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July 19, 2023 A Day in the Life

Meet Dawn Thompson, a Parkland on the Glen resident in Mississauga, Ontario. Dawn and her husband, Bob moved into a Lifestyle Apartment in October 2021 and haven’t looked back since. “We walked into 6 places, and they weren’t saying ‘come here’, as soon as we walked into the front door of Parkland we said, “this is home”.

Why did you choose to move to Parkland?

Ironically, I have searched probably 35 different retirement homes on Google, and a neighbour of ours in Niagara on the Lake decided that it was his time to come into a seniors’ residence and his daughter lives near the Queen E and she knew this place for years, and as soon as we walked into the door, I said there’s no question, it must be here. The setting, the fact that it’s on a hill, the fact there is a walkway through the woods, we overlook the creek, I mean what else could you ask for? It’s just beautiful.

What are some of the things you do here that you enjoy?

This is probably too long to start on. First and foremost, we have access to exercise 4 days a week. There’s coffee time at 2:00 where there’s always somebody to talk to. The things to do are too numerous to mention honestly. Art appreciation, lectures from UofT professors, Parkland van will take people to lunch, Amanda, the social director found a way to get us included on the cruise down 16-mile creek out of Oakville which, all the years we lived here, I’ve never seen anything like it and it’s so close to home. There’s so much here. You can partake or you can stay in your suite but there is so much to do where you think, “oh gosh, did I miss something?”

Can you tell us a little bit about the view from your apartment?

When we came to look at the place, initially we found out about it, we came over twice and I had determined that I wanted a suite that had sun in the afternoon, so I was all for having something on the front of the building facing the south. There were a couple on the front but there was this one on the back, my husband said, “This is it” and I said, “There’s no sun”. So anyway, we moved in at the end of October, and I couldn’t have asked for a better view. We have sun in the afternoon, as much as want. Our balcony is great, our children furnished for us for our move-in gift. We got the amount of sun we wanted, and we got a screen and things to put up if it’s too much. So I’m so glad we didn’t end up in the front.

Tell us about your involvement in the gardening committee.

The lady who was in charge of gardening had been working with the group since the time we came in but it became too much, she was also doing the library so she decided it was too much. So, at that point I had just wandered into the gardening club and just sort of listening and looking around. We have a gardener who comes in every week, he cuts the grass and trims around the lawn that sort of about it. There were some things that we thought needed improving. There were some dead shrubs, there were areas where grass wouldn’t grow. The whole east end of the property hasn’t been dealt with. What it could be would be spectacular. My first year of being involved in this was bring things back to what it could be. I am a firm believer that this site, there is no other site like it in all of Ontario. This has got to be a prime location.

How did you and your husband meet?

I was born in St. Catharines and Bob was born down where Shannex orginated from, Sydney Nova Scotia. His family came up post war and they lived at that time in wartime housing which happened to be at the airport in St. Catharines. Our next-door neighbour was a manager at the flight club at that location. So, he offered me a job checking aircrafts in and out, simply timing and I was only 14, Bob was really old, he was 16. So we started going together and ironically, we are celebrating our 65th anniversary. People said it wouldn’t last. It’s been incredible. He flew from Air Canada for 40 years and a lifestyle I wouldn’t have ever imagined as a young girl. My gosh, what a trip it’s been.

What is some advice that you would give a person considering moving into Parkland?

Make sure there is enough to do that you’re not just moving into a suite and going to be within those four walls. Make sure there is a program, something that you would be interested in, that it would have dining facilities although we don’t make use of the dining room because we’re living in Independent Living, it’s nice to know it’s there if you get tired of cooking one night, call the dining room and say “do you have room for two at 6:00?” “Come on down,” oh good, I’m not cooking tonight.

Don’t hesitate to come and check this place out. Ask to see the view, just don’t accept what they’re showing you on the ground floor. Ask to see a unit that’s up high, front, or back, north, or south. Any direction, there’s always something to see. I can’t say enough, I have never regretted one minute of being here, and we’ve lived in a lot of places, but this is the most comfortable I’ve ever been.

Anything you would like to say to the team here?

I think we have a really good group, Lisa, Amanda, Sophia, Andrew on the desk, Grace, they all address you by name, they’re just super. It truly shows that they love what they do. Thank you for being yourselves. It’s a wonderful team.

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