"Originally, my wife Carol worked for an investment company and I was with the Sask. Government in financial planning. Upon retirement we worked for another five years at the TFHQ tribal council in Sask. – a great experience.
We then began buying houses one at a time and fixing them up for a resale. When I hit 85 years we completed the last of fourteen houses and retired to Victoria.
At the age of 90 we decided to move into an establishment of independent living. We looked into several places but deemed The Glenshiel to be the most desirable due to its lovely Victorian style, its central location, and the glowing reports of its residents. My wife died suddenly but I carried through on our plans. I moved in to The Glenshiel in 2019.
The building itself is most attractive, unique use of bricks, mullioned windows, and adjacent to so many points of interest.
The residents are great down to earth people, very open and friendly. The staff are exceptional, quick to be of assistance and always with a pleasant smile. Residents and staff are always on a first name basis which enhances the familial aspect of the surroundings. I regularly play cribbage and tend to plants on the balcony as part of the Gardening Club, as well as join in other things.
No worries, no cares. It’s like being on an ‘all inclusive’ long lasting vacation.”
"My early life spent in London England. My father was English, my mother was French Parisian. He was 35 and she was 19. I spoke French until going to school where I was taught English. Then I’d teach my mother English. I was married at 18 to a British sailor. In 1956 our family of 4 moved to Canada due to lack of housing in England. I worked as an assistance to a lawyer, as time went on becoming a para-legal, and my husband worked in TV broadcasting. In 1991 we moved to Victoria for the climate as my husband had become ill. In 1996 I then became single & started volunteering.
A former employee (Heather) lived in the apartment building my husband & lived in. As my husband was ill, Heather occasionally would sit with him so I could have a break. When my husband passed on in, it was suggested I try doing some volunteer work. Heather introduced me to the coordinator. In 1996 I began volunteering at the Glenshiel by leading painting classes & handcrafts. I loved teaching painting and began to fall in love with The Glenshiel. I had moved to my granddaughter’s basement suite for a number of years, but I became lonely. That changed in November 2007 when I moved in to The Glenshiel. There is no better place for me to call home. When we have new residents I show them around and help them feel at home too, as part of the welcoming committee.
I love living here. The Glenshiel is friendly and cozy. We have the most wonderful helpful staff.
Just ask me - this is the best place to be, I will tell anyone.”
When Timothy signed the papers in my office to move in, he had a tear in the corner of his eye. He told me that he was coming back into society, and that he’d been alone and very lonely and now he wouldn’t be anymore.
Timothy’s wife died over a year before I met him, and was living in a condo on his own. Before she passed, the couple had moved to Victoria from Ontario and hadn’t made many friends.
Timothy was lonely in his condo without Elsie. As a retired engineer at the age of 83, he liked routine. Everyday, Tim would have his toast for breakfast, his toast and soup for lunch, and then would walk down to the restaurant several blocks from his home for dinner. On the way home, he would stop at the local grocer and pick up the supplies he needed for the next day.
At home, he read a bit, listened to music a bit, and drank a bit. When the phone did ring, it was normally an old friend from Ontario. But Timothy didn’t want to move back to his own home, he wanted to stay in Victoria.
One day he was walking by The Glenshiel and saw our sign. On a hunch he came in and was able to have a tour of our residence. It wasn’t long afterwards thar I received his application and when a room came available, Timothy moved in. As he signed papers he tearfully told me that this was the beginning of his new life.
Tim has become involved with the card games and he likes to sing at the piano when Helen plays. I’ve noticed when we go on field trips that he and Helen are together then too. A budding romance? Perhaps!
Timothy asked me to tell people when they come for a tour or are thinking of moving in to tell them that this is the best decision he has ever made. He is happy again - and he isn’t the only one!
Resident Wally Firth was the first Indigenous politician from Canada’s North to win a seat in the House of Commons, first elected in 1972 as an NDP MP for the Northwest Territories and continuing on to be re-elected in 1974. Born and raised in the Northwest Territories, he started out working as a fur trader, then a radio host for the CBC in Yellowknife, and as a commercial pilot. He explained, “I owned three different airplanes at one time. I flew across Canada many times,” that “I’ve had a crazy life.”
Yellowknife local, John Luccock, recalled the night of Mr. Firth’s election as MP for NWT, as Mr. Luccock was directing the broadcast for Yellowknife’s first TV station which first went on the air that same night. “I met Wally many times. I especially remember his election as MP for NWT. It caused quite a "stir" among the establishment. Wally being First Nation and running for the NDP.” His wife, Heather Lucckock, worked for the Yellowknifer newspaper, and published the 3 pages below on Mr. Firth winning the election, from the newspaper for November 2nd 1972.
Mr. Firth has had a lifelong passion for music, playing the saxophone, piano, and guitar, and currently often plays his violin. He often donates instruments to schools around Greater Victoria and to musicians in the Northwest Territories. He has been interviewed by the CBC, Times Colonist, and Global News
Alf moved in 18 years ago. He says this is the third best decision he has made in his life. The first was asking his wife to marry him. The second was moving the Canada. And the third was moving into The Glenshiel when his wife went into care. By the way, Alf is 100 years old now!
Kate says the same thing. She volunteered for a number of years and then thought, why don’t I just move in? And she did. She’s glad she did and tells everyone so.
George moved in 5 years ago and discovered painting. We have his pictures up on the walls of our allways. He hadn’t painted before but now he has discovered his talent.
The moral of these stories? People who feel lonely can move into The Glenshiel and find a good lifestyle here. People can find friendship, enjoy their hobbies, and those who are tired of cooking and cleaning can find a better quality of life while the staff do the cooking and cleaning for them.
Lillie was looking for a place to call home when she moved to Victoria, and came across The Glenshiel after hearing many good things about the residents and the meals offered here. She was not with us for long before she came out of remission and transitioned into her final days with grace. Her goal was to be able to stay at home and enjoy her lovely little suite overlooking Thunderbird Park. She enjoyed everything about The Glenshiel and when asked how she liked it here she simply said, with her strong Scottish accent, “I think I’ve died and gone to heaven”.
Rest in Peace Lillie ~ You are missed here and your memory remains alive in us all.
Margaret considers herself an introvert, but found herself in conversation with a gentleman named Henry at a social outing last year, and listened to him talk about living at The Glenshiel and how much he loved it. At a later outing he raved to her again about the residence.
“So out of curiosity, I thought, ‘I’m going to go and check it out”, she says.
The day of her visit she encountered a woman on the street who lived there. Margaret was later introduced to the woman, who was soon to be moving out of her suite. Within two months, Margaret was moving in and she’s made the most of her time living there.
Margaret appreciates order in her life, from her own living space to the amenities around her. She is also a voracious reader. It’s not surprising, then, that one of the things she took on after moving into The Glenshiel was organizing the residence’s on-site library, after conferring with past Executive Director, Lynn Larsen.
“I took all the books out and put what I thought were the most interesting books in prominent areas, and put the other sort of ‘fluff’ books in other areas,” Margaret says. She also tried to arrange the books by author names and putting the large print editions together.
The library, stoc ked with donated books, is just one of the things Margaret loves about living at this Douglas street residence.
Living on her own in an apartment near Cook Street Village meant Margaret had to seek out activities, but The Glenshiel’s programmers keep residents busy with a wide range of daily social activities and events of interest scheduled around regular meal times.
Keen on learning new things, especially about other cultures, as well as staying physically active and hearing people’s stories, Margaret enjoys Trivia Tuesdays and listening to guest speakers – one fellow resident recently gave a talk on his book about birds and dinosaurs. She also often walks home from the Central Baptist Church on Pandora Avenue and regularly participates in exercise sessions at The Glenshiel.
Quiet, private suites in the award-winning 1908 heritage building range from sitting rooms to two-room suites, while modern upgrades and amenities ensure safe, comfortable living for the approximately 70 residents. Affordable monthly fees include three home-cooked meals with a choice of entrée daily plus snacks, housekeeping, and linen change, laundry facilities, basic cable and local phone calls, plus welcoming front desk staff available around the clock.
Learn more about independent living options for seniors through the different tabs on our website or contact Jackie Cox-Ziegler, Executive Director, at 250-383-4164. To keep updated with The Glenshiel, you can also follow us on our Facebook page.