Faces of the Valley:
John & Cindy
By Stephanie Park
After visiting Beaver Valley for the past fifteen years, John Crean describes this area as “Ontario’s best kept secret.” John and Cindy Crean permanently reside in Etobicoke and utilize their home in the Beaver Valley as a weekend retreat from their busy city lifestyle. With two teenagers, that also enjoy the ample opportunities this area provides, the Crean family has quickly fallen in love with the life they have established here.
Though their initial draw to this area was the snowy ski hills during the winter, it did not take long for John and Cindy to recognize that the opportunities for adventure are available during every season. In fact, as the family has become more familiar with the area during summer months, they have started spending even more time here. John states that they are even considering retiring in the Beaver Valley area as they have become very connected to this region.
During the brisk winter months, John and Cindy Crean can be found zooming down the luminous slopes, embarking on an afternoon snowshoe trek, or watching their children compete in ski races. In the summer time, they enjoy cycling, running and hiking. John explains that “there is something about the area that makes you want to get up and get out [in the morning.]” They enjoy hiking through the caves at Metcalf, venturing up Old Baldy to experience the view at the top, and examining the many falls close by.
Although the Crean family are avid cyclists in both the city and the country, John compares the two experiences as being very different. When biking in an urban setting, one is faced with the difficulty of navigating between cars, potholes and traffic lights. Contrasting, John describes his experience cycling up north as “putting my head down and cycling kilometre after kilometre without worrying very much about intersections or lights.” Though they are all very active to start with, John and Cindy have deduced that the Beaver Valley area is highly conducive to outdoor activities and has enhanced their way of life.
Weekends have now become a time for them to become even more active in the outdoors and to appreciate quality time with family and friends. In fact, John and Cindy have developed a great deal of friendships since they started visiting this area. John states that they have “established another social circle of like minded people,” which is typically harder to do in the city. They enjoy traveling and experiencing the great outdoors with the friends that they have made over the years. Moreover, they invite friends from the city to escape for a weekend to their beautiful getaway.
Exploring areas outside of the city during weekends is not uncommon to John, who visited a cottage on the water in his youth. Although he enjoyed weekends at the cottage, he advocates that Beaver Valley is an “alternative to the big lakes [and] offers tremendous value compared to Muskoka.” John explains that the value he speaks of is derived from the year round recreation that is not available in other cottage destinations. John defines real estate in this region as “great properties with beautiful views” and speaks highly of the benefits from being in this area.
In addition to the immense recreational activities that are beneficial to overall health and wellness, it is evident that the social aspects and peaceful atmosphere greatly attribute to an enhanced lifestyle. John encapsulates his enthusiasm for Beaver Valley by saying it is like “taking a step back in time” and that it is essential “after an intense urban week.”
A weekend escape following the chaotic nature of traffic jams, busy streets and stressful work places can provide any individual with the tranquility needed to refuel, and give any family a chance to reconnect with the outdoors and one another.