Photographer and mixed media artist Christine Flynn is the ultimate multi-hyphenate. In addition to being a full-time artist (one of my personal favourites), she is the co-founder of Fridays—a boutique cannabis apothecary—as well as has a hand in interior design and content creation, often brought on to help bring new brands and destinations to life. Two years ago Christine and her family traded city life for a slower pace, moving to Prince Edward County—a popular weekend getaway just two hours from Toronto (think beaches, rolling farm fields, vineyards, and design-forward boutique hotels). We caught up with Christine to get her must-do Prince Edward County recommendations, and to chat about the incredible top down renovation of her 1920’s home, learn more about how living in the country has inspired her creatively and inherently, has instilled a slower pace of life for her and her family.
Describe Prince Edward County in three words or less.
My happy place.
As a longtime urban dweller, what prompted your move from the city to the country?
The country air, laid-back vibe and slower lifestyle.
PEC is beloved as a weekend getaway for people trying to escape the hustle of Toronto. What makes living there so special?
Community. PEC has all the benefits of living in a small town with all the perks of the things I loved about the city. The restaurants, breweries, wineries… It truly is the best of both worlds.
“Whether it’s taking the time to jump in the car, turn up the volume with the sunroof and windows open and drive down the country roads or meeting a friend at a winery in the middle of the week, soaking up the sun—It’s a fine balance of work hard, play hard.”
As an artist, how does country living inspire you creatively?
I have a lot more time to create than I did in the city and in the space that time provides, inspiration flows. The natural beauty of Prince Edward County is what inspired us to move here so being surrounded by it as our new normal has definitely fed my creativity.
In addition to being a full-time artist, you’re also the co-owner of Fridays as well as consult other brands on design and content creation. What is it like being a part of the tight-knit, PEC business community?
Everyone is super supportive and encouraging. All of my friends here are entrepreneurs or owners of local establishments and we support each other during the busy summer months and quieter times. It’s exciting to find ways we can work together as well—I recently collaborated with my favourite brewery Parsons on a beer called Soft Hues.
Coming from city life, how does living in PEC help you and your family embrace slower living?
Everything feels less stressful, I’m still extremely busy with artwork and Fridays, but PEC has a way of making you feel calm. Whether it’s taking the time to jump in the car, turn up the volume with the sunroof and windows open and drive down the country roads or meeting a friend at a winery in the middle of the week, soaking up the sun. It’s a fine balance of work hard, play hard.
You spent the last year renovating your country home—which has been featured in Domino magazine—Can you tell us a little bit about that process?
It was our first home renovation so it was exciting to start that process from the ground up. We lived in a semi-detached in Toronto so our space grew dramatically and although there was plenty of space for our existing furniture, I wanted a fresh start. We sold a ton of items, keeping only key pieces like our beni rugs, antique cabinets and our Saarinen marble table. Our inspiration for the home was “modern farmhouse”. We worked with our designer to modernize the home’s original bones (like stripping and whitewashing the pine wood floors and arching some of the door frames), complementing the laid-back vibe of the space with an eclectic mix of Scandinavian and vintage pieces.
Do you have a favourite room in the house?
I’m never happier than when my house is full of friends and loved ones so having a space that we’ve named “the parlour” right off the kitchen allows us to have a fire going and drinks flowing all the time.
YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY ESSENTIALS:
Beacon Bikes + Brew
Brunch at The Drake Devonshire hotel is a must.
A quick bite:
Picnic has the best grab-and-go fare; their mezze bowl is my go-to.
Lunch with the kids:
Midtown for wood-fired pizza.
Dinner with friends:
Flame + Smith—a sustainably-minded restaurant with a menu built around wood-fired cooking.
Parsons for Soft Hues beer, guacamole and chips and asado or Stellas for negronis, ricotta dumplings and cod cakes.
Favourite Hotel or Airbnb?
Wander the Resort—Book a lake view room (my favourite is Waterleaf) and enjoy golden hour cocktails in front of the fireplace on the terrace. The ultimate cozy cabin feels.
Favourite shops—what should we take home with us?
Field Made Goods—a collective of three women making unique, handmade products. Bring home a beautiful ceramic coffee mug by Cylinder Studio or the wood turned candle sticks made by local wood maker, Bethanie Kaye.
Best place to take in the local scenery?
Dunes Trail; it’s a gorgeous trail that takes you through the beautiful sandy dunes straight out to a lookout over Lake Ontario. You can then walk along the beach and loop around through a wooded trail back to the beginning. You get dunes, water, forest all in one trail.
PEC’s best kept secrets:
In the summer, my favourite beach, Lakeshore, is normally packed and impossible to get into during the day or weekends. I go later in the day, around 5:00pm when everyone is leaving for dinner to take in the gorgeous county sunsets with a glass of rosé. Cedar Sands Trail is also incredible; it leads you through an enchanted cedar forest, over a dune and opens up to Sandbanks beach.
Artist or playlist that captures the PEC vibe?
Neil Young, Blue Rodeo or Jason Rutledge—a local musician (and my neighbour!)
Describe your perfect Sunday.
An unrushed morning that involves sleeping in, coffee in bed with a design magazine followed by a beach walk with my family and our dog Charlie, and pints at Parsons.
“I love to go to Lakeshore Beach later in the day around 5:00pm when everyone is leaving for dinner, to take in the gorgeous county sunsets with a glass of rosé.”
The Prince Edward County lifestyle sounds amazing but where are you dreaming of traveling wnext?
I’m dreaming of road trips and craving familiarity; like a west coast road trip from Tofino down to Mexico. I would also love to go back to Iceland and the Faroe Islands. OR Portugal and Italy. The list goes on…
How do you make an effort to travel a little lighter and more consciously?
I like to travel to get to know the heart of a destination. This means staying in one location longer; exploring off-the-beaten path neighbourhoods and supporting local shops and restaurants.
Philosophy to live by.
Do what you love and follow your heart.
You might also like:
Former Vogue Marketing Director and the founder of Bembien, Yi-Mei Truxes tells us why Greenpoint is the perfect backdrop to build a business and all of her must-do tips to explore Brooklyn like a local.
Photographer Olivia Van Dyke shares where to stay, hike, surf and shop in the rugged and charming pacific northwest surf town of Tofino.
Conscious traveler and creator @saltyluxe shares where to surf, dine, shop and explore in free-spirited beach town of Byron Bay.