Owner has other plans for site

Agricultural-based venture may take place at Laxton Avenue property

When Steve Kaldis bought a five-acre parcel of land from his sister-in-law six years ago on Laxton Avenue, he simply wanted to keep it in the family.

He didn’t have plans to turn it into what is now known as Mountain Falls Retreat, a bed and breakfast, nor an events venue for weddings and other parties.

Kaldis’ sister-in-law had owned the property for five years before an accident required a high level of medical care. As a result, she rented the home out and it was “destroyed” when it was used to house a large marijuana grow operation, according to Maria Silva, manager at Mountain Falls Retreat.

“All this needed to be renovated anyway,” said Silva on why improvements to the property were made.

The house was fixed up as was the existing outbuilding, which was originally used as a barn, and sound-proofed. Eventually another renter moved in and had a vision for the property, which Kaldis bought into.

The land was improved and is now more farmable than before, explained Silva, noting it was previously overgrown with blackberry bushes and mostly marshland.

Water features have been added and gardening plots have been carved for the flower and herb garden, which Silva says will still proceed.

She explained half of the gravel parking lot will be used as a base for greenhouses and more farming. The property is zoned for a three-bedroom bed and breakfast and commercial catering activities. Silva wants to feature local artwork on the walls and set up an educational horticulture centre on the grounds.

The only new building on the property houses the commercial kitchen, washrooms and a kiosk, out of which Silva hopes to sell the farm’s produce.

She said plans will still go ahead to improve the property to make it an agricultural-based venture, but the company will have to wait at least a year to make another application to the district to use the facility as an events venue.