High demand is now causing a limited gasoline shortage at Petro-Canada stations in Ontario, as Esso continues to recover from a fire at their refinery on Feb. 15.

"At any given time, you're going to find about 20 sites spread out around the Greater Toronto Area (with a shortage)," Petro-Canada spokesperson Jon Hamilton told CTV.ca on Monday.

Petro-Canada has about 440 locations in Ontario, with about half in the GTA.

"With our competitor sites down for an extended period of time we've had a large demand," said Hamilton.

The company has designated about 500,000 extra litres of gasoline and diesel daily for the Ontario marketplace.

They are also limiting customers to between 75 and 100 litres of gasoline when filling up.

Some Esso stations, owned by Imperial Oil Ltd., remained closed over the weekend, still reeling from a fire at the company's Nanticoke, Ont. refinery.

The shortage initially affected 75 of 400 Esso stations and about 10 Canadian Tire stations.

There are 2,000 gas stations in Ontario.

The shortage was also made worse by the CN Rail strike which prevented Imperial Oil trucks from transporting fuel.

With prices passing $1 per litre, motorists are crying foul over the increase.

Hamilton said he understands why customers are blaming the rising prices on the shortage but he says there is no connection.

He said the price jump is happening across North America and that it is partly due to the demand for heating oil in the winter months.