One family’s decision to own a home back where they grew up; it is an investment into their lifestyle and family across the pond…
Eileen and Phil Church along with their four children have recently returned from their winter break in Canada. They have, however, come back with more than just goggle eyes and photos for the family album… The Church’s have purchased a five bedroom lodge just north of Montreal, at Fiddler Lake, St.Sauveur, a location steeped in history for Eileen, with her family tree showing over three generations in the region including her close relations today. Living and working in Canada has a great appeal so it is easy to see why statistics are showing that the country as a place to visit, relocate and invest are growing steadily.
Eileen explains how she was bought up in Canada and how her family all ended up back on UK soil where they originally started; “When I was born my grandfather encouraged my father to take the family to the UK”, says Eileen. “At the time things in the Canadian teaching system were not as good as they are now, so when I was nine years old my father made the decision to relocate us all to Sheffield, England.”
It was a giant leap for the family but despite the move Eileen still vividly recalls her early years growing up in Canada; “My memories of Canada centre on all the outdoor activities we were involved in. I had my first pair of skis when I was three years old. In winter I remember skating on the outdoor ice rink at the City Hall in Toronto and in the Spring and Summer playing in the pool with my cousins and having fantastic family BBQ’s. One of my favourite memories is of waterskiing and fishing up at our cottage. It really was an amazing place to spend the beginning of my life.”
With a growing family of their own, aged from 6 to 19 years, Phil and Eileen have seized the opportunity to not only visit Canada to maintain their strong family ties with cousins still based out there but to also own their own property. “Phil spends much of his working week in London away from home so having a house in Canada is proving to be a great bolt-hole for him and the rest of us to get away from the UK way of life and have some quality family time” says Eileen who is very much a homemaker.
Eileen and Phil have always been taught the importance of family and that is why as a couple they new it was important to maintain their relationships with their extended family across the pond and in turn discover more about their family routes.
Canada is one of the most diverse nations on the planet with well over 20% of the population in Ontario alone being foreign born. The UK takes the place as the largest visiting market with 2% increase in UK visitors in 2007. The ongoing efforts of CTC (Canadian Tourism Commission) are also adding to Canada’s worldwide appeal
It is not just young families that are looking to Canada though. In a recent survey Canada came first in the ex-pats Natwest Quality of Life Index with a score of 63%, with this high ranking due to its housing, the natural environment and the availability of consumer goods it is not surprising that a standard is being set for all generations to enjoy.
The Church’s hope to visit Canada at least 3 times per year and with the completion of there custom made property due this Summer, their home-from-home dream will become a reality. “Buying this property has meant that we can marry both our UK and Canadian lives. With family in both we have a great opportunity and privilege to be able to show our children a different culture”, says Eileen. “We did think of relocating but due to the kids school commitments and Phil’s work we thought that this purchase would work the best for the family as a whole.”
Eileen and Phil have spent £375,000 on their property and are having an outdoor sauna and Jacuzzi built as well. “These features are pretty standard with this style of lodge and we are looking into the possibility of having a pool built as well. The kids really love it there and play with my cousins children. They get very spoilt and love getting involved with outdoor living much like what I experienced as a child.”
In a recent interview the Honourable Charles Lapointe, president of the CTC, who finished his 5 year term in office on the 1st December 2007, said “The government has injected funds into the general image of Canada over my term and this is now continuing with the promotion of Quebec’s 400th anniversary and the 2010 winter Olympics which will be taking part in Vancouver.” Lapointe goes onto say: “The CTC and Canada’s tourism industry joined forces bringing the whole country together and ‘Canada. Keep Exploring’ is a slogan that permeates the CTC’s whole strategic approach to supporting the industry, and increasingly all the other parties getting involved as well” and ‘keep exploring’ is certainly what the Church family will continue to do too as the family grows and inspired by the country as a whole.
The Church’s bought their property through Undiscovered Properties and have been very pleased with every element of the process. Phil and Eileen go on to say “We did a lot of research when looking for the best deal and to be honest we couldn’t find one better. It was almost too good to be true and it really is rare to find a business that works with so much integrity.”
“The management services at the resort will be organizing rental management as well and will be looking after the maintenance of our property when we are not there. We have been given reassurances that when it comes to rental they have strict guidelines for the people they let use our property and we very much trust them with this side of things.”
The director of Undiscovered Properties, John Prior goes onto say, “Fiddler Lake is virtually sold out now but the same developer has started on Eagles Ridge Golf & Country Club, close to Mont Tremblant, Eastern Canada’s ski capital. This time a slightly more ambitious scheme is being started, with 400 properties in nearly 2000 acres of pristine rolling woodlands surrounding 5 freshwater lakes.”
The facilities in this project are also very impressive, with a Graham Cooke designed golf course and clubhouse, sailing club, equestrian centre, tennis courts and swimming pool, making this Canada’s premier destination for all the family. Properties each have either their own 1.5 acre direct lake frontage or large 3 acre woodland plots, with a choice of the same log style lodges as at Fiddler Lake or frame-build houses. Prices start from £249,000 for property and plot.
For your chance to walk in the steps of families like the Church’s and own you very own Canadian property contact Undiscovered Properties direct on 0870 7347968 or visit www.undiscoveredproperties.com