You Know You Live Near Seniors When..

Cherryhill Village, an apartment community in London, Ontario, has been predominantly a seniors enclave for many years.  With its close proximity to the University of Western Ontario, however, the demographic has been slowly changing.  Now you see seniors and their walkers living happily along side of university students, young families, and middle-aged people like me.

In spite of the increasingly younger population, however, one is constantly reminded that the majority of residents are still geriatric.  It’s not unusual to see EMS personnel on the elevator with a senior resident strapped to a gurney and a waiting ambulance outside. And when you see a police car accompany that ambulance, its fairly certain that someone probably died.

The other day I was waiting at the elevator and saw that someone stuck an obituary notice above the elevator keys.  Since we have a bulletin board in our laundry room for such things and since obits don’t belong in lobbies (!!), I figured this was the work of a family member who didn’t know better.  I pulled the obit off the wall and stuck it where it belongs.

A few days later I was checking my mail and turned to see an opened box of Attend Adult Diapers sitting on a bench.  Why anyone would think that adult diapers belong in the lobby is beyond me, so I moved them to a shelf in the laundry room under the obits. Exhibit A:


I’m in my 60th year, but I’m not ready for obits and free diapers.  I hope I never am.


Splish Splash

The saga of the outdoor pool was my introduction to Cherryhill Village politics, and the power of the seniors to kick butt and get stuff done.

A day or so after I moved in, I noticed that the pool was still closed and emailed the property manager to inquire as to when it was opening.  The response was that the pool was closed indefinitely because of needed tile work and their inability to secure lifeguards.

About a week later, a communique went up in all the buildings announcing that the pool was now closed for the season, again citing tile work and no lifeguard.

About a week after that, another communique appeared, this time assuring everyone that they were still looking for a lifeguard and anticipated a late-July opening.

Then. lo and behold, a final communique, complete with cute water graphics, announcing that a lifeguard was secured, the tile work was done, and the pool was opening by weeks’ end.  On opening day there were balloons, popsicles, and assorted dignitaries from management there to greet us.  Strange fanfare for a delayed pool opening I thought, but I took a popsicle, heading for the nearest lounge chair, and settled in.

Later on that day I was in the water paddling around and happened to chat with someone named Richard, a long-time resident of the complex, who told me an interesting story.

Fed up with all the excuses, Richard phoned the London Free Press and gave them an earful.  A reporter came out the next day, captured a photo of Richard standing, opened armed, in front of the drained pool, and wrote an article about his/our woes entitled “It’s the lifeguard excuse….again.”

Richard and the empty pool.

Richard showing the world our empty pool.

By the following week we had several lifeguards, a grand opening with popsicles, and another article in the Free Press, this time with a photo of the regional manager smiling happily,  kicking her toes in the water.


Brandi the R.M. testing the water of the pool that almost didn’t open.

Never, ever, underestimate seniors.


Around the Village

One afternoon in between raindrops I decided to take a stroll around the village and snap some shots.

Sam Katz was the original developer of Cherryhill Village and is still revered by the long-time residents.  A stone commemorating him is positioned near a little gazebo an shuffleboard area behind my building and  adjacent to the outdoor pool.

Sam Katz was the original developer of Cherryhill Village and is still revered by the long-time residents. A stone commemorating him is positioned near a little gazebo/shuffleboard area behind my building, located adjacent to the outdoor pool.



Front view of outdoor pool entrance.


The outdoor pool, sans water.  The owners couldn’t secure a lifeguard and for now the pool is closed.  I am sad.

The outdoor pool, sans water. The owners couldn’t secure a lifeguard and for now the pool is closed. I am sad.


The walkway to the shopping plaza.

The walkway to the shopping plaza.  The walkways are all lined with those pretty stone borders.



Walkway along the garden plots.


Sam Katz allowed use of his land, free of charge, for residents to grow gardens.  There are 140 plots in total.

Sam Katz allowed use of his land, free of charge, for residents to grow gardens. There are 140 plots in total.  The garden plots are next to my building and run along one end of the complex. Beyond the garden plots is conservation land and walking trails.


Along the garden plots.  There is no shortage of green space to enjoy nature.

Along the garden plots. There is no shortage of green space to enjoy nature.



Plots for handicapped gardeners.


This is the view from above of course.

The view from above…..


The view from below.

The view from below.   I’m so glad someone had the design sense to convert the top of the parking garage into a garden.

New Digs

Damn I’m tired.  Was moving always this hard?

The day before the move I packed, sorted, purged, and packed some more from 8:00 in the morning until 1:00 in the morning, with only a short dinner break.

And of course I couldn’t sleep when I went to bed, so after a mere 2 hours sleep arose at 7:00 the next morning to wait for the movers. By 11:30 we were on the road and, an hour later, started the whole process in reverse.

Buddy the dog and Clancy the cat did very well through all this upheaval.  The day of the move Clancy snoozed in his carrier, while Buddy went down the hall to explore the garbage shute (little bugger snuck away when I wasn’t looking.  My neighbour brought him back to the apartment, whereupon he was summarily jailed in the bathroom for the rest of the move-in.)

A week later I’m unpacked and more or less settled.  I was so looking forward to relaxing in the pool when I was done but unfortunately the pool is closed for repairs.  So for now, I’m parked on my balcony and enjoying the view, relishing the fact that I no longer have to cut the lawn.


My balcony overlooks a sweet terrace. I consider this to be MINE.

I love my flowers.

I love my flowers.

Close-up of the community gardens.

Close-up of the community gardens.

Downsizing Part III

The Great Apartment Search of 2015 (GAS) had its official start April 10, when I received a cash offer on my house.  The home inspection was done the following Wednesday, and by Friday all conditions were removed and the SOLD sign announced to all and sundry that this house was taken.

The GAS acronym is appropriate: three counties, 4 cities, and tons of highway driving in really crappy weather.   I isolated three companies that had a good reputation and visited most of the buildings they operated.

First up was a building in Sarnia, where I presently live.  They had two units available in June. One was gorgeous and the other a bit beat up. I took too long to make up my mind and lost both.  Since there were no other decent apartments with vacancies in June or July, I knew for sure that I was changing city as well as abode.

So, I hit the road and visited a building located an hour away, in the largely agricultural city of Chatham. Very nice apartment and, as I discovered, smack dab in the middle of a cornfield.  I thought it would make a nice retirement residence for all the farmers in the area, seeing as how it was so close to their farms.

chatham apartment

Living among the farm folk wasn’t to be my destiny, however.  The rent was high and the hydro costs were even higher. I really didn’t want to move to Chatham anyway so I wasn’t that disappointed.

If you recall, I had posted earlier that I had decided to move back to Windsor.  While initially excited about the prospect, my excitement waned when I found out just how awful the apartments in Windsor really are.  Most of the buildings are managed by companies with less than stellar reputations, and are woefully out of date (one building still had built-in ovens, which were all the range in the early 70’s–which tells you how old the appliances are).  There was one nice little building in Windsor that was managed by one of my short-listed companies, but there were no vacancies so that was that.  I wasn’t too upset by that either–moving back home required more uprooting that I was prepared for, when it came right down to it.  I set my sites on London.

Cosmopolitan with tons of green space and only an hour away from Sarnia, London is the centre of education and cutting edge health care in Ontario. It’s the city with everything, but without the huge price tag compared to other major urban centres. The first building I visited was located in a pretty area known as Springbank Park.  The building manager was great and the apartment was gorgeous, but it was on the ground floor and the patio faced a wood fence behind which was the building’s garbage/recycle area.  I envisioned being burgled at night to the sound of people discarding their bottles and paper products.

hidden garbage area in otherwise nice building

Another apartment I visited in London came highly recommended–a friend of mine lives there.  Unfortunately, the unit I was shown faced a very noisy, busy street, unlike my friend’s unit which faced the other direction and was very quiet. I also suspected that the building had some unresolved structural problems after my friend told me she fell asleep to the sound of her upstairs neighbour having his nightly wee.

Finally, a friend and I took another trip to London to view apartments in a complex called Cherryhill Village.  The complex is like a little city:  13 buildings nestled in tons of green space with its own health club, indoor/outdoor pool,  word-working shop, recreation centre, garden plots, and walking paths.  It even has its own shopping mall which, while open to the public, caters to the unique residents of Cherryhill, most of whom are seniors.

Cherryhill Village’s Health Club

Shuffleboard for seniors.

Shuffleboard for seniors.

Outdoor Pool at Sunset.

Outdoor Pool at Sunset.


Cherryhill Village Mall.

Arial View of Cherryhill Village.

Aerial View of Cherryhill Village.

I found a one-bedroom apartment on the second floor with a den and huge balcony, overlooking a park-like terrace right below and the outdoor pool a few hundred yards away. The complex was built in the 1960’s, judging from the charming little decorative details you don’t see in newer buildings, like a recessed nook for a telephone and shelving in the kitchen for knick knacks.  The down side is that there are no window sleeves for A/C so you have to use the window opening itself.

So it’s all over but the packing.  And the painting.  And the purchasing of draperies, air conditioners, microwave, and maybe a portable dishwasher. 🙂