Cqlspring2016 finallr

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Spring 2016







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Quinte SailAbility

by Catherine Stutt


Making Musical History in Milford

by Peter Lockyer


the healing power of animals


Each issue available online at: www.countyandquinteliving.ca



by Lindi Pierce

CQL visits Napanee

Trenton Rowing and Paddling Club

by Michelle Hauser

by Amy James



the old redner place


CQL at home with Bruno and Jens

Tourist in your Own Town

Lockyer’s Country Gardens by Kelly S. Thompson



Twelve O’Clock Point by Lindi Pierce

by Alan Gratias

by Jennifer Shea



by Alan Gratias 4



Rowers from the Trenton Rowing & Paddling Club photographed on the Trent River by Daniel Vaughan

Live Well


General Manager Seaway Gavin Beer gbeer@metroland.com editor Catherine Stutt editor@xplornet.com Photo editor Daniel Vaughan daniel@vaughangroup.ca Advertising Executives Melissa Hudgin, Sales Manager 613.966.2034 x 504 melissa.hudgin@metroland.com Orlinda Johnston 613.966.2034 x 526 ojohnston@metroland.com Michael Kelly 613.969.8896 x 228 michael.kelly@metroland.com

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design & production Kathern Bly and Monica McTaggart Susan K. Bailey Marketing & Design info@skbailey.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lindi Pierce Alan Gratias Jennifer Shea Michelle Hauser Catherine Stutt Amy James Kelly S. Thompson Peter Lockyer

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ADMINISTRATION Heather Naish hnaish@perfprint.ca Distribution Paul Mitchell 613.966.2034 x 508 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. Subscription rate $25 a year. HST included. County & Quinte Living is a division of Metroland Media Group Ltd.

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from the

Editor’s Desk

lame it on Aunt Lila. In 1977, my parents took my sister and me to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. My father raised Quarter Horses, and it was a pilgrimage of sorts, with a stop at the King Ranch before joining my Uncle Ray and Aunt Lila in McAllen, where they escaped their lessthan-balmy Flin Flon, Manitoba winters. As a treat, Aunt Lila decided to take her teenage nieces to the mall in nearby Edinburg. We set out for the mall, with Aunt Lila driving. Little did we know she had been licensed for less than a year, as Uncle Ray’s health prevented him from driving the 2,300 almost due south miles from northern Manitoba to southern Texas. Aunt Lila, reading the road in her wonderfully creative way, stalled in the middle of a major intersection, and barely escaping with our lives my sister, who may or may not have been licensed to drive, took over. Aunt Lila instructed her to turn right, when the only option was left, and it was at that moment when Joanne and I bonded over a contagious directional dyslexia, which our Mom also shares. Meeting my cousin Donna at her brother’s home in Ottawa this past April, I learned this was almost epidemic among those of us blessed with Aunt Lila’s guidance, and a lifelong affliction. Apparently it’s a thing – a lexical confusion - perhaps a subliminal reaction to the French for left – gauche, which in English means awkward, and French for right – droite, whose English partner is adroit, associated with skilful dexterity. Thanks to my friends Fletch and Dorothy, I had a chance to be both gauche and adroit last summer. They thought it would be fun to put me in a sailboat at Quinte SailAbility, where I would pilot a Marlin 16 through a sip and puff system, on the spectacular Bay of Quinte.

If right and left are mysteries, port and starboard, fore and aft, and all of the intricacies of sailspeak were going to be just a riot. At least sip and puff seemed simple, until we added wind, an airshow, and people who were disabled but were sailing circles around me – often literally. It was yet another adventure of a lifetime, and I’m honoured to write about this very personal Quinte SailAbility experience in this issue. I have little familiarity with people with a disability, or in this case athletes with a disability, so the intimidation factor extended far beyond my fear of looking like a dork in a boat while everyone else had cool going on. Would I say the right thing, act the right way? Would I inadvertently offend someone? Should I offer to help or respect their space? Turns out all I had to do was sail with them, learn from them and try very very hard to not run into their boats. I went back the next week and rode in a coach boat, taking hundreds of photos (Daniel captured my glorious sailing debut for CQL), and found a favourite. Fletch uses a similar photo in his fundraising presentation. He says, “These chairs aren’t for sale; their owners are just out sailing.” Indeed, they are, as the undaunted armada of Quinte SailAbility. These sailors are fearless. May we all have the same courage to face our challenges. Thanks for turning the page,

Catherine Stutt, Editor, County and Quinte Living editor@xplornet.com COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Spring 2016




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Quinte SailAbility Setting sail with independence Article by Catherine Stutt Photography by Daniel Vaughan Mark is quiet on the dock. He waits patiently in his electric wheelchair, gazing over the water in the calm inlet tucked behind a breakwater off the Bay of Quinte, his thoughts his own. He’s not big on conversation, but there is purpose to his day. Mark is going sailing. On his own, in an access boat. The Quinte SailAbility (QS) crew calls them bumper boats – a collection of accessible dinghies in jelly bean colours. Basically a fibreglass shell encasing an unsinkable, untippable, versatile, and very stable short sailboat. It is more than a boat. It is independence. It is a chance, for two hours, three times a week, ten weeks a year, to be alone, to be the captain of a life. Mark has disabilities. QS doesn’t care what kind. They are simply concerned with Mark’s ability to learn to sail. The QS crew knows their job is to remove all barriers between Mark and the wind. They succeed at a stunningly inspiring level. Dennis Fletcher – Fletch to those fortunate enough to know him - and John Gower founded QS in 2001. They wanted to share their love of sailing with people not typically able to access the sport. After a demonstration by Ontario Sailing, there was a lot of interest, and, “We realized we’d started something. We couldn’t ignore it,” recalled Fletch. “So we formed a sailing school.” Each summer, QS puts more than 130 sailors on the water through its therapeutic, recreational, basic, advanced, and racing 10


“hark, now hear the sailors cry, smell the sea, and feel the sky let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic...” ~ Van Morrison




programs. It provides three well-paid express how honoured I am to be part of it. seasonal jobs, manages $280,00 in assets, I believe Fletch and Dorothy are incredible and receives funding from all three levels of people for making this possible and I thank government, 10 service clubs, and unique them on behalf of our sailors for making their fundraising. “Students pay 30 per cent of dreams come true. They let our sailors know operating costs, and we fundraise the rest,” anything is possible.” explains Fletch, adding the organization is Turns out, QS is good for local students, debt-free. Students in the basic and advanced too. Frank, who retired in 2015 as head coach courses can earn their sailing certification. (he graduated from high school and his No asterisks. A sailor is a sailor. apprenticeship starts before sailing season) Looking for guidance in the beginning, earned about 900 volunteer hours – students Fletch and John realized there were no need only 40 hours to graduate. Emily, going resources anywhere to tell them how to run into grade 12 this year, isn’t far behind. courses, raise funds, and adopt best practices, Michelle, a grade 10 student, is the dock so Fletch became a founding member of supervisor this year and volunteered last year. the Able Sail Network in 2006. It now helps “It’s a great way for students to get hours, and

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organizations around the world. “Canada is the only country with this resource,” says Fletch proudly.

it sometimes leads to summer employment,” notes Fletch, adding spending time on the water isn’t a hard sell.

Able Sail also runs the Mobility Cup, held last year in Victoria, B.C. Able Sail helps cover the cost of travel and accommodation for sailors and instructors, while CN covers the cost of shipping the Martin 16 boats. Last year, QS’s Emily Schmidt attended the Mobility Cup as an instructor. Entering her fourth year with QS, in 2016, she is the head coach and a veteran devoted ambassador for the program.

Students aren’t the only volunteers on the dock. Each year, the Canadian Forces allows members one week of paid leave to volunteer. Each week, the QS dock has military personnel helping the sailors. “8 Wing’s contribution is huge. We operate from the CFB Trenton Yacht Club free of charge, and more importantly we have great experiences with military members. They’re pulling weeds, helping the students, cleaning the boats, and teaching us skills. The students love learning new knots from the search and rescue technicians. The military contribution is invaluable.”

“QS is truly an incredible program,” she promises. “It is built around our sailors - we can adapt to whatever they need. Some of our sailors think they are limited until they get on the water and they feel like they can conquer the world. I am honoured to be apart of that. They are always excited to get on the water and willing to learn, and they always come off the water with huge smiles. To be apart of this community is like being apart of a large family. We are always there to help each other. It’s amazing and I can’t

QS has many goals, one of which is to turn a person with a disability into an athlete with a disability, and the disabled part of the language is quickly forgotten. “We don’t build the program based on the individual disability – we build a personal program to remove whatever barrier is preventing a student from learning to sail.”



The joyous time is when the breeze first strikes your sails, and the waters rustle under your bows ~ Charles Buxton

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Entry into QS is basic, and the audition is free. “People come to the dock, often with their caregivers, whom we encourage to step back for a minute. If we feel they can learn to sail, they’re in. It’s up to us to remove the barriers.” Fletch isn’t spouting hyperbole. One of QS’s boats can be converted in about five minutes to something almost anyone can pilot. “If they can breathe, they can sail it,” he promised. There are options based on ability. It has an up and down switch for the sails, a joystick for sails and navigation, and failing that ability, it has a sip and puff system allowing the sailor to pilot the boat through very slight breaths, and it is extremely responsive. Fletch, a tireless volunteer at many levels, threw out a challenge. “Pilot the boat using

the sip and puff, and write about it.” That same week, a former OPP colleague suffered a severe spinal cord injury. Larger than life, Terry was facing an uncertain future after at least a year of rehab. Maybe he’d recover some use of his arms and legs. Maybe he’d recover a most of it. A lot of maybes. The harsh and unfair reality is, life throws an knuckleball and we have to decide to swing or step back. QS makes the decision a little juicier. What if we swung and missed? What if we swung and felt the wind and the splash of water on our faces, the power of the sails, and experienced the joy? What if? The $6,000 sip and puff installation on the Martin gives people with physical restrictions a magical opportunity. Fletch put it in perspective, “It gives people who are reliant

on someone every minute of their day for every single function a chance to just simply be independent. They are, for the most part, alone in the boat. Independent on the water. Plotting their own course.” The Canadian-made Martin is a 16-foot narrow sailboat with a main and jib sail. It is virtually untippable, although to a novice sailor, that is small comfort. It is sleek, low, and looks fast even at the dock. It has a winch to draw in the sails, operated by a slight puff, and in normal winds slows the boat. In winds from different directions, it tightens the sails, resulting in speeds of up to five or six knots – a decent clip on the Bay of Quinte. A sip does the opposite. An adjacent straw guides the boat to port or starboard.


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Fletch, with his wry humour, offered to duct tape my hands and feet to give me the real experience. He really is all about confidence and comfort, aided in a major way by Dorothy, his wife and partner in everything, who volunteers with him, trying hard to be behind the scenes, yet so much a part of the success of the program. So prominently inconspicuous, the couple recently won Citizens of the Year in their hometown of Brighton. SailAbility is their major focus, yet so many other charities benefit from their involvement. Accepting Fletch’s challenge, on the dock I was a little terrified of being incredibly inadequate among the experienced sailors. What wasn’t to fear? In a sailboat operated by what appear to be two cocktail straws, towed beyond a breakwater to the Bay of Quinte, overhead an enviable airshow during the change of command of 8 Wing/CFB Trenton, left alone to huff and puff and hopefully not embarrass myself, I set up a challenge. Using only sips and puffs, I’d head to the green marker probably a mile distant, do two revolutions, and call it a success. After that, a lighthouse marking a shoal toward the bridge from Belleville to Rossmore was a target, and failing that goal, I’d head in the opposite direction to the entrance to the Murray Canal – four miles distant, with lots of room to hide inadequacy – and tack back to the yacht basin. All with mild breath nuances. Never has a life jacket felt so comforting. It was a blast. A riot. An avid boater and confident swimmer, I had not been on the water – trips on the Glenora Ferry notwithstanding – since moving to the area in 1999, leaving our Lake Simcoe and Lake Muskoka boats behind. 16


Power boaters and sailors have an ongoing rivalry, and until settling into this little boat, I was firmly in the former camp. Why rely on the wind when fossil fuels were readily available. Fletch inspired another accomplishment. Why rely on hands and feet when breathing could guide a sailor through the shoals of lake and life? So responsive, so independent, so much freaking fun. That’s another goal of QS. “We teach people to sail on their own, and then give them options for sailing in a club atmosphere. We’re first a school, and then a club.” They are also a gateway. Initially, Fletch figured they would teach people to sail. “We then realized we were expanding horizons – our students were taking up winter sports and accepting new challenges. Their mental and physical health improved. We learned the process of mentally planning and physically executing is particularly beneficial to people with cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. Adaptive sailing is very independent – our students have to consider the effect of the winds and how to set the sails. The conditions are always changing. There is nothing repetitive about sailing so they always have to be mentally and physically active. People are healthier and happier at the end of a season.” Freedom is perhaps the one thing above all else QS offers. Sure, people with varying levels of physical and developmental disabilities can learn to sail, but learning to sail may be the byproduct. Being independent is the real deal. As usual, Fletch puts it best. “We’re a sailing school whose core product is confidence and self esteem.”

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Musical History

in Milford Article by Peter Lockyer Photography by Sandra Foreman For most of the year, the historic property at the end of Collier Road in Prince Edward County is a quiet, peaceful place. Once a Loyalist farmstead and later the site of the Port Milford Canning Company, today the property serves a new purpose, and every summer, something extraordinary takes place here. Each week for four weeks, 40 gifted, young music students from across North America gather for an intensive training program, which encourages learning, lasting friendships, and a lifelong commitment to music. Music at Port Milford was started in 1986 by professional violinist Doris McLaughlin. Thirty years later, her daughter Meg Hill and her family run the camp with the help of a small volunteer board and world-class professional musicians from Canada and the United States, all sharing their knowledge and experience with a next generation of promising young musicians. 18




“I think this is what I was meant to do because it kinds pulls together what I feel is important,” says camp director Meg Hill. “It’s bringing community together. I tend to be maternal so it gives me a chance to be the camp Mom, and I love teaching so it gives me that opportunity. Of course, I love music and I think it brings me a lot of pleasure.” Perhaps few people could find pleasure in overseeing 40 teenagers each week for a month-long music camp, which emphasizes intensive practice sessions to master a challenging repertoire of chamber music played at weekly concerts. In between, there are meals, swims along the shoreline, and fun activities like coffee houses to promote the camp experience. “At any given time, it’s a many–ringed circus,” says Meg. “Each week there is new faculty so it takes a little time to settle their schedules. I laughed one time when a parent called - and over the years it has only been one parent who said this – ‘I don’t know that they have enough structure.’ When they do not have structure? It’s pretty intense and people have to take it, and my staff, too within that structure, you need to find your little place to breathe.” “My Mom is a powerhouse,” says her daughter Emily. “Just what she accomplishes I just don’t know how she does it. I honestly don’t know how she finds the energy to do it. She’s inspiring and I think she has inspired a lot of people.” “It’s just an incredibly positive place,” adds faculty member and professional cellist, Paul Widner of Toronto. “Meg brings that 20




spirit to camp just in the person that she is. It’s a very special place. It has a very special spirit partly infused by the amazing surroundings as well.” The camp is rustic and somewhat remote, well out of range for cell phones and other modern distractions. Communication with the outside world is limited to daily postal service. For these short summer weeks, the focus is on mastering the complexities of chamber music through daily practice periods. “We talk a lot about really spending this time with each other, not with our technology or our friends who are on the other end of technology so for me, it’s like recharging for the year,” says Meg’s daughter Charlotte. “I just feel so connected with everyone around me. All the teachers and the counsellors and my Mom are so committed to giving people a positive impression of what making music

together can be and sure how playing the right notes is great, but in the long run we are trying to honour these composers. We’re trying to honour ourselves, and our teachers. Everything is really in perspective. During the year I can get caught up in the competitive aspect of classical music, but here I don’t feel that. I feel safe.” Michael Newnham is the music director of two Canadian orchestras - the Peterborough Symphony and Symphony New Brunswick. For more than a decade he has also served as the conductor of the Music at Port Milford camp orchestra. “These are young people who believe playing an instrument, playing chamber music, playing in a group of four to five different people, finding a way of talking and communicating through music is an important way to spend part of their summer,”

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he notes. “Some of them go on to become “I feel very, very blessed to have been able to professional musicians. Some of them have experience this place at such a young age and gone on to have wonderful careers in music. to have it in my life. It feels like family, like This contributes to their personality and their a homecoming every summer. I come back ability to become leaders of tomorrow.” here and I am reminded of why I play music. There’s just so much joy in it.” To be here students have to be good, and must pass an audition process, and even for The enthusiasm of the students, camp these talented young musicians, the extensive counsellors and faculty all fuel the high energy repertoire to be learned in just one week is camp director Meg Hill must muster every very demanding. year to bring this annual camp together. “Everybody should come here,” says violin “I’ve had lots of times where I have student Zoe Santo of Schomberg, Ontario. wondered, ‘How can I do this?’ she says. “How “It’s amazing. When I can’t be a camper any can we do this? Quite honestly it comes back more, I want to come back as a counsellor and to the mission and feeling what’s important then hopefully come back as faculty. I want and will it continue to make a difference in this always to be part of my life.” people’s lives? I think every time I start to get “I would have no regrets about coming back,” personally weary and I think, oh my, can we adds David Morse, who plays in the Rochester really get this machine going again? I do think Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. “This is one of of the significance it has had in people’s lives the best places I have ever been in my life.” and that keeps me going and just so much as Melanie Hsu is a professional cellist playing an email or a thank you note from a former in Philadelphia and New York. Originally a student or a parent can keep you going for student at the camp a decade ago, she has another few months. It’s sometimes those returned as a counsellor for several summers. things that make a difference.”



There is magic in the music the students make. Somehow a group of teenagers strangers to each other just days before – perform together in a final public concert each week at a Picton church just as they have done for every summer in the past. The concerts are small triumphs providing the camp’s young musicians with added confidence and experience. “They’re all accomplished, but they have different experience levels and I was just very touched by how they put themselves forward,” Meg says. “I told one of the groups I was coaching, ‘It’s okay if you play a wrong note. We’re all human. Just be there. Be present and give us that gift,’ and I think every group really did that. “ When camp concludes, these students have made more than music. Together, they’ve created a memorable experience that will last them a lifetime - something to be shared with others next summer when the Music at Port Milford camp opens again.

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Healing through animal therapy

Article by Jennifer Shea Photography by Daniel Vaughan

Human-animal interaction has been shown to have profound physiological and psychological benefits. People in contact with animals experience decreased blood pressure, reduced anxiety, and a general feeling of wellbeing. Locally, there are a number of programs that focus on improving human lives through interactions with animals. These therapy animals include bunnies, dogs, horses, and even a pig. St. John Ambulance has a longstanding Therapy Dog Program offering comfort and companionship to members of the community who are sick, lonely, reside in long-term care facilities, or spend time in hospitals, schools, or libraries. 26


The local program is capably coordinated by Joyce Fowler, who started as a volunteer in the program with two of her dogs before becoming an evaluator, then taking on the coordinator role. It’s a full-time job to arrange the testing and scheduling of 41 dogs (and their human partners) who visit long-term care facilities, schools, and libraries throughout Belleville, Trenton, and Prince Edward County. Dogs entering the program must be a minimum of one year of age. “They come here and they’re evaluated in 13 separate scenarios,” said Joyce. “We’re looking for the dog’s temperament and the handler’s control of the dog in many different situations - meeting people, groups of people, wheelchairs, canes, crutches, people dropping things, other dogs.”



Volunteers and their dogs are expected to put in a minimum of 60 hours of visiting per year. Julie Empey takes Charlie, her St. Bernard Swiss Mountain cross, to Westgate Lodge once a week to visit with the elderly residents. “You start talking about general things and the residents just lead the conversation themselves,” said Julie. “The Alzheimer’s unit is my favourite because I go in with my dog and they light up.” Sarah Madill is the Manager of Life Enrichment at Trent Valley Lodge, a longterm care facility with 102 residents. She sees the benefits of the three to four weekly visits from therapy dogs. “When the dogs come in, it reminds the residents of home,” she says. “It brings a lot of joy; it’s so calming for them and it takes them to a different place.”

Rosie is another therapy dog who participates in the Paws for Reading Program, which takes place at the public library and is offered to beginner or reluctant readers ages five years and up. Rosie is a Bassett Hound whose owner, Suzie Farrow, joined the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program two years ago. “There are usually four or five kids and they lie on the carpet with the dog and read stories to her,” said Suzie. “It helps a lot with the reading and their self-esteem. Rosie’s not going to judge. She’s just there for the tummy rubs. It gives them confidence.” Loyalist College has been inviting the Therapy Dog Program into the school at the beginning of each school year and during exams. “The first time I went to Loyalist, it blew my mind,” recalled Joyce. “We were

there at 9 a.m. and by 10:30 there had been 260 kids in to see the dogs. We were seeing 600 or 700 kids a day with five or six dogs. The students have dogs at home and they miss their pets or they’re stressed – they just want to come in and pet the animals.” Another longstanding local therapy program is QuinTRA – the Quinte Therapeutic Riding Association. Barb Davis has been involved in QuinTRA since 1989; the local program was started in 1985 and is now located at a farm east of Stirling. Thirty volunteers help Barb with horse care and rider support. QuinTRA offers year-round riding lessons, either in the heated indoor arena in winter or the outdoor riding ring in milder weather. The 30-minute classes are


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limited to two riders each, with one-onone riding instruction for the participants. The participants have various challenges – visual impairment, autism, developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy, or other issues.

“We have a girl, Zoë, who was 11 when she started two years ago,” says Barb. “At first, she was in a lot of pain and we just sat her on the horse. By doing games she didn’t realize were therapy, she ended up with full “They can meet their pony first,” says Barb. range of motion in her arms and eventually “Then they get on and we just walk around she took the reins and she would go around a bit until we see how comfortable they are. and pick up the stuffed animals herself. Each one is different and you just play it by Then outside, she was riding in the field offear. We do exercises and we pick up stuffed lead on her own.” “This last summer, for the first time, Zoë animals and put them in a basket. Then we put the objects on a post. It’s all stretching was trotting around pylons on her own, leaving her wheelchair aside. She said it felt and reaching.” Barb says there are currently about 30 like running and she’s never run before.” riders involved in the program, many of whom have been repeat visitors for years.



Ethan O’Leary-Eftaxias has been participating in the QuinTRA program for

almost two years. He’s 12 years old, and suffered a brain injury in a car accident leaving him with partial paralysis and cognitive issues. “It’s primarily physical therapy, but as an extra bonus, it really boosts his self-confidence and sense of accomplishment,” said his mother Lisa Eftaxias. Since joining QuinTRA, Ethan has been able to cut back on physiotherapy appointments. “He gets physio without it being therapy,” explained Lisa. “There isn’t a lot of motion in his left leg and foot. The movement on the horse helps with limbering his heel for flexion. Also, it’s good for balance and core strength. On the cognitive side, it forces him to think. He has to follow instructions.”

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“The curious thing about

Molly is she chooses who needs some comfort or

some interaction. She’s a very intuitive piggy.”

Silas the bunny is a focal point of the Lambs for Children Program, which supports children who are suffering a loss or anticipating a loss. The program was founded in Toronto by Kathleen FosterMorgan, who started it as a pilot with a doctor from Mount Sinai Hospital at a farm north of Toronto. Several children were brought to the farm to interact with the animals and nature as part of their healing process. These children had all experienced loss of one kind or another. Kathleen established the Edith Fox Life & Loss Centre 10 years ago, and moved Lambs for Children under the Centre’s umbrella. She also relocated the program to Prince Edward County, where Kathleen was raised. Lambs for Children no longer involves lambs, but Silas the bunny fills in nicely. During an eight-week program, there are weekly 90-minute sessions. There is no age restriction, but participants in the program tend to be at least five years old. The aim is

learning to be patient and calm, to sit on command, to lie, wait, and to stay,” noted Ruth. Miss Molly goes on outings with Ruth to places like a local physiotherapy clinic, where she spends time in the waiting room with clients. “The curious thing about Molly is she chooses who needs some comfort or Silas is always present at the sessions, some interaction,” observed Ruth. “One day, either in his cage or available for holding there were four or five people in the waiting or petting. “The children will talk about room. Molly’s interaction with every single issues through the bunny,” says Ruth Forget, one of them was very different. She’s a very who assists Kathleen in running Lambs for intuitive piggy.” Children. “Sometimes, this is the only time The human-animal connection is clearly these children have been given – and feel a strong one. In all of these interactions, – unconditional love; the only time they’re the human participants come away with a able to express that. Silas gives them a voice better sense of self-worth and confidence. where they don’t feel they have one.” This extends to indirect participants as well. Lambs for Children received a miniature Those who work in these therapy programs piglet last year, donated by a mutual friend all say they get as much out of the therapy of Kathleen and Ruth’s. Miss Molly is now sessions as the recipients do. And the in training to join Silas as a therapy animal. animals? Well, they’re just being themselves. “The biggest piece of the process is her It turns out that’s more than enough. to intervene at the time of first loss. “Grief is grief,” says Kathleen. “We want value of life to equal grief. I think if we can do that early, then we’re showing humanity at a deeper level and hopefully those kids, when they get to be teenagers, will be more compassionate and more aware of what happened.”

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The Old Redner Place Article by Lindi Pierce Photography by Daniel Vaughan

It’s a country convention. No matter how many families with their own perfectly good names have lived there, local folks tend to call a house with a long history by the name of its original builder/owner. When a place has stood as long as the circa 1830 Redner stone house in Rednersville, it’s inevitable. Bill and Brenda Vella, owners of “the old Redner place,” wouldn’t have it any other way; it was the stories as much as the historic property which led them here 10 years ago. The couple has added some history - a lot has happened on their watch. Bill and Brenda purchased the Redner house in 2005. They were drawn to the place; they had owned many properties, but never a stone house. They admired the architecture, loved the area, and recognized the potential of the property. The house was a cut above, built to last by, “Cultured, intelligent, successful people,” observed Bill. The Vellas believe buying an ancestral home makes the owner a steward of its history. They purchased the place from William Bernard Redner, the sixth generation of the family to live on the land. Bernard recorded the story, “My father was Ernest Redner. His father was William Henry Redner IV; his grandfather was William Henry III; his great grandfather was William Henry II, and his great great grandfather, the





pioneer Henry Redner.” The name Henry ran in the family. It was once the custom to name children after the sovereign; the very first Henry Redner was named after Otho Henry of the Lower Palatinate region of Germany, in 1559. Fleeing persecution in that region, ancestor John Ridenour (later Redner) migrated with his wife and children to Holland, then to England, and was resettled by the Crown in British North America in 1710. The family re-established itself first in today’s New York state, eventually in New Jersey. In yet another conflict, when his loyalty to the British Crown set him at odds with the patriots during the American Revolution, John’s son Henry and family fled with other United Empire Loyalists (UEL) by ship from New York to Sorel, Quebec, where they survived the winter in tents. They reached Adolphustown in June 1784 and built a life there, moving 14 years later to the Bay of Quinte to the place which became Rednersville. Henry received the Crown deed for the land from King George 36


III of England, royal thanks for the loyalty of the UEL. There he built yet another log house on the shore.

of the house was good. The stone walls were sound, the beams in the basement solid. He recognized the quality of the home’s fit and finish. The couple told Bernard their plans for the house. After the renovation, Bernard visited with his daughter, sat in the kitchen looking down toward the front hall, where he had been living in the converted parlour, and approved. As if to give them his blessing, Bernard passed on the framed 1802 Crown Patent for the land to Bill and Brenda. It had always hung, and hangs again, on the wall of the stone house in Rednersville.

The Redner family grew and prospered, forging alliances with other UEL families. Dozens of descendents live in the area, many more rest in pioneer cemeteries nearby. Among the many Redner branches were successful merchants, farmers, and churchmen, but in this family of achievers, the name of James Redner stands out. Henry’s grandson James was an economic force for good in the fledgling village. He was a The Settler’s Dream remarked on the Redner successful merchant and grain buyer; he home’s substantial size and superior detailing. built the village store, and grain storage at his An extraordinarily wide gable end makes the wharves. It was James, Bernard’s great uncle, house almost square in plan. Sophisticated who built the fine stone house. interior mouldings, casement windows in the As he approached his 100th birthday façade, and a refined door case with transom Bernard had begun looking for a smaller, more and sidelights in a chinoiserie glazing pattern convenient place to retire. The Vellas were the mark it as a house of exceptional quality. As right people at the right time. As experienced with any 175-year-old house, there have been home buyers, the enormity of the restoration changes. The 1878 Belden atlas illustration ahead didn’t faze them. Bill knew the fabric depicts the house without its front gable

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and arched window but with a gracefully arcaded veranda hugging the front and east side. The drawing also shows the stone summer kitchen tail behind, a wing including a frame woodshed and drive shed, which burned some years ago. That Belden illustration includes a glimpse of the barn, standing exactly where it is today. The barn was built around 1840, and has been central to the farm’s operations throughout the years of mixed farming, apple growing, and raspberry production. Family stories recount one season’s yield of corn 21 feet tall and a winter when 400 cords of wood were cut and delivered to the docks for the steamboats. The first apple orchard was planted in 1900, replanted after frost kill in 1930.

experience to work, and rebuilt the barn almost completely. It’s a cathedral-like space with light streaming between the barn boards, useful for storage but also a sanctuary. The couple spends time here, surveying their domain from the open doors.

In 2013, the restored barn and the adjacent patio hosted the wedding of daughter Ashley and her groom Bradley. The barn accommodated the band; 200 guests christened the dance floor of newly sawn hemlock flooring. Guests enjoyed refreshments in a marquee in the field outside, and a spectacular fireworks display lit the sky over the village. Neighbour Reverend Maurice McLeod came out of retirement to officiate. Memories were made that night, the challenges of “Emotion ruled the day rather than logic,” Bill explained of the decision to rescue the construction forgotten. collapsing barn clad in corrugated sheet Reverend McLeod is delighted with the metal. He put his post and beam building restoration. He has known the house for 50

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years, since he arrived at the 1861 Methodist Manse across the road to serve as the United Church minister at the 1847 stone village church, now an artist’s home and gallery. “When we first came here, Bernard and Doris were on their honeymoon!” he chuckles. “They have used this house so well,” he says of the Vellas.

drawn from several architectural traditions. Porches recall Craftsman Bungalow styling, heavy frames on the square second floor windows hint at English Arts and Crafts. The wrap-around veranda, the variety of finishes including dark-hued board-and-batten and shingles on the chimney and gable, the irregular roofline, gable decoration, and oval window are updated Queen Anne Revival style elements.

The Redner house retains its links with its farming past. The house still sits on 25 acres The restoration/renovation design was of land rising to a forested escarpment in produced by David Mailing of Stittsville the south. It’s said that the first generation whose Ottawa River limestone house of Loyalist settlers didn’t venture back that conversions the couple had long admired. far from their foothold on the bay-shore; the The work was done by Elliott Sage Design impenetrable forest terrified them. In time, and Construction of Picton; Brenda and Bill forest yielded to farm and now farming too contributed their informed input. The Vellas has faded. Today the Redner place is a family wanted to maintain the historic integrity of retreat. Property manager Larry Langman the house while opening up the space to make (he has an affinity for the place, he married it more efficient, with a contemporary feel. a Redner girl) mows the fields and tends the Workers stripped the walls back to the hardwood bush; Brenda and Bill stroll their bare stone to add insulation. “You can see the acreage watching for deer and foxes. There is marks of the masons on the stone,” notes Bill. a deeded 50-foot right-of-way to the bay for “I have a great deal of respect for what they an irrigation pump, maintaining the physical were able to engineer.” link with the site of James Redner’s wharves. Bill explains one of the challenges. “The order of construction was different then. The farm’s orchard days have not been Today we put up the drywall and add the forgotten. The carriage house was created trim last. In the past, window and door from the cold storage shed used for Bernard mouldings were constructed and attached Redner’s apple and raspberry businesses. flush against the 18-inch-thick stone walls. Nowadays the Vellas maintain a young Horsehair plaster was laid up against it.” But apple and pear orchard, extending an open his concerns that the trim would not stand invitation to neighbours to drop by at picking proud of the new walls were unfounded. The time to help themselves. restoration preserved the dignity and elegance The most recent changes have brought the of the formal dining room and parlour: the distinguished stone house gracefully into distinguished wide moulded arch separating the 21st century with a modern aesthetic the rooms, 12-foot ceilings, deep baseboard



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mouldings, panelled window reveals, and moulded window and door surrounds with corner blocks. Bill admires the woodwork in the original doors, and the floors of 18-inch wide pine and oak boards two to three inches thick, all done with hand planers.

quarried from the escarpment almost 200 years ago was salvaged from the summer kitchen and used in a main floor feature wall. The project was completed in 2007 and the couple moved to Prince Edward County in 2010 when Bill retired. But now Brenda and Bill are relocating, to be closer to their children and new grandchild.

age demographics and the region caters very well to almost every lifestyle need. Once the County catches the eye of a buyer, they are not only captivated by the remarkable selection of offerings and history of the region, it is the vibrant sense of community that truly has them feeling right at home. But he warns, “Once city friends find out you’re here, they’ll be heading your way most often!”

The Vellas changed the floor somewhat, widening the front hall, opening the staircase and replacing a doorway with an arch leading Rob Plomer of Chestnut Park Real Estate is Rob knows, however, sales of exceptional to the study - their favourite room with its enthusiastic about the Redner-Vella property. properties take time, and he waits for people fireplace and cozy couches. The inefficient old “Homes are no longer just a roof over our to make a connection, and check all the boxes windows were replaced by replica 12 over 12 heads but are seen as interesting works of while they are looking. casement and sash windows. art - a strong value in this arts community.” Bill and Brenda may have a check-list too. Prince Edward County property appeals to Upstairs a warren of six bedrooms (Bernard One of the boxes may well be ‘must love history.’ a wide-range of fascinating individuals and and Doris had 10 children between them) was reworked into four inviting bedrooms with baths. The luxurious master suite features a private light-filled open stairwell overlooking an outdoor living area. Brenda and Bill overruled their architect and retained the second floor landing in the front gable with its graceful arched window and deep window seat. It’s a perfect spot for wedding photos, it turns out.

When the Vellas purchased the house, the old stone summer kitchen with its cooking fireplace was still standing, but the foundation was unstable and the attic damaged by the earlier fire. The wing was demolished, replaced by a two-storey extension which houses a gourmet kitchen and a sun-filled great room with massive stone fireplace and ceiling-high windows overlooking the barn, fields, and the escarpment behind. The stone 40


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Bruno and Jens

Article by Alan Gratias Photos courtesy of Jens Korberg

Closson Road is a well-known road in Prince Edward County, so celebrated that it has its own web site (www.clossonroad.ca), highlighting the vineyards, wineries, lavender farm, alpaca shed, and craft brewery along its bending route. From its eastern end at County Road 2 to the intersection at the Danforth Road, Closson Road rides the undulating ridge of Hillier clay loam, the Burgundy-clone soil that enticed Bruno François and Jens Korberg to buy a parcel of land in 2004. A derelict dairy barn and seven south-facing acres on the steepest incline of the ridge. The new owners reinvigorated the fractured limestone with high density rows of Pinot Noir and rehabilitated, then reconfigured the barn as a winery and tasting room. The vineyard contains a large amount of till dragged down by the last ice age from northern Ontario, “A veritable glacial playground,” Bruno assures me. The barn’s signature billowy white curtains opened for business in May 2010 as The Old Third, a nod to the earlier name of the road bisecting the Third Concession. A few years later, the original homestead immediately across the road from the barn came up for sale. Bruno and Jens bought the James Crandall House, somewhat of a ruin, and so began another restoration project. Sticklers for authenticity and a return to origins, they replaced the windows, the siding, and restored the second storey frieze and interior to its mid 19th century footprint and Greek revival style. Joanie and I are invited for dinner on a late January night that darkened menacingly en route from Waupoos. A few snow flurries are not going to keep us from The Old Third and the promise of Jens Swedishinspired home cooking. The storey-and-a half house clad starkly white beside the road is warmly lit for arriving guests. Birdie, the iconic blue straddle tractor Bruno sourced in France, sits under cover beside the cathedral-like barn. We are led to the cozy living room and settle into the deep cushioned chairs. The room is finished in wide board pine trim and overhead there is an intricately patterned wood ceiling. Spenser, a friend from down the road who is The Old Third CrepeMaster, joins us bearing a parmesan encrusted charcuterie. Lucy, the house cat, stretches out on my lap.

pants, explained over their cider frizzante. Bruno’s grandfather made cider and Calvados in Normandy a genetic imprint Bruno has inherited. He convinced Jens to move to Toronto from Sweden to enrol in interior design. “There is a thrilling sense of being alive, if you don’t know what will happen next,” Jens proclaims. When they decided to build a new life together outside of the city, like so many others, they stumbled onto the wine potential of the County. Bruno is intense, in the best sense of the word, and Jens is relaxed but focused. Together they forged a partnership to launch an enterprise that produces some of the best wines in the County. “Fear of God and fear of nature,” Bruno explains, is the key to good winemaking. Praise for Old Third wines has been lavish. Matt Kramer called Bruno’s À la Volée “The best sparkling wine ever made in North America.” We move to an intimate table in the kitchen annex where a pot of homemade mushroom soup sits steaming on the table. “I love to cook old family recipes,” Jens explains to our sighs of contentment and second helpings. He is wearing a navy blue open shirt over jeans and an impossibly slender torso. “Especially the Swedish classics.” He giggles under thick blonde hair combed up in a wave. Jens writes a regular food blog for their website with his own mouth-watering photography. A thin crust tomato tarte follows with lashings of Old Third pinot. Bruno and Jens still have much to do to fulfill their dream of country living, European style. There are restoration projects in the house to finish, the flooring and stairs need to be tackled, but everything plays second fiddle to the food and wine at The Old Third winery across the road. Crepes and pop-up dinners were added last year in the search for value-added products. “My dream,” Bruno says sotto voce as we say goodbye, “is that!” He points to a standalone oven outside the rear entrance. “We want to build a ‘four Norman’, a wood fired oven for French bread.” Bruno, a master baker as well as a master winemaker, is getting known for his killer crusty baguettes.

In viticulture the term ‘first release reveal’ refers to the early potential of a new wine. Since opening The Old Third, everything Bruno and Jens have done is a first reveal innovation. That’s what pioneers do. Bruno “Not so much impulsive as going back to my roots,” François and Jens Korberg take nothing for granted. Bruno, looking relaxed in a blue fitted shirt and beige Their best work may lie in the future. You might wonder how a software coder and a Scandinavian designer came to live on a stone growing patch in Hillier Township.









Tourist in Your

Own Town


Main Street Napanee Kicks up its Heels


not at all what’s expected: so much big city style and small town charm in just two short blocks, but over the past decade and a half, downtown Napanee has kicked up its heels and become a regional hub for friends seeking a fashion event and a picturesque day-trip all rolled into one.

Looking back on how this historic main street became a mecca for eastern Ontario fashionistas, Kathy Medd, Manager of the Downtown Business Improvement Association (DBIA) says it didn’t happen overnight. “Thanks to veteran business owners who kept the downtown worth visiting during some very dreary years, the arrival of a new generation of entrepreneurs had something viable upon which to build.” Suddenly, the riverside community became ripe for a sea change. Today, there is enough value, variety, and word-of-mouth notoriety to attract shoppers from neighbouring communities as well as tourists travelling between Toronto and Ottawa and other major centres. “I think the women who own these stores really have a wonderful sense of the gals’ day out,” says Kathy, “They work hard to provide quality brands and excellent service and establish lasting relationships with their customers.” Currently there are more than a dozen clothing boutiques selling everything from designer shoes, to high-end jewellery, to bathing suits and cruise wear, to specialty lingerie and more. “From business casual, to fancy schmancy, Napanee has it all” says one of the buoyant sales clerks at Starlet, arguably the epicentre of the town’s fashion renewal and ground zero for my own shopping spree in Napanee with gal pals Deb and Adrienne. Opened in 2006, by Kat and Jafta Monster - a startlingly glamorous young couple whose personal style permeates the store - Starlet specializes in footwear, jewellery, accessories, and vintageinspired dresses that will remind you what getting ‘dressed up to the nines’ is all about. Adrienne is, pound-for-pound, my slimmest friend - one of those lucky women who knows what


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it’s like to say, “Excuse me, but this size small is just way too big,” and everything in Starlet seems made for her. Each dress she tries on, affordably-priced, looks a little bit better than the last. In no time at all a crowd gathers to watch the impromptu fashion show and we all discover the Stop Staring brand is aptly named. Browsing through the store, Starlet is a study in contrasts. The product lines range from sophisticated luxury to casual irreverence. When Mother’s Day rolls around, for example, you can buy the Pandora charm to tell Mom just how much you love her, along with the socks to say just how much you still love to shock her. Then there’s the jukebox in the corner, playing Buddy Holly or some other

1950s crooner, transporting you back in time while the fashion-forward shoes take you to a whole new world where comfort and sex appeal can peacefully coexist. If you have tired, worn-out middle aged feet and have abandoned high heels, Starlet will set you up with a shoe in which your pretty woman can strut proudly once more. You might even want to download Roy Orbison to your iPod to mark the occasion. It is thanks to feet, though - naggingly temperamental as they are about brands and fit - that brick-and-mortar stores will never go the way of the buggy whip. Dolly Parton, playing Miss Truvy in Steel Magnolias, said it best when asked about her shoe size, “In a good shoe I’m a size six but a seven feels so good I wear a size eight.” There are some things you just can’t buy on the Internet.


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Starlet is not the only store on the main drag with serious wow factor, either in terms of the products it sells or the investment the owners have made in making a heritage building come alive again. “I’m just so proud of the work they’ve done” says the DBIA’s Kathy when she talks about A Touch of Class which relocated to the downtown in 2013 from its previous location near Highway 401 in order to be part of the main street fashion revival. “I applaud entrepreneurs who bring these buildings back to what they were and repurpose them.”

if your inner fashionista has been derailed by the insidious practicality of mid-life, A Touch of Class will make her want to up her game and take fashion seriously again. The place makes me want to run home and burn all the clothes I’ve accidentally bought in a fog of fatigue at Costco and places like it. It happens: one minute you’re buying cucumbers and winter tires, the next you’re trying on a corduroy blazer—one of about 500 just like it thinking, “Well, it’s not too bad.”

gives it thumbs up, but I’m not convinced. I’ll have to work up some serious courage for this fashion safari. We only have the morning to shop so Adrienne and I hit as many of the stores as we can before lunch. When the clock strikes noon, my mother and a bottle of Pinot Grigio with all our names on it will be waiting at the Waterfront River Pub and Terrace—another recent and hugely impressive heritage property turnaround situated on the north shore of the Napanee River.

The duties and demands of a Saturday morning have pulled Deb away, but Adrienne I need a new bathing suit and Sand ‘n Sea Owner Theresa Hendrick has transformed and I are still committed to shopping ‘til we has a good selection of plus-size swimwear, but the site of The Superior Restaurant into a drop. She works the west flank of the store, I’ll go solo on that outing. I’m sure Adrienne dreamy, dress-up day oasis of crepe and searching for extra-smalls with her magnifying will be a compassionate skinny-girl wing man, cashmere and lofty elegance. There’s a scene glass, while I have a moment of reckoning with but there’s no need to test the friendship that in the film Crazy, Stupid, Love when, while a fit-and-flare leopard-print dress. Can a pear- vigorously. Instead we check out the offerings shopping for jeans, the stylish Ryan Gosling shaped woman like me get away with this? at Milady’s Lace which specializes in lingerie commands the irredeemably frumpy Steve Adrienne swoops in at just the right moment and sleepwear. Here sexy and comfy live Carell to, “Be better than The Gap!” Likewise, for a tête-à-tête about the big cat look. She separate lives, consciously uncoupled but

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As to the potential for being oversaturated in women’s fashion, Kathy says, “There is so much variety - so many brands, styles, looks and price points - there can be six or seven different stores all selling clothes, without any of them doing exactly the same thing.”

under the same roof. I get a little too attached to my pyjamas, especially during the winter time, and have to fight the urge to acquire yet another pair. Adrienne and I soon discover that to do justice to all of the stores, this is a full-day affair. Second Debut, the vintage store at the eastern end of Dundas Street will have to wait for another day.

“Downtown retailers have fostered a real sense of community” says Kathy. They work hard to keep their brand offerings distinct and, like the Macy’s-Gimbles goodwill campaign of Miracle on 34th Street fame, “If they don’t have a certain product line and they know who does, they’ll refer them to the other stores.” She says, “It’s this all-encompassing network of women’s-oriented shops and services and that’s just wonderful.” Kathy sees an even brighter future for downtown Napanee, particularly if new connections can be established between the

waterfront and the main street. There have been discussions about a foot bridge, “It would be wonderful to see that come back” she says. There is also great excitement about the proposed residential development at the Gibbard Furniture Shops site which closed in 2008 after 173 years in operation. “That represents 120 residential units” says Kathy, adding, “The key to any thriving downtown is a mix; it needs to be a place where people work and live, too.” For now, though, it’s certainly a great place to shop and have fun and unleash your inner movie star. Adrienne and I make our way down to the Pub with our girlie goodies in hand feeling that giddy high of retail therapy. She’s going to knock her husband’s socks off with her little black dress while I meditate a little longer on animal prints and whether or not I can still pull them off. Adrienne and I may have outgrown the dress-up trunks of our girlhood - full of Grandma’s gloves, garage sale beads and other treasures - but a day like this is surely the next best thing.

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Lockyer’s Country Gardens Article by Kelly S. Thompson Photography by Daniel Vaughan Come spring and summer, Prince Edward County is a wide expanse of greenery and flowers, stuffed with wineries, food markets, and winding roads ideal for whiling away the summer hours. But Mother Nature’s decorations have to be cultivated, planted, and cared for, encouraged by deft hands with thumbs as green as the plants they grow. Thankfully, familyowned Lockyer’s Country Gardens answers the call with shrubbery, flowers, air plants, and even lawn furniture to turn any outdoor space into a backyard oasis. Family Owned since 1919, Lockyer’s Country Gardens just south of Picton’s roundabout has answered the call of cultivating plant materials to grace the community. Lockyer’s was started by the maternal grandfather of the current owner, Greg Moore, who operates the business with his spouse CJ Dearlove, the company’s general manager. “I haven’t got my passport yet to leave the County,” he joked. Greg started in the family business at age seven and took over officially in 1989. Since then, change has been as consistent as the seasons, with expansions, new plants, and unique hard goods. Lockyer’s is the largest on-site greenhouse in eastern Ontario, with more than 20,000 square feet of growing space and two acres of land for plant growth. Open all year round, seven days a week, friendly staff are always at hand to offer growing advice to novice and experienced





gardeners, making for an extensive education obtained by wandering through the aisles. Inside the greenhouse, humidity is high no matter the time of year, tricking visitors into assuming all year is summer vacation. Whether seeking air plants for a terrarium or a full range of trees and shrubs for property landscaping, Lockyer’s has it all on offer. In the summer, people wander in for the prettiest annuals to perk up lawns whereas late winter promotes displays of Christmas trees and poinsettias, which are all grown on site. Late fall offers bulbs for colourful spring

gardens and spring means a smorgasbord of flowers and shrubs. A constant at Lockyer’s is the element of change, which rotates in with the seasons. “What really keeps me going is the change of the seasons, because we grow based on the season,” said Greg. “Every quarter is different, so we’re always seeing a change.” Greg and CJ are committed to seeing County residents through the falling leaves to tulip bulbs of spring, with many plants started from seed at the greenhouse. Like most family businesses, Greg is grateful for the chance to work with his

partner of ten years, CJ. Greg insists that their relationship is able to survive constant togetherness thanks in part to the strength of their love, but also their alternate professional responsibilities. “She has her end of things,” Greg said with a laugh. “She looks after the staffing and the storefront. I look after all the plant material. We’re a good complement to one another.” While Greg is busy planning how many cuttings are needed and planting seeds in the greenhouse, CJ does the hiring, buying, and selection of lawn furniture and décor.




After decades in the business, it’s evident plants grow and produce each year is part of Greg still loves his work, but the main source what makes him so passionate about his job. of both his joy and frustration lie in one thing: “What’s really inspiring me is we put a seed the weather. “Wind is particularly frustrating,” in the ground, watch that little thing develop, said Greg. “That’s what really drives us. For then you transplant it and then you see it go us, sunshine is so important. That’s what out the door. As you’re driving around the causes me to have negative moments.” On community, you see your work in people’s days where the sun is shining and plants are yards. That’s the whole cycle, which is what growing, there is nowhere that Greg would really drives me because I can see from start rather be than with his hands covered in to finish.” soil in his family greenhouse. Time in the A true businessman, Greg is always looking greenhouse business hasn’t diminished towards the future not only of Lockyer’s, Greg’s love for Lockyer’s. In fact, watching his but of the plants he nurtures. On top of

sourcing new plants and items to sell in the shop, Lockyer’s is currently in the process of opening new a greenhouse, as the popularity of their plants continues to grow. “The surprise is that the demand continues to grow,” he said. “Certainly, demand and growth of our industry continues.” After each crop, Greg sits down to assess what plants worked, which ones didn’t and where to focus his attention the following year, and CJ picks over the records to determine what garden décor is spurring the inspiration of local families and businesses.

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Part of what makes Lockyer’s so special is their dedication to growing some of their plants from seed and sourcing rooted cuttings from local suppliers whenever possible, further contributing to the economy. Certain plants, including Greg’s favourite, the Bird of Paradise, can only be bought from locations with warmer climates, so he commits to finding the highest quality suppliers with the healthiest plants. As a testament to his reputation in the world of flora, many local farmers trust Greg and the Lockyer’s staff to start their seeds, thanks to the large greenhouse that can protect tender seedlings from birds and pests. Greg insists there’s more to Lockyer’s than plants, including the service that comes with what they sell. “Quality and customer service. I don’t know which comes first,” he said. Evidently the company and 54


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family values extend beyond the purchase of a flowering pot or Boxwood. Indeed, the word community seems synonymous with Lockyer’s, both in the literal and figurative atmosphere of the greenhouse itself. “It’s more than just about dollars and cents,” Greg insisted. “It’s that activity of putting a seed in the ground and nurturing that plant. “ While Greg may not have children, his garden business undoubtedly remains in the family. The couple’s golden retrievers serve as the ultimate door greeters, swishing tails and sniffing approval while customers shop. “At one time, people came to see me, then CJ, and now the dogs,” said Greg. Of course, there are the cherished family cats dedicated to pest control and lazy afternoon snoozes in the sunny greenhouse. True to the family atmosphere, many visitors now bring their own pets to search for the perfect plant.


Greg and CJ genuinely care about their plants and their customers too. They are committed to improving the County through beautification and dedication to the delicate nature of local ecosystems. With their 100year company anniversary approaching, Greg is solidifying his position in Picton one flower at a time, strengthening as each season passes.

Email Jennifer@ecstasycrafts.com to learn more about upcoming classes and to sign up for our store newsletter. COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING Spring 2016




Trenton Rowing and Paddling Club More Than “Row, Row, Row, Your Boat”

Article by Amy James Photography by Daniel Vaughan The Trenton Rowing and Paddling Club (TRPC) evolved out of cooperation, passion, commitment, and like all good things, serendipity. The twist of fate favouring the club happened in 2012 when the Belleville Scullers Club contemplated disbanding. In an area where waterfront enthusiasts congregate closely, the group approached Jeff Lay and Robin Pilon to determine if there was any interest in taking over the club. For Jeff, an

Olympic silver medalist in rowing, the query resonated with a personal dream. When moving from London to Trenton in the fall of 2005 he recalled, “Seeing this nice, flat, body of water and thinking, a rowing club needs to be started here.” For Trenton born and raised Robin, who passed many summer hours on the Bay of Quinte and Trent River, she knew immediately bringing a club to Trenton made sense because, “We have the perfect spot.”



The two joined forces with six others, all rowers and paddlers, and a grassroots effort arose. The initial executive made it their first order of business to officially house the club in Trenton, despite no building, and as with any birth, name their offspring. The TRPC unanimously came into existence, and it has enhanced the face of the Trent River every season since, from the end of May to late October. Where once there were still waters and empty shores, colourful skiffs bob and people sit, rowing and paddling, or watching from the edges, the graceful glide up and down the River.

The executive was never afraid of hard work nor was the strong membership base, which established and grew quickly. In fact, the history of the TRPC presents as effortless, a propulsion forward leaving the dream of a local club on a distant shore, in the wake of development and action.

In June of 2012, the City of Quinte West leased the club the land on the east bank of the Trent River and Trenval provided funding to build a boathouse. The capital campaign officially launched in November, with donations from the Kiwanis Club and Smylie’s Independent Grocer, augmenting Receiving so much equipment at the outset existing donations and partnerships. The really was a fortunate happenstance for the first Fun Spiel enjoyed so much success it is group. Jeff shared, “We inherited more than now an annual event. The Ontario Trillium $50,000 worth of equipment which was Foundation also provided generous funding instrumental in allowing us to accomplish for a new boat along with docking facilities. what we have to date. For me, it was also By April of 2013, Ducon Contractors broke the start of fulfilling a longstanding dream.” ground for the boathouse and completed



the facility in June. The grand opening of the TRPC, on July 20th 2013, was just 16 months from the first executive meeting. What rises to the surface in the short history of the club is the extension of rowing and paddling principles to life outside the club, like a drop of water rippling outwards. Simply put, to move forward, work together and be in sync. The strong team encourages other members to excel without consideration of being the best. The next two years of dedicated work reflect these ideals. Robin stated, “We never wanted to just build a boathouse and dock launches, but a better community, too. By offering opportunities to individuals and families to experience a new sport, to increase health, and to connect with others, affordably.” Making rowing and paddling accessible to everyone remains a priority for the club, and the Trent River is an ideal location to enjoy the beauty of the area, explore a

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new sport, and develop camaraderie. Jeff stated, “Newcomers can venture between the two bridges, with little wind, or as their confidence increases go further, to the dam or out onto the Bay if the waters are calm. This location offers safety while challenging personal limits and learning new skills.” Member driven initiatives are a key element of the success of the club, from paddling and pub excursions to day trips. Robin shared, “People come in and learn about the sport, use the equipment and their confidence grows. Soon they are helping others and organizing events. We are open to new ideas and the club really is what you make it, what you bring to it.” Jeff stated, “The club is entirely volunteer run and driven, including coaching.” As President, Jeff explained with a smile, “I am happy to bring my face to the club and lend my name to help with fundraising but people are the driving force. There is nothing better than seeing people on the water and accommodating what they want, even if I am a little bit biased towards rowing.” Participation in dragon boat racing, Festival on the Bay, Quinte West Healthy Run, National Paddling Week, Canada Day celebrations, Classic Car Show, Terry 60


Fox Run, and hosting open houses where people can try rowing or paddling for free are some of the ways the club connects with and supports the community. Dry land training is organized with the YMCA as well as Paddle Canada Safety Training. The club also works with the Ontario Provincial Police to have at risk children experience rowing and paddling during the summer months. Though paddling and rowing are different sports, in technique, set-up, application, and training, both share a passion for being on the water, active, and having fun. As much as the club has grown, newcomers are always welcome to drop-in and try it out, to join as members, to participate in coaching, or even just volunteer. One of the goals of the club is to further develop coaching and training for youth, an effort especially important to Jeff. “Rowing gave me a lot of discipline, discipline I was able to extend into other areas of my life and to which I attribute a lot of my success.” Robin also acknowledges, “We would love to expand the youth program and get into local high schools. We want to offer barrier- free entry to rowing and paddling, to introduce a new sport people would

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otherwise not explore, and offer them the opportunity to transform their confidence and body, to positively impact people whether for leisure or sport.” Understanding the why of rowing and paddling, as a team or solo sport, is largely about experiencing the passionate drive to push boundaries, personal and physical. It is about self and how that self connects to others and the immediate world it comes into contact with, in the best way possible. “There is nothing like feeling the sense of rhythm and harmony which powers your propulsion, moving forward totally synchronized,” Robin stated. “It makes you want to come again. You experience a taste of what brings professionals back, without being elite, and makes you keep at it.” In December of 2015, the TRPC again took oars in hand and stroke, stroke, stroked through the downtown Santa Claus parade. Whether on water or not, the club will continue to paddle, advancing in sync, up and down the community. Changing the face of the Trent River, building a stronger Quinte West, committed to member initiatives and charitable causes, culling individuals and skill sets. Filling a niche outside of recreation, the TRPC is an extension of lifestyle and opportunity, more than a boathouse and docks, propelling everyone forward together.

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signposts Twelve O’Clock Point

Twelve O’Clock Point History is hidden in plain sight at Twelve O’Clock Point. Home to dog walkers and moonlight strollers, this quiet neighbourhood along the Murray Canal southwest of Trenton keeps secrets. There is a curious lot of open space at Twelve O’Clock Point. Lodge Road borders an inviting property of mature oak and pine trees. Just opposite, beside the canal, is an open grassy area. Looks like a boat landing. Turns out it was.

Article and photography by Lindi Pierce

As early as 1883 owner John D. Chase operated a cottage resort at the Point. By the early 1900s, excursion steamers were travelling the Bay of Quinte, transporting day-trippers and picnickers to Picton, Massassauga Point, Presqu’ile, and other summer hotspots. For 15 to 25 cents, the steamer Ella Ross, the Varuna, or its ilk would ferry families and Sunday school groups to Twelve O’Clock Point. It was a popular place. On July 30, 1896, 2000 people attended.

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Postcards show steamers landing at the jetty beside the canal, ladies in white shirtwaists and trumpet skirts, gentlemen in suits descending, picnic baskets in hand. Couples might arrive for the evening dances at the pavilion and enjoy the moonlight trip back to town. The steam-driven merry-go-round, swimming at the sandy shore, and pony rides appealed to the children. Twelve O’Clock Point Hotel, a frame two-storey lodge with double verandas, offered accommodation, as did rental cottages with cookhouses, woodpiles, and tables under the pines. Families pitched large canvas tents for the summer. The Groff family operated the resort around 1900; Mr. Groff ferried cottagers back and forth to town in the motorboat Til-I-Cum. Over time, the property underwent a number of changes of ownership. In 1943, wartime resourcefulness led proprietor Mrs. Thompson to convert the lodge into a maternity home to address bed shortages in Trenton. Many babies were born to military families there. By the 1950s and ’60s, many lots had been sold from the original acreage. At some point, the frame hotel burned and was replaced by a modern structure; a dining room operated there into the 1980s. Later the building was refashioned into a private home. Several theories exist about the Point’s curious name. The most plausible harkens back to the War of 1812, when Robert C. Wilkins owned the land. Carrying Place was a centre for military activity; Wilkins was Commissary Agent. The local militia mustered at the Point each day - at twelve noon.

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The Quinte Children’s Foundation welcomed Heather and John Williams as Guardian Angels on March 5, 2016. A record 320 guests recognized their generosity, and helped raise $130,000. #quintechildrensfoundation

Above: John and Heather Williams flanked by Tom and Golda Lafferty

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S a i ta rg ’s G r av i ta s Q u o t i e n T 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 .

Justin Rutledge answers 16 Gravitas with Alan Gratias Name one universal rule of friendship. Call anytime. What are you going to do about growing old? Enjoy every aching, grey inch of it. What makes your heart stand still? There was a garden in London once. If you knew the truth, how would you reveal it? Beneath Orion’s Belt, with an arrow in my shoulder. We all hope there will be one more time. One more time for what? To ring the bell. Name one secret you do not want to discover before you die? I do not want to know where the Old Hope was buried. If you were going to launch a new prohibition, what would you outlaw? Selfies. What are you fatally attracted to? Small things. How do you stay clear of the rocks and shoals? With a mighty oar. How do we get to the authentic self? To fumble until we get it right What increases your sense of reverence? The way she draws the curtains wide to see the view. What is your favourite recipe for unhappiness? A world without Leonard Cohen. How do you gain a new soul? Pick up a copy of Van Morrison’s Veedon Fleece. How are you different from the way others perceive you? I’m not unhappy. What takes you down the rabbit hole? Man’s inhumanity to man. If you had your own country, what is the first law you would enact? That every day would be The First Day of Spring.

About Justin:

Photo courtesy Justin Rutledge

Justin Rutledge, 37, is a Juno award winning songwriter and performer. His seventh album, East, is scheduled for release in autumn 2016. Justin spent his summers camping in Adolphustown as a child and grew so attached to the County that in 2015 he sold his house in Toronto and moved to Wellington, seeking inspiration. “There is a huge draw because of the wineries and beaches,” he told Scott McGillivray of HGTV’s Income Property, on which he was featured in the first season. Raised in an Irish Catholic family in Toronto’s working class Junction neighbourhood, he always had aspirations of becoming a writer, and studied English literature, with a major in modern poetry, at the University of Toronto. After three years, his musical career became the priority, and he dropped out, but acknowledged to Maclean’s he’d return to his studies “If this music thing doesn’t work out.” So far, so good. In 2006, NOW magazine named Justin Toronto singersongwriter of the year. Justin has toured Canada, the United States, and Europe, and shared the stage with many artists, including Blue Rodeo, Martha Wainwright, and Dolly Parton, who complimented him when he opened for her by saying, “You sounded pretty good from the bus.” He says proudly, “Moving to the County is the best decision I ever made,” adding, “It’s exactly what I need to continue to hone my craft writing music.” By Alan Gratias

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