This is the second in a series of posts called “Going, going”. The idea here is to capture images of local buildings that are in imminent danger of disappearing and those that we know will be demolished in the near future. There may also be some ‘gone’ buildings featured because we are lucky enough to still have their ‘before’ photos.
Trotter’s Service Station at 46 Toronto Road in Port Hope still stands and is in great condition but has been vacant for a number of years now. The lot and building has recently been sold and the garage is slated to be demolished to make room for a proposed new development on the site.
Expect likely objections from local residents concerned about the building not being ‘retrofitted’ for the new business, the odd shaped lot and increased traffic in the area. Because there are already two gasoline outlets, Happy’s and the Independent gas bar within a stone’s throw away…well maybe the local residents objections are quite valid!
I personally would have no objections if I thought there would be a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet located here… but I digress as this franchise would never be located anywhere with a gas bar and car wash.
It appears the Town planners seem be online with the plan and will likely ‘rubberstamp’ it anyway as the property is vacant and not generating tax revenue for the town!
The plan is to construct a multi-bay carwash accessible from the lower level of the lot with a take-out restaurant and gas-bar above it on street level.
This garage has been operational likely from the early ‘50’s and was one of many in the town along Hwy #2 before the Hwy 401 days. Try to picture most east/west traffic moving through downtown Port Hope and the large semi’s trying to maneuver the steep hills and seemingly impossible sharp turns along the way! Maybe the semi’s avoided these obstacles by continuing north on Mill Street at the bottom of town. They would then turn west at Hwy # 28 and Dale Road into Welcome and back on Hwy. # 2 again without encountering any hills or sharp turns.
My first memory of this place was in the mid ‘60’s when it was Ron Menaul’s Service Station. This was a garage, gas station and had a quaint little café. I remember the café as my ‘ex’ had a part time job here after school. The burgers, fries, milk shakes and colas attracted a lot of the local teens from the nearby high school.
Many years later the business was purchased by the Trotter family. I knew George well as he once worked as a mechanic for my late father-in-law at a local new car dealership. By this time the café was closed and converted to office space. The gas bar disappeared shortly after as well.
I suspect that I did my part to pay for this garage as I did a lot of business there over the years. Back in the day, I always drove older vehicles and they were always needing service and this seemed to be their second home! Dropping off the vehicles for service sure was convenient as I lived only three blocks away.
After George retired, his son Michael took over the business for a few years but he moved on to other endeavors. And so ends the history of Trotter’s Service Station in Port Hope.