John Parker & Maureen (Mo) Hutchinson-Parker
John and I have worked together since 1982, and amazingly, we still enjoy working together. 😆
Wow!! We SURVIVED our 19th Season at the Northern Lights Motel & Chalets!! 😁 We thank all of our wonderful guests for the BEST SEASON EVER!! We have a combined 88 YEARS working in the Hospitality Industry, and we LOVE it! When our Guests are Happy, WE are Happy!
We still live here in the winter, but instead of cleaning, doing laundry, and running the Front Desk, every day, 7 days a week…. We RENOVATE! (We can’t renovate in open season. We run without staff and are much too busy.)
Here’s a great Before-and-After pic of Chalet 2 when we bought the place, and Chalet 2 now. 😲
I’ve been designing this website for 2 decades and there are so many things I could write about because everything has changed in the past 20 years.
Our neighbouring Highway Motels, The Lakewood Motel, The Wild Goose/Pine Grove, and the Pinewood Motel, were all open when we bought our Motel. But now they are gone. 😧
The disaster was a big change, but we find our Age has had the most impact. 😁 When we first bought the Northern Lights, we were youngsters – 39 & 40 years old, and able to run the Office till midnight, and even allowed people to Door-Bell us out of bed if we had vacancy. We slept in our clothes back then, but my cartoon has more impact with me in pyjamas 😂
But now? We are so old, we are in bed by 10 pm. Haha! (Late Self-Serve Check-ins are easy peasy, as long as you have a reservation.)
I enjoy photographing the wildlife in winters, and burying Beer Cases. 😆
Our property is a Wildlife Sanctuary – A bag of peanuts lasts us 2 Days! LOL! This video stars Peanut (The Drama Queen), Big Ears (Sitting on the log eating the bird’s peanuts), Yelly (the squirrel that gets a peanut and runs away), 3 Chickadees & 1 Red Breasted Nuthatch.
I invented the Canadian Snow Gauge (4 Beer Cases High) in the early 2000’s, when there wasn’t any Snow information on the Internet for the American and Southern Ontarian Snowmobilers. And I still enjoy measuring the snow in winters. But I sure don’t enjoy shovelling it!
Someone often shows up to drink the snow gauge in April 😁
The Northern Lights isn’t just a Business for us… It’s our whole life. And we make sure that we have FUN! As the Chains take over, and the Rural Highway Motels become a thing of the Past, John and I have a BLAST operating, cleaning, and owning a Spotless, Generous Motel, filled with humour and amenities that other Hotels don’t offer.
How We Met & Why we are Here
I grew up in Sault Ste Marie, ON, John grew up in the Toronto area. We both moved to Edmonton, and met in 1982 at the Convention Inn Hotel (Now the Delta Inn South). I worked at the Top of the Inn Dining Room for 20 years. John, the Executive Chef of the Hotel worked there for 16 years. Oh how we LOVE and MISS that Hotel & everyone that worked with us. (20 years in Uniforms to 20 Years in T-Shirts 😎)
The Top of the Inn Diningroom staff gave us an AWESOME going away present in 1998 (Of course it hangs in our Motel Office). The Top of the Inn Dining Room closed shortly after we left. It’s now a Banquet Room. 🙁
November 19, 2017 – We had a 20th Reunion in Edmonton!! It was WONDERFUL to see everyone again!
Through our 20’s and 30’s, John and I LIVED for Travelling and Gambling. We drove through 46 States and 9 Provinces, Collecting Casino Chips along the way. Some Chips were FREE, some cost us a FORTUNE. 😆 In Off Season, we gamble at our favourite Bay Mills Casino every chance we get!
I dealt Blackjack for 3 summers during the Edmonton Klondike Days. What a Hoot!!
We were tired of being happy, so we got married in 1992.
In 1999, we wanted to be closer to our families, and moved back to Ontario and went “ALL IN” buying the Northern Lights Motel. Our BIGGEST Gamble Ever ~
We ran the Motel Year-Round for the first 5 years & Mom and Dad, Helen and Bob Hutchinson, SAVED US and ran the Motel for us for 10 days, twice a year. Aunt Wanda and Uncle George Hutchinson, would help out. John and I could ESCAPE, and we drove a million miles, adding to our Casino Chip Collection.
We LOVE the Hospitality Business (It’s not for everyone), and have received some Awards over the years ~
- American Express Hospitality Award
- Alberta’s Gold Key Hospitality Award
- Multiple Tripadvisor Awards for Best Bargain and Excellence
In 2002 we created the “Canadian Snow Gauge” 4 Beer Cases High, and ran the Snow Cam on our website and on facebook for 13 years. This was years before Social Media and Facebook.
One time, while driving to photograph Black Trout Lake for a Lake photo, we hit Black Ice and slammed into a Rock Cut…. was Airborne, then crashed onto the middle of the highway! Lucky for us, we were able to crawl out of the passenger window and escape. Here we are – still smiling because we were unhurt and ALIVE. (We always look at the Positive)
Our 18 years in Wawa have been interesting – John has become an incredible “John of all Trades”. I even tried my hand at painting Billboards…
Tripadvisor awarded us in 2010, and Shirley Mills Wrote a nice story ~
My handle is nlmotel
I’m pretty fast at putting Puzzles together – Try to beat my time 🙂
Spring 2018 – I was clearing a trail to Spider Falls, and I came across the CUTEST Moose Droppings on the forest floor! So I HAD to make “organic” Moose Fridge Magnets. lol! Aren’t they a hoot??
I started my own Custom Made Cartoon Business back in 1993 or so. But once I bought the Motel, I didn’t have time for that any more. But I drew a few last winter, and have plans of drawing some more this winter.
There’s just way too much to write about….I did try running a “BLOG”, With Last Year’s snow cam and a few comical stories and cartoons on This page
I post a lot on our Facebook Page. Just follow us to see what we are up to!
Our 20th Season starts May 15, 2019 – October 10, 2019 (This Reservation Manager is on vacation from October 10 till Jan 1. Everyone will be able to make reservations for our 20th Season Jan 1, 2019) As always, we look forward to having you stay with us!
Mo & John