Ontario opens seasonal rest stops  

by Today's Trucking


TORONTO, Ont. – Ontario has opened seasonal rest areas across the province to help truck drivers during the fight against Covid-19, the Ministry of Transportation confirmed Monday.

“Parking and toilets are now available at all 23 ONroute travel plazas, 45 rest areas, 32 truck inspection stations, 14 truck laybys, three Tourist Info Centres, one Metrolinx GO station, five Metrolinx Park-n-Rides and one carpool lot,” the ministry said in an email to Today’s Trucking.

Six of the rest areas are open year-round, while 39 are seasonal, it said.

There have been complaints from truckers that they are being denied access to restrooms. Many stores have limited access because of fears staff would contract the virus.

Plans for the seasonal rest areas were first announced last week by Transport Minister Caroline Mulroney.

“The Covid crisis in which we all find ourselves in now has really identified for us how essential truck drivers really are to our economy,” she told Ramz Punjabi radio.

Mulroney said efforts are underway to communicate the latest information about rest areas to the drivers.

“We want to make sure that truck drivers have up-to-date information on where they can rest, where they can use the facilities where they can get coffee and food.”

The minister said she discussed the issue with a large group of stakeholders from the trucking industry.

“I was so disappointed to hear that this (denial of access) has been going on, especially in the midst of a pandemic,’ Mulroney said.

She said the government is also working with partners from the private sector to help provide more facilities so that truck drivers can get the kind of support they need.

“I want to thank all truck drivers for what they’re doing to keep us fed and to keep us healthy and working. We will continue to support our trucking industry throughout this.”

All levels of government have repeatedly voiced their support for truck drivers over the past two months.

  • This story has been updated to include comments from the MTO.

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  • That’s nice that they are opening these seasonal rest areas, but some can barely hold a pickup truck with a camping trailer. And we what pigs some people are when you see the shape some of the port a potties, sometimes I wonder if their houses look as bad? I really feel sorry for all the women drivers, for the disrespect a lot of men drivers have,by the way they leave such a messy port a pottie after they use it. And I wish more restaurants and coffee shops would let us use the washrooms.

  • How about talking to drives like myself that need to update licenses so we know where we stand.
    Going across the border can’t trust any government. Do to they say they will except expired license but is that a for sure or just a ok from one side of the cvsa

  • I have tried to get The Oklahoma Department of Transportation to open Truck Stops for our State. This is a great Idea!

  • That is good news, but some of these places were not designed to park a tractor/trailer in the parking lot. Curves are too sharp and limited room to move in even without other vehicles in there.
    Back to bottles and buckets boys and girls.

  • I am not a trucker but would like info on rest areas and port a potties from London to Algonquin park, are they open?