The Gardens of Haliburton opened a business office Aug. 1 to begin filling spaces for its 70-unit retirement residence due for completion early next year.

The Highland Street office aims to provide a space for people to ask questions and figure out if the Haliburton facility will work for them, according to company partner and marketing head Phil McKenzie.

The office will only be in place until the facility opens in May 2021 but features floor plans and a display of room configurations for people to choose from.

“It’s a decision that you need to research and ask questions about,” McKenzie said. “It’s more than just a real-estate decision. You really want to have a spot where people can drop in and talk about it.

“This is not an impulse buy. This is something you typically have a few conversations before people decide this is right for them,” he added.

McKenzie said the new building seeks to fill a need for something between regular apartments and long-term care for senior living. The all-inclusive facility will include meals, housekeeping and recreation. Demand is high – McKenzie said they usually expect it to take a year-and-a-half to fill such a building, but he does not think it will take that long in Haliburton County.

“Certainly, with the response we’ve gotten, it looks like it will be significantly less time than that,” he said.

With the office opening came confirmation of the price point for rooms. They will range from $2,995-$5,000 per month, based on room size, balcony inclusion and whether it faces Head Lake. McKenzie said the prices are good value in the retirement residence world and justified by the number of services on offer. He added the prices are needed to cover the building cost and the labour, with approximately 50 employees expected.

“Everybody that’s in the health and wellness department, everybody that’s in the food and beverage, activities, maintenance,” McKenzie said, adding about 60 per cent of a person’s room cost goes toward funding labour.

The model is also open to provide more care as people’s needs may increase, allowing seniors to age in place. McKenzie said the model does not work for everyone, but they want to work with people to give them confidence about whether it will work for them.

“What we really want is for them to be able to come here and determine with some certainty whether we can be the solution,” he said.

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