Welcome to our timeline, the Presidents’ Suites story since 2002.
The journey which started back in 2002 has been very exciting as we have been developing something new and unique in this very beautiful Temiskaming area of Northern Ontario. We hope that you will appreciate our progression and involvement in the community and that it will give you a sense of where we are heading.
The Presidents’ Suites Story
It All Started Here
Nicole Discovering Haileybury
While I was travelling throughout Ontario as executive director for tourism organisation Direction Ontario, I was overwhelmed by Haileybury, such a quaint little community nestled on the shores of Lake Temiskaming. Like many people travelling along the TransCanada highway 11, I had not given myself the trouble of driving on secondary Highway 11-B to discover Haileybury, Cobalt, New Liskeard and Lake Temiskaming.
Acquiring the Ferland House
During one of Nicole’s visit to Haileybury, Jack Perry, the harbourmaster of the time, pointed out to a magnificent historical residence on Millionaires’ row, which was at the time for sale. Before long, she had made an offer on the house, planning to convert it into an accommodation for executives travelling in the region. At the time she did not really know that the house had been built in 1906 by Arthur Ferland, owner of the Matabanick Hotel, one of the first mine owners in Cobalt, and a great community leader of the time.
First Web Site
The first web site of the Presidents’ Suites is developed in 2010. At the time, the web site was trying to capture as much content as possible about the Temiskaming region and its communities. The site was the most important tool in attracting new guests from all regions to the Presidents’ Suites.
Moving Full-Time in Haileybury
In 2010, Nicole and Jocelyn decided to move full-time in Haileybury and focus their efforts in the development of the Presidents’ Suites. Up to that time, the business was ran mostly out of Nicole’s Kapuskasing office with local part-time employees taking care of the property and getting everything ready for the guests.
Home Sweet Home
The Presidents’ Suites is featured in the Home Sweet Home publication. Under the story ‘If Walls Could Talk’ by Darlene Wroe. In the article, Nicole likens Haileybury to Niagara-on-the-Lake and she also stated that Presidents’ Suites want to be a catalyst in attracting visitors and groups to do things in our beautiful community.
Temiskaming Interactive Circuits
The Presidents’ Suites partners with ARTEM cultural Centre to develop the Temiskaming Interactive Circuits (TiC) project. The project was to develop an innovative and affordable way, with the use of the internet and mobile devices, to promote the touristic and cultural aspects of the area Temiskaming region.
The Prospector’s House
The Prospector’s House is added to the President’s Suites historical homes. It is the first home to be developed with a thematic associated with the history of the region, the Cobalt mining era. The decor of the home was recognized by the IDEA 2014 national award.
Historical games and publications were developed to promote the Prospector’s House and the concept of using our rich history to attract people to the region. The head frame and guess who memory games along with he ‘The amazing lives of Cobalt-Haileybury’s Prospectors’ were developed in partnership with local artists.
Collaborating With Community Organisations
In 2013, the Presidents’ Suites collaborated with several community organisations in order to assist in the development of a strategic and marketing plan. A few of these organisations were ARTEM, the Festival des Folies Franco-Fun, the Camp Jeunesse en Marche and the Temiskaming Art Gallery.
Guest Speaker Series
Inspired by the TED concept, the Presidents’ Suites Guest Speaker Series was launched. Nicole & Jocelyn wanted to share with the community the knowledge, passion and inspiration of some of our renowned and talented guests. Short talks/demonstrations are organized a few times a year where our guests present on a specific topic.
The Lumber Baron’s House
The Lumber Baron’s House, built in 1906, is added to the President’s Suites historical homes. It is the second home to be developed with a thematic associated with the history of the region, the Lake Temiskaming lumber era. The decor of the home was recognized by the IDEA 2015 national award.
The rich history of the Temiskaming region is very important for the Presidents’ Suites and we are trying to convey this history over to every one of our guests with historical activities such as our historical scavenger hunt, our mystery day and our pirate treasure hunt.
The Presidents’ Suites becomes a perfect setting for corporate meetings and get-togethers with the addition of a larger meeting room in the Lumber Baron’s House. Smaller meeting rooms are also available in other homes. A corporate marketing brochure is developed. Groups experience a different social interaction which seems particularly conducive to productive meetings.
The Little Crooked House
The house was added to our list of historical homes in 2015. With its eclectic design, the Little Crooked House is unique and it certainly surprises all of our guests. The eclectic style encompasses different periods and is brought as a whole through the use of texture, color, furniture and fabrics. The Little Crooked House is the perfect one person or one couple house.
Updated Web Site
A fully updated web site now represents what the Presidents’ Suites are all about in 2016. With its five historical homes and island, along with all the associated historical activities and products, Nicole and Jocelyn have truly developed a unique business model.
Destination Temiskaming Blog
Wellness & Well-being
We believe that wellness is essential to a good and happy life. Our vision is to add a wellness pillar to the Presidents’ Suites and to provide a retreat center where people could experience renewal and deep well-being. We believe that as human beings, we need to seriously consider major changes in the way we are living.
Cafe Meteor Bistro
Nicole & Jocelyn wanted to have an impact on the revitalization of Haileybury’s downtown core. They started exploring the idea of opening a café/bistro-type restaurant, and then restored a century-old building and the Cafe Meteor Bistro opened in the summer of 2017. The upscale casual 46 seats licensed restaurant was named after the famous steamship the S.S. Meteor that navigated lake Temiskaming for 40 years and brought pioneers on both sides of the Lake.
The décor tried to recreate what the dining room of the Meteor could have looked like a hundred years ago. The nautical theme was represented with shiplap, port holes and brass accessories. In addition, some of the elements on the outside of the Café Meteor Bistro evoked an authentic, vintage feeling present in the glory days of Haileybury, such as the lamps on the outside wall and the awnings.
The menu consisted of comfort food prepared in-house with as many local ingredients as possible with a focus on fresh ingredients, creating colourful, textured, delicious, health-conscious foods.
The Café Meteor Bistro closed its doors in August 2019 as the restaurant was simply taking too much of Nicole & Jocelyn’s time. A new vision for the continuation of this beautiful project was already in development.
Vacation Rental Collaborators
A new chapter has been launched for the Presidents’ Suites with the addition of collaborators offering other vacation rental options in Haileybury. With the decision to sell our smaller homes, we were able to find passionate people willing to continue with our Guest House and the Little Crooked House. Nicole & Jocelyn will focus on groups with their larger homes.
Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Seven women leaders from across northeastern Ontario were recognized during the 2018 Influential Women of Northern Ontario Awards luncheon on May 28 in Sudbury. Nicole received the Entrepreneur of the Year award for her work developing the Presidents’ Suites and numerous other initiatives that have impacted Northern Ontario.
Coworking spaces are an emerging sensation and they can be seen popping up in cities and towns across the world!
So we decided to launch Co-Worx, a brand-new and innovative coworking space in downtown Haileybury. Early 2019, we renovated a century-old building to a trendy space, unique in Northern Ontario. You will find at Co-Worx 15 independent work stations, 2 large tables that can facilitate groups up to 8 people, a board room that can be rented for privacy, a kitchenette with your favourite coffee and teas from the Meteor, 2 bathrooms and lockers to store some personal items.
Coworking spaces provide a short-term office rental space for individuals, small business owners, contractors, independent workers and consultants to channel their creativity and their productivity while working amongst others with similar goals.
Whiskeyjack Beer Company New Location
For Whiskeyjack Beer, after almost 2 years of searching for the ideal location to physically set up their microbrewery. The Haileybury Café Meteor Bistro downtown location will become home of a microbrewery, a retail store and a tasting room. The tasting room will include a food aspect, interactive events and local collaborations. Co-owners Luc Johnson and Marc-André Therrien are excited to be able to take the company to the next step. They open the location as a resto-bar December 2019 and will be installing the brewing equipment early 2020.