Geoffrey Turner, a Toronto artist (his vast, fire-toned mural still adorns “Fred is Not Here” restaurant on King Street West in Toronto) purchased a small, dilapidated XIII-century village house in Montesquiou around 1999. He affectionately called it “Ma Petite Ruine” – and the name, “The Ruin”, has endured despite our family’s many attempts to change it to something better reflecting its state after the restoration.

Geoff lived in France for couple of years and did some work on the house. He sadly passed away in Montesquiou in 2001. He did not have children, and he left the house in his will to his friend Klaus. After lots of hesitation over the unexpected gift, we paid French inheritance taxes (in the amount of 80% of property value), and became owners of The Ruin and proud residents of Montesquiou which eventually became our home in France.  In 2009, we purchased the adjacent village house from Geoff’s niece.  The Ruin today consists of two connected houses.