May 24, 2018 - October 13, 2018
We would consider any and all offers from French and Italian members.
In the heart of Canada's Thousand Islands
Our house is located on a leafy 'cul-de-sac' in Brockville, the “Gateway to the Thousand Islands”. We may be biased, but we think it's is one of the most beautiful regions in all of Canada. With a population of 20,000 people, our historic city offers easy, direct access to virtually all of Central and Eastern Ontario as well as Western Quebec and New England. The town sits astride the Trans-Canada highway, the East-West rail-line connecting Canada’s two largest cities and the mighty St. Lawrence River/Seaway. It is the central shopping center for the local region and a thriving tourist town. It is just large enough to provide all of the amenities, but not so densely urbanized that the pace of life is uncomfortably stressful.
Our home mirrors its milieu. It offers all the convenience of modern technology, but is designed for relaxation and the quiet enjoyment of our various interests and pastimes. Because we both share a passion for cooking, for example, the kitchen appliances are all ‘top-of-the-line’ (purchased when we bought the property in 2014) and include a gas range, dishwasher, microwave oven, and over-sized "café-style" refrigerator.
Our day-to-day life centers on the kitchen and adjoining “family room” which opens onto a sunny terrace with a large propane BBQ and outdoor dining area. In the sun-room , a large-screen plasma TV and entertainment system offers satellite programming in both French and English on several hundred Canadian, US and international channels. Internet streaming services (Netflix, HBO, Crave TV and The Movie Network) along with a large library of DVDs (many with French and Spanish soundtracks) add to our entertainment options. .
Technically, the house has 4 bedrooms but we use one as a dressing room and another as a “home office” and hobby room. The master and guest bedroom both have queen-sized beds and share the main bathroom. If needed, we can also install a single bed in the dressing room, making it possible to sleep 5 people. A second washroom is located on the main floor.
Our exchange partners have access to two vehicles, a beautifully-maintained Mercedes-Benz cabriolet and a late-model KIA SUV with all-wheel drive. Like the house itself, both vehicles are air-conditioned and have all the bells and whistles.
When we can tear ourselves away from the comforts of home, there are virtually endless attractions on all four points of the compass.
Less than an hour’s drive from our front door, we can explore the Thousand Islands National Park; cruise the St. Lawrence on any of a dozen different “tour boats”; step back in time at Upper Canada Village, a heritage park depicting 19th-century pioneer life, and visit fairy-tale Boldt Castle and Alexandria Bay across the border, (don't forget your passports and US visa!)
An easy drive north takes us to Ottawa, with its galleries, museums, and the beautiful Gatineau Hills. Head south for the US border crossings a few kilometers away and discover Lake Placid and the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. Historic Kingston, the site of Fort Henry and its re-enactments of 19th century garrison life, lies less than an hour's drive to the west.
Montreal and Toronto are a little further away, but both are easily reached by a fast, all-weather highway in 2-3 hours. Most of these attractions can be reached and explored in less than a day, but there is so much to see and do that trips to Montreal and Toronto usually need at least an overnight stay.
All this, however, gives only a taste of our region's beauty and diversity. There is so much to see and explore that I don't know how to list them all. Once we begin to chat about an exchange, of course, we always assemble a complete package of maps, recommendations, tourist brochures, and adventure routes around our area. By all means let us know of any special interests or pastimes and we'll make a point of researching relevant local opportunities.
Unless you love winter sports, Eastern Ontario is probably not the best place to vacation from December to April, but between the end of May and the middle of October the weather is almost always perfect. Personally, our favorite season is early autumn and we've learned that it's an almost perfect time for a home exchange.
Towards the end of September, Ontario is famous for its autumn foliage and, since we are close to one of North America's major flyways for migratory species, the bird-watching can be fascinating. Watching the great skeins of Canada geese flying south in their classic formations is a haunting and unforgettable experience. It’s also the time when ‘sugaring off’ takes place for local Maple syrup producers and many offer tours of their Maple camps. One of the highlights of the season are the country fairs across Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec, and Northern New York. The NY State Fair in Syracuse is well worth an overnight trip for the free concerts alone, as is the Kingston Fair and Ottawa's "SuperEX".
Our favorite exchange destinations include France, Italy, Greece, Belgium and Great Britain but we are open to any and all possibilities. Wise travelers often choose Eastern Ontario to learn more about Canada's diverse people and founding cultures. After living in 6 countries and twice as many towns and cities over the course of our careers, that's exactly what we did !
- 2 Adults
- 0 Children
- 12 Exchanges made
- Peter: Retired Communications Consultant
- Mary-Anne: Retired Marketing Consultant
- House Type: House
- Environment: In a small town
- Bedrooms: 4
- Bathrooms: 2
- Sleeping Capacity: 4
- Living Area: 190 m2
- Total Area: 250 m2
In my house
- Pets - Allowed
- Small children - Not allowed
- Bed & Breakfast
- Long-term exchange wanted
- Home exchange
- Free internet access
- Computer available
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Toys and games
- Washing machine
- Clothes dryer
- Other musical instruments
- Terrace or deck
- Bicycles: 2
- No smoking
- Car necessary
- Use/Exchange of car
Our Destination Wish List
- Midi-Pyrénées, France
- Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy
- United Kingdom
Nearest Airport: Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport, Montreal - 2 hours by car (190 kms)
Canada's history is comparatively short, but Brockville (named for the British General killed while repelling the American invasion in 1812) has more than its share in it. After his death, the old general's remains were shipped from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Elizabethtown from which they were sent by land to Quebec. To commemorate his sacrifice, the town has been known as Brockville ever since.
For more information on Brockville's history, visit https://brockvillehistoryhandbook.wordpress.com/a-short-history-of-brockville/
- Peter: Retired Communications Consultant
- Mary-Anne: Retired Marketing Consultant
- We do not have children.
- We do not have pets.
Since we are both retired, we tend not to be quite as ambitious in our travels as we once were. We much prefer the calm of the countryside to the hustle of big cities. Mary-Anne is a needlewoman of great skill and embroiders in a wide range of techniques for which she has won many prizes and awards. She is also the family gardener and is in the process of re-landscaping a garden that had been more or less ignored for many years before we bought the property in 2014.
My hobbies aren't quite as exciting. I build and paint military miniatures, armored vehicles, and dioramas; play guitar and have been known to sing when absolutely certain no-one can hear me. For many years I was active in community theatre and performed improv comedy.
We both love books. movies and music and have large collections of DVDs, books and music in a variety of media; enjoy TV dramas and subscribe to a number of satellite and Internet streaming services (HBO, Crave, the Movie Network, YouTube,. and Facebook for example).
Needless to say, we both love to travel -- especially to France. We have made 23 exchanges since 1985, 12 of them through Intervac. We let out membership lapse in 2007 so that we could spend more time at our apartment in Sarasota, Florida.
Photography is a hobby we both share... along with cooking... and home improvement. All of the photos in the Lifestyle Photo collection were taken on home exchanges through Intervac and other travel groups.