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 Elliot Lake New Mall Opening!

Elliot Lake to see new section of mall unveiled

Exterior of second portion of plaza is built, fencing will come down next week, and parking lot will be paved

CBC News Posted: Aug 01, 2016 6:00 AM ET Last Updated: Aug 01, 2016 6:00 AM ET

After several delays, city officials now say Elliot Lake's new mall should be complete by June of 2016.

Fencing is coming down this week around the new portion of Elliot Lake's rebuilt shopping centre — four years after the roof of the old Algo Centre mall collapsed, killing two women.

The unveiling symbolizes a fresh start for the small northern community.

The MPP for the area, Michael Mantha, says the old mall was a central meeting place for the town that's mostly made up of retirees.

So when it came down, people lost that sense of community.

Mike Mantha

Michael Mantha, MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin says Elliot Lake is growing. "The cloud has moved on and Elliot Lake is going in the right direction." (

With the unveiling of the newest section of the mall, Mantha says "individuals will be able to sit down and just have a coffee, and recognize each other within the community, enjoy in discussion, share a laugh, maybe shed a tear.

"But also just to have that central gathering point is essential to the community."

Mantha notes people are remaining in town and other businesses are opening up.

"The town is growing. The cloud has moved on and Elliot Lake is going in the right direction."

'We're doing fine'

As project manager, William Elliott took on the challenge of designing a new mall.

He says there was lots of excitement when the Foodland grocery store opened.

He expects even more emotion when the second part of the new mall is unveiled later this summer.

"I think the message out there is, 'we're doing fine and we're going to be fine and we're going to prosper'."

William Elliott

William Elliott, general manager for regional economic development agency ELNOS, has been the project manager for the site preparation phase of Elliot Lake's new Pearson Plaza. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

Elliott, who is general manager for regional development agency ELNOS, has been asked by city to handhold the project.

"People said, 'we don't want stairs, we don't want multi-level, we don't want everything on one level.' So we were required to create, in a community that's all hills and solid rock, a nine acre flat site," he said.

"So just to do the site work was a huge endeavour."

Finish line in sight

Elliott says the town of 11,000 people finally has something to look forward to.

"We're very pleased to now see the finish line in sight," he continued.

"The anticipation and excitement around Foodland in April was amazing. Even having that part open brought the tension in the community way down and brought the spirits of the community way up, and that's only going to be amplified when we get into the rest of the mall."

The project is bringing more to the community than just shopping, Elliott continued.

"Lots of people were going to the mall two, three, four days a week," he said.

"So ... take that away from them without a good substitute, [it] was very hard on the community. And we've heard loud and clear that [they] want that back."

Evolution of new mall

Construction of the mall began in December of 2012.

Foodland opened April 1 of this year, and retailers Dollarama and Turner's Corner General Store will move in over the next two weeks.

The plaza will be 60 to 70,000 square feet, with an ability to expand 30 to 40,000 square feet.

The library will open this fall. Elliott says it will be the showcase piece of the mall, measuring 10,000 square feet in size, with lots of windows bringing in natural light.

The trial of the only person to be charged in connection with the fatal Algo Centre Mall collapse starts Sept. 6 in Sault Ste. Marie.

Robert Wood was the last engineer to inspect the shopping centre.

He's facing two counts of criminal negligence causing death, and one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

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Elliot Lake's full-sized Foodland now Open!

After a wait of more than three years, Elliot Lake finally has a new full-size Foodland.

The new 25,000 square-foot Foodland grocery store opened in the Pearson Plaza Friday at 8:45 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Eager shoppers were lined up 45 minutes before the store opened to be among the first to explore the aisles and shop.

The store opening drew Sobeys and Foodland executives to Elliot Lake.

Foodland’s Ontario vice-president of operations, Cindy Cameron, said “As we begin a new chapter in Elliot Lake today, I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to acknowledge the tragic mall collapse that devastated this community almost four years ago. Many were hurt and two innocent lives were taken. Doloris (Perizzolo) and Lucie (Aylwin), you are always in our prayers.”

Cameron asked the crowd to pause for a moment of silence to honour Perizzolo and Aylwin, as well as their families.

“Today, we come together as a new beginning.”

She thanked the City of Elliot Lake, their customers and the community for their patience and support.

Foodland has operated in the Collins Hall from Oct. 19, 2012 until March 31, 2016. The Collins Hall was a gift to the community in its early days, by its founders Franc Joubin and Joseph Hirshhorn.

Prior to Foodland taking up temporary residence in the Collins Hall, it served the community in a number of facets, from sports to wedding receptions to parties to concerts and more. Residents had to make arrangement to hold such events elsewhere to accommodate the store, Cameron explained.

“And we thank you for that.

“In Collins Hall, we did our very best to provide the best possible service, in one-third of the space we previously had.”

She added that with the new store they can now offer a far greater selection, which fulfills their commitment.

“We committed to staying in Elliot Lake and investing in the community.”

Cameron also commended store franchisees Pierre and Pauline Vaillancourt for their long and strong commitment to Elliot Lake.

“Their commitment to the community has been outstanding. Every time I mention their names, the response is consistently centred around how much value you bring to Elliot Lake. You are certainly a pillar here,” which drew a thunderous applause.

Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes, said “This is a very emotional, and it’s a fantastic day for the people of Elliot Lake.”

She added that the tragedy of the Algo Centre Mall collapse will be in the people’s minds forever.

Hughes praised ELNOS, the local chamber of commerce and others “for their part in making sure this day would come.”

She also express her appreciation to the Vaillancourts.

“You have been a pillar of this community. Your support of this community has been unbelievable, whether you’re at the hockey games or donating or just providing that constant level of service that you continued to provide even after the mall collapsed.”

Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha asked the crowd “Did you ever think it was going to happen? It’s finally happened.”

Mantha said there were two words he planned to use. The first was “loyalty;” loyalty from the customers for their support of Foodland as well as from the owners who have been dedicated to the community.

The second word is “class.”

“What you demonstrated this morning with recognizing Lucie and Doloris, who are up there smiling on this day, that showed class.”

He added that this new store is a piece of the puzzle that shows growth in Elliot Lake.

“We can see movement, we can see new life and new people coming here, and new businesses that are setting up. And that’s a step in the right direction.”

Elliot Lake Mayor Dan Marchisella also expressed his appreciation to all who played a part in getting to this day.

He praised William Elliott for all his work on the project.

“This guy does not ever get enough dibs. He has been the glue holding this together.”

He also thanked Sobeys for their commitment to remain in Elliot Lake.

He welcomed Foodland Elliot Lake new store manager Steve and Joanne Strom to Elliot Lake, and showered praised on the Vaillancourts for their dedication to the community.

“They’re beyond just running a grocery store. They’ve continued to support events in this community and support our community.

“And thank you to your staff for working their butts off for Elliot Lake, continuously.”

Foodland showed its spirit of giving back to the community Friday morning as Steve and Joanne Strom, Cameron and Pierre and Pauline Vaillancourt presented a $1,500 gift card to Captain Sean Furey, of the Salvation Army in Elliot Lake to help them feed the hungry.

“Foodland is a big part of the community,” says Cameron, “and it serves by giving back, and it’s very important to us.”

Furey thanked Foodland for the donation.

“It’s a great gift.”

He said this year the local Salvation Army expects to serve 20,000 meals at its Hope Cafe on Charles Walk.

“We’re trying to target the poorest of the poor in Elliot Lake, and we appreciate the support.”


Following the ribbon cutting, shoppers were permitted to roam the aisles and shop.

Councillor Connie Nykyforak said, “Isn’t this fabulous. I’m just so impressed… the variety that we have here, there won’t be any need for us to go out of town to shop.”

Nykyforak, who is also council’s representative on the library board, adds that “The library is also going to be a ‘wow’ factor in this community.”

The library is expected to move into the Pearson Plaza later this year.

“I’m just excited. I really see a positive and exciting future for Elliot Lake.”

Patricia Cairns, who was among the first customers in the new store, said, “I’m overwhelmed. It all looks so wonderful, you don’t want to disturb anything.”

Thelma Astley, an long-time Elliot Lake resident, described the store as “Fantastic. I love everything in here. I’ve been just waiting for it to open.”

Foodland jobs

The new Foodland also created more employment in the city. With the opening, the 47 employees from the Collins Hall moved to the new facility. In addition, Foodland hired 52 more staff.

While Pierre and Pauline Vaillancourt are the franchisees, they welcome the new store managers, Joanne and Steve Strom, who were the franchisees at Foodland store in Capreol.

However, after 35 years in the business, 29 of which have been in Elliot Lake, the Vaillancourts plan on retiring in the future. They will then leave the city and move to southern Ontario to be closer to their children and grandchildren, said Pierre.

Pierre added that he thanks everyone who helped to get Foodland set up in the Collins Hall, the staff and their customers, “who have supported us through the years.” 
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Elliot Lake new mall construction set to begin

The first delivery of steel for the new mall at Elliot Lake is expected to arrive this week.

The city has been without a shopping centre since the Algo Centre Mall was demolished after its rooftop parking lot collapsed and killed two people in 2012.

After several delays due to issues with site development, construction begins with a new Foodland, said William Elliott, who is with the Elliot Lake and North Shore Corporation for Business Development.

The site was basically a rock covered with bush, he told CBC News.

"We started with less than nothing, to create what is going to be a nice, flat, nine-acre site. It's all going to be enclosed," he said.

William Elliott

William Elliott, who is with the Elliot Lake and North Shore Corporation for Business Development, says construction of the community's new mall will be done by June 2016. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

"No one is going to have to go outside once they are there to do their shopping. No stairs. No elevators. No escalators."

The grocery store will be finished by March.

"We're going to end up with a Foodland that is the most modern and it's going to be the latest design and have all the latest features and functionalities," Elliott continued.

"So we're going to have gone from a fairly old store and a dated store to ...  cutting edge."

The rest of the mall — to be known as Pearson Plaza — will be finished by June of next year. It will host a Dollarama, a new library, Turner's General Store and a food court.

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Feds to tighten mortgage rules
for homes over $500,000

 Published Thursday, December 10, 2015 10:11PM EST
Last Updated Friday, December 11, 2015 12:44AM EST

The federal government is expected to tighten mortgage rules in an effort to cool the red-hot housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver, CTV News has learned.

The new regulations will increase the minimum down payment required to buy a home for more than $500,000, with portions beyond that amount requiring a 10 per cent down payment. The down payment on the first $500,000 will remain at five per cent.

For example, a home costing $700,000 would require a $45,000 down payment – a five per cent down payment on the first $500,000, added to a 10 per cent down payment on the remaining $200,000.

The regulations are expected to take effect in February 2016.

The regulations are expected to take effect in early 2016.

Buyers shopping for homes below the $500,000 mark will be unaffected by the new rules.

The announcement is expected from finance minister Bill Morneau sometime Friday morning. The government is expected to stress that the new rules are designed to foster equity and dissuade cash-strapped buyers who may be seduced by low interest rates.

The decision is based off research by the C.D. Howe Institute, an independent think tank.

The move is expected to take pressure off the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), which offers mortgage loan insurance for properties valued below $1 million.

Since the 2008 recession, the federal government has made it more challenging for Canadians to obtain CMHC-insured mortgages.

For homebuyers with a down payment of less than 20 per cent, the government decreased the maximum amount of time allowed to pay off a mortgage to 25 years from 40 years.

The move was intended to dissuade borrowers from making riskier purchases and instead encourage them to invest in less expensive homes.









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