Abandoned Hotel Paradis, near Matagami

Sometimes, I forget how fast time goes. As I’m sitting here in my tiny little house in a boring town close to where I grew up…. I couldn’t help but retrospect through Halloweens past. And I realized it’s already been two years since I lived in James Bay. (Halloween, incidentally, tends to fall on snow-covered winter-stormy nights in said area. It’s way to warm here in Southern Quebec).

A few days before that Halloween, some of us working in the schools on the reservation decided to head “south” to Amos, Quebec, basically to get groceries and use a hot tub. Shortly after the James Bay Road passes Matagami, it becomes Route 109. There’s a so-called tourist attraction (so sayeth the Tourisme Quebec guidebooks for the region) at one point, Lac Paradis, an emerald colored lake.

Image

I had spotted the abandoned Motel Paradis on my initial trip North, and had wanted to stop. On the way down, eyeing it, I made up my mind to convince my driver and co-travellers to please, stop and have a peek the next day, on our 8 hour return trek north.

Turns out, of course, that wouldn’t happen. As we headed through this stretch of the 109 the next day, we spotted what, we logically assumed being in Quebec’s north, to be a forest fire. It turned out to be said motel, on fire. Anyone who has travelled the stretch of road between Amos and Matagami knows what I’m referring to.

We stopped; one other person, from the reserve we worked in, was there and had called 911. While police did show up, an hour or so after his call (they had to be dispatched from roughly 100 km away), they decided just to let it burn, rather than calling firefighters.

Alas, some images (I can’t claim credit for all of them, I shared my camera with my then-roommate, who took some, and I have no idea whose are whose.)

Some of the pictures are “after ones”. A few weeks later, on a similar 24 hour, 1600 km grocery run, I had a chance to check out the remnants of the motel. The place is creepy. I was in the middle of nowhere, hours from the nearest town, and felt watched.

A few weeks later, on a similar 24 hour, 1600 km grocery run, I had a chance to check out the remnants of the motel. The place is creepy. I was in the middle of nowhere, hours from the nearest town, and felt watched.

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