Killarney Mountain Lodge is entering a new phase in its long history with the intent of taking the town with it to a brighter future.
The resort's latest building project is well underway and by the time it's finished, it will be a record-breaker and a focal point for the property.
Canada House, a 34,000-square foot conference centre is being constructed on the west end of the resort in the village of Killarney, 120 kilometres southwest of Sudbury, on the shore of Georgian Bay. Guests were invited to tour the project during the grand opening, June 22 and 23.
"It's slated to be finished by December, with opening in the spring of 2019, but we are already attracting larger events and have bookings," said general manager Kelly McAree. "This is for the future of the lodge and Killarney as a whole. We are raising all boats with the tide."
It's both paying homage to history and making it, McAree said. By the time it is finished, it will be the largest log structure and largest convention centre built out of logs in the world.
Canada House boasts two levels with multi-functional spaces. The ground floor includes two main banquet rooms with unobstructed views of the bay that include bars, fireplaces and large floor spaces that can hold 150 people in the smaller room and up to 300 people in the larger. Also on the ground floor are several private dining rooms that will accommodate around 20 people and a kitchen area. Once completed guests will be greeted by a large rotunda, solid wood staircases leading to the basement and solid log columns.
Much of the lumber is red and white pine, like the trees growing in the region. McAree said much of it was harvested from Wik wemikong Unceeded Territory's logging operation. The rest comes from Quebec and B.C.
In the basement, there will be seven fully-wired breakout rooms set up for conferences and meetings, and served with its own kitchen.
"Each room we are building and naming after historical figures, locations and events that happened in the community and at the lodge," McAree said. "The names include Hole-in-The-Wall, Group of Seven, even our longtime fishing charter guide will have a room named after him."
While the scale of the building is large the design has an organic look that blends into the surroundings, mimicking the traditional log cabins that were common to the region in the early part of its history.
This conference centre is the latest and largest project in the resort's ongoing renovations.