A triumphant return for The Opinicon Dining and Resort
CHAFFEY'S LOCK - The Opinicon Dining & Resort - this region's adored, ‘Grand Old Dame of the Rideau’ - is back to its iconic glory.
After more than three years of extensive restoration, this picturesque destination on the Rideau Canal system overlooking Opinicon Lake is once again offering unique accommodations, food, live entertainment and so much more.
"We're back!" says owner Fiona McKean, the passionate driving force behind this massive and authentic rejuvenation project of a distinctive vacation spot with roots dating back into the late 1800s. There is a charming ice cream parlour, gift shop, a bakery, a playground and walking paths. The newest feature is an in-ground pool.
Get ready to host an event in the resort’s banquet or meeting facilities, relax in the pub, lounge or on the veranda, and savour fine dining with a stunning view of the lake. The restaurant is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sunday brunch has four sittings.
"It's great to be able to show people what we've done and see the energy returning to this place,” says Fiona. Most recently, two new winterized cabins were added and there have been many updates to the waterfront this past year.
Fiona and her husband Tobias Lutke, CEO of Shopify, purchased the property in 2015. It is their goal to restore the Opinicon to its former splendour. Fiona is making sure this getaway is a combination of nostalgia and modern comforts. Preserving the look and feel of the historic location was essential, right down to the decor in the 16 cottages, ranging from a cozy single cabin to units with four bedrooms.
“The Opinicon has been here for almost all of Canadian history,” says Fiona. “I want to see that it continues to be enjoyed by generations for the rest of Canadian history.”
Bringing the 16-acre property up to code has been challenging but Fiona jokes it should be good to go for hundreds of years to come. "I used to come here as a kid so there are many great memories. It’s like going back in time but with a renewed sense of community and sustainability,” says Fiona.
"We hope everyone will come on site and say, 'Oh! It looks like the Opinicon I remember'," says Fiona.
Now restored, The Opinicon is back to being a hub for surrounding boaters and cottagers. Guests can take in the view from the shore or get out on the water to fish or simply explore by boat, canoe, kayak or water board the world famous Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Opinicon now employs 160 people.
To learn more, book the perfect getaway, or make reservations for breakfast, lunch or dinner, visit their website, call 613-359-5233 or send them an email. Follow Fiona and her team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Story and photo courtesy of the Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office
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