The Riverside Inn is celebrating its 100th anniversary of serving Norland and surrounds.

New owners, Vicki Taylor and Mike Hawes, had planned a big celebration.

“We had a celebration planned for the Canada Day long weekend, but the weather reports were not looking too good,” said Taylor. “We had to make a decision to postpone the event until Aug. 5.”

Originally built in 1923 for the mill workers across the road on the Gull River, the establishment has gone through a variety of reimaginings throughout the decades. It was even a soda shop throughout the 1950s.

“We have heard a number of iterations about different things that it had been used for,” said Taylor. “There is a little cashier’s booth in the main bar and some people have told us, and this may be folklore, that they remember their grandparents coming here to pay bills, so it may have functioned as a post office at some point.”


A kitchen was added. “We have had a lot of people come by and tell us they have been coming here since they were kids,” said Taylor. “We had a gentleman, not too long ago, who was born here and is now in his mid-80s and remembers the inn before it was a restaurant.”

Taylor said the previous owners ran the restaurant for 11 years, and before that, it was a fine dining establishment with a Le Cordon Bleu classically-trained chef. “It has been kind of everything over the years, and now we are keeping the casual family style atmosphere that was created by the people we bought it from,” said Taylor.

In its original form, it is believed to have had eight bedrooms. Through the years. they have been rented out by some owners, and not by others. Taylor and her family are living in the rooms above the establishment.

Taylor can’t say enough about the community and how she and her family have been welcomed. “We have been so lucky. The locals support so strongly,” she said. “We were really blessed. About 80 per cent of the original staff stayed. Such great people, the atmosphere, happy and supportive and helpful.” She added the team took them under their wings and have been wonderful, and a lot of fun.

Some renovations have been done, such as the patio being resurfaced, but they wanted to keep the original structure they fell in love with. “We have made very little changes,” explained Taylor, “We have changed the menu, but it is an amazing spot and people remember it. We have locals and people that have been coming for years. It is that kind of place and we really want to keep that.

“The cottage traffic is fabulous, like icing on a cake,” said Taylor, “but the cake is our locals and regulars.”

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