Our Story begins in November 1983. While taking a drive up to the Red Lake Northwestern Ontario Area to look at investment opportunities, we heard of a housing need particularly for the mining community. We are problem solvers who work to find alternative and workable solutions for everyone in the short and the long term. After intense negotiations with the mining company – construction started in June 1984. In seven months we constructed 104 – one bedroom, fully furnished apartments, in four separate two story wood frame buildings, set among the trees and kept in as natural a setting as possible. They were named Forest View Apartments. Through the detailed personal on-site management of the Owners – Dale and Cindy Hogg and the dedication of the supporting Team, the first tenants moved in on November 5 1984. Local suppliers and trades were a significant part of this venture and Forest View Apartments continues to provide the best of accommodations and a sense of community belonging.
There continued to be a need for family housing and in March 1986 Grant and Jackie Hogg started the planning and construction on 24 – three bedroom townhouses. Again through the personal on-site management of the Owners, dedication of the supporting Team, having all materials and 75% of the labour purchased locally – the first tenants of Pineridge Townhouses moved on November 1 1986. Forest View Apartments, Pineridge Townhouses, The Hogg Family and all Team Members continue to play a significant role in the Red Lake District as community engagers and supporters, valued service providers, major local consumers and as a long term employer for this area.
The longest strike in Canadian history took place in Balmertown, Ontario from 1996 to 2000 which directly impacted the apartment and townhouse rentals. In order to survive, changes were made to rent units in every way – yearly, monthly, weekly and daily. “Nature’s Inn” – Red Lake was born. These 30 units of 500 square feet feature all of the comforts of a private apartment complete with a separate entry, separate bedroom, full kitchen, two – 51 inch flat screen TV’s and all of the amenities to feel like home. Our motto was born “Nature’s Inn – Your Home Away from Home.”
As Owners, we continued to invest in the Northwestern Ontario Region and opened an additional three operating businesses. In 2003 we worked on and opened the ‘Nature’s Inn RV Park and Marina” – 25 RV sites located in Dryden on Wabigoon Lake. In 2011 we worked to open the “Nature’s Inn – Keewatin” – 23 suites located in Kenora and Lake of the Woods Area. In 2014 we opened a Community Living House with 8 small furnished suites each with full en-suites, smart TV”s, a common kitchen/living area and a community garden. Each time the Owners and their dedicated Team Members worked along with the whole community, used local trades and labour, lived on-site, renovated and managed these properties. Our “Nature’s Inn – Brand” for North Western Ontario was born.
Forest View Apartments, Pineridge Townhouses and all of the Nature’s Inn locations – in Red Lake, Kenora, and Dryden – continue to be family owned and operated businesses with the valuable support of our long time Team Members who all show a “sharing and caring” attitude. Time and budget up-grades are part of a continuous and on-going improvement strategy for all properties. It is the real “Family Team Approach” of all of our Team Members which provides customers with a warm welcome, a great experience and the real comforts of “Home.”
Our Story does not end here. Also during these years and to the present time, we as Social Entrepreneurial Owners and dedicated Team Members continue to invest in Northwestern Ontario. These investments include other housing and land purchases in the Kenora Area and in Sioux Lookout, investment in the community through the Kenora and Lake of the Woods Area Community Foundation, supporting the Red Lake District Hospital Foundation, the Red Lake Golf Course, supporting many other local community groups and individuals in each area, as well as providing innovative ideas and examples for new ways of doing business and supporting the community together.
Our Story continues on as we see Northwestern Ontario as an area of real investment opportunity for people and capital, to shift and change the patterns, thoughts and ways of doing business and to support those in real need, those in our Indigenous communities and/or those who have the strong and sustainable desire to move things forward for the betterment of this whole region and their individual communities.
Please connect with us for further conversation on our other interesting projects and future developments in Northwestern Ontario. These include a possible additional RV Park, a potential commercial highway frontage space, an Affordable/Tiny Home Village, a possible Health and Wellness Centre, a potential Day Care Center, possible Condo/Townhouse units, a master plan on 488 acres in Sioux Lookout and other land development potential possibilities and joint ventures.
Dale and Cindy Hogg