Ontario invests in added truck parking

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TORONTO, Ont. – Ontario is committing to upgrade truck parking in several areas across the province, improving 14 existing rest areas, building 10 new rest areas, and adding 178 new truck parking spaces at four existing ONroute travel plazas.

The ONroute plazas to see the additional spaces include Bainsville, Cambridge North and South, and Trenton South locations.

“Truck drivers spend long hours moving goods of every type and description on our roadways and we need to ensure they have a modern, safe and welcoming place to stop and rest,” said Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney in a related press release.

Parking and washrooms remain available at 23 ONroute locations, even in the midst of a provincial shutdown due to Covid-19, and other portable washrooms have been made available at truck inspection stations.

When previously announcing truck parking enhancements in Northern Ontario, Mulroney referred to the situation as a “basic humanity issue”.

Enhancements in that region include 10 new rest areas, and expansions or repairs at 11 others.

Upgrades will include better lighting, signage to clarify vehicle size restrictions and access, new highway rest area signs that signify “cars only” when there’s only space for smaller vehicles, and improved turn lanes for large vehicles where feasible.

Outlined projects for 2021 include:

  • Gananoque truck area on Hwy. 401 westbound – Converting inspection facility into a truck rest area, and increase truck parking to 29 spaces
  • Truck rest area along Hwy. 402 near Sarnia – New construction at the former Sarnia North commercial vehicle inspection facility on Hwy 402 to convert the facility to a truck rest area
  • Bainsville ONroute – Increased truck parking
  • Cambridge North and South ONroutes – Increased truck parking
  • Ontario/Manitoba rest area at Hwy. 17 – Rehab and expansions including lighting, interior and exterior washrooms, heating and insulation, wifi access and information kiosks
  • Umfreville rest area at Hwy. 72 – Entrance improvements
  • Rossport rest area at Hwy. 17 – Entrance improvements
  • Lodge Lake rest area at Hwy. 17 – Rehabilitation work
  • Leonard Lake rest area at Hwy. 11 – Rehabilitation work
  • Argon Lake rest area at Hwy. 17 – Expanding and repairing existing rests area, and adding all-season washrooms
  • Manitouwadge rest area at Hwy. 17/614 – Working with municipality, constructing all-season washrooms, building a new entrance, improving lighting, and increasing parking capacity.
  • Hearst (Ryland) rest area at Hwy. 11 – Expansions including all-season washrooms and increased parking capacity.

Work in 2022 will include the Trenton South ONroute, Gibson Lake rest area along Hwy. 17, Gull Bay rest area along Hwy. 527, the rest area along Hwy. 527 near Hwy. 811, Mulligan Lake rest area along Hwy. 599, Klotz Lake rest area on Hwy. 11., and a new rest area at Terrace Bay along Hwy. 17.

Other projects extending into 2025 are listed here.

“All the rest area projects were selected based on consultation with transportation industry partners and recommendations from rest area studies conducted in Northern and Southern Ontario, as well as an analysis by MTO,” a ministry spokesperson said. “The actual number of spaces that will be added to these rest areas will be determined for individual sites as they are designed and tendered for construction.”

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation introduced portable washroom facilities at locations such as roadside inspection stations in the early days of Covid-19, when many truck stops and customers were limiting access to drivers.

The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) has applauded the move.

“OTA applauds today’s announcement by Minister Mulroney. Combined with earlier projects announced in Northern Ontario, the government of Ontario continues to show its never-ending commitment to assist the trucking industry in addressing important issues like truck rest areas,” said CEO and president Stephen Laskowski.

Rest areas will also become a key location for a public awareness strategy to combat human trafficking. ONroute locations will spread awareness about the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline, while related information will be posted in rest areas, carpool lots, and truck inspection stations.

“Raising awareness is a key part of our Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy and the first line of defence against stopping such a horrific crime,” said Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues.

  • This is a developing story and is being upgraded as additional information emerges.
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John G. Smith is Newcom Media's vice-president - editorial, and the editorial director of its trucking publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, and Transport Routier. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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  • You will probably get sick of me. I have traveled just about all of ontario. It has the worsted rest areas. Most in the north have no running water no proper toilets.
    No enough parking.
    The amenities for the north are based on campers not trucks, this a major problem my it be hwy 17,11 or hwy 6 or even 7 to Ottawa.
    You can go from Guelph to manitou and not find parking for a truck.
    The years past have create much aggravating situation for trucks the old stops are gone the newer drivers think the stop should cook the food they bring from home the cost of food on the road is expensive. These are all the things that trucking groups per say don’t think about when making access to a healthier and safer life style for a drive.
    Yes I’m an old time that still knows how to survive up in the north with little to nothing but many wouldn’t.
    The repair shops and towing companies rape a driver and a company because it’s the north these are facts not fiction.
    Try and get a tire fixed out in the middle of nowhere not easy at one time we did it ourselves. Not now most only think drivers drive and swing doors, not the case some still keep fixing to survive the cost of the tow bill.
    So when people look at rest areas they should look for many things needed in the north or where ever in the province.
    Phone service, a warm place in case broken down so someone doesn’t freeze a list of closer mobile repair services or a shop close by. Towing or where you can get a meal on your journey and park a big truck in.

    Internet is a big deal today this problem has plagued the north for years.
    I’m only putting these small things out there in hope that someone from the government actually thinks about what is needed. Maybe they will realize that we are human too.
    Just because you can have a hot shower every morning, doesn’t mean a truck driver has that opportunity when traveling in most of these places.

  • How often are the portable toilets cleaned it is great that they are there but most drivers don’t want to use them because they are ugly a mess

  • So many questions don’t know were to start the numbers are so wrong on truck parking by the time there done changing the parking its already not a enough spots how do u people not see this why does the labor broad do nothing its really different from construction everywhere I look everyone i talk to companys all lie so much in the trucking world
    Always telling things that can’t happen like the money u can make
    Where and who can tell me the truth about trucking I can’t afford to take everyone to court for bullshiting me wow a horrible world to be in