Flashback: Wylie Creek Estates planted by a ‘farmer at heart’

Wylie Estates developer Ian Drew. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

Nelson Zandbergen
Nation Valley News

HALLVILLE — A self-confessed “farmer at heart,” Ian Drew still plants about 200 acres of crops in the Osgoode countryside each year.

But the former dairyman is really a grower of subdivisions, finding fertile opportunity for development just over the municipal border in the Township of North Dundas.

This spring, the local entrepreneur intends to break ground on the latest endeavour for Ian Drew Enterprises Ltd.

Located on the east side of Reids Mills Rd. (County Rd. 1) in Hallville, Wylie Creek Estates will feature 26 homes — each worth around $500,000 — on one-acre lots.

“We’ll probably set a minimum standard of 1,400 square feet per home, with a two-car garage and at least 75 percent brick or stone on the front,” says Drew, seated in a pickup truck and glancing at the snow-covered property on a February day.

“We’ve already done a little bit of site prep, but construction is pretty much a go in May as soon as half-load restrictions come off the roads,” he says of the project, which he expects will take three years to complete.

Still settling on a builder — or builders — to erect and market the houses, the developer himself looks forward to handling excavation duties at the site, allowing him to keep a close eye on the project’s overall progress. Now in his 50s and an experienced carpenter in his own right, a smiling Drew freely admits to preferring the relative comfort of a bulldozer or excavator cab over swinging a hammer anymore.

Hallville has a lot to offer to potential homebuyers including its “small-town feel, and the nice general store,” he observes, lauding the “terrific” Loughlin’s Country Store as the village’s “centrepiece.”

He also cites the community’s close proximity to both Winchester and Kemptville, as well as its easy access to Ottawa via Stagecoach Rd. to the north. In another drawing card for residents of Wylie Creek Estates — named after the first landowner registered on title in the 1800s — the township is planning a nearby park opposite the intersection of St. John Street.

It represents the third North Dundas subdivision in 25 years for Drew, who has followed in the footsteps of his late father, who built a number of Osgoode-area subdivisions in the 1970s and 1980s while operating the family’s five-generation dairy farm.

From infrastructure improvements to new assessment, development brings a myriad of benefits to the township, notes the businessman, who estimates his Wylie Creek investment to date at about $500,000 and five years of time.

And as much as they draw newcomers to the community, he suggests such projects also accommodate expanding local families.

Interested parties may contact Drew about Wylie Creek Estates at 613-223-8320.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the township’s 2020 Explore North Dundas Spring/Summer Resource Guide. The involved interview took place in February 2020.

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