Volume 12 Week 5

Wednesday, Jan. 16


Posted Jan. 10

Posted Jan. 9

Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney





(Posted 1:30 p.m., Sept. 26)
Symphony residents finish cross-Canada journey at Petrie Island

va By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Members of the 'Fit As A Fiddle' walking club at Symphony Senior Living Orléans walk along a path at Petrie Island as part of the effort to walk across Canada. Photo supplied

For the past seven months members of the "Fit as a Fiddle" walking club at the Symphony Senior Living residence in Orléans have been on a virtual walking tour across Canada one step at a time.

On Tuesday, Sept, 20 their journey ended at the water's edge on Petrie Island.

In between, they collectively walked a total of 8,1132 km or the total distance from Victoria, B.C. to St. John's, Nfld. with a a couple of detours in between.

When the 30 or so participants walked the equivalent distance from Victoria to Calgary they had their own little version of the Calgary Stampede. When they reached Regina they went to see the RCMP Musical Ride. In Ottawa they visited the Tulip Festival and when they reached Quebec City they all had poutine for lunch.

Each member of the club recorded their own mileage by walking in the corridor, around the Symphony Senior Living parking lot, or on the occasional excursion.

"Fit as a Fiddle" walking club founder and Symphony Senior Living resident Pierrette Woods came up with the concept to walk across Canada as a challenge to help motivate the residents to walk more and become more active.

She even went to the trouble of measuring each corridor, the nearby paths and the distance around the parking lot. For several of the residents who took part in the challenge, it gave them the motivation to walk outside the actual building for the first time in several years.

"We had some residents who had never been outside before," says Woods. "It was so wonderful to see people walking all over and they were so proud. If they walked down the hallway they would rush and tell me. If they walked around outside for a few minutes they would tell me. It was really nice to see the impact just walking around a few minutes every day had on their spirit."

Woodss worked hand in hand with Symphony Senior Living Orléans activity director Sylvie Ross, who was thrilled to have her help.

"Pierrette really did a lot of work. She went out and measured all the hallways and paths, and she helped organize a lot of the activities at the different locations" said Ross. "It was really amazing and it gave our residents something to really look forward to and they had a lot of fun doing it too."

Besides the residents, three four-legged companions also joined in the walk -- Pierrette's dog Xena, another resident's dog and the resident house dog, Brody. Together, they walked more than 600 kms.

Symphony Senior Living Community Relations Coordinator Kezia De Layen said the walk was the perfect example of residents getting involved in activities from developing the concept to help planning the actual event.

"It's what makes our home a home. It's how involved our residents are in our daily activities. It really warms my heart," said De Layen.

So what's next for the "Fit as a Fiddle" walking club. Walk back to Victoria? A walk across Europe or Africa? Actually the club plans to try and involve the surrounding community in their excursions.

According to Ross, they plan to take a break from organizing walking "events" until next spring when they will begin holding "community" walks in neighbourhoods around Orléans and invite members of the community to come join them, They also plan to put out a challenge to other Symphony Senior Living residences.

In the meantime they plan to keep walking down the corridors and around the common areas as much as they can to stay fit and be ready for when spring returns.

Members of the 'Fit As A Fiddle' walking club dip their toes in the Ottawa River at Petrie Island signifying the end of their virtual cross-Canada walking tour. Photo supplied


(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)





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