TORONTO – Greg Rubidge and his family are hooked on Wolfville, and he says it's thanks to Devour! The Food Film Fest.
Rubidge, 53, has lived in Toronto’s Little Portugal neighbourhood for 18 years. He owns a film distribution company and was invited to visit Wolfville last fall to attend the film festival.
And so he did, with partner Tanya Filippelli, and they found themselves falling in love with Wolfville and its surrounding area. They also found themselves looking at real estate listings, and wondering what it would be like living there.
“There are certain areas, and it’s tough to put your finger on it – but it’s magical. It just felt right. Food, film and that feeling – that’s what drew us out here,” says Rubidge.
He says Devour! made it easy for he and Filippelli to explore the region – Halls Harbour, Port Williams, Berwick, Grand Pre – and that the couple was struck by the scenery, and people living here.
They returned this summer with friends and family, touring places like the South Shore and Cape Breton, but were still struck the most by the Annapolis Valley.
“When I saw Blomidon, I felt like I was in another continent. We were also both surprised at the extent of viticulture out there,” he says.
Home for the family is currently Rubidge’s historic and charming Victorian house, but Rubidge says he now yearns for a rural setting like he was raised in outside the Greater Toronto Area.
He sees Wolfville as the perfect in-between – cheaper real estate and a downtown core without that city rush – and that this, combined with the town’s proximity to the Stanfield International Airport, means there’s a tangible future for them here.
“My business happens at conferences. The other move for my career would be to Los Angeles, but short of that, I can literally live anywhere, meeting everyone at major TV and film festivals,” he says.
“I’m only a 1.5 hour flight from Toronto – it’s a digital world these days.”
The family will return to Wolfville this October to take in the festival and strike up their housing search. Rubidge says the move hinges on timing and also on finding a house with that same special feeling they were struck with on their first visit to the town.
Their three-week exploration has made the couple even more sure that raising their three-year-old daughter, Abby, in a semi-rural setting would be ideal. And that remains their number-one priority, says Rubidge.
“We love our home here, but we are thinking more and more about where we want Abby to grow up. It’s now about finding that right place,” says Rubidge.