Niagara-on-the-Lake 129-room luxury hotel proposal gets thumbs-down from residents


Published May 11, 2023 at 1:06 pm

A rendering of what the four-storey Parliament Oak Hotel would look like on the former school lot. (Drawing: Peter J. Lesdow architect)

Development representatives for a proposed four-storey luxury hotel located on a former public school site in Niagara-on-the-Lake got a rough ride from local residents at a public meeting on Tuesday (May 9).

The developer’s proposal would see 129 suites planned for the luxury hotel, along with a restaurant, bar and event spaces. The plan also features underground parking and eight parking spaces on ground level.

An architect representing developer Two Sisters Resorts Corp. did his best to convince the crowd of 50 residents that the hotel would blend into the single-family home neighbourhood but the citizens were far from convinced.

The hotel, which would be built on the site of the former Parliament Oak School at 325 King St., has already gained some controversy prior to the hotel proposal, as the town’s repeated efforts to buy the land from the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) fell through.

Well-known Niagara-on-the-Lake developer Benny Marotta, who’s spearheading the hotel proposal, will likely continue to push for the project but the Town got a good sense of what local residents are thinking.

Initially, the developer wanted to put three apartment buildings and a dozen semi-detached homes on the 1.6-hectare site, but that was struck down as it conflicted with the neighbourhood around it.

The residents complained repeatedly that the luxury hotel was not compatible with the low-rise, low-density adjacent residential neighbourhood.

Despite the outcry against the proposal, it’s mandated that any new development must have a public meeting to get input.

The proposal will now land back in the hands of the Town’s planning staff who will evaluate public input before forwarding their report to Town Council.

Parliament Oak School at 325 King St. in Niagara-on-the-Lake has been vacant for years.

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