Iconic Orillia landmark gets a fresh start

Phase one of the Sundial Lakeview Retirement Residence in Orillia had its official ribbon-cutting ceremony today.

According to its new owners, the opening was several years in the making.

“It’s been about a just a little over two and a half year journey from the purchase of the land, to the development, to the final completion,” says Yaseen Nimjee.

It’s a four-storey, spacious modern design with one hundred suites.

The residence is loaded with amenities like a theatre, game room, fitness centre and hair salon.

“We feel we wanted to break the mould a bit on what people come to expect from a retirement residence,” says Nimjee.

It’s a facility Orillia Mayor Steve Clarke says he’s happy to see built.

“Orillia was recently selected as the 33rd best place to live in all of Canada, but the third best place to retire behind Ottawa and Victoria. So, with that formula and what Orillia has to offer it’s a great place for facility like this,” says Mayor Clarke.

Long before this new development, the property was home to the iconic Sundial Inn.

The hotel closed in 2008, and in 2011, a fire destroyed what was left of the building.

Many people in the sunshine city say despite its demolition, they’ll never forget the Sundial Inn.

“It was swanky. I really had this vibe about it, it had this look, and it had this architecture that was popular in California in the 50’s and 60’s,” says Mark Fletcher, the former chair of the Orillia Museum of Art and History.

He remembers it as “the place to go in Orillia”.

The retirement residence will undergo a second phase of construction.

Plans to add suites adjacent to the existing structure are currently underway.

Construction crews are expected to break ground in the summer of 2018.

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