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Christine Slabbert Moved Up from Marathon, ON

Relocation Story

In March of this year, the Slabbert family moved up from Marathon, Ontario to Peace River after purchasing the local Canadian Tire.

Meet Christine, 37, Neil, 43, and their daughter Addison, 10.

Where are you originally from?

Christine: I was born in Ottawa, Neil was born in Pretoria, South Africa, and Addie was born in Edmonton.

We just arrived from Marathon, which is a small Northern Ontario town of 3,300 people.

What’s your story? why did you relocate here?

Neil and I met at university in 2008. After completing my business degree, I embarked on my retail management career with Canadian Tire.

Achieving my dream of owning a Canadian Tire store meant making significant moves across the country. Throughout this journey, Neil stood by me, offering his support as we bounced back and forth between provinces—from Toronto to Edmonton, Regina to Calgary and High River.

In Marathon, we became business partners and acquired our first Canadian Tire Store in 2021.

In the middle of all the moves, we exchanged our vows and welcomed our beautiful daughter Addison into the world. We also became pet parents to our two dogs, Chloe and Charlie.

In the ever-changing landscape of being a Canadian Tire store owner, the next opportunity is always uncertain.

Alberta always held a special place in our hearts and we fondly refer to it as home. So, when the Peace River store became available, we seized the opportunity.

What was your first impression?

We were captivated by the picturesque rolling hills along the river and the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of the community.

It just felt like the right fit for us, like we were home again.

Compared to where you came from, what’s different?

We swapped living on the shores of Lake Superior to settling along the banks of the Peace River.

Our former town was enveloped by dense forests and boasted a population of only 3,300 people. In contrast, Peace River feels more expansive and offers a wealth of amenities.

In what ways have you integrated yourself into the community?

As a Canadian Tire owner, I feel privileged to be able to support my community in meaningful ways and look forward to being actively involved.

Have you had any interesting wildlife encounters?

Deer visit out yard regularly, strolling right up to our living room window and gazing at us as they eat our grass. While our daughter finds it utterly fascinating, our dogs are decidedly less impressed.

What is your ideal night out/date night?

We’re the type who enjoy the simple pleasure of dinner and a movie. Board n’ Barrel is our favourite restaurant in town to enjoy a great meal paired with a bottle of wine.

We look forward to experiencing the local movie theater as we continue to settle in.

What are some of your favourite outdoor activities?

I love going on family hikes and picnics. I can’t wait to explore new trails with my family this summer.

This winter, I’m excited to introduce my family to snowboarding at Misery Mountain. We also have plans to go kayaking, spending some time at the range, and exploring all the outdoor adventures this area has to offer.

In your experience, what is unique about Northwestern Alberta?

The people and the culture. The people have been friendly and welcoming—making us feel like part of the community. There is always a strong sense of community in Alberta. I look forward to the endless daylight hours during the summer!

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see us being active and engaged members of the community, and I see us having built meaningful relationships along the way. I also see us witnessing the Edmonton Oilers raising the Stanley Cup once again!

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