News

VISIT FERGUS AND ELORA OR PUT DOWN ROOTS

Jane Miller • cityparent.com • Feb. 06, 2017 – Just a 20-minute drive north of my home base in Guelph, the Town of Fergus and its close neighbour Elora are familiar territory.

Having visited this area of Centre Wellington Township many times to hike, swim, kayak, shop and dine, would it still be possible to experience it as a tourist? A recent media tour reinforced what I knew of these small towns and revealed even more reasons why it’s worth the drive from further away in the GTA. For some it’s worth the commute to the GTA as families choose to move to the area for all that it has to offer including fully serviced communities, relatively low home prices and amenities both commercial and natural.

A destination for all ages, the picturesque and powerful Grand River is one of the main attractions. It flows through the heart of both Fergus and Elora, providing water sports enthusiasts, fishers, photographers, nature lovers and tourists with opportunities for everything from kayaking, white water tubing to zip lining and fly fishing. Grand River Conservation offers Elora Gorge Park with incredible river views from trails and outlooks, Belwood Lake with boating, swimming and fishing and Elora Quarry, with a two-acre swimming hole carved out of limestone and surrounded by towering cliffs and parkland.

In an urban setting, the river that once powered mills, provides a natural backdrop and amazing views from riverside eateries, bridges, parks and even, in the case of Fergus, from the deck at the back of the public library. Built in 1911, it’s one of the 2,509 libraries built with funds from American tycoon Andrew Carnegie.

An extensive renovation in 2014 successfully and respectfully brought it into the current century. It’s definitely worth a quick visit while exploring downtown along St. Andrew Street. Head to the back of the second floor on the riverside to visit the deck complete with bright red Muskoka chairs. In the lounge at the opposite side, check out the set of antique chairs with carved dog heads on the arms that surround a matching communal table positioned near a gas fireplace.

For a much closer look at the river, descend the limestone cliffs down the stone stairs of Templin Gardens, the centerpiece of downtown Fergus. Built in the late 1920s by John C.Templin, owner of the local newspaper, the gardens feature a stone archway, stone walls, viewing platforms and lovely gardens. The stairs are closed during the winter but the magnificence of the structures can still be enjoyed.

A nearby footbridge provides another vantage point for river views and leads to Fergus Marketplace on the River, a historic building circa 1870, that once housed the Beatty Brothers foundry, machine shop and farm implement manufacturing business. Today it’s home to several retailers including Fraberts Fresh Food Market that features delicious local, freshly made food and food products.

The edible offerings at the Scottish Corner Shop on St. Andrews Street could also be deemed local. This community, with deep Scottish roots celebrates annually with the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games held this year Friday to Sunday, Aug. 11, 12, 13.

Another nod to the British Isles, Bentley House Fine Teas and Tea Room, is a St. Andrew’s Street highlight. Known for scrumptious scones, a staple of afternoon tea and served with Devon cream and homemade jams,the tea room is a loose leaf tea treasury featuring dozens of varieties, more than half of which are blended locally.  A varied eat-in and take-out menu includes homemade soups, freshly baked breads, meat pies and gourmet sandwiches.

As in a Scottish town, there’s a downtown pub or two. With pub grub and a bounty of brews on tap, The Brew House on the Grand gives the impression that it has always occupied the historic riverside building. Originally a tannery, Dr. Abraham Groves, for whom the local hospital is named, converted it into a flour mill and later, in 1890 shared the power generated by the river to provide electricity to his hospital, the lights along the main street and several businesses.

Serving the west end of the main street is the Fergusson Room Pub at the historic Breadalbane Inn where our group happily spent the night. An impressive example of Scottish architecture, the charming inn features 11 suites, a four-suite carriage house, the pub and the Scozia Italian Restaurant for fine dining. Breakfast in the conservatory is an added treat.

Just a short cab ride away, downtown Elora boasts quaint shops and eateries along the river and main street and a few pubs. With its stone walls and hip industrial inspired décor, complete with a mezanine, you’d never guess that Elora Brewing Company is located in the former Home Hardware store. Its craft beer is served along with a tasty menu of locally sourced food, live music on occasion and the Friday night that we were there, a DJ that had us up and dancing.

Scottish dancing music was found down the hill at the riverside Shepherd’s Inn. Patrons can expect an entertaining, toe tapping cèilidh as well as a variety of brews on tap.

There are more than a dozen restaurants from which to choose and a year from now a former pillar of Elora dining and hospitality, the Elora mill will reopen under new ownership. Pearle Hospitality, which oversaw the renovations of old mills in Cambridge and Ancaster, is doing the same in Elora, turning the mill into a 23-room boutique hotel, featuring a restaurant and a spa. The second phase of the five-year, $120 million project includescondominium residences, a retail “village” and additional hotel space on thesouth side of the river, linked by a glass-enclosed pedestrian bridge.

The Elora Mill & Spa will provide first-class accommodation for visitors including those who take in the annual Elora Festivalsummer concert series that celebrates classical, folk, pop and jazz music with Grammy and Juno award-nominated artists. Nearby, Guelph Lake is home to the three-day Hillside Festival that for 33 years has presented innovative music, children’s entertainment, food and more. This year’s festival runs July 14 to 16.

Meanwhile back in Fergus,the Grand Theatre as been a fixture on St. Andrew’s St. since 1928. Originally a movie theatre, today it’s a premier live performance venue offering a diverse line up of events. This fall, theatre manager and Fergus native Eric Goudie will produce an original offering for the stage to complement performances like “Alice in Wonderland”, “The Sting” and various tribute bands.

Fergus natives can also be found running the family businesses at Broderick’s Apparel for Men, Fashions for Women that started back in 1976 by Tom Broderick. It’s now owned and operated by A.J. and Karalee Broderick and continues to offer quality apparel that has kept customers coming back for decades. In true small town form, downtown merchants aren’t only friendly, they are likely to know the locals who shop there.

No secret to locals but certainly a surprise to me is Fergus Tandoori Grill, serving fine Indian cuisine. The food is fantastic but what will also bring me back is the staff. Our waiter was both helpful and hilarious, contributing to the welcoming atmosphere of this small town, downtown restaurant.

The small town vibe is evidence that despite residential growth, the foundation of the town is as solid as the limestone buildings that lend character to the downtown and established neighbourhoods. A national historic site, Wellington County Museum and Archives is the official harbinger of local history that is hinted at during a visit to Fergus and Elora.

Visitors that decide to become residents have a new development to consider. MacPherson’s Strathlea Fergus has a limited number of single homes available.

“With home prices at a record high in the GTA and surrounding areas, buyers are now willing to commute to a location that is less expensive. Phase Four is a great opportunity for first time home owners who haven’t been able to afford a home elsewhere, while the larger homes in previous phases are ideal for those who want to make a lateral move and pocket additional cash,” says Strathlea General Manager Lynn Pasquale.

“Not only can buyers get a gorgeous home in a superior, established community, they can also enjoy the benefits of living in a welcoming, tranquil town with easy access to the amenities of larger centres, all at an affordable price point.”

The new development is located on the north side of the street where two of my nieces live. They grew up just south of Fergus on my brother’s 10-acre rural property. Another of his brood also lives in Fergus with her husband and two teenage boys and the youngest of his kids is set to move to Fergus with his wife and two little boys this summer. Incidentally, almost everyone we met on our downtown Fergus tour knew one of my home-grown relatives. Now that’s a small town and one that I’m glad to have gotten to know better.

Photo credit: Zak Whitford – Templin Gardens river view

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FUN IN FERGUS: BY KEEPING MACPHERSON’S MODEL AT STRATHLEA FERGUS FAMILY FRIENDLY, EVERYONE WINS

National Post • Post Homes • Nov. 7, 2015 • by Lisa Van de Ven Inspired by the site’s rural setting, michelle Pasquale opted for a traditional look with a contemporary twist in the model home at Strathlea Fergus. “basically, I wanted to provide a welcoming environment and allow the potential purchaser to come in and really envision their own family in the setting,” says the interior designer with developer MACPHERSON builders. “I used a neutral palette, with some rich tones to provide the feel of luxury.” Looking to stay family-friendly in the 2,600-square-foot home, Pasquale opted for a dark, durable palette in the family room and featured vibrantly hued kids’ rooms upstairs. The kitchen has antique glazing and beadboard accents. “I wanted to bring in some of those country accents,” she says. Homes at Strathlea Fergus range from 1,303 to 3,214 square feet and start in the high $200,000s. The sales office is at Highway 6 and Side road 18 in Fergus, and opens monday, Thursday and Friday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., and weekends from noon to 5 p.m. Call 519-994-4800 or visit macphersonbuilders.com .

1. Dark wood is paired with glass tabletops in the family room’s matching end and coffee tables, purchased from Leon’s to complement the dark hardwood floors. While the end tables are round, the kidney-shaped coffee table “provides more interest,” Pasquale says, drawing one’s attention into the room.

2. “With the fireplace, I’ve stained the oak mantle a deep rich colour to match the hardwood floors,” the designer says. The fireplace’s tile inset, meanwhile, matches the tile she used in the kitchen, which is open to the family room. doing so “provides some continuity between the two rooms.”

3. Pasquale opted for this matching sofa, chair and loveseat set to create a comfortable anchor for the family room. The brown microfibre upholstery is accented with nail-head detailing for a traditional look, “with a hint of luxury and panache,” the designer says, while cream-coloured accent pillows add contrast.

4. “I didn’t want to use a traditional pink,” the designer says of her colour choice for this kid-friendly bedroom. “I thought I’d be a little more playful.” So she opted for purple walls, accenting them with fun and whimsical — but also removable — wall decals.

5. A crystal chandelier from Living Lighting and feather-lined lamps from HomeSense help create a bedroom setting designed specifically for a little girl. “I wanted to give it a feminine and enchanting vibe that any young girl would want to see in her princess room,” Pasquale says.

6. To give this child’s bedroom a personalized touch, Pasquale used a purple bed and white furniture with matching purple accents. The furniture has been paired with a multi-hued bedspread to create a pop of pattern to the already bright room, while a plush unicorn adds the final touch.

The Strathlea Fergus Sales Centre is located at Highway 6 and Sideroad 18. Hours are Monday, Thursday, Friday 1-7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 12-5 p.m. (closed Tuesday, Wednesday). Or call 519-994-4800 to learn more.

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OWN FOR LESS THAN RENT AT STRATHLEA IN FERGUS

Toronto Sun Homes • New Homes & Condos • May 10, 2015 – On Saturday, April 25, homebuyers flocked to the phase two grand opening at Strathlea, a new MacPherson Builders community that is set in the picturesque town of Fergus.

The event drew huge crowds of purchasers looking for affordable home ownership in the Guelph area, but in a country setting that is rich in small town charm.

While the smaller townhome models are sold out, people still enjoy exceptional value with a great selection of townhomes and 30’ singles, with prices starting from just $269,900.

“Our opening weekend was tremendously successful, with impressive sales, and our presentation centre continues to be very busy with homebuyers who don’t want to miss the opportunity to own at Strathlea,” says Russell Higgins, president of MacPherson Builders.

“A lot of our purchasers are first-time homebuyers, who, until now, haven’t been able to afford their own homes. We’re also seeing people looking to downsize, who can sell their family homes in Guelph or the GTA and put a fair bit of equity in their pockets. It’s very difficult to find these prices in the Guelph area, so people are getting incredible value at Strathlea.”

The phase two collection of homes features townhomes that range from 1,407 sq. ft. to 1,729 sq. ft. and 30’ single detached models that are available from 1,303 sq. ft. to 1,849 sq. ft.

Townhomes have 9 ft. main floor ceilings, which is a rare upgrade for townhomes, and master bedrooms come with ensuites.

A generous bonus package includes three stainless steel kitchen appliances and a white washer and dryer. The new release of 30’ singles offers the same outstanding finishes and includes $3,000 towards upgrades.

Purchasers also have the option of an appliance package or hardwood flooring in the great room.

“People can own at Strathlea for under $1,000 per month, which is cheaper than renting, and when they find out about the appliance package and all of the extras, they are thrilled at the value that they’re getting,” Higgins says. “We’ve had some people come in looking to buy a townhome, until they realize that for just $50 extra on their monthly mortgage, they can upgrade to a 30’ fully detached home.”

Homebuyers can also choose from a limited collection of phase one single detached homes that are available on 40’, 50’ and 55’ lots. The 50’ and 55’ homes come with a cosy gas fireplace in the great room, and there are walk-out and look-out elevations available. Phase one homes are priced from the mid $300s, with closings available this summer.

Construction is well underway at Strathlea, with families already moved in and enjoying all that the area has to offer. Located in north Fergus at Highway 6 and Sideroad 18, Strathlea is just 15 minutes from Guelph, which is ideal for those who commute.

Residents enjoy the wonderful attractions of Fergus, including the picturesque Grand River that runs through the town.

A huge draw is the community’s central park, which is easily accessible by all homeowners. The two-acre park features playground equipment, pathways, landscaping with trees and an open field area that is perfect for tossing a Frisbee.

Residents of Strathlea are a 20 minute stroll from the quaint shops and restaurants of Fergus’s downtown core. There is convenient big box shopping in the area, as well as excellent schools.

From rec facilities, hiking, golf and a host of community festivals and events, Fergus is a vibrant community with convenient amenities and services all close at hand.

Visit the Strathlea sales centre and model homes at 71 Goodall Court in Fergus. Hours are Mon., Thurs. and Fri. (1 p.m. – 7 p.m.); and weekends (12 – 5 p.m.). For more information, call 519-994-4800 or visit www.macphersonbuilders.com .

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MACPHERSON BUILDERS LAUNCHES PHASE II OF STRATHLEA FERGUS

Affordable collection of beautifully appointed homesWaterloo Region Record: Homes • Saturday, May 30, 2015 – MacPherson Builders has launched Phase Two of Strathlea, a master planned community of beautifully appointed single homes and a limited release of freehold townhomes that is centred around Strathlea Park, a new MacPherson-built accessible neighbourhood park.

A small, historic town with both rural charm and urban amenities, Fergus is situated on the magnificent Grand River, just over one hour to the northwest of the GTA. Boasting a population of over 19,000, it is the largest urban centre within the Township of Centre Wellington and is located only five minutes down the road from Elora and is an easy drive to both Guelph and the Waterloo Region.

“It’s a very exciting time at Strathlea. Our first phase homes are closing, our park is open and the rubberized surface on the new Strathlea Park has just been installed and the play equipment is already in place. The highly anticipated launch of Phase Two had a strong turnout and was a huge success. People lined up before the Sales Office opened and homes were quickly snapped up,” says Strathlea General Manager Lynn Pasquale. “Word is definitely getting around. Strathlea has everything homeowners are looking for – beautiful homes in a tranquil, quaint setting with easy access to the amenities of larger centres, all at a very affordable price point.”

Phase Two of Strathlea Fergus consists of 43 homes – 21 townhomes on 20’ lots and 22 single detached homes on 30’ lots. The 3-bedroom, 11⁄2- to 21⁄2- bathroom townhomes range in size from 1,163 to 1,729 square feet, come in four floor plans and are priced in the high $200’s. The detached homes on 30’ lots also come in 4 designs and feature 3 bedrooms and 21⁄2 bathrooms and range in size from 1,303 to 1,849 square feet [For most current pricing, please contact the sales office.] Projected closing dates for the townhomes are Fall of 2016, while the 30’ homes are expected to close in November/December of 2016. Forty and 50-foot homes in Phase One are available for occupancy this fall.

The homes feature wide-open interiors designed for the way families live today. Highlights include 9-foot ceilings or greater on main level; great rooms; ceramic floor tile in front vestibule, kitchen, powder room, main and master bathrooms; luxurious 40 oz. plush broadloom or Berber carpet in all finished living areas and hallways except those covered by tile and including interior stair treads from main floor to second floor; 4” Colonial baseboards; natural finish oak railings, stringers and pickets in finished areas; spacious kitchens with your choice of designer cabinetry and double stainless steel sinks; oversized mirrors and choice of designer vanities in bathrooms; energy efficient water saver taps, showers and toilet tanks; forced air, high efficiency gas furnace; and heat recovery system.

Townhomes come with an allvinyl exterior cladding with siding running in either vertical or horizontal directions. Detached homes feature three distinct elevation types – all vinyl, all brick, or combination stone/vinyl. Other features include maintenance-free white thermopane Low E and Argon casement windows on all elevations, with grilles, excluding basement windows and quality maintenance-free vinyl sliding patio doors; garages with premiumquality sectional roll-up doors, and fully sodded lots.

While these homes already offer tremendous value, the builder is currently offering buyers of a townhome a free appliance package which includes a refrigerator, stove, dishwasher (stainless) and a washer and dryer (white). Those purchasing townhomes will also get free paved driveways, while 30’ lot homebuyers have the option of choosing the appliance package or one room of hardwood flooring and will receive $3,000 of “Upgrade Dollars” to be used at MacPherson’s Décor Centre. In addition, purchasers have access to the services of a professional interior designer at no extra charge to assist with interior colour choices and the selection of upgrades at the Décor Centre.

“Fergus is a vibrant, welcoming community that offers residents a tremendous lifestyle,” adds Pasquale. “Its historic downtown area has many charming shops and restaurants and there is always lots going on. People can enjoy active pursuits such as walking, cycling, hiking and exploring the Gorge, as well as volleyball, hockey and soccer, in addition to a variety of programs for all ages. There is also a lot of community spirit and pride here, and special events such as the Fergus Highland Games and Scottish Festival, the Fergus Fall Fair, and the Elora-Fergus Studio Tour are very popular with both residents and visitors.”

Sales Centre Details

To learn more about Strathlea Fergus, visit their two fully furnished model homes, one of which is currently serving as their Sales Centre, located at Highway 6 and Sideroad 18. Hours are Monday, Thursday, Friday 1-7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 12-5 p.m. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday. For additional details, call 519-994- 4800 or go to www.macphersonbuilders.com

About MacPherson Builders 

Since constructing its first three townhomes on MacPherson Avenue in 1994, MacPherson Builders has grown into the premier builder and developer of low-rise residential communities in small town Ontario. Starting with a 27-lot subdivision in Fergus and a 43-lot estate community in Erin, MacPherson has grown to become a developer and builder of master-planned communities of up to 500 homes.

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Post Homes – For Sale

National Post: Post Homes • May 30, 2015 – Price range: For most current pricing, please contact the sales office. Location: Fergus

SOCIAL LIVING

Strathlea is a master-planned low-rise community located in the town of Fergus, north of Guelph. The second phase is now being released for sale, featuring 43 single-family homes and 21 townhouses, with exteriors of vinyl, brick and stone.

Builder/developer MacPherson Builders

Building The site features two-storey detached homes on 30-foot lots, as well as townhouses on 20-foot lots.

Suites Three-bedroom designs are available.

Size Townhouses range from 1,163 to 1,729 square feet, and detached homes range from 1,303 to 1,849 square feet.

Occupancy Starting in Fall 2016

Features Homes will have nine-foot ceilings on the main level, great rooms, ceramic tile and 40-ounce broadloom or Berber carpet flooring, and four-inch Colonial baseboards.

Amenities The site features the new Strathlea Park.

Standouts The project is located close to Fergus amenities, including hiking and cycling trails, parks, recreational facilities and community events.

Sales office Located at Highway 6 and Sideroad 18, Fergus. Open Monday, Thursday and Friday from 1 to 7p.m., and weekends from noon to 5 p.m. Call 519-994-4800 or visit macphersonbuilders.com.

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FERGUS-ELORA NEWS EXPRESS: STRATHLEA FERGUS – MACPHERSON BUILDERS COMPLETES LAND DONATION, EQUIPMENT INSTALLATION FOR STRATHLEA PARK

Accessible playground a model of public-private collaboration.

In the spring, children in Fergus will have a great new place to play thanks to a joint venture between MacPherson Builders and the Township of Centre Wellington. The builder has begun construction of phase one of Strathlea, a master-planned community of beautifully appointed homes that will be centered around Strathlea Community Park, Centre Wellington’s newest accessible playground.

Consistent with their long-term commitment to the community, Strathlea Park has been made possible through the close collaboration between MacPherson Builders, which donated the two-acre park site to the municipality and provided the necessary landscaping, servicing and $50,000 toward the purchase of playground equipment and the township, which is covering the remaining equipment costs.

“When MacPherson Builders contacted us and said they’d be interested in doing something above and beyond a regular playground, we were able to move it to the standard of making it totally accessible,” said Centre Wellington managing director of community services Brian Detzler. “It’s a really good example of how the public and private sector can come together to enhance the final product. Without MacPherson Builders’ involvement, we certainly wouldn’t have had the capital dollars to install an accessible play structure. Their assistance has been fantastic and means that we have a park that will be a real benefit to the community.”

Strathlea Community Park is the fourth accessible playground in Centre Wellington. The initiative to establish fully accessible play structures has come from the community and a local group called Power of Play. The park was supplied by PlayPower Canada and features colourful playground equipment with a combination of traditional and contemporary play areas for children ages 18 months to 12 years. The playground boasts a large climber with overhead elements and a net for children five to 12 years of age, while younger children under the age of five can enjoy a small playhouse that inspires imaginative play and a two-seater bumble bee spring toy that allows the child and caregiver to play together.

In addition, equipment and surfacing that would be barriers for children with challenges have been eliminated, allowing them to utilize pieces of park equipment with minimal assistance. Playground features include a transfer station to allow access to the main play structure and a special swing seat, and children with restricted mobility can enjoy ground level play activities such as a storefront play counter, a free-standing music station and a game table featuring a checkerboard. The playground will also include a rubberized surface to make the park as safe as possible. The playground equipment was fully installed in the fall and the play surface will be added by Ure-tech Surfaces Inc. as soon as the frost is out of the ground, meaning the beautiful new park will be fully operational this spring.

“We wanted Strathlea Community Park to be first class in terms of the quality of workmanship… not unlike the surrounding homes,” said MacPherson Builders president Russell Higgins. “And we wanted it to be accessible and safe for all children including those with visual, cognitive, physical or other special needs.”

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THE TORONTO SUN – STRONG ECONOMIC GROWTH ADDS TO THE APPEAL OF THIS CHARMING, HISTORICAL TOWN

by Martin SlofStra, Editor
New Homes and Condos

November 16, 2014 FERGUS, Ont. — It’s a typical Friday night in downtown Fergus and local folks have gathered at the Fergusson Room Pub located in the Breadalbane Inn.It’s time for a pre-dinner drink, then off to a favourite restaurant, maybe a stroll downtown or taking in a show at the local theatre. Local pride is on display and on this night, “quality of life” is the topic of our conversation.Fergus residents Frank and Sarah-Jane, who I have just met after a day-long tour of the Fergus/Elora area, are giving me the inside scoop over a beer and a glass of wine.

The couple, who grew up in Brampton, has lived here for 20 years now and have no regrets.

“Fergus offers us everything we could want in shopping and fun, and if we need to go into the city, Mississauga is only one hour away,” says Frank.

Local builders and developers are betting that there will be more couples like Frank and Sarah-Jane, just aching to escape the stresses of the big city and looking for a slower pace of life.

A small, historical town with both rural charm and urban amenities, Fergus is situated on the Grand River, about one hour to the northwest of the GTA. Boasting a population of over 19,000, it is the largest town within the Township of Centre Wellington and is located five minutes down the road from Elora, a favourite tourist destination. It is an easy drive to both Guelph and Waterloo.

Fergus, however, is about to go through some big changes. A huge effort is now underway to upgrade the town’s facilities, many of its characteristic mills are carefully being restored, and meanwhile, the population is expected to swell to 40,000 in the next 10 to 15 years.

“We have all of the stuff that city people want—restaurants, live theatre, festivals, hiking trails and recreational areas — but without the hassles,” says Patricia Rutter, economic development officer for the Township of Centre Wellington. “And there is always lots to do.”

Special events such as the Fergus Highland Games and Scottish Festival, the Fergus Fall Fair, and the Elora-Fergus Studio Tour are very popular with both residents and visitors.

But fun and games are only part of the story. Fergus has a strong local economy with jobs being created by both Fortune 500 companies (cable supplier Nexans recently announced a $15 million expansion) and a base of local entrepreneurs.

Fergus is also friendly to new development. Under a community improvement plan initiated by the town, Rutter invites builders to come visit with them first.

“We will do a pre-consultation, helping them to understand the development process and explaining everything that is involved with development charges and building permits,” says Rutter.

Already on board is MacPherson Builders which recently launched Phase One of its Strathlea Fergus project.

“Construction of the homes and the park is now underway, with the park open for use and the homes ready for occupancy in the spring of next year,” says Strathlea spokesperson Lynn Pasquale.

Phase One will consist of 68 bungalow, raised bungalow and two-storey designs with attached garages on 30’, 40’, 50’ and 55’ lots. The 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes range in size from 1,300 to 3,200 square feet with prices starting in the $300,000s. Homes with 30’ frontages are already sold out.

“Fergus is a vibrant, welcoming community that offers residents a tremendous lifestyle,” says Pasquale adding that the town appeals as much to retiring empty nesters as to young families. For them, MacPherson Builders has dedicated two acres of land for the park, as well as donating $50,000 of playground equipment.

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ON SITE: SPACE AND AFFORDABILITY PUSH BUILDER TO FERGUS

By Sydnia Yu. Special to The Globe and Mail. October 23, 2014 – In southwestern Ontario, the number of sites for new low-rise communities are shrinking, as are those priced affordability, so MacPherson Builders sought out a small town to create a large master-planned community just an hour northwest of the GTA.

“We view this as a real opportunity for people to buy because they can’t in other communities, like Guelph 15 minutes away and Kitchener-Waterloo about 20 to 25 minutes way. You can’t really find a large selection – or much of a selection at all – of product in the 30, 40 and 50-foot lot range, they’ve just run out of land,” says president Russell Higgins.

“On our single-family product, if you compare the same square footages on the same lots, there’s a $75,000 to $100,000 price differential between Fergus and Guelph. The Fergus houses are just that much less expensive, all due to land value.”

“This Fergus [site] was a natural fit for us because we’d been there already and enjoyed the experience 20 years earlier,” says Mr. Higgins, who created a 27-lot infill project with partner Irving Teper shortly after being introduced by their Toronto barber.

“It’s a real quaint old Ontario town: it’s got a beautiful gorge and river running through the centre of it with trails, and there’s a beautiful old downtown with lots of stone buildings.”

The town hosts everything from shops and restaurants to scenic waterfalls, parks and farmland, plus annual festivities, such as the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games.

“Not only is it a beautiful town, but it’s also in fairly close proximity to large urban centres,” Mr. Higgins adds.

With services now on site, construction has begun on phase one, which will consist of a park and play structure surrounded by bungalows and two-storey models with attached garages.

“It will have a small-town Ontario feel,” Mr. Higgins says. “We never build double-width garages you sometimes see in more urban sites in the GTA. Instead we’ll have either a single garage or two single garages side by side, and porches are always a big component of the homes we build.”

Two model homes – the Belmont and Paisley – represent the collection of two to four-bedroom plans, which were all named in reference to the town’s Scottish heritage.

Homes will generally offer eat-in kitchens at the rear, family rooms and separate study and dining areas in larger homes, as well as main floor laundry rooms and master bedrooms with private bathrooms and walk-in closets.

“We follow a classic formula with the layout of the houses and rooms,” Mr. Higgins explains.

Exteriors will feature all vinyl, all brick or a combination of stone and vinyl facades, while interiors will bear nine-foot ceilings on the main level; ceramic tile floors and 40-ounce broadloom or berber carpeting; and custom kitchen cabinetry, islands and breakfast bars in some cases.

Additional upgrades will be offered according to lot size.

Occupancy begins summer 2015.

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