We visited Bonnybank BnB, a Tudor Revival home that dates back as far as 1919, with dynamited pink stone arches and Grimsby sandstone, reclaimed from the nearby Grand Trunk Railway piers, with a prime location, just a 25 minute drive from Niagara Falls.
Carla Carlson, Owner, acquired this house from the previous owner, Dr. Gibson, father of Kay McKeever, The Founder of the Owl Foundation sanctuary, with whom she shares her secluded 18 acres of Carolinian woodland on the edge of Twenty Mile Creek ANSI (area of natural scientific interest).
Carla has degrees from Guelph University in Agriculture/Horticulture, and Brock University in Environmental Science and Biology, and has over 14 years of work experience at Agriculture Canada. Based on her background, it’s no surprise Carla chose a property surrounded by nature to open her first Bed and Breakfast.
After being greeted by Cedar, Carla’s sweet and friendly Golden Retriever, we settled in our bedrooms.
The Red Squirrel
The Red Squirrel holds a Queen size bed with a shared bathroom, Internet access and central AC, with a fantastic view of an 80-year old pine tree just outside the window.
It was a cozy stay with dim lampshade lighting, wooden table sets, set comforters and pillows, decorated with a bunny stuffed animal set on top to remind us of the wonderful night inhabitants just outside our windows.
The Night Owl
The Night Owl had a similar appearance to The Red Squirrel, but was instead set up with two twin beds, but it can also be set up with a King size bed as well.
This room had a fantastic view of the trees outside, and we could see the night stars just from looking out the window.
There was one shared bathroom with a shower with running hot water. Carla reminded us to be mindful of the amount of water that we used, to reduce unnecessary consumption. Basic toiletries were provided for our stay as well.
We enjoyed the shared dining room area, filled fun outdoor-themed décor, nick-knacks, and re-used antique furniture, giving it a homely feel.
It’s a warm and friendly atmosphere for eating your meals, and we had access to Carla’s full kitchen as well to use for our food preparation.
After a long afternoon of sightseeing, we winded down by exploring the terrace and the surrounding yards. Carla has an organic vegetable garden, a perennial, and a shrub and herb garden. Her property is also home to a wide variety of garden flowers to explore, and a number of wildlife viewings to be seen like squirrels, chipmunks, bunnies, owls, frogs, and marsh birds who call Bonnybank their home.
Just ask Carla if you need help identifying any of the flora or herbs, and she will gladly help you out. Being a naturalist, environmentalist and past president of the Peninsula Field Naturalist Club, Carla told us about her strong interest and knowledge of plants.
During the year, Carla offers cross-country skiing, skating, ponds, organic gardens, kayaks, and a campfire site. In 1996, Carla founded Niagara Nature Tours, based on the guidelines and principles of Ecotourism. Themes of her tours include nature, wine, garden, history and agriculture, and these tour types can be customly arranged to fit around your interests. Check out EcotourMag’s ‘Off-the-Beaten-Path’ tour here.
Carla clearly conveys her knowledge of conservation, wildlife and local eating with to her guests. She reminded us to conserve energy by turning off lights and to save water and by not using more resources than we needed. She also shared fresh eggs in the morning with us and pointed out they were from her neighbour’s chicken farm so she could support a local neighbour’s business.
About Bonnybank Bed & Breakfast
Bonnybank Bed and Breakfast is in a 1919 American Tudor Revival home made of red Grimsby sandstone, reclaimed from the nearby Grand Trunk Railway piers. It’s just 3 minutes away from Jordan Village and 20 minutes away from Niagara Falls.
You can read more about Bonnybank B&B here.
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