That’s what I thought immediately as I was escorted through the front doors of the almost finished $2.9 million Our Lady of Hope Retreat Centre, going up on a 7.5 hectare property in Bayview, close to Cavendish and Stanley Bridge on Reid Road. The ecumenical retreat boasts approximately 38 guestrooms, each with a private bathroom.
The massive project for the Diocese of Charlottetown, which will replace the Belcourt Centre in Rustico, is truly astonishing to look at on the inside. There is still lots of finishing work to be completed, but all the heavy lifting is done. It should open its doors by February or March, but there is no firm timeline.
Striking views of woods and the waters of New London Bay greet the eye from several of the rooms I visited and there is a lingering scent of sawdust in the air. I had walked past the building many times since the groundbreaking in early spring and was always impressed at its imposing sight. Now, today, Friday, Nov 25, I was allowed inside. I think guests will be blown away by what they see. There’s still plenty of clutter – tools and debris scattered around, but the magnificent “bones” are fully visible.
Truly a stunner.
Story and photos by Jim Brown