The Shoreline Motor Hotel Adventure in Thunder Bay, ON

Honestly, I knew what I was getting myself into. Every town has at least one hotel that has a reputation for being not the most upstanding. The reputation of these hotels doesn’t represent the city at large. These hotels are their own little islands of scuzziness.

In Thunder Bay, Shoreline Motor Hotel is a prime example of this. Once standing in the grandeur of Downtown Port Arthur, it now sits to rot away. I always see posts on the Thunder Bay Memories of its past and what it was. That past is long gone. The old grandeur legacy has turned into a reputation and not a good one.

I’ve stayed at Shoreline several times. My second overnight trip to Thunder Bay, I found this place to be cheap. It was also within walking distance of downtown. I could stay cheap, drink downtown, and save the cab home by walking. In my cheapskate mind, that’s win-win.

The first couple times I stayed here, things weren’t bad. People thought I was nuts, but it seemed clean enough and I never had issues. There sometimes was a little riff-raff around the area, but I minded my own business and never had issues. I eventually graduated to the Prince Arthur (wonderful hotel, btw) on subsequent visits.

Fast forward to me trying the blogging thing full time, I wanted to save some money. I also wanted to show all the Thunder Bay Memories people what Shoreline had become. Knowing that Shoreline is much cheaper than the Prince Arthur, I decided to see what I was in for. I can tell you, Shoreline needs to add “Adventure” to their name. When you get a room at Shoreline Adventure Motor Motel, it’s not just a place to stay. You get a front row ticket to the circus and the adventure that comes with it!

You may ask what is Shoreline like now? Well, I braved it and spent three nights there on my visit. In many ways, this is different from my typical blog about a hotel. My blog entry on the hotel I stayed at in Duluth on the way up looks a bit like this. See! This blog entry has already started out much different.

I was going to set my expectations for the hotel based on price. For the price Shoreline charged, I was expecting Motel 6 quality or maybe America’s Best Value Inn. That was effectively my objective baseline.

I went inside the lobby and checked in. I was given a piece of paper to fill out with my information. It was just a piece of paper with my name and address. Once the credit card went through, I was given the keys to my room. No ID check to verify. I also had to put a $20 deposit for the remote. I guess TV remotes are something that’s often stolen in Canada. There wasn’t a fight in the lobby upon checking in, so I thought that was a good sign.

I’m personally a stickler for service. I don’t care how old, cheap, or run down a place is. You can always provide a smile on your face and have things clean. I’ve also stayed at Night’s Inn a little further down Cumberland Street. Basically, it’s the same price as Shoreline but a much further walk from downtown.

Night’s Inn nailed the service and cleanliness aspect when I stayed there. Night’s Inn was impeccably clean. It was clean to the point everything shined. For basic mom and pop hotels, I actually use Night’s Inn as my standard.

Shoreline, on the other hand, was disgusting. The first thing I found was the previous tenant’s half-used soap sitting in the dish in the bathroom.

This made me ask if they even cleaned the room prior to me checking in. Apparently not! I opened up the fridge and there was stuff splattered all over it.

Seeing this, I knew my adventure could be called, “Roughing it Indoors.” I mean it’s slightly better than just pitching a tent across the street in Marina Park, but not much. I knew I needed to use the fridge for my pepperette quest. I also know if the fridge was that bad, the rest of the room was probably harboring some nasty things. I know Marina Park would be much cleaner.

This made me beeline to Walmart. I’m glad we live in an age where disinfectant wipes and spray are easy to get. I see I was going to leave the hotel cleaner than how I got it.

Now that I had resolved the potential biohazard issues, I started to check for other hazards. For a cheaper hotel, I just wanted to make sure things were functional. I see there was a lot of rot and neglect, as well as stains all over the place.

The craziest thing I saw was bloodstains on the shower curtain. They were high up on the shower curtain too. My question is what the hell happened?

There was also this unexplained screw just sticking out of the wall. Is there a connection with this screw and the blood stains? Who knows, eh?

The funniest thing I found about the room is the phone cord fix. I know it’s a pain to run phone cable. I’ve done it how many times for a previous job. I also know it looks just as stupid going to Walmart, getting a long phone extension cable and running it.

On a more serious note, security was definitely lacking. I’m used to deadbolts and chains on the doors. For Shoreline, there was only a standard lock on the door that could be opened by a physical key. Who knows what other people had duplicates to that key. I always made sure to lock my laptop and other valuable things in the trunk of my car when I was not in the room.

So that’s what my roughing it indoors campsite looks like. Next are the characters hanging around. Honestly, I expected them to be the rougher and tumble set. That’s just the nature of cheap hotels. I’m not the type of person looking for things I shouldn’t be so I knew if I minded my own business, I’d be fine.

Additionally, it’s not like I haven’t gone on crazy adventures before. I mean a little over a month prior I was doing a ride along with the Dallas Police. Our first call was rushing to an active shooter scene. Yeah when the bullets go flying, people typically run away. I was with the guys rushing to the scene.

With Shoreline, these characters are abound. In the same building as Shoreline is The Pier Bar. I’ve been to The Pier before and never had issues. I know it’s a place for cheaper drinks and can be rougher, but I’ve always avoided trouble. It seems like the issues really start after the bar closes.

Right at bar close, there are a bunch of people piling in the street.

There must be enough issues that they actually lock the door of the hotel. You have to flash your key at the front desk clerk to be let in.

Most of the time I’ll go to Downtown Port Arthur to drink. This is the entertainment district of Thunder Bay. Before Port Arthur and Fort William amalgamated in 1970, it was the City of Port Arthur. The reason Shoreline is appealing is it allows me to drink and save the cab fare by walking back.

Sometimes I’ll go to other bars. My buddy Ryan and I usually switch off on who’s staying sober and drinking pop. The sober person is then the designated driver. On one night I was the designated driver. I wanted to see some other parts of town and I offered to stay sober and drive.

After I dropped everyone off, I came back to Shoreline to head in for the night. All the drunks were filing out of Pier Bar. All of a sudden I looked and 4-5 of them were brawling on the sidewalk. I quickly flashed my key at the front desk clerk and told him about the fight. He shrugged his shoulders as there was nothing he could do.

I went up to my room and was able to go to sleep. I heard some more ruckus below me. I looked through the window and down into the parking lot and there was another fight! With all the fighting going on, I can’t believe people weren’t selling tickets and taking bets!

There was a lot of noise from the street and people shouting, but eventually I got to sleep. I’m hoping nobody got too roughed up. I do see the Thunder Bay Police make a normal presence there. One of the days there was a cop car and an ambulance. That’s usually not a good sign!

In the end, I was able to stay at Shoreline unaccosted. It was definitely an adventure, but one that I could sit back and be a passive observer of. I paid the price of admission and got a front row seat to the circus!

If you’re looking for an adventure, this is the place to stay. The price of admission is low and you get a heck of a show! Just remember to factor in the price of disinfectant and other cleaning products. I highly recommend doing the maid service tasks yourself since it doesn’t seem like maid service is really included.

You better act quick as who knows how long the circus will be in town. This place has been left to rot and it wouldn’t surprise me if the City of Thunder Bay condemned it soon. You might want to get your tickets soon!

You’ve now heard the adventure you can have at Shoreline. It is definitely roughing it indoors! I stayed here for your reading entertainment. Now here is the mundane, typical hotel review I would do if this were an average hotel:

The Outside:

The hotel is definitely a bit older. For a cheaper hotel, this is to be expected.

The Lobby:

The Hallways:

The hallways were kind of dimly lit. The elevator was very vintage.

The Room:

The room was a standard room that you’d expect at a budget hotel.

The View:

For a cheap hotel, the view is phenomenal! This is the main thing going for the hotel. There’s a nice view of Sleeping Giant and Lake Superior.

Internet Speeds:

Internet speeds were decent for a cheap hotel. Sometimes the connection would get a little shaky. Overall I was able to do everything I needed to do for the blog.

Other Notes on the Hotel:

Security was very lax. The door did not have a deadbolt or any other thing besides a regular key.

The hotel also lacked in cleanliness and smelled heavily of cigarette smoke. I was very disgusted with the cleanliness there. I was so disgusted, I had to buy disinfectant wipes and spray. Things like the fridge were splattered with food.

I also found the previous guest’s used bar of soap in the soap tray.

On a positive note, there was more than enough new soap for me in a cup on the sink.

That was a good thing because housekeeping only came by a single time during my three-day stay.

Housekeeping actually didn’t clean while I was there. I only said I needed another roll of toilet paper. I figured with the current condition of the room, I’d be better off being self-sufficient. I used my own towel as the towels provided were inadequate. I did use the biggest towel for a bath mat.

I found a few things in disrepair, but that’s to be expected at a cheap hotel.

Overall, this hotel is disgusting. I’ve stayed at here several times in the past and it’s seemed to have gone downhill. It’s rare that I’ll say not to stay at a place, but this is one of those places. The only reason I stayed here was to see what kind of adventure I could have and to see what the hotel had become.

If you’re looking for a hotel to stay at within walking distance of downtown stay at the Prince Arthur. I’ve always had a great experience there. If you’re not so much into the downtown scene and want a cheap room, I recommend Night’s Inn. At Night’s Inn, you’ll get a cheap room that is impeccably clean.

Now, this is the longest hotel review I’ve written so far. As I said, it was a heck of an adventure! I highly doubt I’ll ever stay here again (or be welcomed back after this review). I knew what I was getting into and I can tell you this place does not taint my view of Thunder Bay. I had a wonderful visit and I know I’ll be back!

To see more of my adventures, click on the map! Or if you prefer to see a list of more blog entries, click here.

If you want to contact me, click here.

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