Randy & Judy
Judy and Randall Bird purchased Paradise Inn in the spring of 2019; an 1800’s 10 room, two storey Inn located on the beautiful sandy shores of Lake Huron in Port Elgin Ontario. Both Judy and Randy have extensive experience with business and customer service and are excited for this new venture in the town they have owned a cottage for over 25yrs & now call home.
Prior to owning this gem of a hotel on the beach, Judy worked for years as an individual/family counsellor in the KW Region and Randy owned and operated a wine kit manufacturing plant eventually leading both to owning their tech company servicing the events and attractions industry with online ticketing. Randall is well known for being a seasoned executive and business leader in the community with 40+ years experience generating profitable ventures in all market segments including Real Estate, Investments, Technology and New Business as well as retail distribution sectors.
Originally called Paradise Grove, changing to Lakeview Inn years later and then subsequently to Edelweiss Motel; as the new owners they have chosen to re-name the hotel, now redefined since 1859, to be a combination of the original names - Paradise Inn as it has become their cherished piece of paradise.
Did You Know?
Port Elgin was incorporated in 1874 with a population in 1951 of 1558 people. Known for such industries and businesses as building supply companies, flour, tourism, coal, livestock, timber, tannery, sawmill, swollen mill, foundry, brick making and brewery, travel in these early years was challenging at best. Most early settlers used steamer travel on the surrounding rivers and lakes to get around. When the spur line arrived in 1872 running from the railway station to the sawmill and then to the lake in 1956, early settlers would use the railway to move from town to town and the steamers to move them via water to adjacent ports. The rail and steamer schedules would be set to coincide allowing passengers to make destinations in Southern Ontario in one day. In later years the steamers became more luxurious holding sometimes up to 500 passengers and cost anywhere from a few dollars to up to $50.
Alfred A. Hackett, born in Montrose, Scotland in 1819 was known for building boats along the Bruce shore and in the 1850’s after being shipwrecked on the Atlantic coast, Alfred A. Hackett moved off the oceans and onto the Great Lakes where by 1870 had built eight Schooners - six in Southampton and two in Port Elgin. He was applauded for the quality of his workmanship and known for creating modern improvements in producing ships, focussing on speed and safety.
Paradise Inn, once known as Paradise Grove, Lakeview Inn and Royal Princess Lodge was conveniently located within a stone’s throw of the wharf and while much has been redefined since 1859 there are snippets that still boast some of the character from years long gone. It continues to be the only hotel on the water in Port Elgin and is known by visitors as having breathtaking views of the most incredible sunsets. While the shoreline has receded and advanced over the years in what they say is a 10 year cycle, this continues to be a vacation spot of choice having a beautiful sandy beach with a gradual slope into the crystal clear water attracting sunbathers, swimmers and paddle boarders. The Port Elgin Harbour continues to attract fishing vessels, vacationers and those loving water sports of all kinds.
The Toronto maple Leafs in 1928 experienced a pre-season tune-up with a 2 week training camp while staying at the Lakeview Inn.