WELLINGTON: If you were in Wellington on March 14, you could have been mistaken with the thought that there was a parade going through the small community on Hwy 2.
Instead, it was the hauling of the former Paquin home from its former location at 4203 Hwy 2 in Wellington to its new home near the Wellington United Church. Phil Leil Housing and Building Movers based out of Truro Heights were the movers.
It was moved, slowly and methodically using both lanes of the road forcing a semi-closure of sorts, as it made its way along the road. It moved past the Wellington Bakery with many families out watching at the mammoth object that bunted out over properties and ditches along the way.
It crept slowly along the road, sometimes touching tree branches that stretched out over the road and were in its path, before making the turn onto Sunnylea Road and then onward on Church Street before coming to its final stop, the home of David and Shannon Bowering.
The Bowering’s were the lucky recipients from a list of close to 1,500 who had sent messages to Norris Boudreau, a former Georges P. Vanier Junior High School teacher, after he posted the ad for the home.
Boudreau posted an ad for the “FREE” home on Facebook Marketplace, with the only condition that person who would be selected had to pay for it to be moved; move it within five or six weeks; have property for it to go too; and were local as it was something that obviously couldn’t be hauled too far. The ad had many shares, and many people who thought it was a great gesture. However, there were many skeptics thinking it was a scam and not legit.
Well, it was very much real.
From the many emails—which had to include some info as to a story on why the people should be chosen for the house; location, etc.—Boudreau whittled it to 40 or so names, before falling on the Bowering’s as the recipient.
“By the end of it there were seven or eight people who could do it within the time span of six to eight weeks,” he said. “It would have been a bigger job if it went further.
“I met Dave and Shannon. It was clear to me early in the process it would be a great fit for them, and a big change in their life going from what they currently live in now to having the house.”
VIDEO OF THE MOVE. Edited by: Dagley Media
The house was one of three structures that will be reused as the garden house and shed that were on the property, formerly owned by the Paquin family. For Boudreau, that was an aim he had as that means the material would be staying out of our landfills and being put to use by someone else.
“Everything on the property was given away. The garage went. The green house went. The house went,” said Boudreau. “None of it ended up in a landfill, keeping the families happy.
“The Paquin family are extremely happy someone will get to live in the house they lived in since 1982.”
In order to do the move, there had to be permit approval from many entities, such as the province, with protocols to follow, and according to Boudreau all of them were.
Traffic Compliance officers from the province led the procession and blocked traffic that approached them as they moved along the road and followed behind keeping traffic that was coming from the Wellington fire hallway out of the way. Hwy 2 was fully reopened at about 9:36 a.m., when the house officially cleared off Hwy 2 and was on Sunylea.
As it neared Church Street, where friends and neighbours of the Bowering’s had converged, there was plenty of photos and video taken as it moved its way to make the right-hand turn onto and across the train tracks. People continued to walk ahead of it and behind it as it made its way to its final destination.
For Boudreau one of the big things out of the whole nine week or so journey was seeing how the community came together and how neighbours helped each other make this happen.
“What was so important was I told the owners I’d do my best to find someone to take the home and it wouldn’t get destroyed,” he said. “It’s a win-win for everyone. We’re so happy for David and Shannon.
“It was a great opportunity for someone to get a better step in life.”
He did give a hint of what will be done to the property. It will be subdivided in the future, with him and his partner Joe taking 70 feet of it.
“There will be a new home built on the lot,” said Boudreau. “A few other projects will also be constructed there with taste and beauty in mind.”