Retire in Style

Royal Brock News

Royal Brock Retirement Living is an active and vibrant community in Brockville. We are proud of our activities, our commitment to senior living wellness initiatives, and our wonderful staff. Retirement residence living is engaging and fun. Scroll down for your monthly activity sheet, staff bios and other news we just have to share.

Meet Theresia Veenstra


I sat down with Theresia Veenstra this afternoon to talk about how she came to live at Royal Brock Retirement.

Theresia is originally from Holland.  She is poised, intelligent, and she is a very interesting woman to talk to.  She speaks with passion about how she and her husband Mike, also from Holland, built their business together.

Mike started his career in sales and gradually became a builder and then later a developer and built many of the apartment complexes here in Brockville.

Theresia and Mike had four children.  Three boys and a girl. Two of Theresia’s sons have followed in their father’s footsteps and own building companies.

Theresia met Mike not long after immigrating to Canada in 1953.  She remembers fondly meeting him in front of what is now the Fulford Museum.

They married and purchased a beautiful home.  It was built in 1947 and was owned by General Brownfield.  As Theresia talks about her beloved home, she smiles fondly, sharing memories with me.

“We renovated that entire house!”

She took such pride in decorating it, even putting all of the wallpaper up herself.

Theresia’s husband passed away in 2009, they still lived in that big beautiful home.  She purchased a condo and what she talks about most is the view.  She lived at The Boardwalk and talks about sitting in front of the windows seeing the entire St. Lawrence.  She loved watching the fireworks, the construction of the tunnel and watching the ships pass.

“I really didn’t think I would ever give up that view.   I absolutely loved it.  But you know what? I don’t miss it. I honestly don’t.  I had a beautiful view, but I was living there alone.  Here, I have so many friends.  We sit in the afternoons in front of these big beautiful windows and we talk”

What strikes me during our conversation is Theresia’s deep appreciation for architecture and design and also how similar she sounds to our owner Tom Gallivan.  Theresia tells me about meeting Tom for the first time, before the renovations were done, and hearing him talk about restoring Royal Brock.

“I really liked that.  Jack Dodge built a beautiful building.  It’s part of Brockville’s history.  Tom didn’t want to tear that down.  He truly wanted to make it beautiful again.  I’m very proud to live here. I looked everywhere else, and they were nice, but it just wasn’t the same.  I knew immediately I would be happy here. I have no regrets at all.  The staff are so friendly.  The food is very good and there is always something to do”

“Now, I don’t have to worry.  My kids don’t have to worry. In Europe, people retire and move into Retirement Homes straight away, so they are still young enough to enjoy it! I wanted to do the same.  No more cooking, or cleaning or grocery shopping.  I also like that I can still entertain friends here.  I’m having a large group of friends in this month for lunch and I don’t even have to cook!  I just get to relax and enjoy my beautiful home.”

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