Ask insiders from The Shores of Port Credit to highlight three features of the community, and they’re hard-pressed. “There are so many exciting things about it,” says Jodi Flanagan, a marketing consultant for the Shores, “you can’t point to just three.” We couldn’t agree more after taking a closer look at this new development overlooking Lakeshore in Port Credit. This is a model of state-of-the-art senior living, planning, building design, community creation, and care. We found it difficult to restrict our list of superlative aspects to the seven features listed below.
Port Credit is essentially a village nested in Mississauga, with The Shores an ideal addition to the area. “Planners really saw the nature of Port Credit lending itself to the retirement lifestyle,” says Flanagan. “You’re on the lake. It’s very community minded. There’re festivals here, a farmer’s market, in summer there’s a really popular Jazz festival here. It’s an active, connected community, and it lends itself so beautifully to those who are enjoying a retirement lifestyle.”
The construction of The Shores is mindfully integrated into its lakefront neighbourhood. Shadow studies in the planning stages ensured that it had minimal impact on neighbours’ sightlines. Its terraced design adds a new variation to the local architecture.
The Shores’ three different living options include townhomes, adult lifestyle apartments, and the retirement residence. The 161 suite full service retirement residence itself features three different living options that comprise a full continuum of care. Independent living’s convenient services include meals, housekeeping, and wellness programs. Seniors needing assistance will benefit from wellness staff stationed on the same floor, preparing individualized care plans. A memory care floor will be an ideal living space for seniors with dementia. “Residents can move into our lifestyle apartments,” says Flanagan, “and if the need arises, they can move to any level of care they need.”
“The focus, though, is on creating a lively community within the building,” says Flanagan. For starters, there’ll be not one but two swimming pools. “There’s not only a beautiful saltwater swimming pool but there's also a second pool in our wellness hub.” That’s just the beginning of a list of amenities in The Shores’ Wellness Hub. “You have access to physiotherapy, to exercise space, and also there’s a full gym ... there are things like yoga classes and pilates.” And the focus of wellness extends beyond physical needs to mental health.
“We know that brain wellness is a huge part of aging well, and the Saddington Studio will be a lifelong learning environment.” A display kitchen central to the studio will include cooking classes from a master chef, with demonstrations captured on TVs around the room so everyone in class has a good view. Other speakers and presenters will also be able to use the space to lead learning workshops that provoke discussion. “We want to facilitate great conversations that you’ll find stimulating, and that you’ll enjoy being a part of, no matter your age or perspective.”
The retirement community will feature a dining room with chef-prepared meals, of course, but in addition, you can also enjoy fare from the Harbourmaster Bistro Cafe and the Vineyards wine cellar and lounge. “The Bistro Cafe offers sandwiches and lighter fare, pasta dishes, dining that’s a little bit more casual,” says Flanagan. The Vineyards wine cellar is a surprisingly unique feature. Here, residents can have their own wine locker, and there’s a chef’s table there. “Our chef will be offering menu creations that are unique to the area.
”These dining options benefit from Verve’s core commitment to Living Loving Local™, an approach that includes farm-to-table food sourcing focused on local, seasonal selections in produce. “All of our staff plan what they can do with what's available seasonally,” Flanagan says. This means nothing frozen, canned or processed. “We focus on nutrition, and fresh, natural, and seasonal fare.”
True to cutting-edge standards in design, Memory Care at The Shores will offer households that are “intentionally designed to be self-contained,” says Flanagan. Each of these households will be limited to 15 residents, focusing on familiarity and comfort and minimizing confusion inherent with dementia. These will have consistent access to an outdoor terrace, and “everything is flooded with natural light, very important for people suffering from dementia,” she says. “There’s a rhythm that can get interrupted with these diseases, and natural light is absolutely a part of treatment as well as enjoying your day.” The floor will also feature continuous circulation paths, and design that diverts attention from elevators and exits, strategies that arrest elopement and frustration.
There will be some individual care for each resident, from staff trained specifically to support those with Alzheimer's and dementia, but they will also benefit from opportunities to take in entertainers and demonstrations, accompanied by a supporting staff member or family member. The key aspect will be the environment’s design, “just like any home,” says Flanagan. “There’s a living room, there’s a kitchen. It’s very familiar and calming to people, with no room for anything that will be agitating or upsetting.”
The building is heated and cooled by a geothermal energy system, “the size and magnitude of which is really impressive,” says Stephen Holland, general manager of The Shores. Engineers ran shafts up to 400 feet into the earth. “This allows us to have heated walkways and sidewalks, heated parking lots and driveways.” Holland is duly proud of the community’s minimal carbon footprint. Another aspect to heated walkways and sidewalks, of course, is safety.
“The safety of residents is significantly well-protected,” adds Holland. “They’ll have a minimal amount of snow and ice to deal with as they walk around the community. This extends to common areas outside, as well. It’s all taken care of.”
Another aspect of safety, one that’s very timely in the wake of the pandemic, is The Shores’ individualized air intake and outflow for every suite. Air is never circulated from elsewhere in the community, but it all comes directly from outside, climate-controlled, of course. The fact that this feature anticipates concerns in the wake of COVID-19 is telling. It’s the prescience you might expect from the leadership behind this project.
“All of the systems we have in place here,” say Holland, “from the sound system to the golf simulator, to the geothermal and so many things in between are things we haven’t done before so Verve is really stepping up its game here.”
One of many things that will be a daily marvel here will be the sweeping views of Lake Ontario, and the waterfront. “Some of the views that you’ll get on the higher floors, the lake views, views of both downtown Mississauga and the Toronto waterfront are absolutely stunning,” says Holland.
Looking ahead to the November opening
When you take a closer look at The Shores of Port Credit for yourself, we’re certain you’ll find your own highlights. “We’re excited to elevate standards,” says Holland, “not only anticipating but exceeding the next wave of expectations. We’re looking forward to meeting what that next wave of residents will be looking for in a community.”
Peter Campbell is one Port Credit senior who already has a deposit on a suite, moving there from just two kilometres away. “I’m looking forward to moving,” says Campbell, highlighting “the pleasant downtown area of Port Credit, with convenient shopping, restaurants, parklands, recreational facilities, and the Credit River parkland.” Paramount, for him and wife Margaret, though, “is the existence of the wellness services and Assisted Living and Memory Care households that would allow us to live in the same building with extended care as we age together in the same community that offers a high quality of life for senior citizens.”