Flashback: Winchester Meadows development rising in North Dundas

Nelson Zandbergen
Nation Valley News

WINCHESTER — This village’s latest collection of planned dream homes are beginning to emerge at Winchester Meadows’ nine-acre site off Ottawa Street.

Developer Prem Arora finds that prospective buyers are drawn especially to the semi-detached bungalow option and the allure of a price in the $300,000 range for those 1,000- to 1,100-square-foot models.

These units feature “a single-garage and one-floor design to meet the 55-plus market,” says the Ottawa resident, an otherwise familiar face to many North Dundas residents in his capacity as a part-time local pharmacist.

While their economical value appeals to locals, he says they seem to attract even more of those new to Winchester.

Residents will have the peace of mind of close proximity to Winchester District Memorial Hospital while enjoying the village’s combination of “small-town vibe” — exemplified by a selection of friendly, small shops, eateries and live theatre — and urban conveniences like a 24/7 Foodland grocery store and multiple clinics and pharmacies.

At least two high-speed internet providers operate in the new neighbourhood.

As many as 45 units are to be constructed on 26 fully serviced lots, depending on the final mix of semi-detached doubles and single detached dwellings erected over the next five years — the majority marketed and built by Arora’s chosen builder, Moderna Homes Design. As many as 19 could be singles, he says, with Moderna offering several handsome designs up to a bit more than 1,600 square feet in size.

Partners in the development with his optician wife, Poonam, they’re also building a small number of the homes at the property themselves.

Instead of a housing development, it was actually the idea of building a retirement home that initially drew Arora and his wife, Poonam, to check out Winchester. They stopped at the office of an enthusiastic North Dundas Planning Director Calvin Pol on their very first foray into the village, and Pol pointed them in the direction of a local realtor, which led to their purchase of the former Lancaster family property.

“He was very helpful, I would say, and encouraging,” says Arora, adding Pol and his officials “practically walked me through the whole process.”

The retirement home is still going ahead, he adds, along with a neighbouring high-density rental development of 30 to 40 units, again catering to the 55-and-up demographic.

He aims to wrap it all up in the next seven and a half years, and he suggests that Winchester Meadows just might become his and his wife’s personal address, too.

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. Look for the 2021 edition of Explore North Dundas, set for release later this spring.

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