The Pearle - it will quickly become the destination point in the city

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

May 18th, 2021



The best kept secret in town is on the southern edge of the downtown core.

It has been decades in the making and now when it is at the point where it should have broken into the public imagination – a pandemic gets in the way.

Leanne and Aaron Ciancone, a brother and sister team wait patiently for the rate of infections to get to the point where it will be safe to gather in large groups.

With some luck – there will be a New Year’s Eve event in The Pearle Hotel and Spa.

The Gazette has featured the site and follows the construction of what is going to be the biggest draw the city will have.

Last week we got a look at the construction of a grand stair case that will lead from the reception area to the ballroom and at the same time saw some of the best coffered ceiling work this city has ever seen.

Jean Valery Lacasse took a few minutes to get us access to the site.

JV waiting

Jean Valery Lacasse waiting while a photo shoot is completed.

Lacasse was born and raised in the Quebec countryside, Jean Valery (known to most as JV) was brought up to respect and enjoy farm fresh food while enjoying meals made from his mother’s garden.

After graduating from University Laval with a political science degree, JV moved west to improve his English in Vancouver.  He went on to work in some of the best hospitality locations in Canada, including the Sassafraz in Yorkville, the Canoe and the Auberge du Pommier.

He worked in France staging restaurants including  Les Trois Gros and Guy Savoy. Lacasse also spent a number of years in Japan.

He was then brought on by IconInk to open the now infamous Cluny restaurant in the Distillery district and was then promoted to act as Corporate Food and Beverage Manager for the company’s newest property, the Bisha Hotel.

JV brings his expertise in food, wine, and hotel operations to Pearle in his new role as Food and Beverage Director for The Pearle Hotel & Spa. While his exceptional experience lends itself to JV’s work ethic, his genuine and thoughtful delivery of hospitality is what makes him stand out from the rest.


crown moulding

The coffered ceiling is atop the grand stair case leading to the ballroom

When you meet the guy you quickly realize he is everything they say he is. He is also patient; waited for me to finish the photo shoot and then moved onto his next task.

Stairway to ballroom

Front view of the stair case that will lead to the ballroom. Th sweep of the structure is very dramatic.


stairway to ballroom 2

A side view of the staircase – thousands of brides will be photographed on those stairs.

Getting the Pearle Hotel and Spa to the point where they are open and operational has taken a long time.

This trip we got to look at the grand staircase that will take people from the reception area to the ballroom.  Thousands of young brides are going to have their pictures taken on that sweeping staircase.

The coffered ceiling above the staircase is fantastic.  I doubt there is anything in the city that rivals this work.  Toronto would be hard pressed to equal this.

The kitchen and the swimming pool are underway with work on outside the building still taking place.

The Pearle is part of the building that is at the intersection of Lakeshore R0ad and Elizabeth Street that rests on the edge of the lake.

Bridgewater - frpm lakeshore to lake public

This opening in the Bridgewater development runs from Lakeshore Road to the edge of the lake with stairs leading to the water’s edge. The development includes two condominiums and a hotel.

Stairs to water edge -three levelsThe stairs leading to the edge of the lake will be a great place to sit and watch the fire works displays at the Pier.  There was snow on the stairs when this picture was taken.

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3 comments to The Pearle – it will quickly become the destination point in the city

  • Penny Hersh

    I have to question if this type of venue will be relevant in a post pandemic world? Families have become accustomed to smaller more intimate weddings and receptions. Money that would have been spent is now being put into purchasing homes or starting their married lives with some money in the bank.

    Business has been conducted through virtual meetings and the necessity to fly all over the world to meet has been proven to be a luxury not a necessity. How will this effect convention business?

    I have read that there might be empty office buildings in large cities as companies are realizing that many can work from home, and people are moving out of the cities and into more rural areas for more space and a quieter pace of life.

    People have started cooking at home, which I think is a good thing. Not only because healthier food is being prepared but also the fact that families are sitting down together to discuss their day, etc.

    Children are being allowed to not be “organized”. No running around from one paid program to another.

    While this pandemic has been devastating on many levels it has in my opinion brought families closer together.

    Could developments like The Pearle, no matter how lovely and appealing be a thing of the past?

  • Don Fletcher

    Sounds great. As I understand it, the hotel will also be part of the Marriott’s autograph collection of properties, which should add to the draw. I hate to think what this will do to spur the current owner of the Waterfront Hotel to ask for in a sale or develop in competition, Perhaps the City can get creative & engineer a swap with the current Art Gallery or parking lot at John & Elizabeth properties, and develop the site next to Spencer Smith Park with something civically & aesthetically responsible?

  • Leonard Collins

    Love the 2 x 6 wood railings. LOL l