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Pandemic inspires Joe and Darlene Harris to take a leap of faith

For some, the transition to retirement may seem daunting. For others, retirement is the perfect opportunity to follow their dreams and embark on a whole new adventure.

For Joe Harris (Operator – Production, Medals, Royal Canadian Mint), the pieces of his retirement puzzle have been steadily falling into place. Joe has always been drawn to the Maritimes and planned to move to the East coast to enjoy his retirement years.

“I used to travel down there a lot and one thing I like to do on trips is not plan a few nights and see where we end up,” says Joe. “On one trip, my wife Darlene and I ended up in Georgetown, Prince Edward Island. We met some locals and fell in love with the town in just two days. I thought, ‘This is the place I want to retire.’”

When the pandemic first hit in March 2020, Joe came across an ad on Kijiji selling a vacant lot in Georgetown. The ad seemed too good to be true – the property was right on the water near a dock used by lobster fishermen. With no email address listed in the ad, Joe phoned the sellers, an elderly couple living in Victoria, British Columbia. They explained that the lot had been in their family for 80 years, the family home torn down in 1964 and never rebuilt. They offered to send Joe some photos and other documentation in the mail. Meanwhile, Joe made a few calls to officials in Georgetown to ensure he would be able to build a home on the lot. A month later, Joe’s offer was accepted.

“It was fate,” says Joe. “When we were looking through our pictures, we discovered that the empty lot is in the background of one of our holiday pictures.”

Now with their dream property acquired in the Maritimes, Joe began to consider his retirement.

“The pandemic caused our plans to evolve. My wife and I are still young and she still wants to work,” says Joe. “We both love meeting new people, and I asked her, ‘What do you think about opening up a bed and breakfast?’ Why work for someone else when we can work for ourselves.” Darlene was on board. After crunching some numbers, Joe realized that his retirement dream was not that far out of reach. Joe and his wife got to work designing their bed and breakfast.

Building a new home several provinces away in the midst of a global pandemic is not for the faint of heart. Although there were some hurdles along the way, Joe and Darlene surrounded themselves with an incredible team of builders to bring their dream into reality.

“There were thousands of emails and calls back and forth,” says Joe. “It’s been exciting, but also a bit nerve wracking.”

Joe officially retires from the Royal Canadian Mint on July 29. One week later, he will head East to supervise the installation of the new modular home. Construction will be complete in late September.

The Harris’ found a picture of their newly purchased lot while looking at photos of their previous vacation to Georgetown.

The bed and breakfast’s location is ideal: close to the wharf, local restaurants, two premiere golf courses and the Confederation Trail. Its proximity to so many gems inspired the future B&B’s name: Stones Throw. The bed and breakfast will have two guest suites with their own private bathrooms and entrance.

Joe and his wife will spend a few months prepping their B&B and familiarizing themselves with their new home. Meanwhile they are working with web designers and social media experts to create their online presence. The local community has already welcomed the Harris’ with open arms. Joe has received several messages from locals excited about attracting tourists to their community. “This whole process has been surreal, but we keep coming back to the idea that it must be fate,” says Joe. “Everything is falling into place.” The Stones Throw Bed and Breakfast will open its doors in May 2022. “I’ve always said it’s going to be a great adventure,” says Joe. “I don’t want to retire and sit on the couch. This is going to be a fun and exciting challenge. Don’t ever be afraid to follow a dream!”


In December of 2020 we adopted a 7 year old service dog when her owner passed away suddenly. Misty is a toy poodle that is for emotional support. She is extremely friendly and loves to be petted


Furniture for life

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