Skip to content

New retirement home Holland Gardens welcomes first resident on April 1... no foolin' (10 photos)

By the end of April, there will be at least 25 full-time residents in the building, which has a capacity of 150 residents

On April 1, the new Holland Gardens Retirement Residence welcomed its first permanent resident.

Jill MacRae was welcomed by staff – and by Bradford West Gwillimbury Mayor Rob Keffer, who had stopped by the residence, operated by Verve Senior Living, for a tour of the new six-storey building on Holland Street West.

MacRae was delighted to be in her new home, after looking around the area.

“This was perfect – perfect!” she said. “I have friends in the area, and they let me know about it.”

As she posed for a photo with the mayor, MacRae explained, “I have a crew of girlfriends upstairs, putting my room together.”

Residents will continue to move in every day this month, said Shelley Snoulten, sales and marketing manager at Holland Gardens.

By the end of April, there will be at least 25 full-time residents in the building, which offers 138 studio, one-bedroom, one-bedroom plus den, and two-bedroom suites. When at capacity, it should have “in the neighbourhood of 150” residents, Snoulten said.

Even as the first resident moved in, crews were putting finishing touches on suites and amenity areas.

“It’s still going to be a work in progress… but we’re getting there,” said Snoulten, noting the work is basically done. “It’s all in cleaning and finishing mode.”

The salon and spa was completed, offering an oasis where hairdressing, mani-pedi and massage services are available. Equipment was still being installed in the fitness room, and TVs were being hooked up, but most of the shared amenities were open and ready for use.

They include a games room, where the walls are lined with historic photos of Bradford and its sports teams; a “small and cozy” library with a fireplace; a theatre; bistro and public lounge area that is fully licenced; and a “country kitchen” that can be reserved by residents “who want to bake cookies with the grandchildren,” Snoulten said.

In addition to a private dining area, for private functions, there is a large main dining space on the main floor – a bright, well-lit set of nooks, opening onto an outdoor patio, that can seat up to 120 at a time.

Meals and seating will be open, giving the residents plenty of options to enjoy the gourmet meals, which are included in the fees, along with weekly housekeeping services, WiFi, and heating and cooling.

There will be a registered nurse on site, regular foot care and hearing clinics, and every resident will receive an emergency response pendant.

The building provides a continuum of care options, Snoulten said. The second floor offers secure memory care; the third floor, assisted living. The fourth floor and above are all independent living – with suites of up to 94 square metres in size that offer kitchenettes, ample storage space, spectacular views over Bradford, and, in most cases, private balconies.

“This is just like a condo,” said Keffer, standing in a spacious two-bedroom suite on the fourth floor.

“It is,” said Snoulten. “The whole concept is, it's really your own home to do as you see fit” – repainting, bringing in personal furnishings and artwork, redecorating. She noted that the building, at 552 Holland St. W., is within walking distance of parks and shopping at some favourite stores.

“There’s the Walmart and Tim Hortons" just across the road, she said. 

Staff received formal occupancy about a week ago. Before then, any visitors had to be taken on “hard hat” tours, acknowledging the ongoing construction.

“It was definitely a long road to get people in here,” said Snoulten. “Some people have had their deposits in place for over a year.”

Now that residents are moving in, she said, “We’re very excited.”  

“Very, very impressive,” said Keffer.

“They’ve been great people, right from the start,” added MacRae.

Miriam King

About the Author: Miriam King

Miriam King is a journalist and photographer with Bradford Today, covering news and events in Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil.
Read more

Reader Feedback