CARP – A project years in the making hosted its official ribbon cutting last Wednesday (Oct. 2) and the greater community welcomed West Carleton’s largest building in to the neighbourhood.
It was a gala affair that included local politicians, investors, builders, architects, the now-40 residents that call the Carp Commons Retirement Village home and the greater Carp community, all personally invited to celebrate the official ribbon cutting as the 129-suite, full-service seniors residence officially opened.
The gala was held in the downstairs common space which includes a formal dining room, chef’s kitchen, common kitchen, café spaces, study rooms, banquet halls and a theatre, just to name a few of the amenities.
Wine and local beer was served, and executive chef Matthew Brearley had several delicious treats available including lobster, beef and chicken recipes.
“Our residents are enjoying the place, enjoying their food, enjoying their time,” Carp Commons general manager Chris Bishop told the assembled crowd – some 150 strong.
Bishop spoke of his experience joining the project. Specifically, that of meeting one of the project leaders and investors, Carp resident Greg LeBlanc.
“I just wanted to introduce myself,” Bishop said of Leblanc’s introduction at Carp’s community hub, Alice’s Café. “We took two hours. That’s the first time I had the, I like to say, LeBlanc Kool-Aid. He’s going to give me trouble for calling it that. I left so excited.”
That excitement hasn’t waned.
“I love the Village of Carp,” Bishop said. “I live just down the road near the Cheshire Cat. I love my commute. The staff are so friendly. You are never going to hear, ‘that’s not my job.’”
David Bird, the chief operating officer of Verve Senior Living, the company managing the facility, was also on hand.
“It gives me great pleasure to be here,” the Toronto resident said. “Congratulations to Greg, Sally (Storey) and all the other investors. What really brings a seniors residence to life is the team. It’s a lot of long hours opening a residence. A lot of time away from your family. You’ve done an outstanding job.”
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson presented a certificate commemorating the opening.
“This is worth one free hour of parking anywhere in Ottawa,” Watson joked of the certificate. “I wish you continued success.”
Coun. Eli El-Chantiry spoke of the similarities between LeBlanc and himself.
“We made it to West Carleton, we made it to Carp, and we love it here,” he said. “This is one of the most significant buildings in West Carleton and one of the most beautiful. I’m looking forward to moving in here with Maha (his wife) someday. It’s worthy of this celebration.”
LeBlanc and Storey of Carp Retirement Properties and principle investors also spoke.
“Sally and I are delighted to see you here this evening and I see so many familiar faces,” LeBlanc said. “It takes the talents of many and the faith of several.”
Storey personally thanked all the professionals involved in bringing the Carp Commons from dream to reality.
The Carp Commons’ first resident Faye Steele also said a few words.
“I usually talk too long and too loud,” Steele joked. “I love my beautiful new home at the centre of the village. We came from all across the country and when we got here, we all had another family waiting for us with smiling faces, open arms and helpful hands. We call the Carp Commons home. And to my new housemates, I thank you for your friendship.”