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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ontario updates its service centres along Highways 401 and 400

   One-Tank Trip for Jan. 28/12
 
   (c) By Jim Fox

   Heading out on the highway for a “one-tank trip” or even commuting is more pleasurable with the much-improved service centres across Ontario.
   The ONroute Highway Service Centres along Highways 401 and 400 are reminiscent of the modern refuelling, food and rest stops on U.S. interstates and throughways.
ONroute Highway Service Centres are opening along Highways 401 and 400 across Ontario to better serve motorists, including this one in Trenton. (Photo by Ben Rahn/A-Frame)
   The Ontario government’s redevelopment program is replacing 23 outdated centres, intending the new ones to be “a welcome beacon of genuine hospitality, innovation and safety during your travels.”
   More than 500,000 people travel these two highways daily, making them among the busiest roadways in North America.
   The three-year program includes staffed Ontario Tourism Information Centres at ONroute  Tilbury South and ONroute Bainsville, which are the gateways to the Highway 401 corridor from the east and west.
   All of the centres include self-serve stations stocked with news and tourist brochures about their respective local communities, along with free WiFi.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A travel "bucket list" for kids before they're 15

   One-Tank Trip for Jan. 21/12


   (c) By Jim Fox

   Should young kids have a so-called vacation “bucket list?”
   Ontario Parks thinks so and has come up with a “suggested list of 15 things to do with your kids before they turn 15.”
   “Parents interested in the outdoors and family camping have a short window of time before kids’ seasonal jobs and other interests can change family holiday time,” said publicist Lori Waldbrook.
   She offers the following as a starter list:

   Get camping, swimming, fishing . . .
Things to do before they’re 15 at Ontario Parks includes teaching kids how to camp. (Photo – Ontario Parks)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winter? Are we there yet as Wiarton Willie slumbers and Winterlude has contingency plans

   One-Tank Trip for Jan. 14/12

    (c) By Jim Fox

   Oh, the weather outside might be frightful – that is if you are a diehard frigid-winter sports enthusiast.
   Milder temperatures and less snow on the ground are making it difficult for organizers of winter festivals.
   Wiarton Willie, the weather prognosticating groundhog, will have some explaining to do about what happened to the winter and whether what we’ve had is all we’ll get.
There’s lots of pomp and ceremony when Wiarton Willie emerges to give his prediction on when winter will end. This photo from 2005 shows Willie, Jim Mitchell, his handler (in the white tuxedo), and then-Mayor Carl Noble, Town of South Bruce Peninsula.
   In the meantime, the National Capital Commission (NCC) has contingency plans in place if things don’t cool down in time for the 34th year of the big spectacle, Winterlude in Ottawa-Gatineau.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Glitz in gear at the Charity Preview gala of the North American Auto Show in Detroit

   One-Tank Trip published on Jan. 7/8, 2012
  

   (c) By Jim Fox

   DETROIT – It’s glitz in gear as the “new car smell” will permeate Cobo Center packed for a soiree to admire and even fondle the latest models.
   Yes, it's like prom night for big kids at the Charity Preview of the North American International Auto Show next Friday (Jan. 13).
Models displaying the latest models add to the glitz at the Charity Preview of the North American International Auto Show. (Jim Fox photo)
   The “Motor City” is on a roll again and gaining momentum after stalling out for a few years with the auto industry in disarray, so it’s time to party again.
   The high-society event is a prelude to the show’s public days that run from Jan. 14 to 22 and feature more than 500 new cars and trucks.
   “We are seeing a decidedly upbeat industry,” with gala ticket sales up 20 per cent, said chairman Bill Perkins.
   More than 12,000 people will pay $250 US each to attend the black-tie affair as the festive merrymakers make an evening of it -- many arriving in limousines and heading out for a night of partying afterwards.
Writer Jim Fox tries out a new Jaguar convertible at the North American International Auto Show. (Barbara Fox photo)