Friday, February 1, 2008

The Ghosts of Glanmore Never Sleep.

Tucked away off the beaten track is one of Ontario's oldest and most beautiful, small cities with such a fantastical and intriguing history that it would rival that of many of Europe's oldest cities. The small city wraps itself around the old limestone-bedded, snaking Moira River with one of the oldest, still-standing, limestone mills, the mill itself the centre upon which the settlement grew.

Named after Lady Arabella Gore, wife of Sir Francis Gore, after their visit to the small settlement in 1816, Belleville boasts some of the finest architectural beauties to be found in the province of Ontario. One of these timeless treasures rests in the area known as the 'Old East Hill' of Belleville.
Glanmore, sits aloof and untouchable amidst century old trees and fine Victorian homes.Built of a subdued greying, brownish-yellow brick and being of a 2nd Empire architectural style totally unique unto itself, the house appears alive with the spirits of the past and a beating heart all it's own standing testament to an eccentric and lively time in Canada's history.

Built in 1882-1883 for the prosperous banker, J.P.C. Phillips and his wife Harriet, it remained in the same family for three generations before being donated to the city of Belleville in 1971 and subsequently being turned into a museum.

Phillipa Faulkner, an artist who was born in the house, is purported to have experienced numerous supernatural occurrences during her days spent living there. The spirit of Harriet Phillips, herself, is said to still remain walking the halls and frequenting the cavernous victorian rooms of the fine old mansion.

Phillipa had witnessed the piano in the drawing room play of it's own accord and doors that had opened and closed with no visible human entity in sight. She sensed that the spirit behind these occurrences was her Grandmother, Harriet Phillips.

In 1962 Phillipa engaged a Roman Catholic Priest to come into the home and exorcise the troubled spirits who wandered the grand old Belleville mansion. Family accounts written by Anne Burrows Faulkner, Phillipa's daughter, state that the supernatural occurrences seemed to abate somewhat after that time period, however Harriet's restless spirit never completely left the beautiful old home she had so steadfastly loved.

The mansion is open to the public now, and houses a magnificent collection of period antiques and art, many of them original to the home. On my numerous visits to the house, I always feel a certain 'unease' as I walk around the creaking, old rooms and hallways.
There is a strong sense of loneliness and abandonment that seeps into one's pores with a heavy foreboding as one walks from room to room.In many areas of the home, I've sensed an invisible presence nearby as it observes the comings and goings of the visitors to the house.

As happy as I am to bring visiting friends and relatives on a tour of the stately Victorian home, I experience a great relief when it is time to leave. The house is beautiful and certainly a timeless Canadian Historic treasure, however it exists in another time and place and hastens to remind you to never leave go of that oppressive and heavy fact.

Upon leaving and re-entering the sparkling, sunlit air, you step back into the present and feel a great sadness for the house and for those who lived there in the past and for some reason, were never able to leave. Caught in a time warp of their own volition, they serve the gracious home to this day, and make certain it will always remain just as it was over one hundred years ago.


Jo-Anne Smith, the author of this article, is a REALTOR® with Royal Lepage Proalliance Realty, Brokerage, in Belleville, Ontario and welcomes your real estate inquiries. To contact her, visit

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Cornucopia For Making 2008 Your New Year of Personal Power.

 Possibilities~anything is possible.
The universe is non static and non bounded. The only bounds exist within your awareness or limiting beliefs that you place upon yourself and others.

Always remember Phil Daniel's words 'reward excellent failures, punish mediocre successes'.
Dare to go for it, dare to be different and try outrageous things.
Failing while trying something innovative and outrageous, is far better than succeeding while doing something totally mediocre and predictable.
Engage your right brain, dare to imagine, use the tools that make up your physical body and get out there riding your free-reined and un-encumbered imagination. It's a gift, use it.

Step forward and be counted.

You matter, you make a difference every single day that you are 'out there' or 'within yourself'. No moment is wasted as long as you are either opening yourself to the universe or out there 'doing' and receiving.

Believe and commit.
Entrench. I like that word. Don't you?
When we 'entrench' something within our mind, we take it fully in and lodge it in a firm place.
Then we move forward.
Entrench within your mind the simple and profound fact that you are powerful. You matter. You make a difference, no matter what you are doing.
What kind of difference will you make today? In your own life, in the life of another?

Stand in the centre of the light.
When you stand within the centre of the light, there is peace. Nothing can harm you or throw you off balance.
You are protected and safe.
Always stand within the centre of the light and know that you belong there. If you step outside of the beam, guide yourself gently back in until you feel that balance and wholeness once more.

Draw yourself closer to the people around you. Don't be afraid of rejection or of not receiving the reaction you're hoping for.
Remember, their reactions are 99% about them, not about you.
Not everyone is going to respond to you the way you might be wishing. Don't let this ever stop you from drawing close to those who you are attracted to and feel have a message for you.
Sometimes the reaction that you didn't want, is exactly the message you are meant to receive and there is a deep kernel of new wisdom to be found in that reaction, if you only stop and peel back the layers.

 Handle yourself gently and with great reverence.
Be kind to your mind, your soul, your heart and your physical being.
Filter and censor all that you come across and be very careful what you are putting into your body.
Your body and brain are fine tuned machines that can be greatly enhanced by only supplying them with the finest of inputs.
Steer clear of excessive fats, salt, sugar, meat, artificial ingredients and processed foods. Steer clear of negativity, news that you do not need to hear, people who don't uphold you with respect and gentleness, places that make you feel uncomfortable.
Listen to your intuition and instinct. Your body does not lie to you. It's signals are based on tens of thousands of years of trial and error.
Listen to them.

Love from the deepest core of your being.
Find the good in each person and love that part of them. From there you will grow to love and see the entire person.
Each person brings something to you, a gift that you may not at first recognize, however the gift is there never the less.

When you have an idea , act upon it.
Ideas are messages from the universe. It's up to you whether or not you grasp on and put the idea into action. Make it a point every day to act upon at least one or two of the ideas that come to you.
You'll be amazed at the results.

Recognize that fear is often unfounded.
When it appears in your being, stop and examine it. Don't let it freeze you.
This is a realm where actual 'doing' is rewarded. When you allow yourself to be frozen or withdraw in fear, you stop yourself from 'doing' and miss the whole point of your life here.
This is a 'realm of action' and only action will move you further in the direction you desire to go.

 Live in the moment you are in.
When the past appears in your thought process, recognize that it is surfacing in order to be processed and let go of. It's part of your healing process.
Allow it to surface quietly, observe it carefully, then let it go and return to what you truly have. The moment you are in now.

Recognize that the future is not here yet and hence there is no need to fear it.
Imagining what you would like the future to look like may be a fine exercise to do in certain moments; however always recognize that there are numerous variables that you have no control over and the future you are planning for, may not appear in the format you are aiming for.
It is much better to immerse yourself in a positive field at this very moment and realize that you do have control over your actions and reactions in each moment as it presents itself to you.
Give your wishes to your subconscious mind and then let them go.

Never hoard your ideas, your love, your knowledge, your material assets or your kindnesses.
Every gift you have is meant to be passed on and only by passing it on when-ever the opportunity presents itself, will you be able to open yourself up for more to flow in.

The universe is in a constant state of becoming and so are you. By remaining open and allowing yourself to be a conduit for the gifts of the universe, you will enrich your own life and all of those whose lives you come into contact with.


Jo-Anne Smith, the author of this article, is a REALTOR® with Royal Lepage Proalliance Realty, Brokerage, in Belleville, Ontario and welcomes your real estate inquiries. To contact her, visit

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Quinte area real estate market has risen by approximately 11.5 % to the end of July of this year compared to the same time period in 2006.
There is a shortage of listings and many properties are receiving multiple offers on the day they are listed or the day they are open to offers.

I am seeing more and more properties coming on the market with 'no showings or offers allowed until such and such a date' on them.
This is very frustrating to my buyers and I feel it does a disservice to the seller of the property. There may be numerous buyers who will go elsewhere and buy something else rather than wait on a property only to be in competition with numerous other buyers the day the showings finally start. I never recommend this for any of my sellers.

A two or three day 'no showing' period may be somewhat
beneficial, however I would say that allowing showings immediately and stating that there will be no offers viewed until perhaps two to three days into the listing, would serve the purposes of the seller (to get the most amount of money in the shortest time possible ) to a much greater degree.

To the end of July of this year, 2,469 property units have sold in the Quinte board. I also noticed that we did not experience our usual lull in market activity this July like we normally do, so I was not surprised when I read the stats released by the Quinte and District Real Estate Board stating that 339 units sold in July 2007 compared to 285 units in July '06.

We are having one of the most active markets in all of Ontario and are only slightly behind Parry Sound, Clarington, Newcastle area and Bowmanville.

The main reasons we are seeing such a booming market in our area are

1. numerous retirees from other regions, particularly cities, choosing our area to retire in.

2. The expansion of CFB Trenton bringing with it a great amount of new postings to the Quinte area.

3. Excellent employment prospects with new industry such as Kelloggs choosing to locate here.

4. An influx of people moving here from other countries due to the culture, natural beauty, community facilities, tourism exposure, etc.

5. Many young families whose bread-winne rs work within driving range cities are choosing to relocate here and commute to work daily via carpools, etc.

6. We are still one of the most reasonably priced markets in southern Ontario. The average purchase price for a home here has risen to $195,115 as compared to the average being $180,816 in 2006. This is particularly attractive for young families, first-time buyers, retirees and single people .

I am currently searching for numerous properties for my buyers and having a difficult time finding suitable listings. If you have a property you are considering selling, please don't hesitate to contact me via email or by phone. You just may have a property one of my buyers is looking for !

Jo-Anne Smith, Sales Representative
Royal Lepage Proalliance Realty, Brokerage
613-922-5978 Direct
613-966-6060 Office