“An undiscovered gem is how I describe it (Windsor-Essex). There is waterfront everywhere. Wherever you are (in the region) the waterfront is spectacular.”
It was a full-page ad in a Toronto newspaper that caught Carl Hulme’s attention five years ago, touting the benefits of living in Windsor-Essex. He lived in Orangeville at the time and didn’t know anything about this region in southern Ontario. But he was intrigued. A community surrounded by water, close to a major U.S. city, where one could buy a waterfront home for a fraction of what it would cost in Toronto. “I had to come see it,” Carl said. “Everyone in Toronto goes north (when they retire). We thought we’d go the opposite direction.”
By that point in his life, he wanted to slow down. He’d been travelling the world as vice-president of a multinational company and was rarely home during the week.
Carl and his wife Rita bought a waterfront home in Oxley, spent two years remodelling it, sold their home in Orangeville and moved here. Two years ago, they opened a British store and gift shop in Harrow as a diversion. The business that was to be open two or three days a week has turned into a six-day-a-week operation, with three employees beyond Carl and Rita.
“An undiscovered gem is how I describe it,” Carl said of the Windsor-Essex region. “There is waterfront everywhere. Wherever you are (in the region) the waterfront is spectacular.”
Carl said his 23-year-old son recently bought a home in the area. “There’s no way had we stayed where we were he’d be able to do that. Just an impossibility.”