Would-be Wentworth Heights residents get a taste of village life
By Kristian Partington
Making the move into a retirement community is a decision that few would take lightly and with a growing number of choices available for older adults, a thorough exploration of options is critical. That’s why residents and team members from the Village of Tansley Woods opened their doors and shared their ample hospitality with nearly 100 neighbours from the Hamilton area who have expressed interest in moving into the expanded Village of Wentworth Heights when it opens its retirement suites next fall.
Two buses arrived at Tansley Woods in mid-morning on Oct. 21 and the guests were welcomed into the Town Hall with coffee, tea and light snacks while team members and residents from both villages spoke about the philosophy that guides the entire organization. Guests heard about the range of activities offered in the village; a woodworking club contributing to the needs of the gardening club with custom built raised gardens, for example, or a group of residents recently travelling to Greece with the support of team members. Ultimately, they heard that within Tansley woods and, indeed, all Schlegel Villages, the art of living well is the main focus of village life.
“We recognized early on that this was a place that was so inviting and so comfortable that we would find our new nest here,” said Tansley Woods residents’ council president John Neufeld in his remarks to the guests. “We’ve developed some wonderful relationships here and it’s really been a wonderful experience; all that they say about Schlegel Villages and their attitude is very, very true, and we speak to it from personal experience.”
This is why team members from Wentworth Heights, where heavy construction is currently underway, asked their friends at Tansley Woods to help organize this day. “It’s one thing for a prospective new resident to see a picture or a blueprint of their potential new home,” said marketing coordinator Stephen Bungay, “and quite another to visit in person and hear about the experience first-hand.”
Guests soon broke off into smaller groups to tour the village, remarking at the vibrancy of Main Street or the comfortable atmosphere in the pub. They also enjoyed lunch at The Ruby, the 10th floor restaurant overlooking Lake Ontario and the Toronto skyline to the east.
At one point, a group of guests heard that one of the residents from Tansley Woods was recently able to walk the outer edges of the top of the CN Tower, fulfilling a desire he’d had for many years. At that moment, the resident himself, Ted Woodley, stepped out of the lounge and shared his story. Ten minutes later, he was back with pictures.
Maureen Lukawiecki was one of 12 people who offered to open their suites for guests to visit, and she was happy to do so, she said. From the 10th floor, her suite has a lovely view to the west of the village, and she told her guests how she likes to remain as active as possible. In her kitchen she bakes regularly, often making pies to give away to neighbours or team members. She cooks her own breakfast and lunch every day, and enjoys the company of others at dinnertime.
“I haven’t got much here,” she says modestly, motioning towards the tastefully decorated one-bedroom suite, “but it gives them some idea of what it all looks like, and I love it. We’re just one big bunch of friends around here.”
She’s proud of her home, she says, and that’s why she chose to share it with others. She hopes that for many of the guests who arrived from Hamilton, the friendly testimony of a group of neighbours will help make upcoming decisions that much easier.