John Gary Parker & Maureen Hutchinson-Parker

John and I loved this property so much that we happily retired here after 2 decades. (we previously worked 2 decades in Edmonton.) John never wanted to leave his wildlife. Hand-feeding all the birds, Chipmunks, Squirrels – they all had names. The wildlife brought him so much joy. Sadly John passed away April 20, 2023 and I’m broken hearted. πŸ’” 

John Parker and Maureen Hutchinson-Parker

We worked together for 4 decades!Β 

We started working in Hospitality in Ontario when we were teens. John – a dishwasher at 14 years old – Annandale Golf Course, Ajax. I was 17 when I moved from Sault Ste Marie & got my first waitressing job in Brampton – Perks Restaurant. We both moved to Alberta during “The Boom” and met while employed at Edmonton’s Convention Inn Hotel. Owned by the Ghermezian’s that built West Edmonton Mall – 1st Grand Opening of the Mall was Sept 15, 1981. We worked all 3 Grand Opening Phases of West Edmonton Mall.Β 

Our 80's Uniforms ~

Our 90's Uniforms ~ Mo & Executive Chef, John Parker

(We are so tanned! We just returned from our Honeymoon on Margarita Island, Venezuela.)

Executive Chef John Parker and Maureen

Convention Inn – Top of the Inn Dining Room. That’s me – 1984. The view doesn’t look like that now! (And neither do I! lol)

1984 - Top of the Inn Dining Room View

1995 – Executive Chef John Parker (That’s where I’m sitting in the above photo.)

Executive Chef John Parker

The Spectacular Top of the Inn Dining Room. The photo was taken during the Prime Rib Lunch Buffet.Β 

Executive Chef John Parker, Murray Sharpe, Me, Li Woo and Chef Chris.Β 

Top of the Inn Dining Room

In 1999 we moved back to Northern Ontario, to be closer to family. We purchased Wawa’s Northern Lights Motel & Restaurant. (Photo taken by Bob Diotte)Β 

Motel Owners Maureen and John

The Northern Light’s Motel was built beside the Husky Truck Stop in 1964 by Doug & Mary Lock.Β After they passed away, Jack Lock & Gail (Molnar) Lock, took it over.Β 

The Husky Truck Stop became the Northern Light’s Ford Dealership, so Jack & Gail converted 6 motel rooms & built the Restaurant. They also built 10 more Motel Rooms.

1995 – the Motel & Restaurant was purchased by Dave & Lori Vandermeer. Lori passed away & Dave sold to us in 1999.Β 

We had such a wonderful time here. Snowmobile seasons were fantastic and we worked year round for the first 5 years. But we wanted to Semi Retire, and we went Seasonal in 2006. We loved our winters off, but I continued to run the “Snow Cam” with the Canadian Snow Gauge, and Chica, for many years afterwards.

13 Years ago, Shirley Mills wrote about our first of many, Tripadvisor Awards ~

Wawa Hotel Tripadvisor Awards

Shirley also wrote about Chica and the Canadian Snow Gauge in 2014

Chica and the Canadian Snow Gauge
Chica and the Canadian Snow Gauge

What a crazy fun adventure! 40 Years of Collecting Casino Chips, and many years of "Surviving Disasters".

Decades worth of photos are on Facebook -

Special thanks to my Mom, Helen, my Dad, Bob, my Aunt Wanda and Uncle George Hutchinson for taking care of the motel for us, twice a year, when we were open year round 1999-2005. John and I would travel all over, collecting Casino chips and meeting up with friends.πŸ’•

Thank you Everyone, for your support over the decades. πŸ’• We LOVED all of our years here!

Maureen & John xxoo