WILLIAMSBURG – Shovels pierced the Earth in this South Dundas village Mon., April 30 as Habitat of Humanity Cornwall and The Counties’ latest build was celebrated.

The mid-afternoon groundbreaking, taking place between rain showers, was the first to showcase the Locke Lane property, which will soon feature the Pinard family’s new home.

“Thank you to everyone who is supporting us,” Sarah Pinard said before a capacity crowd at the build site. “This is a new chapter in our family’s life, and this allows us growth and opportunity. We’re extremely grateful, and cannot wait to pay it forward and be good neighbours.”

The Pinard family was celebrated Mon., April 30 during the official groundbreaking for Habitat for Humanity Cornwall and The Counties’ upcoming Williamsburg build. Pictured (from left to right) are board chair Hank Blasiak, St. Lawrence College Cornwall campus dean Deborah Stava, North Dundas Mayor Eric Duncan, Avery, Owen, Jonah, Sarah and Alex Pinard, and South Dundas Mayor Evonne Delegarde.

The Pinards, current Winchester residents, were selected as the latest Habitat family last year, and in the meantime have been working to complete the needed 500 hours of “sweat equity” that comes along with being selected. This work, done in part at the organization’s ReStore location in Cornwall, replaces the traditional mortgage down payment.   

The Pinard children, watched carefully by their dad, were happy to help dig their new home’s foundation. Press Photos – Uhrig

Habitat now awaits the half-load restrictions being lifted by the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry before work gets underway. There is an anticipated timeline of two to three months for construction.

“[The family] have such a great dynamic – they’re a good, solid family… So vibrant. We’re looking forward to working with them,” Leigh Taggart, Habitat’s executive director, said.

April 30’s ceremony also featured addresses from North Dundas Mayor Eric Duncan and South Dundas Mayor Evonne Delegarde, as well as a prepared statement from Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell. As well, Union Gas employees Lucas Stitt and Blair Hiseler delivered a $1,000 commitment toward build supplies and offered a day of labour from company employees. 

Construction technology students from Cornwall’s St. Lawrence College campus will also be taking part in the build process.   

The latest Williamsburg build marks the second in South Dundas village, which welcomed the White family’s home in 2011, while the Morgan family were recipients of a home in Winchester in 2010.

The Pinards’ build will be the 13th in SD&G completed by the area’s Habitat for Humanity chapter.