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Travels of a Trucker Travels through Ontario

November 28, 2011

Moving to Canada

It has often been said that as a Canadian when you move to Ontario, you are moving back to Canada. Why is that you ask? Ontario holds roughly one third the population of Canada in a densely populated area just North of Michigan and New York. It is so densely populated that as a trucker traveling through, I have never noticed a street or a road without another car travelling on the same road. It doesn;t matter the time or the day there is always life 24 hours a day going on. Sometimes it seems that I can never be truly alone when I travel through Ontario. However, there are some places in Ontario where traffic is few and far between like on Highway 11 near Hearst or Long Lac or Kapuskasing, Ontario. These places are in the far Northern section of Ontario and in the winter they can be dreadfully cold hitting upwards of -40 degrees Celsius. Pretty brisk and fueling is a bitter fight to stay warm.

However, even with all the snow, Ontario really does have some natural splendor beauty hidden amongst it’s overcrowded population. My pictures don’t actually do it justice since I primarily take pictures from my truck of my trips. I had a trip through Ontario one time and I was passing through a place called North Bay, Ontario. It was winter and there was actually a big bout of freezing rain coming down. The roads were slick and icy. My glass and mirrors were covered with ice. Windshield wipers were ineffective since they were just scraping over the ice covered windshields. Chains are not allowed in Ontario, but I had to put them on to move through the City of North Bay. It was just too slick and dangerous without them on and traffic was stuck for hours while the hills were being cleared, plowed and sanded. It was a nightmare really.

As a matter of fact, I had to travel through the freezing rain to get to North Bay since I was on the highway already and there was no place to pull out safely while waiting for the storm to pass. I was travelling only about 15 to 20 kilometers an hour as the roads were super slick and icy.

It snowed night and day after the freezing rain. I travelled in the day under snow. I travelled in the night under snow. Snow was everywhere. When I did pull over to take this picture it was late at night, I was exhausted and the snow was so thick I couldn;t even see the road in this small town I slept in. All I could see were tire tracks of previous vehicles braving the snow hazard. Essentially when I see these conditions, it’s time to go to bed as the roads are unsafe and you have no idea what is happening down the road or even a kilometer ahead of you. It doesn’t take much for a truck to spin out on even the smallest hill with snow conditions like this and I was pulling a set of double trailers. So safety for me was priority number 1.

Actually, it was funny cause a fw hundred kilometers to the North, the conditions were beautiful. As you will see with the next 2 pictures, you would not even have had a clue they were taken a day apart from each other, but several hundred kilometers apart. The previous pictures being Southern Ontario and the latter two pictures being Northern Ontario.

As I said, Ontario really does hold some natural beauty. Driving up Highway 17 one can travel the Great Lakes route which has some spectacular views of the Great Lakes. They are so vast they look like Oceans and the rising and falling of the highway reminds you that you are travelling over the Great Canadian Shield of mountains which oddly enough do not seem like mountains. At least not in the comparison of Alberta and BC’s Rocky mountains and Cascade Mountains.

If you ever get a sense to travel or truck through Ontario, I have some advice for you. If your load is not a rush load, taks some time in the summer and travel through Highway 17. If it is winter and you are traveling through Ontario take Highway 11. Highway 17 in the summer is prone to the snow and Ice coming off the Great Lakes making visibility poor with it’s snow squalls. Highway 11 on the other hand can treacherous also, but with it’s flatter terrain it makes the chances of incidences reduced.

As always my fellow truckers. stay safe, keep em sunny side up and enjoy your travels.


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Roger Simmons

2130 8th ave

New Westminster, BC V3M2T8



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One Comment
  1. Tracy permalink

    I am shocked about Ontario not allowing chains. Never heard of that before. Having lived in BC all my life, surrounded by mountains, I just assumed that all truckers used chains all over this vast country of ours.

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