Hometown snapshots: Sylvie Bouchard discovered arts community

Artist Sylvie Bouchard knew she had found a home when she attended a vernissage for The Houses of Vankleek Hill, an exhibition at the Arbor Gallery in 2018. “I talked to a lot of people, many of whom were artists themselves,” she recalls. “I had found an artistic community.”

Originally from Montreal, Sylvie and her husband Martin were looking for a house here that was geographically central for Martin who was then working in Ottawa, and their friends, children and grandchildren who were in Montreal.

The couple loved the old Victorian houses but felt most of them were too big for them. “I wanted one of the smaller, one-and-half-storey houses but none were for sale at the time, ” she adds. The following year, their charming cottage at the corner of Elizabeth Street and Main Street became available and they moved here in February 2019.

A former life coach and author, Sylvie says,” To really appreciate the charm and uniqueness of Vankleek Hill, you have to walk the streets.”


Bonnie Laing

Bonnie Laing is the author of four produced plays, the novel, River Reel, and the short story collection Marble Season. Her short fiction has been published in many Canadian literary magazines.Numerous humorous and non-fiction articles have been published in the Globe & Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Life and Toronto Star. She has also published two local histories and is the former Coordinator of the Creative Writing Program at Ryerson University.

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