The truck stops here (finally)

SOMEWHERE ALONG THE 401, Ont. — Seven down, 16 to go.

A handful of travel-and-service centers along Hwy. 401 have re-opened fully for business after having been closed for a year and a half and then operating at half-steam for the past four months.

Since 1988, the truck-stop scene along one of North America’s busiest thoroughfare has been a wasteland, thanks to the Ontario government’s decision to seek new operators.

They were all closed and drivers who need a bio-break were largely out of luck.

In December of last year, Queen’s Park announced that after a long search, contracts were signed with the new operators, Host Kilmer Service Centres (HKSC), and that the first of the centers would be opened come July.

And seven of them did open, kinda sorta.

Until last week, the seven operated on a limited basis, offering gas and washroom facilities and in some cases, vending machine snacks and, from what we hear, lousy coffee.

Last week, ribbons were cut on the splashy completed service areas and in a prepared statement, HKSC spokesmen said "we are proud to open these centers on time and with full services as promised."

The provincial government representatives made an official statement too but never mentioned anything about being on time.

Depending on which stop you pull in at, you might find Tim Hortons, A&W and Coldstone Creamery (Ed. note: "YAY!") KFC, BURGER KING or Taco Bell (Ed. Note Part 2: Good thing the bathrooms are open).

The centers will also include Canadian Tire gas stations and elaborate retail stores called "The Market."

The magnificent seven are at the following locations:

Bainsville (eastbound), near the Quebec/Ontario border; Tilbury South (eastbound) between Windsor and Chatham Kent; Tilbury North (westbound) west of Chatham-Kent; West Lorne (westbound) west of London; Trenton North (eastbound) west of Belleville; Dutton (westbound) east of Chatham-Kent; and Morrisburg (eastbound) east of Prescott.

Of those, extended truck parking will be available at the Morrisburg, Trenton North, Tilbury South and Dutton sites.

Meantime, if you’re hoping to pull in at one of the 16 closed centers, tell your back teeth that, they’ll have to keep on floatin’ until further notice.

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.