it’s my dream to save this place


Sooo.. this is probably the most soul-baring thing I’ve ever posted on the Internet… I try to stay away from that vibe for the most part, but there are exceptions and this is one of them.

I grew up on a beautiful 100-acre farm. I loved it when I was little… my sister and I played Little House on the Prairie, rode on the tractor with my dad, boiled maple syrup with grandpa and got to play with oodles of kittens in the barn every spring. I hated it when I was a teenager (although it made for a few good late-night-sneaking-out-my-bedroom-window-riding-in-cars-with-boys stories) and fell back in love with it as a young woman. This place is paradise.

Located just north of Toronto, sandwiched between the City of Markham and the Town of Stouffville, it’s a little slice of heaven. It’s still a working farm (I believe the crops this summer are sweet corn and soy beans), there’s a gorgeous old barn that I’m completely obsessed with turning into a venue space, a giant pond and a creek that runs through the property.

There are blossoms everywhere in the spring, shady green lawns and fields to frolic in all summer, colourful leaves in the fall and crisp, white, untouched snow in the winter. There’s a picturesque stone farmhouse set back on the property (where my adorable grandparents still live) and the little white house I grew up in near the road. There’s a wood shop that I enjoy spending some of my spare time working away in. Basically what I’m saying is… IT’S THE BEST.

It’s my dream to someday turn this place into an oasis for people to come and enjoy. An escape from the city. Somewhere to take a few deep breaths of fresh air. A place to hold events – weddings, parties, dinners, giant yoga classes, art shows – the list goes on… the possibilities are endless. There’s space to build community garden plots for local people to rent and grow their own food. It’s just the sort of place we all need to spend some time in when we have the chance and I want to create that opportunity.

So friends… What do I do? Where do I start?

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7 Responses to it’s my dream to save this place

  1. john says:

    keep it

  2. sarah says:

    find some partners in your community that share your love of that place and start having coffee together :)

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  4. Gavin says:

    Hey Heather

    I’m working and struggling with my first blog (not published yet) and came across your postings. You have a dream that can become reality. I know property around Toronto has skyrocketed in price and the farm I enjoyed so many summers ago outside of Markham was sold about 50 years ago to what I am sure was a developer, yet it is still a farm (Actually a segment of Anne of Green Gables was filmed there).

    It sounds like yours is still in the family and perhaps you could work some kind of a plan out with them to lease/purchase or rent for 99 years etc. Then you could realize your dream and enjoy/preserve the farm. It will only appreciate in value.

    If that is a no go then ask yourself; is that particular farm an important part of your dream or could you have your retreat etc. somewhere in the country close to you that is less expensive and so would allow you bring your dream to a full creation? There are a lot of beautiful locations around Toronto or further afield and a retreat where people can come and rejuvenate themselves physically and spiritually is a very worthwhile project.

    Old farms require a lot of maintenance and barns, etc have to be maintained or they disappear but I was recently at a wedding reception held inside a working barn and the transformation was magical and what a night. The poor cows down below started mooing about 11 PM as much as saying “Keep it down up there, we need to sleep! I don’t think they gave as much milk the next day.

    Best of luck with your dream and your life, I would say you have a great one ahead of you.

    • Heather says:

      Gavin! Thank you for your comment. I’m somehow just seeing it now.
      I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts :) it’s inspiring to hear different perspectives. You’ve given me some good ideas to think about.
      Please send along a link to your blog once it’s up and running! I’d love to follow along :)
      – Heather

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