Ontario Adds Truck Parking in Largest Rest Area Expansion

Improvements Include 165 New Parking Spaces, Better Amenities
Gananoque truck rest area
Gananoque truck rest area. (Ontario Ministry of Transportation)

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Canada’s Ontario province has embarked on an ambitious plan to help truckers by adding 165 parking spaces while upgrading 14 rest area sites and adding 10 along its highways.

“Ontario is currently implementing the largest expansion of rest area development in its history, and plans are underway for future development,” Tanya Blazina, spokesperson for Canada’s Ministry of Transportation, told Transport Topics. “Ontario’s government understands that rest areas are important for the hardworking truckers who ensure the safe movement of goods across the province.”

She said the province’s Ministry of Transportation offers 43 rest areas with truck parking throughout Ontario.

Also, a Canadian-operated company called ONroute has 23 service centers in Ontario along highways 401 and 400 that provide truck parking and amenities for travelers, such as food, beverages and fuel.

Ontario-Manitoba border

The Ontario/Manitoba Border rest area. (Ontario Ministry of Transportation) 

In a December 2020 draft transportation plan for northern Ontario, the Ministry of Transportation discussed solutions to problems facing truckers.

“Truck drivers have also encountered challenges accessing facilities, such as rest areas and washrooms, while on the road,” the report noted. “In response, Ontario has worked closely with the trucking industry to address the issues they face and has provided more safe places for truck drivers to stop and rest across the province. This includes our plans to build 10 new rest areas and repair or expand 11 rest areas along highways in Northern Ontario over the next five years.”

Blazina described a comprehensive strategy that Ontario’s transportation officials have devised and are working on to make life easier for truckers, which also includes widening some roads as well as increasing the province’s footprint for truck parking and rest areas.

“As part of our plan to improve the rest area network, we are adding 10 new sites and rehabilitating 14 existing sites — two in our east region, two in our northeast region, and 10 in our northwest region — and adding approximately 165 additional truck parking spaces at four ONroute Centres,” she said.

Truck parking will be expanded at the following locations: Trenton South ONroute (17277 Highway 401 eastbound in Brighton), Bainsville ONroute (22064 N. Service Road in Bainsville), Cambridge North ONroute (290 Highway 401 westbound) and Cambridge South ONroute (289 Highway 401 eastbound).

“To date, three new rest areas have been constructed at Mulligan Lake, Turtle River on Highway 622 and the truck rest area near Sarnia along Highway 402, Sarnia North,” Blazina noted. “Major improvements were also completed at seven rest areas with truck parking in Gananoque, Ryland, Leonard Lake, Lodge Lake, the Ontario/Manitoba border, Manitouwadge and Argon Park. These upgrades included new truck parking, washroom upgrades and other site improvements.”

Ontario Ryland rest area

Major improvements were completed at seven rest areas with truck parking, including Ryland. (Ontario Ministry of Transportation) 

At the Gananoque truck rest area, work included converting a former westbound commercial vehicle inspection facility into a truck rest area while adding 29 truck parking spaces along Highway 401.

The Ryland rest area project involved expanding the existing rest area to include all-season washrooms and increased parking capacity for both passenger and commercial vehicles on Highway 11.

Improvements on Highway 17 at the Ontario/Manitoba border rest area were made to refurbish and enlarge existing facilities with enhanced lighting. Other features are renovated interior and exterior washrooms, better heating/insulation, Wi-Fi and new information kiosks.

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