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Residents of the Grenadier in Toronto rave about the luxury and convenience.
From Tisdale to Toronto
Rhena Lamb has an ambition: to beat those pesky men at the snooker table. Rhena won the women's snooker trophy at The Grenadier Retirement Residence recently. "But a man beat me. Too bad!" she says with an impish grin.
The ladies' pool team, she says proudly, "is really coming along."
Rhena, who is coy about her age, came to The Grenadier, overlooking Toronto's magnificent High Park, all the way from Tisdale, in northeast Saskatchewan.
"My husband and I brought up four children there-but they all left for Toronto when they grew up," she says. After he died, Rhena decided it was time for her to go, too. "My three wonderful daughters flew down and brought me back," she says.
She loves the trendy shops on Bloor Street, where she now lives, and even went to Malaysia last summer. But she still has a Tisdale connection. Her son, a retired pilot, bought the family home there and renovated it, "so I can go back to my own home and sleep in the bed!" That's when they can drag her away from the pool table.
'I couldn't be in a better place than this'
No one is more surprised than Nick Skibinski to find himself still alive and enjoying life. "I was wounded in the war," says Nick, who was born in East Poland. "They didn't give me much chance." Then, in his 60s, he had major heart surgery; a year later, his joints inflamed, he had violent pain in his shoulders and even had to give up driving and his beloved fishing. "I didn't expect to make OAP (old age pension)," he says. A bachelor, he was living with his mother and brother, "and it was affecting me psychologically."
As a sort of last resort, at 66, he moved to The Grenadier retirement residence, in Toronto. That was 17 years ago. "Here I don't have any worries," says Nick, now 83. He went to China in 2000, "and I still gamble on the stock exchange. Some call it investing - I call it gambling!"
There was the small matter of bypass surgery last year, and his failing eyesight makes it difficult to follow those stock prices. "But I couldn't be in a better place than this," he says, before apologizing and leaving for an appointment with his physiotherapist.
Learn more about the Grenadier.