In Search of the Great Canadian Pit Stop

Maclean's is on the hunt for Canada's best roadside food stands, so it's time to dish. Pull over and send us your nominations

Getty Images; Shutterstock; Illustration by Taylor Shute

When I was a kid there was this place called–actually, I don’t know what it was called. We always referred to it as The Doggy Place. I think that was because on top of this roadside stand on the outskirts of St. Thomas, Ont., was a 12-foot painted plywood wiener dog dressed up like a footlong.

The Doggy Place, with the railroad tracks out back and a few picnic tables in front, was a summertime staple. I’m talking hot dogs, cheeseburgers, french fries and soft serve, preferably dipped in butterscotch.

It was torn down maybe 20 years ago, but the tall grass and weeds have never grown in over the U-shaped driveway where cars would park.

Canada must be filled with similar off-the-beaten-track roadside gems. I’m talking about chip wagons and deep-fried clam shacks–not fancy restaurants–that are worth pulling the car off the highway. Don’t we owe it to each other, during the height of summer travel, to share where they are?

Here’s what I propose: You send me the names and brief descriptions of your favourite Canadian roadside destinations–you can email them to, tweet them to me here, or comment below–and I’ll compile them and make a map to share the bounty of the best onion rings, milk shakes and deep-fried pickles this country has to offer. And hey, why not send photos or video testimonials while you’re at?

But wait, this map will be AN INTERACTIVE INFOGRAPHICAL WEB MAP THAT WILL PROVIDE KEY INFORMATION ON ALL THESE AMAZING PIT STOPS. For example, when you place your cursor over the virtual map pins, once I build the virtual map, all the information about the pit stop will magically appear. Can you imagine?

I promise to build it by mid-August, just in time to plan what might be your last summer road trip before Labour Day. I just need a little help from you. So please, email, tweet and comment away!

Phase One preliminary plan of infographical web map by Jessica Allen




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