Gas shortages spreading across Toronto, area
More gas stations in the Greater Toronto Area are drying up as Ontario's fuel shortage continues following a fire at an Esso refinery earlier this month.
Now Canadian Tire, Petro-Canada and Shell Canada stations are feeling the squeeze, which is in addition to closures by Imperial Oil due to lack of supply.
Shell Canada spokesman John Peck says about four or five of its 200 service stations in the Toronto area are out of gas at any one time.
As many as 30 Petro-Canada stations are encountering temporary shortages.
"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 on Feb. 15.
A spokesman for Energy Minister Dwight Duncan says the shortage is expected to continue into next week.
Motorists, however, are crying foul as prices are passing $1 per litre.
But Hamilton said the price jump is not connected to the shortage, rather the increases are occurring across North America and that it is partly due to the demand for heating oil in the winter months.
Analysts expect the end of the weeks-long CN Rail strike will help the situation in Ontario and enable gas deliveries.
With files from The Canadian Press