Ryan’s Garage is not giving its customers much to run on these days. The gas station’s recent closure is only supplying fuel for rumours.
The landmark fueling stop at Alcove reportedly closed for the holidays and many regular customers expected it to reopen in the new year.
It hasn’t happened. There’s a foot of snow on the concrete pad at the pumps, a ‘Closed’ sign hangs from the office door and vehicles at the site remain buried under the white stuff. That did not keep people from pulling into the station the past week.
No one seems to know whether the closure is temporary or permanent and Low Down calls to the owners have gone unanswered.
On Dec. 27, the “Wakefield” Facebook page posted a notice, that Ryan’s Garage is “closed at the present time, and (they) are thinking whether they will re-open this coming January 2013.”
Gatineau Hills residents have since posted Facebook messages about the longtime fixture, asking when it will open next – or if it ever will.
The garage has also cancelled its advertisements in the Low Down “until further notice.”
Wakefield resident Jeremy Day was hoping to buy gas for his snowblower last week.
“It is my only spot for gasoline,” he said, wondering where he would go next. “The only other place I know is Chelsea really (the Parkway General Store), and they’re probably going to close, anyway. Everyone else is.”
Dan Faasen, the co-owner of La Vallee Restaurant, said it’s tough for a gas station owner to make a profit in the Gatineau Hills. He tried opening a gas stop at his Hwy 105 restaurant location near the Hwy 5 overpass, but given the provincial rules and gasoline companies rates, he would only earn about four cents profit on each litre sold.
“What a shame – we have no gas from here to Low,” said Faasen, who had heard the Ryan’s closure was only temporary. “I knew it was going to happen. The margins are too low.”
Doug Ryan previously owned the garage, which was started by his father, Harvey Ryan. The younger Ryan – whom Faasen described as the “pillar” of the business – passed away in January 2010 at the age of 66. He left the garage to friends and family members.
Gatineau Hills gas stops
Epicerie Generale du Parc, 244 Old Chelsea Rd.
Petro-Canada, 890 Montee de la Source Rd.
NAPA AutoPro – Garage J F Gauvreau Inc., 164 ch. Principale Ouest.
Depanneur Morris O’Connor, 304 Hwy 105
Esso, 357 Hwy 105