Wawa Disaster – Northern Lights Motel

The Wawa Disaster Happened October 2012 & we got our entrance back last year

Wawa Disaster Northern Lights Motel


YouTube Video of the Breaking News 

It was a wild Ride!! I took a photo of our newest (10 Room) Building  was underwater. The barn and both chalets were underwater (set in a lake), as the highway acted like a DAM. The water eventually busted through the highway, and turned into a raging river. I had to call 911 and tell them they had to close the highway.

Motel Underwater


Photo Gallery (It wasn’t a sinkhole, but I guess with such a huge loss of land, everyone thought it was)

Disaster Northern Lights Motel Wawa

Luckily we were closed for the season when it happened. Whew! (The 10 room building at the bottom of the photo below, had water ½ way up the windows before the Highway crumbled)

Wawa Flood Images

The Trans Canada Highway was closed for 1 Week. Without a Detour, it caused all sorts of panic. 

Northern Lights Disaster Wawa


Our Christmas Card for 2012 😀

Northern Lights Motel Wawa Disaster

We lost 3/4’s of the Business (12 Rooms – the average size of a Mom & Pop Motel), and were closed for almost a year. 

Insurance doesn’t cover land, and we didn’t have Business Interruption Insurance. 


Elected Officials declared Wawa a Disaster and said they would help.

wawa flood promise

March 22, 2013, we were approved for Disaster Relief & they started raising money. The Ontario Government said they would match donations 3 to 1.

Wawa Disaster Relief Northern Lights Motel Photo

We thank EVERYONE that donated on our behalf!

Dealing with 2 Government Entities (The Ministry of Transportation and Ontario Disaster Relief), was a long and painful process. You cannot insure land, but to enable rebuilding, Disaster relief didn’t raise enough money to fix the land.

The Insurance company started Demolition. 

January 2013Gravel was dumped around the two rooms that were hanging into the canyon and the removal of the last two rooms began.


June 2013 – The road was built through the canyon and the demolition of the 10 Rooms started. 

The main floors and decks of both chalets were rebuilt! Yay! 

After the Demolition, the property sat destroyed, without an entrance, for YEARS. But our guests were very understanding and kept our few rooms full. 🙂 

Northern Lights Disaster Wawa

August 2016 – 4 Years after the flood…. Still a disaster…


 AECON was replacing culverts on the highway and needed a place to put fill. Just when you think that the property will be destroyed forever…. 

Northern Lights Disaster

Northern Lights Motel Wawa

Wawa disaster

July 2017 – 5 Years after the Flood, we got our entrance and Pull Through Parking Lot back! Yay!


Wawa Disaster Northern Lights Motel

We thank everyone for your support and understanding over the years!

2017 – Disaster Relief said we do not qualify for relief now that the property is flat.  

So the property is a big Gravel nasty mess, but we can live with it. At least it’s flat for the first time in 5 YEARS. ALWAYS LOOK AT THE POSITIVE. Don’t dwell on the negative. That is certainly the secret to success. 

Northern Lights Motel Disaster

When we bought our Motel, we were surrounded by neighbouring motels that were OPEN and booming in the early 2000’s. But now they are gone…. Boarded up, demolished and the latest casualty, the Lakewood Motel, north of us, burned last summer after closing in 2011.

As the Chains take over, the small Highway Motels are becoming a faded memory, ours is so small now, it’s always full before we go to sleep at night. No need for this –

hotel cartoon late check in

BLESSED with Online Reservations, a Tiny Motel, FLAT property & a Pull-Through Parking Lot…. We look forward to opening up for our 19th Season on May 15th!

But remember that you need reservations now…. You can’t pull up and do this. LOL!

Mo's Sunday Hotel Cartoon