Artist's rendering of one of the new Ontario Service Centres being built on Highways 400 and 401. Image courtesy Quadrangle Architects.
Driving along Highways 401 or 400 in Ontario and need a rest stop? Seven new service stations along the busy route have been rebuilt and will be fully operational by September. Another 13 stations will be reconstructed over the next three years for a total cost of $300 million.
Quadrangle Architects has designed the Ontario Highway Service Centres to have a consistent and recognizable architectural image, but with adaptations for each site. There are three prototypes according to the size, the each building ranging from 8,000 to 22,000 square feet.
Each building is dominated by a glass atrium with sloped glass walls covered by a sloped metal roof. They have stone cladding walls and wood canopies and trellises. Structural engineers are Halcrow Yolles; mechanical-electrical engineering is by Hidi Rae, and civil engineers are Morrison Hershfield. Ellis Don is constructing the centres for Host Kilmer which will operate them for 50 years on behalf of the provincial government and will be entitled to a portion of the revenues.
All the buildings are designed to LEED Silver environmental standards. Green design features include energy efficient lighting and mechanical systems, local materials and products, limited VOC off-gassing, and water saving fixtures including waterless urinals.
And, yes, Timothy Hortons will be one of the food concessionaires.
Among the first batch of stations to be built are the two closest to the Windsor-Detroit and Quebec borders, at Tilbury South and Bainsville. These two include tourist travel information offices.