PEOPLE // Grey & Bruce // Specialists in Custom Solutions


Winter 2018 // Local professionals share their favourite holiday traditions.

OUR HOMES Grey & Bruce Counties Holiday/Winter 2018/19
A version of this article originally appeared in the Holiday/Winter 2018/19 issue of  OUR HOMES Grey & Bruce Counties, p.66. Find local businesses in our Grey Bruce directory.
Indoors and out, these professionals from in and around Grey and Bruce counties can help find a solution for your specific issue, unique project or situation.
Dennison Homes / Bruce County Custom Cabinets
Tell us about your approach to building science: We have always said the most environmentally-friendly house is the one that will last the longest so we try to pick quality materials, provide multiple layers of protection, spend money in the most cost effective areas and create interior and exterior designs that stand the test of time.
What types of projects are you currently working on? Right now we are doing some custom closets, multiple kitchen remodels, a full-house renovation, a few custom homes and a three-plex townhouse project. It has never been busier but we have a great team of carpenters, designers and project managers working on them all.
What holiday tradition are you looking forward to the most? As a small business owner with a young family it can be difficult to get away from work, so we always shut down between Christmas and the New Year to recharge and relax (as much as we can with four young kids!) and get some quality family time.

Tell us about your company: After 27 years manufacturing in Belgium, we started our company in Williamsford in 2002. Our main product is stabling for dairy and beef animals but we also manufacture picnic table frames and park benches, bike racks, trail and road gates as well as custom railings and fencing.
What types of projects are you working on? We are always open to new projects our customers bring to us. We are currently very busy with stabling because farmers want to have their new facilities up to date for winter. We are always developing product designs such as picnic tables completely fabricated out of aluminum as well as tables that allow wheelchair accessibility for campgrounds and public places.
What holiday tradition are you looking forward to the most? We look forward to Easter the most because it means that winter is almost gone and spring is in sight. Hunting for Easter eggs in the garden with our grand-child makes us so happy; it’s definitely the most exciting holiday for our family.

Tell us about your process and how you give new life to wood: We love restoring wood homes and cottages. Wood continuously expands and contracts during the changing seasons, and it is important to choose the right products for the job. We prepare the wood by blasting as it allows the stain to properly penetrate the wood, which makes the stain durable and long lasting.
What other services/products do you offer? We offer exterior and interior blasting services, using media such as dry ice, baking soda, crushed glass and crushed garnet, as well as power washing services. We also offer chinking, caulking and rot repair as required. In-store colour matching and brush-outs allow you to see exactly what your stain will look like.
What holiday tradition are you most looking forward to this year? Our favourite part of the holiday season is spending time with family. The aroma of fresh holiday baking and the excitement on the faces of our grandchildren is something we deeply cherish.

Tell us about your company: Nathan’s dad Marshall started this business by sweeping his neighbours’ chimneys back in the 1970s. In September 2013, we took the baton, and have been slowly renovating and adding new ideas to make it our own. In August 2018, we officially changed our name to Heritage Fire Company (from Stove Parlour). We are embracing our family heritage and the business values Marshall established, but also moving forward to embrace the future.
Any new products you are excited about? We are most excited about the new vision of our brands. Our products are clean and stylish, and have more choices than ever before. Check out the Renaissance Rumford and Regency City Line of fireplaces – they’re gorgeous.
Is there a holiday tradition that you are most looking forward to? Our whole team loves being home with our families. We close over the Christmas break for a much-needed rest after our busiest season and we truly appreciate our customers’ support in this. We think we really have something special here and we want to preserve it!

Why did you decide to pursue a career in real estate? I have always had a passion for homes and a love of people. Putting the two together is an incredible process – so helping buyers and sellers to do this has been amazing.
Have you noticed any trends in the real estate market? Market trends are always changing. One of the trends that seems to be happening now is baby boomers selling in favour of the long-term rental so they can bank some extra money and have less yard work and home maintenance to deal with. The other trend would be the influx of out-of-town buyers looking towards retirement. The ability for people to work from home has also benefitted our area.
What holiday tradition are you looking forward to the most? I love any holiday where I can be together with my family and friends. I think Thanksgiving and Christmas are probably the biggest. I always look forward to my girls coming home and having friends and family for dinner. The laughter, the noise – something magical happens. I absolutely love it.

Tell us about the history of your company: Paisley Architectural Millwork Ltd. was started by my father Robert Johnston in 1978. He taught himself how to build wood windows, doors and trim using traditional joinery methods. Since then, the business has taken on many heritage projects including the Roundhouse and Humber College in Toronto.
What types of projects are you working on? We are currently working on a few different jobs. We are producing windows for a heritage home in Cambridge, an entrance set (front door) for a heritage home outside of Paisley, and we are about to start making window sash for Steam Whistle Brewery in Toronto.
What holiday tradition are you looking forward to the most? I look forward to spending some time relaxing with family. Each year, my boys and I select and cut an 18-foot Christmas tree from our property. We also enjoy watching holiday movies together, our favorites being Christmas Vacation and Elf.

Tell us about your company: The Water Store has been correcting problem water for the last 16 years. On the premises, we have eight easy-to-use u-fill taps that offer reverse osmosis water as well as alkaline water. Over the years, we have expanded from selling water and water treatment to hot tubs, Traeger wood pellet grills and the latest addition is a large selection of K-cups.
What is the most common water problem you see in Grey & Bruce? We have dealt with a large array of problem water throughout Grey and Bruce, which include hardness, iron, sulfur, tannins, bacteria, chlorine and even salt. We go to people’s homes to test water or customers bring us a sample and we can test it in store. Then we work to find a suitable solution.
What holiday tradition are you most looking forward to this year? We have a few holiday traditions with our four children that we enjoy but the most important to us is our time together Christmas morning. We have a great time opening gifts (their mom still spoils them), then we have eggs Benedict for brunch, go for a walk and simply enjoy spending the day together.