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Northern Entrepreneur Celebrates Over 50 Years in Business

Northern Entrepreneur Celebrates Over 50 Years in Business

"Putting People To Bed For Over 50 Years"

TORONTO – Some would argue that it takes a village to build a business. In this case, the village more accurately reflects a close-knit family. That is just the way the Westway Motel in Cochrane, Ontario, has built its way from a small and humble motel to a globally recognized brand with close to 50 rooms including suites and family rooms. The owner, Bryan David, was born in the rural Northern Ontario town in 1957 and has called it his home ever since.

The then meager 15-unit Westway Motel was purchased in 1964 by Bryan’s parents, Marc and Vicenza (‘Vie’ as she liked to be called). Marc, a salesman for Canada Packers, his wife, Vicenza, an employee for the Bank of Nova Scotia, and their young son Bryan took on the challenge of turning a small, unknown motel into a thriving business venture that has stood the test of time. The David’s expanded the motel and built relationships that have stood as a foundation and resulted in over 50 years of success.

Having lived most of his life in the hospitality industry, Bryan has dedicated his life’s work to serving the people of the north, those who pass through Cochrane on the TransCanada Highway 11 and those travelling to Northern Ontario from all corners of the globe. 2014 saw the 50th anniversary of the Westway and Bryan has been through it all, taking only a brief leave from the business in the late 70’s to study business at Algonquin College in Ottawa, ON. When it was time for Marc and Vie to retire, it was a natural step for Bryan to take over as owner and manager.

Through the years, Bryan has lived and breathed the business day-in and day-out. In 1989, he married his wife, Katherine, and she quickly adjusted to the busy schedule of hotel entrepreneurship. They have raised their two sons, Kellen and Kurtis, in the business, and have operated the motel as a family since the beginning.

Bryan has always taken pride in operating the Westway as a family run business that has run independently for its 53 years in the industry. Many of the customers that stay there have since become friends. Knowing that they will not only see a familiar face behind the desk, but the owners of this boutique motel, is something that many guests take comfort in.

“It’s rare to see a business that operates on a first name, one-on-one basis with its customers. Knowing that we can put a face to a voice on the phone distinguishes us from other hotels,” says David. From the start of his day to the end, Bryan ensures all the operations of his family’s business continue to run smoothly and efficiently.

Operating a business in a small rural Northern Ontario community can be challenging at times but the family oriented work ethic and the relationships the Westway has created continues to be its bedrock. Balancing a family and business is tricky, especially when the business is the family.

The Davids certainly prove that a family-run business can still prosper in today’s chain-oriented consumerism. As the Westway has been passed down from one generation to another, it is clear that this family “village” is up to the challenge of providing the ‘home away from home’ their customers deserve.


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