A life of love, family, dedication and creativity

In the serene, welcoming environment of Lynde Creek Gardens, Harold Hoskings shared a life story that mirrors the depth and complexity of his impressive landscape artworks. Born and raised in Port Hope, 95-year-old Harold's journey has been a tale of love, hard work, and a continuous pursuit of learning and creativity.

IMG_1866Growing up in Port Hope and finding love
His life in Port Hope - about an hour east of Toronto - saw him working various jobs in his late teens and 20s, including a few tough years doing anti-social night shifts at the local post office and a few more years as a fur cutter. “I’ve always lived in Port Hope up until five years ago. I was born there, raised there, I went to school there and I worked there,” he said of his beloved hometown.

Harold’s fondness and talent for drawing eventually shone through and - after attending night school to get qualified - he bagged a role as a draftsman for the Ministry of Transportation. This marked a significant chapter in his professional life. Beginning the role in 1957 at the age of 29, being a draftsman shaped his career and serendipitously led him to meet his beloved wife, Dorothy, at her father's service station. Their shared journey spanned 60 years, proof of their enduring love for one another.

IMG_1099 (1)Family, hobbies, and a love of art
Harold fondly reminisced, "I met a girl who is now my wife. But she's sadly got Alzheimer's and is now at a nursing home in Ajax. But we had 60 good years together so I can't complain." This reflection encapsulates both the beauty and the bittersweet moments of his life. Their life together was rich in family and hobbies. Harold and Dorothy had a daughter Ann-Marie, who gave them four cherished grandsons. Enjoying time with his family prompted Harold to delve into the Hoskings’ family heritage and so he began building a family tree. This labour of love resulted in Harold searching as far back as 1749 to tell his family’s story and it is a historical gift he intends to leave for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Hoskings’ passion for the outdoors and crafting was evident in his younger days, as he built three small boats and indulged in fishing. His creative flair didn't wane with age; it only grew and transformed. After retiring in January 1989, Harold and Dorothy's artistic journey took a new turn. "My wife who's great at sketching Disney... we decided to go to Haliburton Fine Arts and take a course in actual drawing and painting. And it just went off from there. Just as a hobby really," Harold shared. 

An average day at Aspira and his art shows
Now, a Lynde Creek Gardens resident of three years, Harold's days are a blend of routine and creativity. He starts his day early and has breakfast with his fellow residents before having a chat with his friend Bruce. Each day he will also dedicate time to his art. "Since I've been here, to keep myself busy, I've been painting a picture every day," he said, highlighting his prolific artistic endeavors.
IMG_1909Harold's art isn't just a personal retreat; it's a shared joy within the community. "Last fall, we had a showing of my work at the residence," he recalled. For future exhibits of his landscape art at Lynde Creek Gardens, Harold wants the event to be a fundraiser. “I thought it could be a fundraiser and I’m going to bring up the idea at the Residents’ Council,” he added.

“Exceptional food” and “incredible staff”
Harold's transition to retirement living was a thoughtful decision, influenced by wanting to give his daughter and her large family more freedom and fuelled by his own increasing dependence due to mobility issues. "I had to depend on her (his daughter) for meals... I was tying them down," he explained. This decision led him to Lynde Creek Gardens, a choice he doesn't regret. He praises the staff and the quality of meals, saying, “The staff are incredible and the food is exceptional."

“Don’t hesitate to come here”
Harold's advice to those considering retirement living is straightforward and heartfelt: "Don’t hesitate to come in here, it's great,” he began. “I even told some people touring, I said: ‘You will be very happy here,’” he added with a chuckle. His experience at Lynde Creek Gardens has been one filled with constant creativity, community, and a deep appreciation for the simple joys of everyday life.

IMG_1913As Harold continues to navigate his days with art (pictured left), friendship, and memories, he embodies the spirit of adaptability and joy that makes Lynde Creek Gardens not just a residence, but a home. His story, one of dedication to his craft and love for his family, resonates deeply with anyone contemplating the next chapter in their life. Harold's ability to embrace change and his passion in his golden years is something that should inspire us all.

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