Memories from the Staff Hotels Deep River, 1945-1985

NEW - Reunion of Staff Hotel Residents a Great Success (read more...)

NEW - How to Order the Book, "Memories From the Staff Hotels"


As former residents of the AECL Staff Hotels, our mission is to preserve the information still available about the hotels, the people who lived there and what they did, and to make it available to others. This has been done by gathering: 1) details about the buildings, staff and services, 2) stories and photographs of life in and around the hotels, 3) wedding pictures for hotel romances, and 4) a register of all former residents that we can think of. The final product is the recently published book, "Memories From the Staff Hotels".

top of page


Twelve dormitories were built on Forest Street in 1945, initially to house the construction workers that built the town, and another 12 where Hill Park is now. Each had about 30 beds. After the construction boom was over the Hill Park buildings were all demolished (by 1953), except for Hill House, which still stands. Until 1961, when the last dorm on Forest Street was demolished, they housed AECL staff, support staff and summer students. 

Construction of the Staff Hotel began mid-1945. It had 211 rooms, 146 of them in the women’s wing. Central services, including meals, were provided for all hotel buildings from here until 1960, when Forest Hall, with its improved facilities, became the center of activity. Between 1960 and 1985 parts of the Staff Hotel were severed and demolished. The last remaining section, Champlain House Apartments, was sold to a private owner in 1985. Two of the current occupants have lived in various staff hotels for more than fifty years!

The Annex, with 63 rooms and bathrooms shared between two rooms, was built in 1951 to serve a continuing demand for single accommodation. 




Forest Hall, with 210 rooms and more modern facilities, was built in 1958-59 to accommodate the increasing demand of the expanding nuclear power program. Many Ontario Hydro trainees were housed here. With a cafeteria, restaurant and bar as central services and lounges for residents on all floors, Forest Hall was a center of activity for the town. It was sold to a private investor in the late 1980s when AECL decided that it would no longer provide living accommodation.

top of page


The gathering was held on the Saturday afternoon (August 2) of the Summerfest weekend, 2008, at the Deep River Yacht & Tennis Club from 3:00 to 5:00. It was a great success with over 250 former residents friends and families in attendance.

Pictures - Then and Now:

Early 1960s image taken at the Forestry Ski Chalet

Group attending the Summerfest weekend activities

Friends from the Fifties reminiscing over historical pictures

Yacht Club Gathering

Susan Sayers, Helen Rothnie, Dorothy Grieve, Pam Attree

Sunday Library Gathering

Staff Hotel Memories Team 2008

Staff Hotels Book

Reg, Larry

Pat Meadowcroft, Al Bancroft

Margaret Crocker

John Hilborn, Al Bancroft, June MacDonald

Left to Right: Pete Midgely (seated), John Hilborn, Sharon (Little) Rogers, John Hueton, Blanche (Gilliland) Wallace, Mary Ellen (Sharpe) Veeder, Yoko Nishimura, Paul Puhach, Elinor Hueton, Betsy Coates, Dave Coates, Terry Rogers
top of page

Residents Registry

During the last few months we have assembled a Residents' Register, with more than 1500 names. All this from the memories of about 40 people! There are no AECL or Staff House Club records that we can find, so everything is being retrieved from our aging memories. Please help by checking that your name is correctly included, or if it is not there, add it and others you can remember. Follow the links and insert new information into the form provided. Pat Meadowcroft is managing the register; contact PO Box 1222, Deep River ON, K0J 1P0, telephone 613-584-3619,

top of page


We all have memories of interesting happenings. This is the most colourful section of the book. Here are a few samples:

top of page


Because so many of us found mates in the Staff Hotels, we decided to include a section that is simply a collection of wedding pictures, where both partners lived in the hotels. A few samples:

Al Bancroft, Joan Jordan 1957, Feb 23 John Mislan, Teresa Norlock 1968
Bill Graham, Helen McCallum 1959, May 16
top of page


We have included as many photographs as we reasonably can, sprinkled throughout the text. Photos in the book are printed in black and white. A few samples:

Mary King's Nash Rambler, Barkas as hood ornament, 1956 Blanche Gililand, 1956
Bonga-Bonga, diety for June Ball 1956 Skate-sailing, Mary Ellen Sharpe and John Hueton 1956
Beauprie's Gondoliers:

Back l to r, Ted Litherland, Bob Hollies, Jim Kennedy, ?

Front l to r, Don Beauprie, Jake Smith, Hector Viancourt?, Jack Robertson 1958

Lucy MacDonald in Crawley-McCracken uniform 1953
top of page

Book - Memories  From the Staff Hotels 1945 - 1985

Download these instructions and a copy of the order form in PDF Format.

The Staff Hotel Memories Group completed the gathering-of-information phase of the project on December 31, 2007. We collected 1200 photographs, 170 stories and 2000 names of former residents for the Register. 

The book is printed in black and white, with colour covers and spiral-ring binding, by Digital Copy Xpress in Deep River. It is distributed by Debi Adams, of LoonsNest Books and Gifts in Deep River and sold at cost of $35 per copy, plus shipping and handling, if requested.

To Order a Copy 

To order, please contact Debi Adams, Proprietor, LoonsNest Books and Gifts by mail at P.O. Box 1469, Deep River, ON, K0J 1P0, by email at, by telephone at 613-584-9532 or by fax at 613-584-9531. Payment can be made by personal cheque payable to The LoonsNest, by Mastercard or Visa, or by cash or debit in the store. 

Please help us to reach any former resident who you think may be interested in purchasing this book. Send a copy of the information sheet to your friends and acquaintances, or contact them by phone or email. For former residents, this is really a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for you!

top of page

website by Bright Ideas Software