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Wellings impressive retirement community likened to a never ending holiday

From the concierge at the front door, to access to a multitude of services, The Wellings of Picton promotes a carefree lifestyle that some people at Saturday’s open house described as being on holiday all the time.

Frank and Nancy O’Neill were impressed with The Wellings.

“The atrium is really impressive,” said Nancy O’Neill who was found sitting in the park-like setting behind the complex, sipping a glass of wine with her husband, Frank. “We were sitting in the atrium thinking, ‘what would it be like to have our dinner in here? It’s pretty nice and it’s gorgeous out here too. It is like a cruise ship. We feel like we’re on holiday.”

At Saturday’s official opening, several hundred people passed through the 8,000 square-foot atrium, the social hub of the building. Among quiet areas to watch television, read or play cards, is a shuffleboard and pool table area, a bar and a baby grand piano. Chefs from Marquise Hospitality served samples of restaurant-calibre snacks to complement servings of local wine and craft beer.

Surrounding the atrium is four floors of living space – 88 one or two bedroom apartments with sunny living rooms, dining areas, kitchen and laundry neatly tucked behind folding doors.

Guests were also invited to tour the fitness room, spa, hair dressers and wellness area where services can be arranged. Outside they were shown the fenced pet park and covered parking area.

The new community for adults aged 55-plus welcomed its first residents in December, to their new address at 617 County Road 49.

Barbara and Charlie Culmer were first to move in.

“My husband and I were the first ones to move in on December 16th. They just had four months together in their new home, as Barbara noted her husband passed away in April, but she said they enjoyed their time together there and she continues to enjoy visits with his family.

What does she likes best?

Guests at Saturday’s open house sampled the restaurant-quality food in the dining room area of the atrium.

“I don’t have to cook,” she replied quickly. “Your dinner is included here. I look after breakfast and lunch but I just come down here (atrium) from 5-7 p.m. and it’s fabulous with all kinds of choices.” She noted that if she doesn’t like what’s on the menu, the staff see to it that she gets something she enjoys. “The waitresses get to know you and they know what you like,” she said. “The other night I didn’t like the entrees – lamb and shrimp – so I was just going to have the soup and salad and dessert, but all of a sudden the waitress came over and said she had a plate for me with a lovely chicken breast.”

A carefree, independent lifestyle was the concept from the start, for the Wellings.

“We’re very fortunate right now to create a community based on what people want as opposed to what we think they want,” said Rachel Henry, the Welling’s General Manager. “We’re very agile in terms of what the Wellings is, and what it will grow to be.”

Visitors were able to view some apartments.

Occupancy is at about 60 per cent now with residents ranging in age from 59 to 99. Rent starts at $2,495 a month.

“We have lots of people from the County and lots moving into the County because of their family connection,” said Henry. “So we have a really great range of people who live here and it’s developing into a really interesting community. That’s the best part about the Wellings.”

One and two bedroom apartments are available.

The heart and soul of this spectacular building is its community members, said Kevin Pidgeon, Chief Operating Officer of parent company Nautical Lands Group. He recalled the story of a woman arriving to move into her new apartment and noted she got weak-kneed and had tears in her eyes.

“My wife, Natalie, asked her if something was wrong. She looked at her and said ‘No, there is absolutely nothing wrong… I never imagined in all my life that I could live in a building this beautiful.’ That begins to tell the story of the Wellings,” said Pidgeon. “The beauty of the building is one thing, but the heart and soul is its residents.”

The Wellings of Picton, at 617 County Road 49, Picton was officially opened Saturday by General Manager Rachel Henry, MP Todd Smith, Nautical Lands Group CEO Kirk Hoppner, PEC Mayor Robert Quaiff and COO Kevin Pidgeon.

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