2021 will have a bright spot for Burlington in it - The Pearle will prove to be the hottest spot in town.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

June 29th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is a construction site right now.

 

Reflecting pool court yard

The reflecting pool in the Centre will be a feature of the Court yard setting. The 22-story condominium is on the right. The ballroom will be on the second level of the hotel on the left.

But a look around the space that is filled at this point with pieces of equipment and parts of the work completed, you can get a sense as to what it will look like when it opens in March of 2021. Leanne Ciancone who, with her brother Aaron, oversee the development of this latest venture, explains “there will be a soft opening” – “we will phase in the different parts of the project – when one is working flaw-free we will then open another part.”

This is a development that has gone through some awkward stages before the Ciancone people got to it.

Few people have heard of The Pearle.

It will become the destination point for the city; a place where people can dine and have a magnificent view of the lake with the Pier sitting just a bit to the west in full view.

Court Yard - restaurant area

The concrete block spaced out on the Court yard grounds will hold the trestles that will cantilever   over the Court yard. Restaurant will be to the left, hotel ballroom on the second floor of the hotel that faces into the open space.

The Court yard of The Pearle is going to be something this city has not seen before.

Pearle _PRIMARY_LOGO (BLACK)The full name is The Pearle Hotel and Spa.

It is part of the Bridgewater development that is close to five years behind its first announced opening date which was to be in 2015 when the Pan Am Games were taking place.

The approval for a 22-storey tower was approved when Walter Mulkewich was Mayor.  At one point it was going to be a 30-storey structure and be known as a Legacy site.

The condominium is not yet complete; the 7 story condominium has some residents in place and a security team is now in the lobby – which isn’t finished.

What was to be a Delta Hotel at first, got upgraded to a Marriott and something went wrong – the Marriott pulled out and The Pearle took its place.  They took a much different approach than the one the Marriott people had in mind. “We wanted something that was more family oriented – and not driven by a corporate approach.”

The people behind the Pearle are no slouches. They operate Spencer’s on the Waterfront, The Old Mill in Ancaster, The Elora Mill in Elora, which has become a premier location for large weddings… these, along with a number of respected and well run hospitality locations in the area.

Leeanne and Aaron at drawings table June 25

Leanne and Aaron Ciancone, a brother and sister team: he does the long range planning – she makes the plans a reality.

Aaron and Leanne Ciancone (brother and sister) are the operators; they took over from their Dad in 2000.

The operation will consist of a Spa, a 150 room hotel and a restaurant that includes a small private venue and the Court yard.

The Gazette has been watching this site from it earliest days when the property was owned by the Mayrose Tyco interests, people who owned the land for decades before deciding it was time to build.

The land was once the site of the Riviera Motel, a location with fond memories for many.

Pearle, the name given to this latest hospitality venture by the Ciancone’s, is taken from their Grandmother. She would be very proud of what her grandchildren have done.

The entrance to the hotel, restaurant and Spa is off Elizabeth Street south of Lakeshore. The Spa has another separate entrance on Lakeshore.

Once inside the doors there will be a hotel registration desk and a grand  curved  staircase going up on either side of the lobby getting you to the second level.  A lot of wedding pictures are going to get taken on those stairs – they will have the majesty of something like Gone with the Wind.

There is nothing steep about the stairs and there is an accessibility ramp as well.

Elizabeth Street, south of Lakeshore, slopes a bit to the lake.  The 4 and a half level underground garage entrance is at the bottom of the street.

On the second level you enter the restaurant and can walk out into the Court yard. Based on what the Gazette has seen so far – it is the Court Yard that will be the jewel.

It will be hidden from the street – tucked in behind the portion of the hotel that stretches along Lakeshore.

Some of the open area is a shared space.

Entrance to publiic from Lakeshore

The view from the top of the stairs leading to the lake looking north to the entrance to the public space on Lakeshore Road. The 22-storey condominium is on the right, the hotel on the left.

The Court yard is on the west side with a public right of way on the east side that leads from Lakeshore right through to a magnificent set of stairs that lead down to the edge of the lake. While a little on the steep side there is a series of gently sloping ramps that people can walk down.

Bridgewater Aerial-rendering-1024x758

An early rendering of what the Bridgewater development was to include. Some of the heights and the location of some features changed

Those stairs will be a great place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. It will be public space which rules out holding a glass of wine or bottle of beer in your hand.

The area is spacious – far more than we expected.

Sitting on the east side of the Court yard is a reflecting pool.

It will without a doubt become the place to wine and dine.

Aaron Ciancone explains that it is the kind of place where you will be able to have a cup of coffee or a piece of pizza if that’s what you want.  This is going to be a people place.

What’s on the menu? They hasn’t been revealed yet but given the locales that the Ciancone’s  operate it will be fine fare; a lot more than slices of pizza.

The hotel has a ballroom that will be able to hold 400 – that will get crimped a bit until we have the Covid-19 virus under control.

The business model is to operate a small hotel, restaurants, the Spa and make the venue a wedding destination.

The Gazette will be tracking this story right up to that soft opening in March of 2021.

New Year’s Eve of 2021 it will be the locale for a great party – unless someone books it for a wedding. The only unknown is whether or not we will all have to wear masks.

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