Wawa Disaster – Northern Lights Motel

It took 5 YEARS to get our Entrance back… 

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

This photo made it into CTV’s Top Photos of 2012!!


Of course I had to draw a cartoon after it happened! 

Wawa Northern Lights Disaster Cartoon

Don’t worry – We were closed for the Season. No one went floating down the River. Haha 

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

The torrential rains overwhelmed the culvert (And all culverts surrounding Wawa – Wawa was an Island), and set us in a lake. The 10 room building at the bottom of the photo below, had water ½ way up the windows before the Highway crumbled. It took 1 Week to reopen the Trans Canada Highway.

Wawa Flood Images

There was no 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, Our Land Loss of $180,000 was approved for Disaster Relief & the fund raising began. The Ontario Government said they would match all donations 3 to 1.

Wawa Disaster Relief Northern Lights Motel Photo

We thank EVERYONE that donated on our behalf, and we gave all that money to Disaster Relief.

But Disaster relief didn’t raise enough money to fix the land enabling a rebuild. They offered us $60,000 for fill, only if WE paid $120,000 for the remaining fill – and REBUILT? lmao! (Leave it to the Government to call something “Relief” when it would only make everything worse.) 

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. We completely understood that Disaster Relief couldn’t fix the property enough to rebuild, but thought that since we rebuilt everything we could, and saved our Business, Disaster Relief “might” want to help fix the property? Perhaps just to make it safer? More appealing to look at from the highway? Slope it so that the cliffs are gone? But they said “NO”.

Northern Lights Disaster Wawa

August 2016 – 4 Years after the flood…. Still destroyed… 


We looked at the mess Season… after Season…..

Wawa Northern Lights Disaster

2017 – 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…. It starts getting filled! Thank you Aecon!

Northern Lights Disaster

Northern Lights Motel Wawa

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

Wawa Disaster Northern Lights Motel  

So the property is terribly scarred from the Disaster, and since Disaster Relief used our Motel as the Cover Photo, to RAISE MONEY, and since we gave them all the money we raised…. We thought they “might” want to help us fix the property. 

But Disaster Relief said “NO”. 

Northern Lights Motel Disaster

Thanks for nothing Disaster Relief!