Cheers to 10 Years

In 2009, The Crossing had one sole home sitting on acres of undeveloped land. Flash forward to today’s date, in 2019, and The Crossing features 7 roads and has over 230 homes, making it one of the largest developments to take place in the Municipality of West Hants. The Crossing doesn’t only hold appeal to “locals”, but has residents hailing from all over Canada, including Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Each resident is seeking a lifestyle community catered to empty nesters and retirees.

The land that The Crossing now sits on was previously owned by the Burgess family and used as farm land. It was purchased by Brison Developments in 2008 and the past 10 years have been full of growth and change. Here is a glimpse into what’s next for this growing retirement community.

The Need for A Retirement Community

A quick glance at demographics or news headlines illustrates that there is an aging population. President of Brison Developments, Mitchell Brison, recognized that there was a great need for a lifestyle community that would cater to like-minded seniors. Surely, the aging baby-boomers wouldn’t want to live in large family homes with spacious properties forever. The Crossing seemed like an ideal solution. It would feature single-level homes, allowing retirees to downsize and ditch the stairs. Residents would have less lawn maintenance, but they would still get to enjoy a back deck and yard. Most importantly, they would be surrounded by peers.

Seeing Growth

In the first few years, growth was slow. In fact, in the first year of operation, The Crossing sold just one home. For the target clientele, the concept of leasing land was new and unfamiliar. An independent living retirement community was a new concept in Atlantic Canada 10 years ago. It is difficult to sell a concept and it became evident that nobody wanted to be the first to purchase a home, as they wanted to wait and see how the development would progress.

After 3 years, The Crossing began to pick up momentum. Chief Financial Officer of Brison Developments, David Howell, states: “Once we hit that [critical mass] it was like ‘wow’, and everything started taking off at an amazing pace. That achievement was a big moment.” Brison agrees that a major milestone of development was seeing The Crossing become a true community.

 Adapting to Demand

As time passed, a strong demand for rental options became apparent. The Crossing was able to adjust and meet this demand, and now offers homes that can be purchased or rented. It then became evident that many potential residents were seeking a newly constructed home built on site, as opposed to a mini home. The Crossing began offering New Valley Homes built semi-detached homes for sale or rent. Now, residents at The Crossing have the option of renting a 1-bedroom Prestige mini-home, renting or purchasing a 2+ bedroom Prestige mini-home, or renting or purchasing a 2-bedroom newly constructed semi-detached home. The ability to offer products that appeal to a wide range of potential residents has been a key contributing factor to The Crossing’s success.

Working with Prestige Homes and The Shaw Group

Each mini-home in The Crossing is system-built by Prestige Homes, a division of The Shaw Group. Prestige Homes was selected as the supplier for The Crossing as they are a locally-owned company with strong roots in the Maritimes. The quality of their homes is excellent and they have a dedicated and friendly team.

“The Shaw Group and Prestige Homes are very proud to have our name and brand associated with The Crossing development.” Says Adam Randell of The Shaw Group. “Having been involved since day one, it has been extremely rewarding to see how the community has grown over the years, not just in terms of the number of residents but in terms of everything community represents. We look forward to continuing to partner with the team at The Crossing through to full completion of the development.”

Special Features of The Crossing

The Crossing stands out amongst retirement living options in Atlantic Canada and beyond as it is a fully-established stand-alone community. The community now has over 230 homes – and is still growing! When people first enter The Crossing, they immediately feel how peaceful and friendly the community is. Each yard is landscaped and there is an abundance of greenery. The community boasts a duck pond, community gardens, walking trails, high bush blueberry plants, and a honey crisp apple orchard. Unlike at many apartment buildings, pets are allowed, and you frequently see residents walking in groups with their dogs. Another key feature is location. The Crossing is minutes from the highway, making it a quick trip to visit Halifax or the Annapolis Valley. With the size of the community, there is a community spirit unlike any other. Residents enjoy racing motorized boats in the duck pond, catching up with friends on their front porches, and going for group outings to bowling alleys, the nearby Avon Valley Golf Club, and more.

Another special feature of The Crossing is the diversity of residents. There is a strong Newfoundland community, which includes 5 sisters and 1 niece who all live happily at The Crossing. Some residents are snowbirds and some live in the community full time. Where most are retired, a few residents still work part time. There are former teachers, members of the military, mayors, bank managers, accountants, nurses, and lawyers – to name a few!

What’s Next?

Moving forward, The Crossing is excited to continue to offer additional options on residential living. Project Manager of The Crossing, Betty Crockett, explains “we have recognized that we have to offer a wide variety of product for all needs. Each person is looking for the same happy and peaceful lifestyle, but some people want to live more lavishly than others.” Construction of a new street, Elizabeth Avenue, began this summer. This street is going to be upscale, and will feature newly constructed single dwelling homes. Further in the future, apartment living will become available. Brison states, “everything from stand-alone apartments to full-care assisted living facilities are being discussed.” This will allow residents to change their style of living while they are in the community, for example, by relocating from a 2-bedroom single dwelling home, to a Prestige mini-home, to an apartment. Additional services and amenities will be provided to community members as The Crossing evolves.

Staff at The Crossing have had a great feeling of pride and accomplishment in seeing the community mature. They look forward to the day that the community is full of happy people – and thank those who have supported them thus far. Here’s looking forward to the next 10 years!

Community Member Spotlight – Doris and Ken’s Story

Happy residents Doris and Ken Story at The Crossing

Before They Met

Doris was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. She graduated from the Montreal High School for Girls and at age 18, sought employment at the Toronto Dominion. Doris fell in love with her first job at the bank and with her passion and dedication she enjoyed a successful 30-year career in the industry. Doris’s first husband was from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and this led her to transfer to a Toronto Dominion in Halifax. Eventually, Doris moved to Hubbards and worked at the Bank of Nova Scotia in both Hubbards and Chester. Never one to stay idle, Doris took up volunteering after her husband passed in 1990.

closeup image doris and ken eavis at the crossing retirement communityKen was born in North Sydney, Nova Scotia and has strong roots in Newfoundland, where both his parents were born. Ken grew up during the war and remembers having a paper route to make extra money at age 7. Ken joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in March of 1955 when he was a grade 11 student. He worked in accounting and served in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and overseas in France and Italy. While in the Air Force, Ken upgraded his education at night school. He completed grade 12 and took university courses at Dalhousie. After resigning from the Air Force, Ken dedicated himself to a 20-year career in the provincial court system. This job took him across the southern region of Nova Scotia, as Ken worked in Digby, Middleton, Annapolis Royal, Lunenburg, Yarmouth, Barrington, Shelburne, and Bridgewater.

How They Met

After retiring from their respective careers, Doris and Ken became avid volunteers. Ken was chairman of the board for the Shoreham Village Nursing Home in Chester and Doris was president of the Women’s Auxiliary and on the board for the Shoreham Village Nursing Home. Doris was in charge of Meals on Wheels and Ken was a driver – making a meeting between the two inevitable. After establishing a friendship, Ken offered to help Doris put up a clothesline and lay flooring. He discovered she had extra storage space in her garage and asked if she could store some of his furniture. Ken claims he had no ulterior motives and Doris was adamant that she was not interested in re-marrying or having a boyfriend.

Everything changed at a volunteer event held at the legion in Chester. While at this event, Ken overheard Doris mention that she did not own a black teacup and saucer. Coincidently, Ken’s mother had collected teacups and at one point in time, Ken had purchased a black teacup for her. This teacup was her favourite. The next time Ken and Doris were volunteering together, Ken handed Doris a roughly-wrapped package. Inside this package was the same black teacup that Ken’s mother had loved. The rest was history – Ken and Doris began seeing each other. They smiled when they remembered driving to volunteer events in different cars to keep their romance a secret! The happy couple married in 1999.

Moving to The Crossing – Twice!

Ken and Doris spent the next 20 years living in Chester, Wolfville, and then Kentville. As time passed, household chores and maintenance became undesirable for the couple. They began searching for a community that would allow them to downsize, connect with others, and enjoy their next chapter – without any worries. This search led Doris and Ken to The Crossing.

Doris and Ken were so excited to join our growing community that they began renting here while they were waiting for their house to sell. During this time, they made lasting friendships with their neighbours. Unfortunately, when their house didn’t sell they made the tough decision to give up their new home at The Crossing. Doris and Ken ultimately did sell their home in Kentville and before we knew it – they were back again! When asked if they were happy to be back, they replied with a laugh, “we are here and we are staying here.”

On their second move to The Crossing, Doris and Ken selected a park home on a corner lot of Goosie Loop. The couple is very pleased with their accommodations. The community members they met when they first lived here happily welcomed them back and remain close friends.

Life at The Crossing

Doris and Ken have different hobbies. Doris is an passionate sewer and quilter – she is always working on a new project! She is a lifelong hockey fan and fondly remembers watching games with her family during her youth. Ken thoroughly enjoys reading and has multiple books on the go at any given time. Doris and Ken also share hobbies. They look forward to watching The View each day if they are home and spend time walking outdoors. They will be taking advantage of the walking trails at The Crossing in the warm summer months. Doris and Ken adore the community lifestyle at The Crossing. Community members organize group outings – to go bowling, to enjoy theatre, and more – and Doris and Ken are always up for the adventure.

Doris and Ken are proud to belong to a community that is catered toward those who are 50+. They firmly believe The Crossing is an ideal community to live in from age 50 on. They are very excited for the new social center, as they will be able to continue to enjoy the activities they love with friends without leaving The Crossing! This will prevent them from having to drive in poor weather or late at night.

We’re so happy to welcome them back to our community and look forward to seeing them on their daily adventures in our happy retirement village.

Community Member Spotlight – Jackie & Tom Pothier

Happy with empty nest lifestyle at the crossing retirement community

We’re proud to welcome the founders of Falmouth, Nova Scotia’s Pothier Motors, Jackie and Tom, to The Crossing.

Jackie and Tom met and fell in love in Bedford, founded a business and raised a family in Falmouth, and have spent their retirement years proudly watching that business continue to grow and thrive under the guidance of their sons and grandson. They recently joined our growing community at The Crossing, and we had the pleasure of sitting down with them to learn more about their life together.

Happy with empty nest lifestyle at the crossing retirement community

When we arrived at their new home, we were warmly ushered in by the always well-dressed couple. We sat on their back deck to talk, which allowed us to listen to the summer rain on the roof and watch the chipmunks, or ‘chippies’, as Jackie fondly calls them, scurry about in the distance. Here is a small glimpse into their captivating life.

Introducing Jackie & Tom – Before They Met
Jackie has strong Atlantic Canadian roots, as her mother was born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and her father was raised in Hampton, New Brunswick. Jackie’s mother welcomed five daughters into the world before passing away during childbirth, and Jackie and her four sisters were subsequently raised by her devoted father. Her father worked on the railroad and was transferred to Quebec, and then Bedford, Nova Scotia where the family settled and Jackie attended a catholic school.

Tom was raised in Wedgeport, a small fishing village in Yarmouth known for its abundance of tuna. At just 16, Tom joined a group of older boys as they made a trip to Halifax to enlist in the military. Hiding his age, Tom joined and served in Newfoundland before starting a bodywork career in Bedford. When asked what led him to leave the military and begin a career in bodywork, Tom flashed his famous smile and with a twinkle of mischief in his eye said, “that’s where the money was”. It was also his career in Bedford that led Tom to meet his wife of 68 years, Jackie.

How They Met
Jackie fondly remembers Tom trying to catch her gaze while she was singing in the church choir. She also recalls that Tom would coincidently appear on her road when it was time for her to walk to school. With five daughters to watch out for, Jackie’s father was very strict. Once Tom gathered the courage to ask Jackie on a date, they often had to sneak around. Discouraged with the situation, Tom walked right up to Jackie’s house, knocked on the door, and introduced himself to her father. Jackie says, “my father liked him straight away after that” to which Tom replied, “he was a great man”. After dating for one year, Jackie and Tom married in 1950 at the Saint Mary’s Church.

Moving to Windsor and Starting a Family
As newlyweds, money was tight. Jackie and Tom initially lived with Jackie’s father while Tom continued to work at a body shop in Bedford. Known for his excellent bodywork skills, Tom was soon offered, and accepted, a job working for Tom Haley at Tom Haley Dodge in Windsor. Jackie and Tom then moved to a small apartment in Windsor where they lived for about four years before starting their family. They adopted their first child, Patti, when she was 5 months’ old. Shortly after, they welcomed their second child, John, to the world. Sons Phillip and Jamie followed.

Starting Pothier Motors
Never one to stay idle, Tom used what little spare time he had outside his new job to do bodywork in his backyard for extra money. A pivotal moment occurred when Tom had to quickly repair a hearse, but couldn’t find the necessary parts. Instead of giving up, Tom decided to make the parts himself. Jackie often found Tom sleeping in that Hearse between paint jobs. Despite the stress, the hearse was completed in time and Tom received a handsome tip that the young couple used to purchase a television. Jackie proudly remembers being the first people in Hants County to own a television. It was at this moment that Tom decided to leave Tom Haley to open Pothier Motors.

The early years of Pothier Motors were tough. Tom worked around the clock on vehicles, and Jackie acted as both bookkeeper and entertainer, frequently welcoming clients into their home for sales dinners. As they lived on the same property as the dealership, there were no days off. When asked about their hobbies during these years, Jackie and Tom laughed – aside from work, they had no hobbies!

Growing Pothier Motors
Through hard work and dedication, Jackie and Tom grew Pothier Motors from a body shop to include a Volkswagen franchise, and then transitioned it to the Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep franchise that is still there today. They instilled a strong work ethic and the same customer service skills into their family, and Pothier Motors is now led by three generations. In 1986, Jackie and Tom handed the reigns to their son, John, who continues to serve as president of Pothier Motors today. Their youngest son, Jamie, rejoined Pothier Motors in 2017 as a finance specialist, and their grandson, Chad, is the general manager and vice president. Their beloved son, Phillip, was Pothier Motors’ Sales Manager for many years before recently passing away. Phillip is dearly missed by his family.

Jackie and Tom are thrilled to see the business remain in the family, although Jackie admits to being ‘a bit nervous’ when Chad first mentioned plans of building a new facility. The new facility was unveiled at the 60th anniversary and grand reopening in October, 2017. An event that Jackie and Tom proudly attended and thoroughly enjoyed.

Retirement
When they first retired, Jackie and Tom spent time with friends and family at their cottage and frequently vacationed in Florida – although they would often pick up boats and other items for clients of Pothier Motors while they were there! In their beautiful home in Falmouth, they enjoyed making memories with their grandchildren and great grandchildren, lovingly welcoming pets into their home, and chatting with their neighbors. Jackie was always counted on to have a jar of candy handy for the neighborhood kids, and the community excitedly anticipated Tom’s grand Christmas display each December.

Moving to The Crossing
After Tom experienced a few frightening falls on the staircase in their home, Jackie and Tom, at the encouragement of their sons, began looking to downsize. The first building they visited was an apartment building with an elevator. It was a hot day, the apartment was stuffy and uncomfortable, and the elevator was on its last legs. They weren’t impressed! Their next stop was The Crossing. They loved it instantly, and Jackie remembers saying, “this is where I want to be”.

Now that they are getting settled, they have been entertaining many friends and family members – some of whom they are encouraging to move here! They love living in a one-level home, and have become fast friends with their neighbors. They find the community very friendly, and are happy to have remained in Hants County where they are close to their family. When asked about their future plans, Jackie and Tom say they are just looking forward to relaxing and enjoying their new space. Although, Tom has already been spotted puttering around in the yard and shining up Jackie’s car in the driveway!

Welcome to our community, Jackie and Tom. We look forward to seeing you around.

Community Member Spotlight – Mary Ruth & Ervin

Mary Ruth and Ervin at The Crossing retirement community

At The Crossing, we’re proud to have diverse community members hailing from Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba, Edmonton, Scotland, and beyond. Each resident brings something unique to our community, and we wholeheartedly believe it is the individuals who live here that make The Crossing so special. In the coming months, we will be sharing stories that highlight our community members and how they came to live at The Crossing. To kick things off, we sat down with a couple that has been here since The Crossing opened.

Nine years ago, we welcomed Mary Ruth and Ervin Cochrane to our community. At the time, there were just six homes at The Crossing – and only four of those homes had residents! Since they joined us in 2009, we have added almost 150 homes to our community and are continuing to grow.

Life in Gypsum Mines, Nova Scotia

Mary Ruth and Ervin lived in Gypsum Mines, Nova Scotia for 54 years. In their beautiful home they raised two sons, hosted dinner parties, spent weekends in the garden, completed art projects, and made a lifetime of memories.

Mary Ruth had a successful career as a registered nurse, and later, a teacher. She then used her background in health and education to champion forward-thinking female health initiatives as a dedicated volunteer. In her spare time, she could often be found painting, baking delicious cookies, or spending time with loved ones. Ervin had an impressive 40-year career at the Gypsum Company, working both in the store room and as a tester. He also made weekly deliveries to the Food Bank for many years. Gardening and reading were his favourite leisure activities. Together, Mary Ruth and Ervin enjoyed travelling through North America and leading a Cub Scouts group.

 

The Desire to Right-Size

Mary Ruth and Ervin’s 1.5-story home was the perfect size for raising a family and hosting company; however, as they grew older climbing the staircase became a burden and some rooms were left unused. It was time to consider moving to a more practical, one-story house. They considered moving to Wolfville or Bedford, Nova Scotia, but they couldn’t find a house or community that made them feel at home.

 

Finding a Home at The Crossing

For Mary Ruth and Ervin, The Crossing was placed in an ideal location. The Crossing is near a state-of-the-art hospital and major highway – making day trips to the Annapolis Valley or Halifax easy. They are from the area, and consider Windsor to be their hometown. Moving to The Crossing would allow them to stay connected with their local friends and involved with their church. Another huge draw to The Crossing was one-story living. A single-story home would make all their rooms and belongings easily accessible and would also require less cleaning and maintenance.

 

The Process of Downsizing

Once Mary Ruth and Ervin found their next home, there was only one problem – downsizing. Living in a home for over 50 years resulted in the accumulation of a lot of ‘stuff’. Before moving, they would have to give some away. Many people dread the process of downsizing, worrying that they will throw away valuable memories, or give away items that they will later miss. When asked about the process of downsizing, Mary Ruth and Ervin stated, “things are things”. They laughed and said that they haven’t missed any of the items they didn’t bring to The Crossing, and actually have continued to give many items away since moving to The Crossing. They simply haven’t missed things like they thought they would.

 

Designing the Perfect Home

Mary Ruth and Ervin enjoyed the home selection process at The Crossing, as they were able to select a floor plan and customize it to meet their needs. They added an extra window to their home and had an oak hardwood floor put in. The open concept design of their home allows Mary Ruth to chat with guests sitting in the living room as she puts final touches on food cooking in the kitchen. As nature lovers, Mary Ruth and Ervin enjoyed watching their beautiful yard evolve, as each home at The Crossing is beautifully landscaped.

 

At The Crossing, we understand that the needs and desires of each community member may change over time. After living in our community for a few years, Mary Ruth and Ervin decided they would like to add a sunroom to their home. The sunroom was added – completing their vision and enhancing their living experience. They also decided to change their maintenance plan. When they first joined us, they enjoyed taking care of their property. As time has passed, this has become more challenging and less enjoyable. They have opted to get their lawn mowed and are soon going to add gardening support to their maintenance package.

Joining a Community

For Mary Ruth and Ervin, one of the greatest benefits of living at The Crossing is the community spirit. Upon first arriving at The Crossing, Mary Ruth stated that the grounds crew became ‘part of the family’, and she frequently gave them freshly baked cookies when they were passing by her home.

“The people here help each other”, “last fall when we were getting our tires from our shed and placing them in our car, two different men who lived at The Crossing – who we hadn’t met before – stopped and offered their help”. Mary Ruth and Ervin now consider these individuals to be their friends. This wasn’t the only act of kindness they experienced at The Crossing, as their neighbor kindly offers to snow blow their driveway each winter. For Mary Ruth and Ervin, its enjoyable to be part of a community that helps each other. They speak kindly of the other community members, saying “everyone here seems really friendly”.

Another aspect of the community that they enjoy is the ambiance. “People keep the community looking very good – it makes it nice in here” they commented on the community members’ dedication to maintaining their individual properties. They also mentioned the generosity of The Crossing, as they have happily watched stunning Canada Day firework celebrations, and received a gift at Christmas in the past. They are excited about the new apple trees and high bush blueberries available to residents, and enjoy the great variety of vegetables in the community gardens.

 

Life Since Moving to The Crossing

A lot has changed for Mary Ruth and Ervin since they lived in their home in Gypsum Mines. They now have 8 wonderful grandchildren, and no longer lead a Cub Scouts group! One thing that hasn’t changed is their desire to stay active. Since moving to The Crossing, Mary Ruth has grown to love yoga and tai chi, which she practices just minutes away in the town of Windsor, and Ervin has enjoyed going for his ‘little walks’ in our community. Together, Mary Ruth and Ervin like to take short trips, such as going out for dinner at local restaurants. They are always trying to spread the word about The Crossing – and even admit to slipping some pamphlets in a Nova Scotia tourist bureau for other individuals to find!

The Crossing is certainly much different today than it was nine years ago, and we are so pleased to have had Mary Ruth and Ervin with us for each and every year.

We’ll be highlighting more members of our community on a regular basis – stay tuned!

Fall Colors Abound at The Crossing Retirement Community

As fall descends upon Atlantic Canada, the fall colors at The Crossing retirement community in Windsor NS, are coming out in full.

The tress which line the streets of the empty nest homes were all part of the landscape package included in the properties that have become so popular with the 50 plus market.

Having just completed 8 years of operations, The Crossing offers homes for sale and rent with a focus on the retirement or near to retirement market. Homes for sale or rent include semi-detached and park mini homes.

Pumpkin People move into The Crossing Retirement Community

A collection of empty nest pumpkin people have moved into and been seen around The Crossing Retirement Community in Windsor NS.

Annually, following the harvest season in October a dozen or more pumpkin couples have been seen welcoming the guests and residents. The Crossing retirement community is recognized as one of Atlantic Canada’s premier retirement communities. Its residents pride themselves on their seasonal displays throughout the year.

The community offers a wide selection of 1, 2 and 3 bed mini park homes and semi-detached properties for sale and rent. Completing its 8th year of operation, the growing community is home to several hundred empty nest couples / individuals.

Open 7-days per week, The Crossing welcomes the opportunity to have you come visit and explore your options at anytime convenient for you. For more information on the homes and your empty nest retirement living options, call 902-798-8850 or visit, The Crossing Retirement Community

 

Canada Day Fireworks at The Crossing Retirement Village

The Crossing retirement community just outside Windsor NS had a special event of a day on Canada’s 150th, celebrating with the community gathering for games, food, refreshments, dancing and…Fireworks!

Its just one of the reasons The Crossing is billed as Atlantic Canada’s Premier Retirement Community.

Stop by anytime and you can see why for yourself