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At Home With Donna & Fred

March 2, 2022 At home with

Donna and Fred have been living their best life at Parkland on Eglinton West since April 2021. They enjoy their two-bedroom plus den unit and socializing with friendly neighbours and Parkland team members.

Where were you were born and where did you call home?

We have called Etobicoke home for most of our lives. Donna was born in Edmonton, Alberta but moved to Etobicoke as a teenager. Fred was born in Toronto. 

How did you meet? 

We met at a church youth group (Kingsway Lambton) Halloween party.

What did you do for work and where did you go to school?

Fred went to business school at the University of Toronto. After that, he joined his family’s business in motor transport. Donna went to the University of Toronto and worked as a dental hygienist for about 20 years and then became a professional volunteer with the Children’s Aid Society for nearly 30 years.  

What drew you to Parkland? 

While on a St. Lawrence River cruise, we met two couples who lived in the east end of Toronto. They told us about this lifestyle and how they lived in this wonderful place and had access to all these amazing things. It was a couple weeks after that we saw an ad for Parkland. 

Our grandson graduated from Dalhousie University in Halifax. When we went to his graduation we stayed at a nearby hotel. We heard there was a Parkland in the area and asked the concierge where it was and he told us it was only three doors down. We then walked over and asked for a tour. 

We quickly decided that it was the type of lifestyle that we wanted. We had a country home for 40 years in Hawksley Valley and we had just decided that it was time to sell it. So everything was happening at the right time. In preparation we had already moved into a condo that didn’t have any amenities. We used the house in the country for that. We were feeling a bit trapped, especially with COVID. We moved in April 2021 and it all worked out. Donna’s sister is planning on moving here as well! 

What surprised you the most about moving into Parkland? 

The people here are amazing. Fred was part of a men’s bridge group before moving to Parkland and told them that he was looking to move there. When we moved in, we found out that one of the people we had talked to had already moved in!

We were pleasantly surprised by the social contact. There are people living at Parkland that we have known for 60 years and there are people that we met last week. I’m not sure we were quite prepared for that feeling of friendliness and the connections. The connections have been unbelievable – Fred even met someone that he did business with 30 years ago! 

Do you feel that those connections are more important because of COVID-19 and isolation? 

We both love being around other people. Because of COVID, our circle has shrunk. To be at Parkland and socialize with others has been amazing. I know people wonder why we moved in when we did, but for us instead of the pandemic making us feel isolated, it opened the world. It happened at the right time for us. 

What’s your favourite thing about your suite? 

We had a choice of layout. The layout with the two bedrooms worked with our lifestyle. For example, we didn’t want the television in the living room and we were able to put it in the second bedroom and make that our TV room instead.  

It was a wake up call for us to realize that we didn’t need all the things that we had. Life is simpler and we like that. 

What’s your favourite wellness or social activity to do at Parkland?

Lots of things. Socializing is the big thing. We love the fitness classes. Half of the fun with the fitness classes is socializing afterwards. Our particular cohort in the fitness class has bonded together and it’s great. The socializing has a structure to it because Parkland schedules the classes but there is also freedom and flexibility. Fred enjoys euchre and I enjoy bridge. 

What’s your favourite pastime when you’re not busy with friends or activities?

We enjoy watching sports on TV. Donna reads a lot and Fred enjoys doing jigsaw puzzles. 

What’s a meal that you get excited about here?

It’s a wonderful convenience if I don’t feel like cooking and the socializing. Tonight there is a group of seven of us going for dinner at the on-site restaurant. We enjoy the meals and I like that I can ask for a half portion if I don’t want too much. We think the food is very good. It’s convenient to just call down and make a reservation. 

We have friends that live in other areas of the building, it’s great to be able to get together with them and socialize over a meal. One of the dishes that was served in celebration of the Chinese New Year was fantastic. 

We have the option of cooking our own meal, but it’s great to go down once in a while. If we were in our own home, we would be going to the club, we have always gone out to eat.  

Who do you look forward to seeing every day?

The staff is amazing. First, the whole concierge team – they always help. Abigail, the Lifestyle Consultant has been amazing as well. Frank, the Chauffeur is another person – nothing is too much trouble. The maintenance team, if there’s a problem, within half an hour the problem was fixed and finally, the recreation team is great at planning programs despite the restrictions they have been faced with. 

Join us for a tour

At Parkland, your home is much more than your suite. Residents enjoy thousands of square feet with multiple amenity spaces, common areas and restaurant-style dining complimented by daily wellness and fitness programming and beautifully designed suites.

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