Wawa Disaster – Northern Lights Motel

Wawa Disaster – October 2012

It was a Wild Ride! Our Business and Property was destroyed beyond belief!

October 2012 Disaster
This photo made it into the 2012’s Top 100 Canadian News Photos 

I took a photo of our newest (10 Room) Building in the above picture, when it was underwater. OMG

Motel Underwater

CRAZY Video footage from above – CBC’s video footage of the Disaster

News Articles about the Disaster ~ Sault Star -“Highway Like a River”

The Wawa Sinkhole  (It wasn’t a sinkhole)

Thankfully, we were closed for the season and no one drowned. 4 Motel rooms & our Home were built on high ground and escaped damage. We have always stayed positive and counted our blessings!!

Northern Lights Motel after Disaster

We lost 12 of our 16 Rooms and were closed for almost a year. The 10 Room building below was without access for months. Nothing was salvageable.

Northern Lights Disaster Wawa


Wawa Northern Lights Disaster

Even though so much was destroyed, We did everything in our power to SAVE what was left of our Beloved Business. We built a road through the canyon for the Demolition.


Arial view of the rebuilding of the Highway (They DID NOT rebuild our entrance)

Rebuilding the Highway


Elected Officials said they would help, but we have yet to receive help from our Government

wawa flood promise

The Massive Land Loss was approved for Disaster Relief.

Land Loss


But dealing with 2 Government entities, The Ministry of Transportation & Ontario Disaster Relief, has been a VERY Long and Painful process. (We all know how Painful it can be to deal with ONE Government entity.)

So now, we believe that we are waiting for the MTO to rebuild our entrance and fill this Pit –

Wawa Disaster

Then after that happens, we still have this pit to deal with…

Wawa Disaster

This is out of our control. So embrace it!!


Remember Folks – Northern Ontario is a disaster. We are SO used to this type of treatment in Northern Ontario. We have morphed this business again and again, just to keep the boards off the windows. Just look at our neighbours that were all OPEN when we bought our place –

Closed hotels in Wawa

Todays Google Street View still shows us before the Flood

Wawa Disaster

3 years later, we wait patiently in hopes that they fix the inadequate culvert, END flooding issues, replace our entrance and help fix the destroyed property – (Like they said they would).

This was our 2nd entrance. They did not rebuild our entrance because they never thought we’d reopen. We would LOVE to get rid of this Visual Pollution in front of our Business,  but this is out of our control.
Northern Lights Waterfalls

It’s a disaster waiting to happen and has forced our insurance to be so much more now, even though our business is ¼ of the size!

We aren’t quitters… We are survivors!

Always remember folks…

Life is Short - Don't sweat the small stuff

John & Mo – May 2013


CRAZY Video footage from above – CBC’s video footage of the Disaster

News Articles about the Disaster ~ Sault Star -“Highway Like a River”

The Wawa Sinkhole  (It wasn’t a sinkhole)

May 26, 2013 – Mike Purvis interviewed John and Wrote an Update

Northern Lights Motel Youtube Channel

Northern Lights Motel Snow Gauge

Northern Lights Motel Facebook Page

Mo and John's Chip Collection