Although they both moved away from their hometown for a short time, eventually reuniting in Ottawa, Vankleek Hill will always be home to Chace Albright and Kerri Mode.

“The city was great for jobs and there’s lots to do, but after we had the kids we decided that driving all across the city was not for us,” says Kerri, who along with her husband currently works in the Ottawa area. “It was just as far to drive from a different part of the city to our offices as it was to drive from Vankleek Hill.

“We decided to put down our roots here, where the kids could grow up with their cousins and where we still had friends and family.”

Kerri got to know Vankleek Hill a little more when she moved back, buying the Jade Garden flower shop, where her smiling face could be found behind the counter up until she sold the business two years ago.

While Kerri was speaking to The Review, husband Chace was out in the front yard on a cold December evening watering the rink he built for the couple’s three children, ages 6, 9 and 11. Living in the middle of town, they have many neighbors who are looking forward to seeing kids playing on the rink.

“While we were putting up the rink, so many people have come up to us to say ‘oh, that’s so great – we can’t wait to watch the kids’,” says Kerri, who notes that people are craving the kind of entertainment that can be found throughout the village year-round in a normal, non-pandemic year.

“There are always a lot of activities going on here, whether it’s the fair, or the food festival, or kids’ sports,” Kerri says, adding Vankleek is a perfect location for the couple’s young family. “Everything we need is here and if there is anything else we need we can just drive an hour to Montreal or Ottawa.”