dated 1835) display the same silhouette.

a look at the circa 1835 Joseph Johnson house on the next street. That house faces a once-unbroken view southeast And now some house stories. Are you toward the harbour; only the kitchen sitting comfortably? tail faces the street. The answer to these The Simeon Washburn house (1835) anomalies? These two fine homes were resembles a British Georgian townhouse. built on open farmland prior to the The towering walls and chimneys – The Washburn home’s unusual set- survey which laid out the town plots to making it look slightly like a horned owl – were parapet ends, designed to prevent back from the street can be explained by which later neighbours conformed. COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING AUTUMN 2017




An observant wanderer might detect the Washburn house parapet wall form farther west, under layers of additions. This early house was Victorianized with a tall five-sided bay window and tiaralike cast iron window hoods. These adornments were mass produced and often purchased from catalogues. A downtown commercial block sports a similar set. Turns out the builder/owner of the 1860 block, pharmacist Reuben Chapman, lived in the house. Is this a classic case of ‘buy some for the business and extras for the house?’

Yet another link with the Chapman family is a diminutive rubblestone building around the corner. The heritage designated building was originally Chapman’s carriage house, later converted to residential use by the addition of peaked gables.

On the subject of stone houses, no traveller to Prince Edward County wineries can avoid a discussion about the role the area’s limestone soil plays in local wine’s unique terroir. No visitor to West Point can be unmoved by vast shelves of limestone along the lake shore. Incidentally, Chapman’s pharmacy is believed to be Ontario’s oldest; it survived Yet Picton has relatively few structures under different owners until 2011. His of stone. Noteworthy examples include business partner was his brother-in-law, the magnificent circa 1859 Elisha Sills Gideon Striker, MPP, whose conservative house. Later owners, the ship-owning 1868 home still stands. The families are Hepburn family, must have appreciated memorialized in a walled enclosure in the impressive belvedere overlooking the picturesque Glenwood Cemetery. harbour.

Washburn house, 339 Main Street East

Bedell house, 27 Centre Street



Architecture should speak of its time and space, but yearn for timelessness. Frank Gehry

A humbler stone building was once an unsympathetic modern façade in the carriage house for financier Charles 1950, and now houses a marine museum. Stewart Wilson’s magnificent 1875 The peculiar notions of Orson Fowler, Maplehurst, lost to fire in 1940 (and well American phrenologist and reformer, worth a look-up.) The utilitarian building made their way to Picton. Fowler’s is now a handsome double house, with conviction that the shape of one’s house several attractive stone-built neighbours. could influence spiritual harmony caught A frame Loyalist house with a the attention of J.R. Roblin who built past stands in Benson Park. Now a his octagonal house about 1858, using community centre, it was built in 1815 the recommended grout construction. as the home of settler Abraham Barker. It Around 1862, James Fralick opted for the stood far from the town, which gradually red brick model, with its curiously squat caught up. In 1900, the house was moved second storey. to make way for an imposing brick and Picton is a quaint red brick town. stone post office. The post office received Those old bricks have a lot to tell us, Top right: Downes house, 1 Downes Avenue Below: 341 Main Street



about history and human nature. Early bricks were fired in pits or outdoor kilns; just like cookies, bricks can be under-done or burned. Stately Macaulay house illustrates the point. The house is built of fine salmon-coloured brick, well matched along the front façade. Less perfect bricks were relegated to the less public sides, a conceit which persists today. The Welsh brothers, Picton masons around 1860, knew a thing or two about making materials stretch. Picton is blessed with several rare rowlock bond houses. At first glance, the bricks

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Johnson house, 4 Johnson Street

look unusually large, until it becomes clear that they are placed on their edges! Robert Welsh’s own house built around 1857 is a fascinating example. Others hide under paint along Mary Street. Talbot Street features a vinyl clad example which only a PEHAC walking tour guide could reveal. For a red brick town, Picton has some interesting exceptions. Buff or white brick, popular in the 1870s, appears on a few fine houses, a good example being the 1879 Gillespie House. Incidentally this fine house with two lovely porches boasts a heritage designated outdoor

Houses in order of appearance in the article, identified by original owner/ builder and street address:

privy (retired.) The circa 1907 Herbert Bedell white brick house of a different colour stands on Centre Street. Stories persist that the house was built of bricks made at the historic West Lake Brick Factory [see Signposts, this issue]. Appreciating our built heritage is easy. Preserving it is another matter. The next issue of CQL will take a look at heritage designation, unpeel the layers of some iconic Picton homes, and share examples of sympathetic restorations in, ‘When Bad Things Happen to Good Houses.’

McDonald Southard Johnson Macaulay Downes Regency cottage Werden Merrill Wright Hadden Wilcox Brown Young Monmouth Edwardian Washburn Stevenson Block North American Hotel Chapman Chapman Striker Chapman Sills Wilson Barker Roblin Fralick Welsh Gillespie Bedell

100 Main Street 102 Main Street 4 Johnson Street Church Street 1 Downes Avenue 7 Agnes Street 36 Main Street 343 Main Street 22 Centre Street 75 West Mary Street 352 Main Street 2 Johnson Street 97 Bridge Street 26 Paul Street 23 Barker Street 339 Main Street East 172 Main Street 303-9 Main Street 35 King Street 237 Main Street 353 Main Street East 48 Bowery Street 346 Main Street East 4-8 Ferguson Street 56 King Street 16 Main Street 50 King Street 23-25 Ferguson Street 74 King Street 27 Centre Street

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Kitchen Table Talent Lynn VanderHerberg’s global canvas

Story by Catherine Stutt Photography by Daniel Vaughan David has some explaining to do. He’s in a bit of a spot. He made Lynn VanderHerberg weep and her vast network of family, friends, and fans won’t take kindly to that. Lynn first met David as a teenager. It was love at first sight. She cried then, and when they reunited years later, she openly wept. “People must have thought I was crazy, standing there weeping. We were on a bus trip, and there were a lot of onlookers,” she laughed, although with moist eyes again. “We were standing at the entrance to the Hall of Prisoners at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and in front of us were so many of Michelangelo’s unfinished sculptures, and they all led to David, standing so tall and so perfect. I’m not a religious person, but something like that can only come from God.” Lynn wept from the joy of the artistry, and for the work left undone, the commissions abandoned when Michelangelo was called to Rome to



paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling. David, whom Lynn has forgiven, was finished in 1504 and then there were partial sculptures, figures emerging from marble, forever trapped in blocks of unfinished stone, work interrupted as Michelangelo devoted four years – 1508 to 1512 – to the Vatican. Lynn’s first meeting with David was as a young teen, when her father was stationed in Germany as a Master Warrant Officer with the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals for three years. “Living in Germany was huge in my life,” Lynn recalled. “My parents weren’t the type to go to an art gallery, but the art and architecture was so visible, so accessible. We travelled throughout Europe with a travel trailer and saw so much of the culture. I’m a small-town girl and the art and architecture and food were so different; the lifestyles and attitudes were much more open than what I had experienced. Those were incredibly influential years.” On a school trip, Lynn and her classmates would be dropped off in downtown Amsterdam, or the heart of another city she’d only discovered in books. “There was art everywhere; it ignited my soul.” David though, holds a special place. “He changed my life.” She first saw him as a teenager, but the second time was far more powerful, because Lynn was returning as an established artist. “I loved him even more,” she realized. “I saw him through the eyes of an artist. I knew how hard it was to finish a piece, all the mistakes to get to that level of excellence, and I was overcome with emotion. It was unexplainable. I started as a child doodling and drawing eyes and writing in calligraphy and now I’m standing in Florence, weeping in front of David. There was an understanding as an artist that you can develop into something incredible. It was possible.” Lynn has always loved art. As a child, she would doodle everywhere – on phone books and whatever paper was at hand. “I loved to draw eyes and animals; it drove my parents crazy,” she laughed. She remembered her grade four teacher, Miss Black, a wonderful woman who encouraged her artistic gifts and introduced her to cursive writing, which led to a lifetime love of calligraphy. COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING AUTUMN 2017


Throughout high school, she took as many art classes as possible, and remembers her first piece was a still life of fruit with an applewood frame. Apples are a recurring theme in Lynn’s repertoire. She did the cover art for this year’s Applefest program and for several years the banners throughout Brighton depicted part of her apple series. Her goal was to paint every apple indigenous to this area, in what was once the apple capital of the world. A global view of a small town is her hallmark. After attending Loyalist College in Belleville and working with adults with developmental disabilities, Lynn and her husband Gary started a family. Now married 41 years, they have four daughters living around the world. One is in Shanghai, one in Calgary, and two in Toronto. With a young family, Lynn continued her passion for art, and fell in love with watercolours. She bought, borrowed, and begged art instruction books, and enrolled in a course. “My first instructor was Ron Sayeau and he’s still my mentor. He’s very special,” she said. “He’s so gracious with his talent and knowledge. He shared his passion for art and that was a gift I realized I had to share as well. It is not mine to keep selfishly; it must be paid forward.” There were more classes from Lucy Manley, but mostly Lynn is self-taught, taking every life experience, every trip and memory, and incorporating it into self-expression. The result is an organic




openness to the world, with a strong focus on detail. She credits those family trips through Europe as early influences, the exposure to different worlds and views, to ageless works of art and architecture. As much as Lynn still loves to travel, her heart is very much at home with Gary, in the home they built together 35 years ago. Gary stockpiled rocks for five years for the custom fireplace in their living room and the rock wall at the precipice at the back of their property. Their home is perfectly accented with art from near and far, a perfect reflection of their individual and shared experiences. She finds inspiration in neighbourhoods, whether it’s in Brighton or Toronto or Europe. “I am captivated by people in small towns and the opportunity to tell their story in that slice of time.” Several years ago, Lynn did a painting at Lola’s Coffee House and the owners posted it on Facebook. It garnered 2,000 views. “I couldn’t believe the power of social media,” said Lynn. In turn, she now uses it to share her latest muse. A recent post on her Facebook page said, “Just felt like painting flamingos today,” and followed with a collection of five pieces done in about a day. There’s a quiet confidence in Lynn’s work. There’s undeniable talent, certainly, and humour at times, but prevalent in so many of her works is a subtle understanding of the world around her. On a recent visit to her daughter in Toronto, she dropped by the Trinity Bellwood Park market,


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and of course, a painting ensued. She’s a welcome regular at the Codrington Farmers’ Market and paintings of vendors are inevitable. They capture more than just a moment, somehow also communicating the character, the story behind the colour. “It’s a pleasure to paint Melanie of Dahlia May Flower Farm,” smiled Lynn, flipping through a stack of watercolour portraits. “I love her story and what she has overcome and achieved. She has known what she wanted to do with

neatly arranged. From paint to pencil, everything has a place. She faces large windows overlooking the south lawn of her rural property, and when inspired, will paint deep into the night. It is not uncommon for her to be at the table, unaware of the passage of time, still painting at 3 a.m. In addition to her travels, she credits her success to intense practice. Those who know her well would suggest it is also the result of a willingness to create and embrace new adventures.

her adult children are now doing the same with her granddaughters. They were watching a National Geographic documentary about the Galapagos, and on the spot committed to taking the girls there. They did. They took them to the Far East, to Europe, to Africa. Nairobi was her favourite, and as David captured her heart, Kenya changed her soul. A few years ago, she joined an art excursion to Morocco. She stayed at the Peacock Pavilion owned by Marrakesh by Design author Maryam Montague.

“We painted in one tent, we dined in another tent, and when I walked into Maryam’s house, it blew my mind. It changed my life.” life since such an early age and she is An incredible cook, her kitchen boasts so strong and honest with her feelings. spices from around the world, many Her writing is an art on its own. Every gathered on her trips abroad, and her pantry is home to an enviable cookbook painting of her is a different chapter.” collection. A vegetarian for years, she There are so many stories inspiring is a fan of Ottolenghi and Deborah Lynn. “I want to paint Annie Boulanger Madison, whose cookbooks are nestled and her wood-fired pizza oven. She’s side-by-side with a well-thumbed another inspiring entrepreneur building Eataly. “Did you know they’re opening a business with her heart. The success an Eataly in Toronto,” she asked. “We’ll of the Codrington Farmers’ Market is have to go. Have you been to the one in another story to tell through paintings. New York? It’s wonderful. Let’s go there.” The energy and the focus of the vendors Were it not for the imminent arrival of excites me. It’s like Lola’s or a coffee another grandchild, she’d be on the road, shop in Italy. It’s about documenting the probably dining with Mario Batali by people and the conversations through nightfall. painting.” Seizing the moment is an essential As serendipitous as this sounds, Lynn part of Lynn’s palette. She and Gary took is a very disciplined artist. Her studio their four daughters around the world, is the north end of her kitchen table, sharing their love of travel and new where her canvasses and supplies are experiences with them. She’s delighted

“There were artists from all over the world there,” recalled Lynn. “We painted in one tent, we dined in another tent, and when I walked into Maryam’s house, it blew my mind. It changed my life.” It took Lynn 22 paintings to get it out of her system. So far. For her 60th birthday, the daughters sent Lynn and Gary to the Fogo Island Inn. Typically, it was another life-changing moment, and inspired a series of postcards, cards, and prints. “It’s such a great idea, this scientist from Fogo Island putting together a plan and investing millions of her own money to rebuild an economy on the island after the cod fishing industry collapsed. Everything from the food to the furniture is made on the island by local craftsman. The music, the art, the quilts, the construction, it’s so local. It’s people helping and respecting

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talents and making a living from their passion. People working together using all their skills to rebuild a community. We were enamoured by that incredible story” Love is the absolute basis for Lynn’s life. Family is paramount. She and Gary’s sister Anne Neerhof started Nine Daughters and Company, a boutique event décor rental business. They specialize in hand-painted glass and table design, and were inspired by a love of entertaining. With the obvious nine daughters between them, they have a special line devoted to incorporating children into special events. “It’s all very personal to us,” shared Lynn. “We are very close as a family and we want to help others have perfect family celebrations.” With a large and supportive extended family, Lynn’s rock is always Gary. They met across a camp fire as teenagers and have grown together through opportunity and challenges. A successful contractor, Gary suffered a life-changing injury 20 years ago. It has only drawn them closer. He deals with it with humour and his love for Lynn is unbridled. She glows when she speaks of him, and when they’re together, they’re alone in a crowd. “We are each other’s biggest advocates,” she smiled, again, with tears in her eyes. Capturing the light is what Lynn does best, whether it’s overcoming a tragic accident or just appreciating a beautiful moment. She is drawn to nature, to the light and the changes, to the clouds. She is a gifted photographer, shooting


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weddings and events and family time, and for someone so organized, she has spent time lately looking for lost lenses. She feels the ice storm a few years back resulted in some of her best photos.

“I remember about a year ago her telling me that she was going to do a live painting of a wedding. I was shocked. No artist I know would ever attempt to do something so difficult To Lynn, a moment is a chance to tell and in front of such a large audience. a story through her art, whether it’s Her years of experience have given photography, watercolour, pen and ink, her the confidence to challenge herself. pastel, or calligraphy. It could be food, it Her latest works appear effortless. could be storytelling. It’s all art to Lynn, They aren’t. They are the result of two and she willingly shares her gift to help decades of effort.” others. She accepts commissions, she To Lynn, it was a chance to compiles portfolios and presents them challenge herself in search of constant to clients, and she understands her art improvement, and it tugged on her must sustain itself financially. She also heart. “I really enjoyed it,” she simplified. understands it is a gift and must be “I enjoyed everything about it, from the shared for a good cause. young man who was asking questions while I was working to the chance to This year, she is working with Primrose document life right now in a painting. Donkey Sanctuary, helping raise funds. It was a wedding; it was a moment in She painted donkey portraits and her their life. I love the challenge of the good friend Cindy Lewis of Brighton’s unfamiliar, of taking myself out of a Rock, Paper, Scissors is selling the comfort zone, and I want to paint for cards. All proceeds go to the sanctuary. people who appreciate it.” Animals are a new passion for Lynn Lynn is looking forward to her next and along with her flamingos, she is trip with Gary, her next adventure. working on a goat face. It’s charming There will be paintings, there will be and sweet, and technically perfect. Her experiences, and one way or another, good friend Ang Young, head of the art they will become part of her canvas. department at East Northumberland Secondary School, says it might be In the meantime, she is very content Lynn’s best piece ever. at her kitchen table, or at a picnic Ang is a respected artist, used to table at the Codrington market, or mentoring talent, used to offering a Lola’s, watching her slice of the world, critique. Of Lynn, there is only praise. watching the world go by, and maybe “Many people will attempt to paint and stopping for a minute on her canvas. then, when the results aren’t fantastic, they quit. What they fail to recognize is it takes a great deal of perseverance. Lynn is a self-taught artist who has worked for 20 years to learn the techniques of using watercolour. It takes so long to gain the skills to produce the loose, imaginative work at which she now excels.



“There is incredible character in everyday people, in everyday life. How we see it is our personal form of expression. We can travel around the world, or we can get a perspective from one spot. Either way, life is happening right in front of me.”

The Royal Treatment

Story by Debra Mathews Vintage postcards courtesy Ian Robertson. Vintage photos courtesy Prince Edward County Archives. Current photos courtesy Sandra Foreman Photography. Architectural renderings courtesy The Royal.

Kathleen Gale, 96, smiles as she recalls her days working at the Royal Hotel in Picton. She cooked and waited on tables during the 1960s when the old hotel on Main Street had been renovated and was experiencing another renaissance. Her husband Les tended bar in the beverage room. Kathleen says it was called the Royal because, “It was fit for royalty – as luxurious as the Royal York Hotel in Toronto – with a fine dining room boasting crystal and European linens…it was beautiful.” Her grandson, local realtor Kevin Gale chimes in, “I remember the baby grand piano and the majestic staircase in the

foyer. I like to say my sis and I were raised at the Royal as we spent so much time there as kids.” In the early 1900s, The Royal was considered the grand dame of hotels in the County – and it has, for generations been one of the most important and iconic buildings in the town. The elegant three-storey brick building first opened its doors in the early 1880s – the vision of Jonathan Mottashed, a local businessman who sold his interest in another hotel down the street and with a massive mortgage of $18,000 financed the Royal. It was a bold move as there

were other hotels in town but Mottashed was convinced his gamble would pay off as the railway had just arrived, bolstering both commercial and tourist travel.

night. The rooms were luxurious, even offering private baths – a rarity at the time. The Royal was widely advertised as a ‘Home away from Home.’

He was right. Lured by the beauty of the surrounding countryside, its beaches and vibrant villages, Prince Edward County was becoming a hot spot for city weary tourists. By the early 1900s, the Royal had become one of the most popular and prosperous first-class hotels in the County. Its grand façade with a roof crowned by a bell cast dome and an elaborate wrought iron balcony distinguished it from other buildings.

“It was the centre of community activity Greg and his six children have owned a for Picton and Prince Edward County. I family farm in Northport for years now know that it was the small-town version and it has become a mecca for family of the railroad hotel. Anyone who needed gatherings. Greg says they are all firmly to do business back in the early 1900s rooted in the County. would stay at the Royal. A lawyer trying One day while Greg was strolling down a case, a traveler, a salesmen looking the main street in Picton, he saw the forto make a deal for something that was sale sign on the Royal, by now derelict. grown in the County,” said present owner, “I thought somebody has to buy this Greg Sorbara. building and not let what happened to The former Ontario finance minister, the Presbyterian Church happen. (The Greg and his family purchased the Royal historic Church on Picton’s Main Street in 2011 and are deep into the process of was bought and demolished and has

Patrons enjoyed the fine dining room. Locals loved the dances on a Saturday 44


renovating it. The Sorbaras have been landowners, developers, and builders in the Toronto area for more than half a century.


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since become a parking lot). I had this awful pang and I thought my God, I guess that someone is me,” recalled Greg. Over the years, The Royal aged and declined from a gracious hotel to a local watering hole with a dubious reputation. In the early ’50s, it had become a beer parlour with, as was the custom of the day, separate entrances one for men, and another for women and their escorts. Since Greg’s family bought the building, he’s heard many 46


colourful stories from locals about their memories of the Royal. “It was a place to have a beer or two. I heard so many stories from people who said ‘I learned how to drink at the Royal Hotel. And me and my buddies, none of us were of the age that we should be drinking at the Royal!’” For more than a decade, the old hotel stood vacant in a rusting retirement. In 2008, in a public auction, the interior was





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stripped bare of its few remaining valuables; everything from ashtrays to old phones and decorative wood pieces. In September of 2015, the Sorbaras began the work to restore the Royal to its former grandeur. It hasn’t been easy. The building required much more work than Greg originally anticipated. The interior had to be completely gutted. A further setback occurred early this spring when one of the walls shifted requiring an adjoining business to evacuate until structural engineers surveyed the damage and solved the problem. The exterior brick of the Royal was salvaged so the imposing façade remains intact. The Sorbaras have re-imagined the Royal as a lavish, 28-room boutique hotel. Their plans include large, well-appointed guest suites, a fine dining room (a celebrated Toronto chef – Albert Ponzo has already been hired), and an outdoor dining and sitting area.



To provide space for this, the Sorbaras have also purchased the land behind the property where horse stables once stood. It is hoped that the rebirth of the Royal will soon recall its glory days as a historic centrepiece in the County. Says Greg, “The vision is to give back to the County and to Picton a marvelous full-service boutique hotel. One of the things I am very conscious of, from the day I signed that contract was this structure is part and parcel of the history of this community going back 130 years. In one sense, the vision is to give back to the community the grand hotel that will attract guests from Montreal to Ottawa to Toronto to New York State and even beyond.” Kevin Gale looks forward to taking his grandmother to the opening of the new Royal Hotel, hopefully in 2018. It seems only fitting, he says as it played such a big part in both their lives and they’d like to join the community celebration and walk through the doors of the Royal once again.


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Sprague Foods: A 92-Year-Old Family Company Supplying International Markets Story by Jennifer Shea Photography by Daniel Vaughan Many area residents haven’t heard of Sprague Foods Limited in Belleville, but chances are they have eaten products made at this College Street East food processing company. Many of the Sprague products (beans, soups, dips, sauces, and desserts) can be found in cans with store brand labels (e.g., Heinz, Del Monte, President’s Choice) at grocery stores across Canada, in the U.S. and even Japan. When Sprague Foods was founded by J. Grant Sprague in 1925, it was known as J. G. Sprague & Sons Canning Company. Located in Mountain View in Prince Edward County, this was one of many seasonal canning companies in the region at the time. Tomatoes and pumpkin purée were the initial products of focus, and eventually tomato juice, tomato purée, corn, and raspberries were added to the product line. During the 1920s and ’30s, Sprague & Sons products were available locally and shipped to Montreal, Toronto, and western Canada. COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING AUTUMN 2017


The founder’s son, Jay Sprague, took over the family business shortly after it was started. Jay remained at the helm for 40 years until his sudden death in 1967. When Jay’s son, Roger, stepped up to head the company, one of his first initiatives was to change the name to Sprague Foods Limited and to build a new plant across the road from the original. Over time, Roger also changed the focus from primarily tomatoes to a range of specialty products.

Above: Rick Sprague at the helm of the family business

He was originally destined to enter medical school, but the expanding family business needed him...

Roger’s son Rick is now the company’s president. His wife Jane is the company’s secretary (when she’s not in the classroom teaching). Rick is a mild-mannered man with a passion for the family business. He describes growing up with a variety of food from his father’s Prince Edward County upbringing and his mother’s Czech Republic roots. Food was always a topic of family discussion. Early on, Rick also developed a keen interest in science and health. He was originally destined to enter medical school, but the expanding family business needed him and he entered the Food Science program at the University of Guelph instead. Rick speaks of his father’s approach to the family business with admiration. “He reached into Toronto looking for alternate customers and he ended up hooking up with the Pasquale family in Toronto who started Unico. They were looking for somebody to can beans for the Italian market. That offered our company a chance to can all year ’round, because beans are harvested, dried, they’re stable, and you can soak them and can them any time of year. It allowed my Dad to build a new plant and extend the canning to an all year around operation.” This represented a turning point for Sprague Foods. It led to relationships with other ethnic-based companies in Toronto and Montreal seeking opportunities to bring their home countries’ tastes to Canadians. The new, year-round plant Rick’s Dad undertook to build was completed in 1994 with Rick’s brother Daniel, an engineer, overseeing its construction and design. At



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33,000 square feet, the College Street East facility was an anomaly in the North American food processing industry. There were several very large plants like Campbell’s and Heinz and several smaller ones, but few of this middle size. “When we built this plant, a lot of the equipment came from Europe, so we were looking at Europe as an indicator of what it would be like here 10 or – it ended up being more like 20 years – later,” says Rick. “When we went to Europe in the ’90s and saw the food industry there, a plant like this was very common because there tends to be a lot more variety of products,

higher quality, smaller runs, which a plant like this is designed to do. When I say smaller runs, I mean smaller runs in terms of supplying nationally.” Rick is pleased with the company’s decision to move more into vegetarian, organic, Kosher, and other specialty foods a few years ago. Organic products now represent over half of the company’s production, which ranges between 50,000 to 100,000 cans per day or about 25,000 to 50,000 jars. An investment in a Japanese robotic arm in the packaging area has helped to stay on top of the volume. The arm moves six units at a time into boxes, which are then sealed by production workers.

Rick’s keen interest in food and cooking, and the impact of food on an individual’s health, caused him to introduce some new product options to the company. He began by developing a few soups. “We were canning some soups for Unico and they were basically Italian-based – Minestrone, Lentil, and Pasta e Fagioli. They went out to market and did very well, but it also helped me learn about putting products together and flavours that were a little different than I grew up with.” “In the late ’80s those markets we were catering to just seemed to explode. Even the market for beans, for example, seemed to grow exponentially. In a few

short years, it spilled over to mainstream. You know how those trends take hold and suddenly everybody was buying chick peas.” Rick attributes the vegetarian movement with its focus on plant-based foods and legumes as a contributing factor, but also the fact people were becoming a little more adventuresome in their cuisine Several years ago, there was a big shakeup in the North American food industry, with corporations merging and downsizing. Many large Canadian processors moved their corporate headquarters to the United States. As a co-packer – providing products to these companies for their private COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING AUTUMN 2017


labels – Sprague Foods was caught in the middle. Relationships with the large companies were strained with the changes. That prompted Rick and his team to introduce their own brand. Sprague Foods products can now be found on local and national store shelves. “We have a couple of organic beans and we’ll have two organic soups in Costco from coast to coast. We have more specialty retail outlets like Farm Boy who carry our products. We’re working closely with them on new products right now. Their focus is totally more unique

and healthy food, so we have a good match there. We do some direct supply to Sobey’s in Picton and No Frills in Belleville and we’re reaching out further now through distributors to get into a lot of independents and even smaller chains.” As the business continues to grow and new markets are accessed, the capacity at the College Street East facility will be challenged. “We can fill the warehouse space we have available in a few days, so we’ve got to keep it moving. That’s why we really have to produce to order to move it out.” Luckily, there is space

available on the company property for expansion, and Rick says the next logical step would be to construct a separate warehouse facility. Sprague Foods tries to incorporate local ingredients for its products wherever possible. Currently, less than 25 per cent of raw materials come from the area, but the proportion is growing. “Of course, it was 100 per cent for many, many years,” says Rick. With the focus on organic products, there is only a small Canadian supply, so the company has had to source from the United

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States or Europe. “More recently, we’re able to source from Ontario. There’s an individual near Peterborough who’s getting into it in a significant way, so we’ll probably be sourcing from him. Because we do formulated products like prepared beans or sauces, we are able to buy smaller ingredients locally as well. For example, whisky from Gilead Distillery in Bloomfield and maple syrup from Fosterholm Farms, for our Sugarbush beans.” The company’s expansion into the Japanese market came through

innovation. The Japanese have a fondness for Canadian beans and sought a canner here to supply them. The catch was the primary supplier to the market at the time was a Japanese company providing beans in cans without liquid – an unconventional method. Rick and his team had to develop a process at Sprague Foods to achieve the same result. They succeeded. “We can literally ship 50 per cent more beans on a container than in water. There’s a real advantage there. We’re basically the first in North America to have beans out in that format,” adds

Rick. “We’re getting some good feedback. One of the things people like is the small size. You don’t have to open a big huge can of beans.” Rick also sees an opportunity with this new product to move away from the highly competitive grocery aisle and into the more popular and profitable produce section. “That’s our goal – as a salad topper. You have this beautiful plant protein you can just open and toss on your salad. It has a little firmer texture which is a little more suitable for a salad.”

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The food processing industry is not for the faint of heart. There is a high degree of regulation, including regular (sometimes surprise) inspections by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and U.S. Food and Drug Administration, both of whom oversee food safety in plants like Sprague Foods. When the inspectors arrive, they can spend several days intensely examining the production process. The company adopted the British Retail Consortium quality assurance program to ensure all their products meet the highest standards of quality and safety. “I’ve found that’s been a huge help, not just with food quality, but also running the plant,” says Rick, “It has provided a means for everybody to take on responsibility. It’s helped facilitate growth, which may have been a little more difficult otherwise.” Rick believes the culture of his company has been well maintained through the years. The current 28 employees (and growing) strive to be authentic in their product offering and to offer higher nutritional quality products that contain local ingredients to the extent possible. Rick is motivated by his dedicated employees and by the regular positive feedback he receives from customers about how happy they are with the quality of his products. He’s grateful for the opportunity to turn his ideas into reality. “I have so many ideas for new products. It’s like a gift to have a venue for that. Lots of people have good ideas, but I’m very fortunate that I have a venue to express them, and actually make it happen and then it goes to Costco and suddenly, they’re taking five trucks of product out each week. It’s amazing!”





HomeFinder.ca To advertise within the Fine Homes Real Estate section, call Orlinda Johnston at 613-966-2034 ext 526 or email ojohnston@metroland.com


A stunningly beautiful waterfront executive home on Picton Bay with sweeping views of the reach. The master bedroom overlooks the Bay on the main level. The lower level boasts an amazing wine cellar and tasting room along with spacious family rooms. Located between Picton and the Glenora Ferry. It is easy to slip away to Kingston which is located one hour away.

MLS# 550720129 - $1,599,000


*Sales Representative

Elizabeth Crombie


*Sales Representative and Licensed Assistant to


Elizabeth Crombie

Suzanne White*

*Sales Representative and Licensed Assistant to Elizabeth Crombie, Sales Representative

104 Main Street Picton 104 Main Street Picton | T:T:613.476.2700 613.476.2700 | TF: 877.476.0096 | TF: 877.476.0096 pictonhomes.com | Livepictonhomes.com Where You Love To Visit Live Where You Love To Visit

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Sales Sales Representative Representative Sales Representative Sales Representative


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MONICA MONICA MONICA KLINGENBERG KLINGENBERG KLINGENBERG Sales Sales Representative Representative Sales Representative

CHESTNUT CHESTNUT PARK PARK REAL REAL ESTATE ESTATE LIMITED LIMITED ,Brokerage Brokerage CHESTNUT PARK REAL ESTATE LIMITED , ,Brokerage CHESTNUT PARK REAL ESTATE LIMITED, Brokerage 43 MAIN MAIN STREET STREET • •PICTON, PICTON, ON ON • •K0K K0K 2T0 2T0 4343 MAIN STREET • PICTON, ON • ON K0K 2T0 43 MAIN STREET • PICTON, • KOK 2T0 www.chestnutpark.com www.chestnutpark.com TEL: TEL: 613-471-1708 613-471-1708• • •www.chestnutpark.com TEL: 613-471-1708

TEL: 877-471-1708 • www.chestnutpark.com

$1,569,000. $1,569,000. Spectacular Spectacular “seaside “seaside $1,495,000. $1,495,000. Much-admired Much-admired Spectacular “seaside $2,600,000. $2,600,000. Recognized Recognized asone one ofthe the $1,569,000. $1,495,000. Much-admired $999,000. $999,000. Spectacular Spectacular stone stone $2,600,000. Recognized as as one of of the $999,000. Spectacular stone The Merrill Inn: a in classic country inn ofshingle” One ofright Picton’s significant, stately and handsome homes, Much-admired 1812 farmhouse full ofacres. original details shingle” home home right right on onLake Lake Waupoos Waupoos farm farm on on80 80acres acres right right shingle” home onmost Lake top 25small small hotels hotels in inCanada. Canada. Built Built in heart executive executive on 7+ 7+ acres. Minutes Minutes Waupoos farm on 80 acres right toptop 2525 small hotels Canada. Built inininthe executive onon 7+ acres. Minutes The Wexford House, circa 1883. Meticulously restored and Prince Edward County! 1878 Victorian on 1.07 acres, including pine plank floors, distinctive staircase and Ontario! Ontario! Much Much admired admired executive executive onLake Lake Ontario! Ontario! BeautifullyBeautifullyOntario! Much admired executive onon Lake Ontario! Beautifully1878, 1878, The The Merrill Merrill Inn is islocated located from from Belleville! Belleville! Total Total privacy privacy 1878, The Merrill InnInn is located ononon from Belleville! Total privacy & && in impeccable condition, offering 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, located onMain Picton’s Main Street original in-ground pool, 5 stall horse barn home home on2.8 2.8 acres acres with with lake lake views views renovated renovated 1867 1867 red brick brick trim. Includes home onon 2.8 acres with lake views Picton’s Picton’s Main Street Street and and offers offers 1313 other renovated 1867 redred brick expansive expansive water water views. views. Sprawling Sprawling Picton’s Main Street and offers 13among expansive water views. Sprawling gracious reception rooms, exquisite period detail, 2 staircases, and paddocks, heated/insulated garage plus separately substantial and significant buildings. Impeccablyfrom almost almost every every room. room. farmhouse, farmhouse, handsome handsome barn barn plus plus fromfrom almost every room. 4 44 rooms rooms with with private private ensuites, ensuites, 50-seat 50-seat lawns, lawns, ideal ideal forpool! pool! 4+1 4+1 farmhouse, handsome barn plus a aa rooms with private ensuites, 50-seat lawns, ideal forfor pool! 4+1 spectacular entry hall with grand staircase, high ceilings, updated and meticulously maintained offering 13 rooms deeded 1.2 acre building lot, 10.2 acres with house, bedrooms, bedrooms, media media room, room, library library and and 2 2 charming charming charming cottage cottage atshoreline. shoreline. media room, library and 2 verandahs, cottage shoreline. restaurant, restaurant, gift shop, shop, parking parking for24. 24. bedrooms, bedrooms, bedrooms, family family room, room, den, den, huge huge restaurant, giftgift shop, parking 24. room, den, huge panelled walls, expansive landscaping, andat a at with private ensuite baths, andfor a for successful 50-seat plus 146 rollingbedrooms, acres with family fields, rustic cabin, ponds, family family rooms. rooms. Wraparound Wraparound verandah verandah Incomparable Incomparable family family retreat! retreat! family rooms. Wraparound Incomparable family retreat! principal principal rooms rooms &recreational recreational rooms && recreational Outstanding Outstanding opportunity! opportunity! Outstanding opportunity! carriage house.verandah Walk to the conveniences of Main Street! restaurant, too! An outstanding package! woods, andprincipal 2 wells. Endless opportunities! spaces. spaces. Don’t Don’t miss miss this this value! value! forlazy lazy summer summer afternoons. afternoons. MLS 550610049 spaces. Don’t miss this value! forfor lazy summer afternoons. $1,990,000 MLS 550610048D $1,550,000 $984,000 MLS 550420375D

$959,000. $959,000. One One ofthe the County’s County’s oldest oldest One of of the County’s oldest $995,000. $995,000. Exquisitely Exquisitely situated situated onmore more $979,000. $979,000. Private Private estate estate property property $995,000. $995,000. Spectacular Spectacular family family retreat retreat $995,000. Exquisitely onon more Private estate property $995,000. Spectacular family retreat Rare stone/brick$959,000. bungalow, just blocks from the conveniences Enjoy sunset views from this $979,000. light-filled home. Main Former 1915 Lodge situated transformed into modern home. houses houses (circa (circa 1820) 1820) with with additions additions houses (circa 1820) with additions than than 1,000’ 1,000’ of ofEast East Lake waterfront! waterfront! on with with 534’ 534’ ofLake Lake Ontario Ontario than 1,000’ ofwith East Lake waterfront! onon with 534’ of of Lake Ontario on onsheltered cove cove inPEC! PEC! Stunning Stunning sheltered cove in in PEC! Stunning of Picton’s Main Street. This meticulous home offers 3/4 in inin level includes master suite, second bedroom/office, 2.86 acres 237’ ofLake sandy beach on theonBay ofsheltered 1850’s 1850’s &1870’s 1870’s – –now now completely completely 1850’s && 1870’s –with now completely Gracious Gracious bungalow, bungalow, charming charming cottage, cottage, waterfront! waterfront! 3with 3levels levels offullyfully-3 bathrooms, 6-year 6-year old house house on2+ 2+acres, acres,eat-in kitchen, Gracious bungalow, cottage, waterfront! 3 levels of of fullyoldold house onon 2+ acres, bedrooms, master bedroom ensuite & walk-in four season sunroom, great room Quinte. Open conceptcharming layout with multiple living6-year spaces, renovated. renovated. Geothermal Geothermal heating. heating. closet, living room,renovated. dining room, Geothermal eat-in kitchen, den, laundrycathedral ceilings and fireplace, laundry room and full large kitchen, butler’s pantry/laundry, 6 bedrooms, heating. and and much-admired much-admired roadside roadside stone stone barn. barn. renovated renovated living living space, space, large large features features 4 4bedroom bedroom suites, suites, amazing amazing and much-admired roadside stone barn. renovated living space, large features 4 bedroom suites, amazing room, and sunroom withover walk-out to the backPleasant deck & landbath. Lower level with walk-outoutdoor includes aterraces family 4Outstanding baths, office and hobbyforroom. twofamily private Views Views over over nature-rich nature-rich Pleasant Pleasant Bay. Bay. Views nature-rich Bay. Outstanding opportunity opportunity for 2 2Includes families families outdoor outdoor terraces & &patios. patios. Lower Lower Outstanding opportunity 2for families terraces &room, patios. Lower family family room room and and huge huge waterside waterside room and huge waterside scaped yard. Attached doublemature garage, full-height finished lower kitchenette, bath –could ideal quarters for extended family. Easy access toporch. the Glorious Glorious mature mature gardens, gardens, naturalized naturalized Glorious gardens, naturalized or multi-generational multi-generational situation. situation. 36.5 36.5 level level could be bein-laws completely completely separate separate porch. porch. Property Property can be berun run asa a2 bedrooms or or multi-generational situation. 36.5 level could befor completely separate Property cancan befull run as as aand level with workshop/studio, hobby room and ample storage! or slips, guests. 3+ acres! 401 and Trenton! One-of-a-kind! areas, areas, and and striking striking alleé alleé offlowering flowering areas, and striking alleé of of flowering acres acres and and your your own own private private inlet inlet living living quarters. quarters. Perfect Perfect formultimultimarina marina with with 31boats boats slips, 8 this on acres and your own private inlet living quarters. Perfect forfor multimarina with 3131 boats slips, 8 8All $549,000 MLS 550600112 $798,000 MLS 550960201 $829,000 MLS 511720914 moorings crab crab apple apple trees. trees. Not Not bemissed! missed! crab apple trees. Not to to betobe missed! minutes minutes toSandbanks! Sandbanks! generational generational situation! situation! minutes to to Sandbanks! generational situation! moorings moorings &clubhouse. clubhouse. Opportunity! Opportunity! && clubhouse. Opportunity!

FREE OPINION OF VALUE Call for a free, no obligation Opinion Of Value for your home in Prince Edward County. Even if you do not wish to sell at this time, knowing the value of this asset can 1840’s Pioneer block house on 10+ private acres with Perfect bucolic retreat on the Black River! This beautiful $896,000. $896,000. Much-admired Much-admired County County $659,000. $439,000. $439,000. Bring Bring your your binoculars! binoculars! $896,000. Much-admired County $659,000. $659,000. Classic Classic “Arts “Arts &Crafts” Crafts” $549,000. $549,000. The The impeccably-executed impeccably-executed $439,000. Bring your binoculars! Classic “Arts && Crafts” $549,000. impeccably-executed private property offers 2.41 acres andThe 252.70’ of barn. Hand hewn logs, original wood floors, & gracious help shape your future plans. Please landmark! landmark! Impeccably Impeccably restored restored Spectacular Spectacular views views over over themarsh marsh out landmark! Impeccably beauty beauty inheart heart ofPicton! Picton! Gracious Gracious modern modern home home sits a alush, lush, Spectacular views over thethe marsh outout beauty in in heart of of Picton! Gracious sitssits onon aon lush, waterfront with easy access to themodern river forhome kayaking or proportions. Living room, restored formerly a pioneer kitchen, call us. We’d be happy to assist you. Colonial Colonial Revival Revival classic classic featured featured inin centre-hall centre-hall centre-hall plan plan feature feature exquisite naturalized naturalized lot just just minutes minutes from from toWest West Lake! Lake! Two Two expansive expansive levels levels Colonial Revival featured inRooms plan feature naturalized lotlot just minutes from to to West Lake! Two expansive levels canoeing – exquisite orexquisite just enjoy the exceptional natural setting has remnants of theclassic cooking fireplace. showcase

“The “The Settler’s Settler’s Dream” Dream” and and other other ofliving living space space provide provide 4 4bedrooms bedrooms “The Settler’s and other wood trim, trim, distinctive distinctive stained stained glass, glass, Wellington. Wellington. Perfect Perfect for“Dwell” “Dwell” of of living space provide 4 bedrooms trim, distinctive stained glass, Wellington. Perfect for “Dwell” & wildlife. The split level home offers 4 bedrooms, 2 for the original logDream” interior. Upstairs includeswood anwood open This isand not to solicit buyers orlarge sellers currently publications. publications. 5 5bedrooms, bedrooms, 5 and and 4 4bathrooms, bathrooms, large large family family publications. 5 bedrooms, 5 5semi-ensuite and and generous generous spaces. spaces. 4 4bedrooms, bedrooms, magazine magazine fans: fans: exquisite exquisite lines lines andintended and 4 bathrooms, family and generous spaces. 4sunroom, bedrooms, magazine fans: exquisite and full baths, and a walk-out to a patio. Enjoy the lines landing, three bedrooms and a full bath. under contract with akitchen broker. This service isentertaining completely bathrooms, bathrooms, exquisite exquisite period period detail, detail, library, library, and unforgettable unforgettable reception reception finishes, finishes, limestone limestone and and pine pine floors, floors, kitchen and and generous generous entertaining bathrooms, exquisite period detail, library, and unforgettable reception finishes, limestone and pine floors, kitchen and generous entertaining The opportunities are endless! Being sold ‘as is, where is’.and riverfront views and make this lovely spot your home! confidential your information willfamily not be shared. two two staircases staircases and and splendid splendid entrance entrance rooms! spaces. spaces. Wonderful Wonderful family family home, home, two staircases and splendid rooms! rooms! Updated Updated mechanicals mechanicals and and vaulted vaulted ceilings. ceilings. Superb Superb master master suite suiteandspaces. Wonderful home, Updated mechanicals and ceilings. Superb master suite $449,000 MLSentrance 550350197 $439,000 MLSvaulted 550890287 hall. hall. Unique Unique opportunity! opportunity! weekend weekend property property orrental rental income income hall. Unique opportunity! recent recent salt water water plunge plunge pool. pool. separate separate from from guest guest spaces. spaces. Chef’s Chef’s weekend property or or rental income recent saltsalt water plunge pool. separate from guest spaces. Chef’s Outstanding Outstanding outbuildings! outbuildings! kitchen. kitchen. Rare Rare and and beautiful! beautiful! Outstanding outbuildings! kitchen. Rare and beautiful! opportunity! opportunity! opportunity!

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signposts Dunes Beach Story and photography by Lindi Pierce West Lake Brick Works. Photo courtesy Prince Edward Archives

Shifting Sand Dunes Beach lies at the southwest corner of West Lake, nestled into towering sand dunes stretching out to Lake Ontario, in Prince Edward County. The beach was known as The Sandbanks before Ontario Provincial Parks amalgamated the Outlet and Sandbanks parks in 1984, and renamed things to confuse the locals. A day at the beach is hardly the time to contemplate history, unless one might ponder the rains of 2017 which have altered the beach dramatically. The dunes are a place to make memories. Nevertheless, there is some fascinating history under all this sand, and the observant might detect traces of it, even today. We turn to old photos for the story. One shows forlorn cattle filing down a barren sandbank (“where’s the grass?”) The photo recalls the 1880s Barley Days when cattle were pastured on the dunes, earlier denuded by logging, so fields could be utilized for the more lucrative barley crop. Others show the 1875 Evergreen Hotel, menaced by a 20-foot-tall drifting sand dune. Yet another reveals a ramshackle frame factory complex distinguished by a tall slim chimney. A fourth view, dated 1922, depicts workers and a long line of wagons and horses ‘drawing brick’ from the flat area below the dunes.

ABOVE PHOTOS: Industrial artifacts on Dunes Beach

The shifting sands once encroached on farms and buildings, and forced roads to change course. They prompted government intervention tree planting and fencing to stabilize the dunes.

The sands also contributed to the shifting fortunes of two business ventures. The first was the West Lake Brick Factory, brainchild of American entrepreneur L. V. Stevens, who interested local investors in exploiting the area’s sandy treasure in 1921 (sources vary on the dates of the enterprise). The business failed in less than a decade; the sand-lime bricks were reportedly of substandard quality. Many believe the white brick Herbert Bedell house at 24 Centre Street in Picton (circa 1907) was constructed of West Lake brick. The date anomaly and the fine condition of the home’s brick raise questions. A more recent enterprise ended well for beach-goers. In the 1950s Lake Ontario Cement Company Limited (Picton) purchased the brick factory property. Confusion over the shifting property boundaries (sand at work) led by 1966 to a new survey and lease, granting permission for industrial excavation of sand over 75 years. But the growth of both environmental awareness and the parks system led to determined opposition to the required license. By 1972, a report commissioned by the Ministry of Natural Resources recommended the sale of the dunes to the Outlet Provincial park. The cement company was compensated and the dunes were saved.



at h

me with

’s Alan Gratias


Story and photography by Alan Gratias

Canada at 150 was important to me. The last time I became anxious about how to celebrate a big birthday was the turn of the millennium. Do you remember the predictions of computer chaos as the clock turned 2000? Looking back, it is easy to forget how consequential it seemed. I celebrate grand occasions in the same way – by inviting friends to stay for a weekend of champagne, camaraderie, and games. Canada’s 150th year is getting a lot of good press as a beacon of liberal democracy in a world running amok. It seems the world can’t get enough of us. Lyn and Bob came from Toronto and Al from Keene in the Adirondacks on the Friday of the Sesquicentennial Weekend, and settled in Cressy Longhouse, my pig barn converted to guest house. After unpacking bags of delicacies, gifts, and grog, we popped a few corks to begin a round of toasts.



I am a believer in rules. Every civilized Country House needs boundaries, rules of engagement born through generations of practice and precedent. Guests want to understand the terroir of a home, its rhythms and rituals. My Canada Day weekend guests knew the first night of an extended stay was their treat. Joanie and I were invited to The Longhouse for a dinner of sauté trout, asparagus, and baby potatoes. We moved back and forth from the veranda overlooking the open expanse of Lake Ontario to the round dining table on the limestone floor. Nothing quite like hanging with old friends, kicking back over drinks and memories, tales that have become embellished as elements of fiction creep into the friendship mythology. That first night rule includes wash-up, so Joanie bid good night to our guests and headed to the main house to the sound of clattering dishes and more popping corks.

Canada Richard 150and (Waupoos) Vida Saturday July 1, Canada’s designated official birthday, was spent on a whirlwind tour of celebratory events in Wellington and Picton. The Wentworth-laid turf on Main Street won the most accolades. At a certain point Joanie and I left our guests with a map of afternoon destinations, and slipped home to rest and prepare for the evening. As hosts of the weekend, the Saturday dinner was our event to mastermind. We invited neighbours down the way on County Road 8, Richard and Mary Lowery of the fabled reconstructed ABOVE: CRESSY HOUSE AMONG ITS VINEYARD. diary barn, to join the party. We began with and Fifth Town Cheese down the road. Pat cocktails lakeside in the company of the Lacroix, a friend just past the junction of pounding surf which everyone swore was County Road 8 and 13, invited us to a housemore Mediterranean than Canadian shield. farewell party. He was also celebrating the With an undiluted horizon, a vineyard of launch of his book of photographs of Toronto chardonnay, and a field of lavender, it was jazz legends. After 18 years in the County and hard to believe this was not the south of the loss of his wife, Pat had sold his gem of a France. We moved to Le Pavilion, our go-to house surrounded by acres of Asian-inspired space for most meals and afternoon naps, gardens. We basked in the sun by the pool a stand-alone building next to the house with his many County friends as Pat poured finished in barnboard, immediately coined ‘a wine and cooked hamburgers. “Does anyone shrine to dine’ by Richard as he marvelled at know of a boat with a cabin for sale,” he asked. the plethora of hung yokes, chandeliers, and “I’m not going far.” Leaving North Marysburgh, moose antlers. We gorged on butterfly leg of yes, but only to Picton harbour where he was lamb, streams of conversations and gossip, planning to spend future summers on his and County reds. new cruiser. I had a surprize ceremony in mind to The music was ramping as we bid adieu highlight the occasion. As the sun collapsed and headed west to Camp Picton on the over the escarpment, I interrupted the gaiety high plateau above the town. The retired to lead a parade to the flag standard attached Second World War base, part of the British to the house. There I unfurled a standard, Commonwealth Air Training Plan, is one of never seen before, of the independent Duchy the great treasures and under-utilized assets of Waupoos, two fat horizontal stripes of in Ontario. Its compound of intact buildings red and blue with a large white Waupoos and aerodrome facilities are a nostalgic and hare in the middle. I queued the stirring historic marvel. The two French owners of music of Amazing Grace to play in the Maison Depoivre, Vincent Depoivre and background. We raised the new emblem to Christophe Dousset, have refashioned one of fly under the Canadian Maple Leaf, clinked the abandoned buildings, Barracks #3, to an glasses to my incantation to live locally and art gallery. The opening reception for ‘Camp identify nationally. I did observe a collective Picton – Past and Present’ was packed with art puzzlement in the expressions of my revellers lovers, dignitaries, and those curious about as we returned to the table to renew our the disbanded military installation. Red sold Canada 150 high spirits. stickers were going up fast throughout the rooms, including on one photograph Hangar Sunday morning, July 2 was downtime, at Night, also the frontispiece image for the to deconstruct events over chat and coffee show, which I could not resist. on the wide and pillared veranda of The

Longhouse. When I suggested activities, Al signed up to kayak and Bob and Lyn disappeared on bikes to Cape Vineyard

The final occasion of our Canada 150 Sunday was back in Waupoos where Michele Hozer and her husband Russell Walker had rented the huge driveshed-as-residence of Judith van Bastelaar. They had been there for six months making a documentary about the Syrian refugees in the County. The editing was in its final stages and they were heading back to Toronto for preparations of the film launch. Michele and Russell were hosting a beach party and barbeque to say thank you and goodbye. Since my houseguests were showing no signs of fatigue, we were the last to leave the idyllic hideaway, more Caribbean than Canadian with its thatched huts and open cabanas. A digestif under the stars back at The Longhouse brought the day to a close before Lyn, Bob, and Al collapsed, muttering about the need to rest. Departure day was marked by a postmortem on the portico, a game of boules, and a lunch of leftovers in the Pavilion. My guests were anxious to follow the clean-up rules in hope of a repeat invitation, then a wave goodbye as the cars departed the laneway for the journeys back to Toronto and New York. Joanie and I were settling down in the loggia for an afternoon nap, our default activity after guests have left, when the phone rang.

“Perfect day for a flight,” proclaimed Russ Walker, following up on a promise he had made the night before. An hour later we took off from the aerodrome at Camp Picton in his vintage Cessna Cardinal. A slender cylinder of red sliced the azure sky above the “Gallery Depoivre is a game changer,” Waupoos peninsula, its two occupants agog observed Terry Culbert. “Camp Picton is now with the panorama of the island below. a cultural destination.” COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING AUTUMN 2017


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S A I TA RG ’S Gravitas Quotient is a measure of o n e ’s r e s e r v e s o f i n n e r w i s d o m .

Jeanette Arsenault answers 25 Gravitas questions with Alan Gratias What are you going to do about growing old? Embrace the wisdom that comes with age, never take health for granted, and sing, “I don’t wanna grow up!” If you knew the truth, how would you reveal it? By trying to find different ways to communicate it. We all hope there will be one more time. One more time for what? To be kinder and more patient. What do you wish your mother understood about you? That I admire her for dedicating her life to raising us. Name one secret you do not want to discover before you die? Why God created the human experience. If you were going to launch a new prohibition, what would you outlaw? Opioids and addictive drugs and make it mandatory that pharmaceuticals come up with a better way to help heal people without the addictive qualities of the pills. How would you like to rewire your brain? To not be so sensitive. If you were to ask for divine intervention, what would it be for? To save every vulnerable person and animal from being abused. What are you fatally attracted to? Old-fashioned romance. Why do we sometimes crave chaos? To be shaken out of a stale routine and life lethargy. How do you stay clear of the rocks and shoals? By being alert and able to act quickly to change course. When they say, ‘follow the fear,’ what fear are you following? The fear of missing my life purpose. Our talents are not for us - they are for us to give to others.

Photo by Val Carey


What would your father make of you now? That I am living my dream. When do reality and fantasy merge? When dreams come true. What is the best way to get licensed as an adult? Don’t overreact to bad situations - meet them with a cool, level head. What do you wish you understood about the workings of the universe? I wish I understood the reason for violence, strife, and chaos. How do we get to the authentic self? By spending time alone with God and being honest with oneself. If you were in charge of the world for one day, what would you change? I would decree that everyone has to laugh deep belly laughs daily. What takes you down the rabbit hole? Worry and self-defeating thoughts. How can we escape the trap line of our own obsessions? Good healthy internal dialogue through meditation. When do you release your inner quirkiness? When I am with someone who shares my goofy worldview. If we come into this world with sealed orders, what are your orders? Connect people with themselves, with others, and with God. How are you different from the way others perceive you? I am more introverted. If you had your own country, what is the first law you would enact? Abusing the vulnerable is punishable by jail time or community work.

Why should we hang onto our illusions? Because sometimes life’s reality can be hard to face.

About Jeanette Jeanette Arsenault is a performer through and through. Always has been. Une chanteuse classique. She can’t contain her effervescence. Like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, you somehow expect her to burst into song at any time. Jeanette is a Canadian singer/songwriter of Acadian heritage with many solo albums to her credit as well as one with her gospel trio Trinity. She has performed for the Queen, at the Olympics, and many other international events. Her song writing touches on social and patriotic themes, humorous views of life, women, children, and good old-fashioned values. She is well known in the Quinte area where she has lived a long time. Jeanette launched her iconic This is Canada/Mon Cher Canada in Belleville on July 1st for the Canada 150 celebration.

The video has had more than 200,000 views on YouTube. She wrote the song 20 years ago when she lived in Prince Edward County. “One last question.” I say. “When so many are saying the world needs more Canada, what do they mean? “Good question,” Jeanette answers. “More tolerance of our differences and more belief we are stronger because of our diversity.” By Alan Gratias

Discover your Gravitas Quotient at www.gravitasthegame.com







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Profile for County and Quinte Living magazine

County and Quinte Living Magazine Autumn 2017  

County and Quinte Living Magazine Autumn 2017

County and Quinte Living Magazine Autumn 2017  

County and Quinte Living Magazine Autumn 2017