Monday, 24 November 2014

Mrs. Rykert's House

A classic example of an ornate Victorian Regency cottage circa the 19th century.

We moved to Osler Bluff Road way back in 1970 and the Rykerts - Carol, John and children Elizabeth, Pam, Serena and John were our "weekend neighbours" from Toronto at Indian Hill Farm up the road. The Rykert family were wonderful, generous and kind folks, and I have many fond memories of time spent playing in the woods and river surrounding our properties. The family were frequent travellers, and I remember well some of the great gifts that they would bring back for me. Among those that I recall the most were a very powerful slingshot with lead bullets that my grandpa Neil once 'accidentally" shot a hole through the neighbour's screen door with while scaring squirrels, and a great pair of English Wellington boots that were identical to the ones a very young Lady Diana Spencer was wearing when photographed fishing with Prince Charles on the River Dee in 1981.  In addition to these, my other great memory is of the delicious crates of oranges and grapefruits we would regularly receive at Christmas while the family was on holiday in Florida. For a young boy I always found these thoughtful gifts both exciting and somewhat exotic.

After Mr. Rykert passed away in 1981 Mrs. Rykert - Carol - became a more welcome and regular presence next door. Eventually as her brood grew older, she moved from the larger farm next door at Indian Hill (so named because of the Indian burial ground under the hill on Osler Bluff Road), and into Grandma Morrison's smaller Victorian era brick cottage atop the hill across from the Buckingham Farm.  She did a wonderful renovation and restoration of this beautiful home and added a very seamless addition to the original structure.  When I was still living at home I would often pop in for a visit with her, and we would discuss books, her trips and architecture, while her dog Cosmo and my dog Lady played in the yard.  

Carol was a wonderfully kind lady, and we were so blessed to have her as a neighbour.  She was a patron of the arts and very much an active part of Collingwood life.  When I moved away from home, there were many things and people I missed from home and she was definitely one of those folks. This past summer we were passing by and decided to drop in for a visit as it had been so long since I had seen her.  We ended up having a very wonderful chat capped off with a goodbye hug.  In retrospect, I'm so glad I decided to stop in for it was to be the last time I saw her. Carol passed away on Tuesday November 18th, and with her an integral part of the tapestry of our neighbourhood. She will truly be missed.

Carol and her son John on his wedding day


  1. Hello, I know this is very random! I came across your blog after I searched for the names "John and Carol Rykert". I somehow acquired a small box with their wedding date and have had it for at least 10-15 years. I cant remember how I got it. The names and date are engraved on the bottom of the box in gold lettering. It says August 27, 1955. I take it with me everywhere to stash my jewelry. Its been with me to about 20 different countries at this point! I was just wondering if it could be the same people?

    1. Hello there! Random or not, I appreciate your message. The box you have would most likely have come from John (senior) and Carol's wedding. The John in the picture above is John Jr., Carol's son, and that is her with him. Sadly, both John and Carol are no longer with us. That's quite a trip for such a small object, ha ha! I'd certainly love to see a picture of it if you didn't mind sharing it? The Rykert's were dear friend's and neighbours of ours for many years.