Buyer sought for rural Norfolk County gas station slated to close

An effort is underway to find new owners for the only gas station in Port Rowan, which is scheduled to close on March 31.

Norfolk County Mayor Amy Martin contacted Parkland Canada, the company that owns the Esso station on Front Street, after news broke that the company was pulling out of the lakeside community because the station was “no longer financially viable” due to “a variety of commercial reasons.”

The decision prompted public outcry at the prospect of losing the only gas station in the community, a popular summertime destination for cottagers, campers and beachgoers.

The station also houses the only bank machine in the area.

On Friday, the county announced it would partner with the company to find new owners ahead of the planned closure.

“Over the past several days, I’ve had a transparent and constructive dialogue with Parkland about their decision to close Port Rowan’s Esso retail location,” Martin said in a statement.

“We are pleased that Parkland will be working with Norfolk County to try to find a new owner. We look forward to hearing from local entrepreneurs who are interested in owning the location.”

The search may not be easy, as the company has been looking for new owners for more than a year, with no luck.

“We have served this community for over 12 years and are grateful for the community’s interest in the future of this location,” said Parkland president Ian White in a statement.

White invited interested buyers to email

“We encourage inquiries from members of the community,” he said.

An online petition started by a Port Rowan resident urging the company not to close the station had amassed nearly 1,400 signatures as of Friday.

J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator