TORONTO — The hotel industry is saddened to learn of the recent passing of Sheila Wise on November 7, 2021 at the age of 85. Wise, along with her husband Ben, who passed away in 2003, owned and operated the Inn at Manitou — a Relais & Chateau property — for many years. The property garnered many accolades over the years, including Hotelier’s Pinnacle Award.  

The husband-and-wife team opened the Inn in 1974 as a 16-room tennis resort next to a camp they owned called the Manitouwabing Camp of Fine Arts, located on the rocky shores of Manitouwabing Lake, 150 miles north of Toronto. Over time, the inn became a premier destination for resort-goers from around the world and Wise touched the lives of many generations of campers, faculty and staff with her optimism, generosity and love of the arts.

Though in its early days the inn was small, in time it expanded and its kitchen became the launching pad for the careers of many pre-eminent chefs, including J.P. Challet, Thomas Bellec, Oliver Boels, Philippe Couerdassier and Christophe Letard, all of who went on to lead their own restaurants around the country.

Wise is survived by her four children — Cindy (Jerry Pinto), Jennifer (Ross Crockford), Jordanna (Earl Lipson), and Jonathan (Nicole Zinovoy Wise); seven grandchildren — Sam and Isabelle Pinto (Rick Ostroff), Taiga Lipson Bentley (Simon Bentley), Jack and David Lipson, Alexander and Charles Wise; great-granddaughter Matilda Bentley; brother Martin Fingerhut (Shelley) as well as sisters and brothers-in-law Carolyn and Billy Collins and Daniel and Donna Wise, along with dozens of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great- nephews.

Those interested in donating in Wise’s memory can do so at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra or the Canadian Opera Company.


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