Skip to content

Resident promotes former civic centre site for new hotel

Cites strong support in social media survey
Crews continue dismantling the damaged section of the Lester B. Pearson Civic Centre on Highway 108. Brent Sleightholm for ElliotLakeToday

An Elliot Lake man believes that a large number of his fellow citizens would like to see the city attract a second hotel/motel to town.

In a posting on the Facebook page Elliot Lake Buzz, Stephen Calverley asked people if they favoured an effort to attract a less expensive alternative to the Hampton Inn.

He also sought their comments about the use of the city-owned land at 255 Hwy. 108, once the site of the Lester B. Pearson Civic Centre.

The former civic centre was rendered derelict in February 2019 when a portion of the roof collapsed due to heavy snow and ice load on the building. It has since been torn down.

Earlier this month, City Council learned Elliot Lake has been refused a federal grant that had been sought for close to a year. The money would have allowed for the construction of a community arts hub on the site. 

Now, Calverley has sent a letter to Elliot Lake Mayor Dan Marchisella asking him to put the hotel idea before council.

He's asking people to forward that letter to one of the other six council members in hopes the idea gets discussed by council.

In his posting, Calverley has included a copy of his letter to the mayor and listed the city email addresses for each of the councillors.

He notes other uses may also be suggested for the site,

"It is entirely possible that some information will come forward at council that is a showstopper for this idea," he said. "However, if that is not the case, we may be able to reserve this ideal location for a commercial facility that Elliot Lake has wanted for a long time."

"If this topic comes to a council discussion, it will be to the credit of every person who responded 'yes' to the poll and to the many people who kept this idea alive for many years. It's also to the credit of a council working with the citizens.

"I think the people who chose 'yes' in the poll, simply want to see a full and open discussion," he concluded.

Calverley's online posting includes the email addresses of all councillors, which is available on the City of Elliot Lake website.

The full text of Calverley's letter to the mayor follows.

Mayor Dan Marchisella 
City of Elliot Lake 
45 Hillside Dr. North 
Elliot Lake, ON P5A 1X5

Re: Property at (former) Lester B. Pearson Civic Centre, 255 King's Hwy 108, Elliot Lake, ON P5A 2T1

Dear Mayor Dan,

This letter is to request your assistance to bring the following matter to council for the consideration of a resolution that would preserve the above property for the location of a future hotel/motel. On Saturday, June 18, (2022) a poll question was posted on The Elliot Lake Buzz Facebook group.

The question asked whether or not the readers would like to see the city council discuss this matter. The results during the 48 hours were: “Yes, I want city council to discuss this.” 303 votes (93 per cent) “No, I don’t want the city council to discuss this.” 20 votes (6 percent).

Some reasons this could be a good opportunity include: A budget-type hotel/motel would provide accommodation for visiting sports teams, budget-minded tourists, out-of-town tradespeople, outdoors enthusiasts, and people travelling with pets, to name a few underserved groups. 

These underserved groups could bring more visitors to Elliot Lake, increasing tourist spending and creating the additional occupancy required for another, viable hotel/motel business.

The location has unique features that would help the hotel/motel attract new guests. The unique features include:

  1. High visibility location with easy access
  2. ATV/snowmobile trails directly behind the property
  3. Fast-food outlets are next door
  4. A gas station is also nearby and linked to the trails
  5. Our modestly priced golf course and downhill ski hill could help attract year-round tourist guests (and the visitors would help support those existing facilities)
  6. For even lower-cost activities, we have no-cost recreation immediately adjacent or nearby. 

Some of our best hiking trails are directly behind the property and two Blue Flag (clean and beautiful) beaches are in town.

Would you please support bringing this to a council debate? 

Thank you for your consideration of this matter.

Steve Calverley, 
Elliot Lake, ON


About the Author: Brent Sleightholm

As a reporter, Brent has covered everything from amateur and professional sports, to politics, entertainment, police and courts, to human interest stories and government issues
Read more