About

John Parker & Maureen (Mo) Hutchinson-Parker 

We’ve worked together for 35 Years in Hospitality & have been married for 25 years…

We have a combined 84 YEARS in the HOSPITALITY BUSINESS! Wow!!

Mo and John

John and Mo 1985

 We’ve owned this place for almost 2 DECADES. Our 18th Season was incredible & we are closed for the Season now. We enjoy spending our winters renovating the Motel.  Online Reservations have Saved our Souls. The Booking Platform keeps track of pricing, room inventory, never allows a double booking, and sends automatic email confirmations. Everything is in writing, and there’s no confusion.

Phone Reservations are a thing of the past.

Online Reservations for 2018 Season will be available January 1, 2018


We LOVE the Hospitality Business (It’s not for everyone), and have received many Awards over the years 

  •  American Express Hospitality Award
  • Alberta’s Gold Key Hospitality Award
  • Multiple Tripadvisor Awards for Best Bargain and Excellence 

Northern Lights Motel wawa Awards

Northern Lights Motel Wawa

A little about us –

I grew up in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, John grew up in the Toronto area. We met in 1982 at the Convention Inn Hotel in Edmonton (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.  

John & Mo – Top of the Inn, Edmonton 1989

 

hotel-wawa-johnf

John, the Executive Chef, in front of the Convention Inn 1995

The Top of the Inn Diningroom staff gave us an AWESOME going away present (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. 🙁

Top of the Inn

Top of the Inn Dining Room Staff

Through the 80’s and 90’s, we 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. lol!

casinochips

Playing Blackjack with John was so much fun, that I thought it’d be great to learn how to deal Blackjack for Klondike Days each summer.

Mo Klondike Days Dealer

We were tired of being happy, so we got married in 1992.  

Mo & John's Wedding

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!

Mo and John

Don’t you love the beautiful No Vacancy sign I made? (too funny!)

We ran the Motel year round in the first 5 years, and created the “Canadian Snow Gauge” 4 Beer Cases High, in 2003, Years before Social Media and Facebook. We ran the Snow Cam for 13 years!

Chica and the Canadian Snow Gauge

One time, while going to photograph Black Trout Lake for the Snowmobilers, we hit Black Ice and slammed into a Rock Cut head on…. was Airborne, then crashed onto the middle of the highway! Yes, we were still smiling because we were unhurt and ALIVE! (We always look at the Positive)

Mo and John's crazy adventures

Our 18 years in Wawa have been interesting – John became quite the handyman and I tried my hand at painting billboards. 

Mo Painting Billboards

Shirley Mills Wrote a nice story about us ~ 

Northern Lights Motel Award

After the loss of 12 Rooms in the 2012 Disaster, we never thought that we would reach “Review Quotas” for Awards again. But our Guests are amazing and posted a lot of great reviews. 

Northern Lights Motel Wawa

I LOVE photographing the wildlife and I post the pics on our FACEBOOK page.

March 2016 – My photo of Penelope, our Coyote,  dons Chalet 2’s kitchen. 

Newly renovated Chalet Kitchen

April 30, 2017 – I must find a frame for Charlie! Isn’t he so cute? Like the Whack-A-Mole game! lol! 

Northern Lights Motel Wildlife

In 2015, I made a couple of videos YouTube Channel

Wawa Northern Lights YouTube

September 2016, I found a NEW OBSESSION! PUZZLES from photos!  www.jigidi.com  

My handle is nlmotel

I’m pretty fast at putting Puzzles together! Try to beat my time! 

Northern Lights Motel Puzzles

Back in the 90’s I had my own “Custom Cartoon” website. I drew custom cartoons for people around the world. But once we bought the ALL-CONSUMING-MOTEL, I couldn’t draw anymore. I’ve decided to get back to it Fall 2017.

Hotel Motel Cartoon

 

And I’m photographing the Snow for the Snowmobilers again…. But I do not like the photos on Facebook. So I need to design a new website for the Snow Cam and my Cartoons. 

ANOTHER NEW CHALLENGE!!

Our life at the Northern Lights has been through many changes in 18 years. We’ve always accepted our challenges and have never been daunted by them. We continually morph with the times, and figure out how we are going to make this place the best that we can for our valued guests. 

We just turned 40 when we bought this place, and for years, we slept with the “Vacancy” on, in our clothes, and allowed highway travellers to door-bell us out of bed for a room. (We look back now and can’t believe it! lol!) When we turned 45, we could stay up till midnight, and then put the “No Vacancy” on and go to bed. We turned 50, and could stay up till 11 PM. We turned 55, and could only stay up till 10 PM. Now that we are reaching 60?? We need to find a “Self Serve” Check-In. LOL! The 16 hour days, 7 days a week are not for SENIORS. They are for insane motel owners, and there are very few of us left. (I wonder why?)

Of course the biggest change here, wasn’t just us going from 40 years old to SENIORS – It was the flood destroyed 3/4’s of our Business & closed it for a year. The Disaster made the National News and the Trans Canada Highway was closed for a week while they rebuilt it.

Northern Lights Motel Wawa Disaster

At that time, no one thought our business could be saved, so the Ministry of Transportation did not rebuild our entrance. 🙁  It was upsetting, but it didn’t stop us! 

Northern Lights Motel Wawa

Wawa disaster

Can you believe it?? July 2017 – 5 years later, we got our Pull Through Parking Lot Back.

Northern Light Motel Entrance

Because it took 5 Years for us to get an entrance back, and the property flat, we couldn’t rebuild the lost rooms. 

But ALWAYS remember…. 

John and Mo – May 2013

Wawa Flood Disaster Northern Lights Motel

Northern Lights Motel Youtube Channel

Northern Lights Motel Snow Gauge

Northern Lights Motel Facebook Page

Mo and John's Chip Collection