Community, Connections & Friendships with Fern & Shirley - Alavida Lifestyles


Featuring our residents Fern & Shirley from Promenade by Alavida Lifestyles; Illustration by Krisanne Gonsalves.

Hear all about our community from Promenade’s dynamic duo – Fern & Shirley, who have been residents at Promenade by Alavida Lifestyles since late 2022. The pair share plenty of insights about their experiences, the joys of building new relationships later in life, and the friendship they’ve formed along the way! 

Can you tell us about how the two of you met?

Fern: We met because I automatically go to every new person that comes in and introduce myself and then try to introduce them to as many people as we run into, so I did the same when Shirley and her husband moved in! 

How has your experience living at Promenade been so far? Have you been enjoying your time here?

Shirley: Living at Promenade has been a wonderful experience for me so far. Every day goes by nicely because I have a wide variety of things to do, and I can pick and choose what interests me.

Fern: I, too, have been enjoying my time here. What I appreciate most is the opportunity to meet so many new people and make friends with those with similar interests. I love helping other residents who need help, too – it’s been an enriching experience to help others and form connections with people. 

Are there any activities or programs offered at Promenade that you have found engaging or enjoyable?

Shirley: Absolutely! I enjoy playing cards with a group that I’ve met here. We typically play three times a week, and it’s always a great time full of laughter, good conversation, and some much-needed girl time. I’m also really enjoying the gorgeous pool here at Promenade. After a swim, I like to unwind in the sauna before heading down to the main floor for coffee.

Fern: I think Shirley summed it up! For me, it’s all about finding people who share my interests and forming connections with them. There are so many activities to choose from, but I particularly enjoy walking along the bike path just a block away. It’s been especially lovely now that Spring has arrived!

Shirley: Also – my sons usually take me out, but if you happen to be stuck one day, Promenade has transport to take you around for medical reasons. I had to use it once, and I was grateful for it. 

What has been the best part about moving to Promenade?

Fern: Meeting new people has been my favourite experience so far. I love being around others and having the chance to form new friendships.

Shirley: I agree with Fern. My favourite experience so far has been meeting so many wonderful people, especially those who are around my age. It’s been inspiring to discover all the new things I can do here at Promenade. There are so many activities to choose from that I can’t do them all!

Can you give us some insights into the staff members who work at Promenade?

Fern: The staff here are absolutely fantastic. Whenever I have an issue, I can just present it to them, and they always take the time to consider my concerns. I’m pleased with the management team. The staff are always so accommodating and doing their best to help in any way they can.

Shirley: What I love about the staff is that they all try to use your first name, so you feel like they know you, even if they might not. It’s a great feeling for someone new, especially since I’ve only been here 4 or 5 months. Everyone always has a smile on their face, which I love, and these little things like that make me feel really good and not lonesome.

Do you have a favourite memory from your time living here?

Fern: We’re both huge Ottawa Senators fans! So, we asked management if we could have a watch party for a Senators game, and they arranged for us to use the theatre downstairs. It was a really fun night and a great change of pace from our usual activities. We got to spend a lot of time with people we didn’t necessarily know or spend a lot of time with during the day. 

Shirley: We had many people come together and enjoy some hor d’oeuvres, wine, and lots of laughs. It was so much fun getting to spend time with people.

What are your thoughts on the dining experience?

Fern: I think the meals have been fantastic. Of course, everyone has different preferences because we come from backgrounds, but the staff makes an effort to accommodate everyone’s needs. I enjoy the meals a lot, and I enjoy the idea of not having to think about what I have to eat, especially not having to go to the grocery store. 

Shirley: Or wash the dishes after! 

If you had to use one word to describe life at Promenade, what would it be?

Shirley: For me, it would be “friendship.”

Fern: And I would agree. 

This showcase can be found on the Alavida Lifestyles Insider Blog. Stay tuned as new resident and staff features will be posted each month.

For more information about our Astoria, Promenade, Park Place, and Ravines communities, visit

Alavida Lifestyles is part of the Choo Communities family dedicated to building modern communities throughout Ottawa and supporting independent seniors throughout a complete continuum of care. Communities are designed with two to four buildings that progressively move from one care level to the next, allowing residents more peace of mind in case they need to adapt their lifestyles.