Monday, September 7, 2009

so long, farewell.


so long to one of the many service centres on hwy. 401
between ottawa & toronto! {love that spaceship design!}
near port hope, sept. 2009

happy labo(u)r day, sweeties.

as many of us enjoy one last summer roadtrip this weekend, i say goodbye to a series of unusual but dear friends along many a roadtrip.

throughout many years of living in ontario and 100s of roadtrips along canada's famed transcanada hwy, the stretch of road known as highway 401 between toronto and ottawa is a well-known, well-loved friend. many a great roadtrip has included this particular path of concrete. and while they're not the cleanest, dearest, most green spacess on most roadtrips, they have been well-loved. and those famed rest stops are closing down.

and while usually a detour stop to a lovely picnicing place along lake ontario, or off the beaten track to a quaint little local icecream shop is the usual fun way to stop en route, for as long as i can remember, the 401 rest stops/service stations have always been part of everyone's need to refuel at some point.

for those of you not familar with these lovelies, they are classic mid- 60's architecture, and a couple seem to be built in the loveable alien-spaceship-has-landed-alongside-the-highway style of brown brick with half-dome tressled metal & beam roofs. ahhhhh... such a nostalgic look.

these relics are closing down, as the province awaits a new leasee to update the stops. many of them have already been bulldozed. while i won't miss the not-so-great fast foods inside, & i look forward to the new, cleaner rebuilds, i will miss the classic architechture, and all the roadtrip stops it's been a welcome home to (and okay, the many many late night coffee stops at the tim horton's inside for a caffeine refueling!)

so goodbye, dear pitstops. and hello to the adventure of finding new stops along our next roadtrip.

have any fond memories of these stops? o
r of your own nostalgic roadtrip refuels ?
love to hear 'em! happy long weekend!


an inside view of the spaceship roof, at the reststop near port hope, ontario. gorgeous!
september 2009
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  1. my family used to road trip loads when we were little - we used to stop at a fabulous roadside rib place - everything was fresh and homemade. the little shop sold all sorts of Amish goodies and in the fall there was a pumpkin patch. looking forward to roadtripping with our son now!

  2. We learned this the hard way last week on our first trip through your corridor, RikRak, for many months! Needless to say, we had a few desperate exits along the way!

  3. What a fantastic building. I'm sad to see it go even if I've never actually seen this building with my own eyes. I love this kind of architecture. I hope one day it will come back.

  4. Great photos. I've never seen them, but I also have many favorite stops on drives, too. Aren't roadtrips the best?!

  5. I grew up in Port Hope. This ship you speak of was a "beacon" for..."we're almost home!".

    Thankfully, I now live in Winnipeg, and I won't suffer the pain of not recognizing when I am almost home.

  6. great stories, nicies!
    and i agree, lindy!
    tara- i feel your pain! :)

  7. Oh I hope they get rebuilt soon! It makes a long drive even longer! :(

  8. oh emms! that's fun about port hope!
    and yes: here's to the rebuild soon, rj!

  9. I've grown up seeing that building on the side of the highway everytime we went east on vacation. I never knew until I looked into it about its origins or that it was supposed to be like a spaceship, such a waste that it had to go.


thanks so much for your comments, nicies!
it's a joy to read what everyone writes here.
thank you!