Nation Valley News
LONG SAULT — Progress continues on the expansion and overhaul of the Long Sault Villa retirement home.
A substantial investment by the establishment’s proprietors has been remaking the place for a while now. That’s evident by the four-story structure (five including ground level) taking shape on the north side of County Rd. 2, where the soaring structure enjoys a view of the St. Lawrence River and — on a clear day — New York’s Adirondack Mountains.
Henri Lecours and Kim Marleau emphasize that all residents of Long Sault Villa will benefit from the expansion effectively doubling the room capacity from 33 to 66. That towering new addition is indeed connected to the original Villa, they point out, not a hived-off space. Both the original and new structures are tied together through a transition area that will feature a grand new entrance for the Villa. Residents of both the existing building and the addition will enjoy the same spacious, new living room with balcony overlooking the river. In fact, that impressive new common area will entirely replace the old living room, set to be displaced by an expanded dining room as part of extensive renovations occurring within the original building envelope.
The all-important dining experience will get a further boost with meals produced in revamped kitchen facilities, including a walk-in cooler slated to take up the spot Lecours currently occupies as his office. “Good food, good staff, and cleanliness” are the hallmarks of an attractive retirement home, he explains, while leading Nation Valley News on a recent tour of the project. Last updated in 1982, the kitchen will be outfitted with the latest technology and specialty stoves.
Lecours bought the operation in 1998 and has been planning the major expansion for the last couple of years. “We’re doing this to be more competitive,” he says of the upgraded amenities.
The project also means the entire building will benefit from a “highly efficient” combined heating and — for the first time — central air-conditioning system using a Hybrid Bulldog Heat-Pump manufactured by C.G.C. Group located in Toronto. Other improvements for the existing and new building structures include a wireless call bell system, sprinklers, a modern activity room, internet services and added security features.
The new wing features somewhat larger rooms than those in the original Villa, ranging from 300 to 383 square feet in size, and monthly rates are competitive, the owners say. They commissioned Tal-Co Building Innovations for the project, with completion expected in late fall or this winter. A grand opening event is planned.
Six of the most coveted new rooms on the south side have either ground-level walkouts or a balcony. The majority of the new rooms have great window views of the river, says Lecours. Several overlook a new courtyard.
The ongoing work will also see the replacement of exterior brick on the existing building as the whole place adopts a pleasant new colour scheme.
Not to be confused with a nursing home, this retirement home nonetheless caters to the specific needs of the aging demographic who live there. In addition to meals and snacks, residents receive housekeeping and laundry services, dispensing of medications, access to activities and ongoing medical assessments. “It’s a step,” observes Lecours of the decision to leave one’s house for a retirement home like Long Sault Villa. “There are more and more elderly people that need help.”