In your own backyard
To some extent most of us take our own town or city for granted. Parisians are blasé about the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, New Yorkers yawn at the Empire State Building and Times Square, and many Montrealers have never visited the Botanical Gardens and only bother going to the Jazz Festival, the TamTams or the Francofolies when they have visitors in town. No matter how interesting or beautiful the place we live is, being there and seeing it day after day can blind us to things that people from away might find remarkable.
Not just for tourists
Residents of the Town of Parrsboro know the surrounding landscape is gorgeous because all the brochures, websites and tourists say so but knowing is not the same as feeling. If you live in Parrsboro and haven’t walked in a forest or on a beach lately, turn off the telly, pull on those boots and go reacquaint yourself with the beauty that surrounds you!
And if you don’t feel like tromping on a beach or through a wood, just go for a stroll through the town itself and take a good look at the homes your neighbours (and maybe you) live in. Stroll along Main Street and check out the Town Hall, the Manning Block, and (of course!), the former Customs House, Armoury and Post Office.
Once spring returns, it is also a great idea to visit (or revisit!) the Ottawa House. Built around 1773, the building is best known as the summer home of Sir Charles Tupper, Canada’s sixth Prime Minister. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of historically-minded townsfolk, the building is now home to the Ottawa House By-The-Sea Museum which contains an assemblage of over 450 artifacts which are on display in an open and friendly environment. Stepping through the rooms of this historic building takes you from time period to time period, from walking the decks of a schooner to entering the summer boudoir of Mrs Tupper.
From the huge windows overlooking the front verandah you can also enjoy the magnificence of the Minas Basin with its daily 40 foot tides – or better yet, when you finish touring the house, walk down to the beach(es) which (in our opinion) are among the nicest in the Fundy region.
Time for a change?
For such a small place, Parrsboro has a shockingly large number of heritage buildings. They are private homes, churches, Bed & Breakfasts, commercial and public buildings. There are so many buildings of historical and/or architectural significance that in 1989, to celebrate 100 years of incorporation as a Town, the Centennial Committee published a 407 page book, Heritage Homes and History of Parrsboro, which gives a pictorial and historical tour of many of the older homes. Though initially amazed that such a small town could have enough significant buildings to create such a book, on our walks about town we have since noticed many remarkable buildings that are not even in the book!
If you don’t already live in Parrsboro, perhaps you should consider a change. These beautiful buildings do sometimes come on the market and are often more affordable than you might think.
So why not sell that Toronto or Vancouver condo and bank the difference so you can afford to devote more time to your passions.
Come settle by the sea and join Parrsboro’s growing community of artists and writers.