Wakefield Mill plans $2.3 million expansion for rooms, sunroom bistro, pool


by Trevor Greenway on October 15, 2009

This conceptual drawing of the Wakefield Mill's expansion shows the sunroom bistro, overlooking the La Peche falls.

This conceptual drawing of the Wakefield Mill's expansion shows the sunroom bistro, overlooking the La Peche falls.

Owners of the Wakefield Mill just announced they are planning for a $2.3 million facelift to expand the award-winning hotel and restaurant.

The expansion will include 13 new guest rooms, a greenhouse and a new glass bistro sunroom, something that innkeeper Lynn Berthiaume said is in high demand.

“There has been quite a demand for casual dining,” she said at a press conference Oct. 9.

The bistro sunroom will be built on the east side of the building, to overlook the waterfall on the La Peche River to give diners a “unique and seductive experience.”

The 13 rooms will be built on a commercially zoned property adjacent to the Mill, which will bring the total number of superior quality suites to 40. Innkeeper Bob Milling, and husband to Berthiaume, said some of the suites will feature dine-in kitchenettes, allowing the company to cater to a wider range of consumers.

“It allows us to broaden our offerings,” he said, referring to hotel packages that will be priced lower than the current ones that include meals.

“It allows us to broaden our price range.”

One of the major attractions to the expansion will be the “Destination Organic Gardens”, a large green walking space that will feature heritage perennials, water features, rock gardens and pathways with lookouts and benches throughout. The gardens will also feature an arts and culture staging area for local musicians and visual artists to put on shows for the public.

“We believe that our future as a tourism destination will increasingly depend on a nature-based experience,” said Milling in a news release.

“With the announced four-lane extension of Hwy 5 to Wakefield, the return of the steam train, and the emergence of a trend toward garden tourism, we believe the time is right to re-invest.”

Milling said the motivation behind the artistic component was to provide a solution for artists who lack their own space.

“The local artists community often struggles with lack of venues,” said Milling.

“There is a personal love of art and culture around here.”

The plans also call for organic heirloom vegetable gardens to be used by the dining room’s kitchen, and more storage space for skiers and bikers who need to stash their gear.

Along with the building expansion, set to be completed in March 2011, the new plans include an outdoor four-season swimming pool for guests and a new state-of-the-art conference meeting room and business centre.

Milling said the company received no grant money for the project.

For more information, visit the website at www.wakefieldmill.com.