TownPlace Suites helps Mississauga flood families

Aug. 9: TownePlace Suites Mississauga in the Airport Corporate Centre re-opened after a $17-million renovation. (Toronto Star)

A small group of families displaced by the massive July 8 storm have taken up residence at a Mississauga hotel designed for business travellers.

The TownPlace Suites by Marriott on Orbitor Drive has been hosting about five to ten families that were unable to return to their homes following the storm that downed trees, flooded basements and left thousands without power in Mississauga and the GTA.

“All of them were here within a week of the storm,” The hotel’s director of sales and marketing, Vijay Pahuja, told “Some of them checked in the very same day.”

Pahuja said some of the clients independently checked in while other families were referred to the hotel by their insurance companies.

In fact, some of the hotel’s staff have become actively involved in helping the families deal with their storm-related insurance claims.

“Then they do not have to really take the time to go through their policies and talk to their insurance companies or the adjusters about their entitlement,” he said. “We took over that component of their policy.”

Families that do want to meet with insurance agents, contractors or other friends and family are able to use the hotel’s meeting rooms or lounges free of charge. “They don’t have to worry about paying for that space,” Pahuja said.

The hotel, which celebrated its one year anniversary on Wednesday, has also extended its complimentary shuttle service for the use by the displaced families far beyond the usual limit in distance of five kilometres.

“There were requests for the family to go to Square One or can they go to grocery shopping at their preferred store which was closer to their home,” Pahuja said, citing the location of a particular Loblaw’s 8-10km away from the hotel.

“The families appreciated that because they could keep their routine.”

With the hotel’s location at the Airport Corporate Centre, Pahuja said most of the property’s long-term clients typically work in the consulting and information technology.

And while the minimum booking requirement at TownPlus Suites is five nights, Pahuja said the month-plus stay by the displaced families isn’t that unusual. In fact, there is currently a team of people who have stayed at the hotel since it opened last year and are planning to continue until well into 2014.


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