Reinterpreting the bed & breakfast experience in Prince Edward County
Sustainability is not only about the material footprint we leave behind but also the human interactions we foster
The Ackerman family came to Prince Edward County from Upstate New York as Loyalists in the 1850s and built the farmhouse we now call The Wilfrid. It remained in the same family, passed down from grandfather to grandson until we purchased it from the last of the heirs in 2015 and renamed it after our respective grandfathers, both named Wilfrid. We set out to lovingly restore the home, injecting it with personality and story, keeping the original footprint, and preserving as much of the architectural details as possible - our homage to the many hands that crafted the farmhouse over the decades. This is an ongoing process as each year we tackle new projects to bring this vision to fruition. The idea is that there is no definite end to this process, simply a constant learning. In honour of its founders, these risk takers, and innovators, we like to think of this home as a meeting point for creative minds, a place of fresh ideas, and of new encounters. The Wilfrid is where home, food, design, art, and conversation coexist seamlessly. A place of escape, and a movement calling us to come together.
Like the passing seasons, everything we do relates to nature
The house itself is intelligently positioned to capture the sun’s light, the western breezes and shelter itself from the eastern storms. The decisions we make on how to furnish it, the food we serve, and the way we utilize the surroundings are grounded by nature. We are conscious of the distance food travels, so we have made connections with amazing people in our community to take advantage of our bountiful backyard as much as we can. From the refillable organic bath products to the focus on materials sourced locally and sensitively whenever possible, to the antique and vintage furnishings and original artwork throughout the house - everything comes together and radiates from our connection with nature.
In the winter months the house is heated partially by a wood burning stove. The wood comes from nearby forests and the cutting of this dead wood helps to maintain the lot and encourage new tree growth. The ritual of feeding the fire day and night invites us to live in the present moment. In the summer months, you’ll enter a cool home. Although the guest rooms each have independent air conditioning systems we purposely chose not to air condition the common areas. Instead, we upcycle the naturally cool air from the basement through our forced air system and follow the movement of the sun to close blinds around the house.
The outdoor lighting is on motion sensors and solar panels. The house’s indoor lighting is 90% LED.
To maintain our water consumption responsibly, a well supplies all the house’s water. It is filtered by a UV light, carbon filters and then softened to lengthen the lifespan of all fixtures and appliances. It also makes for the cleanest tasting drinking water! We harvest rainwater wherever we can to maintain our cut flower and herb gardens.
The flowers, herbs and perennials around the property are all bee friendly and are used to make bouquets for the rooms, flavour our cooking, create hot infusions and quenching lemonades.
The food you will eat will be healthier and tastier because it is cooked with produce that is grown and raised by farms mere steps away or sourced as near as possible. We get very excited about produce. We hope you can geek out with us about something as simple as a fresh asparagus stalk pulled out of the ground minutes before you get to bite into it, uncooked and simply mind blowing.
Our table scraps are used to feed our neighbours’ free-range laying hens and ducks. The flock rewards us with the most incredibly rich eggs to cook and bake with.
The Wilfrid is a living place, it follows nature’s speed, a slower speed.
You’ll feel the pace as soon as you turn on to our road. Our respect for our environment stems from this appreciation of time, of being in the moment. In an increasingly mediatised world, where so much of consumerism is being dictated by modernity, and speed, this is a place that stands out of time, a lost way of living. We like to think of a stay here as the antidote to modern living, reinterpreting the way to see luxury. This is where luxury is not defined by the shiny, the new or the scene but rather by the details, the personal attentions, and the human perspective. We encourage you to leave your phones behind when gathering around the harvest table for brunch, to sit around the bonfire in the evenings and count the endless stars, to pick up a book and find that quiet spot to lose yourself in the pages, and to chat with other guests – to create connections and memories rather than content and images.
As we respect this 175-year-old home and its grounds, we are inspired to bequeath a 175-year-old new story.
The Wilfrid is constantly sculpting new experiences, we are learning from how you interact with the home and this knowledge greatly influences what the next version of The Wilfrid can be. Today we are honoured to act as custodians of this remarkable property and open its doors to you.
We hope you enjoy your time here and share in the small actions we have taken towards a more sustainable way of living and being.
Know someone who would enjoy a stay at The Wilfrid?