Like the title says, this is the discussion thread for the following POI: Canada Rest Stops
Traveling The Trans-Canada
If traveling the Trans-Canada Highway, the list of items on this page should be in your vehicle.
About The Trans-Canada Highway
General information about the Trans-Canada Highway can be found here and here.
The POI file page shows at least one entry to be in Washington State. This is incorrect.
Trans-Canada 16 in Alberta has relatively few turnouts or rest stops along its length due to the relative abundance of towns as well as the city of Edmonton between the Western and Eastern borders of the province.
Trans-Canada/Ontario Routes 69 and 400 are expected to merge in 2017. An 8km (4.96mi) section of Ontario 69 near Sudbury is under construction. Other sections are in the planning stages.
Trans-Canada/Ontario Route 7 is being twinned (converted into a four-lane highway) near Ottawa. Expected completion date is 2011.
Trans-Canada/Québec Routes 20 and 40 do not have turnouts but do have service centres as marked in the POI file.
Trans-Canada 2 in New Brunswick has almost no turnouts or rest areas; the exception being a pair of former truck weigh stations located approximately 6.6km and 10.5km respectively west of Sackville. The reason for this is New Brunswick generally relies on its park system to handle the rest area chores, though many of the parks have closed due to cutbacks in financing. The rest areas require the traveler to exit the highway completely.
Trans-Canada 104 and 106 in Nova Scotia have no turnouts or rest areas whatsoever. In the case of both TCH 104 and TCH 106, there are towns in abundance along the route.
Official rest area information from the provinces is not easily available, unlike within the US. For most of these, I used an unofficial Trans-Canada Highway travel site for all of Trans-Canada Highway 1 and the Trans-Canada Highways East of Québec. Additional rest stops in Ontario and all rest stops in Québec were culled from the following rest stop files on POI Factory: Rest Areas for Ontario Highway 400 and 401, Highway 11 Picnic and Rest Areas, and Rest Areas for Quebec. Trans-Canada Highway 16 was the most difficult, because the Trans-Canada Highway web site currently does not have Highway 16 mapped out. It took three days of looking through Google maps and cross-referencing with additional information from Mile By Mile to get Highway 16 mapped.
After using these base sources, I went back and visually looked at all 5,000 miles of the TCH to attempt to fill in the gaps.
I hope you enjoy, and please, if I got something wrong or missed something, post it here or send it to my contact page. Or both.
Thanks for what was a ton of work.
I don't have any trips planned but I'm sure that others will gladly assist with changes, etc.
I hope your computer chair got great fuel mileage. Just to let people know that the rest areas along the 400 series Hwys in Ontario are in the process of being overhauled, so some my be closed due to construction, but there are usually exits every 7-10 miles with towns nearby. Bty well done.
Well it's funny you mention that, since I missed the entirety of Trans-Canada 16 in the Queen Charlotte Islands. I've uploaded the new file, but if you don't feel like downloading it again, just add the following entries to the file.
-132.12537,53.971061,Scenic Overlook,No Facilities
-132.159134,53.676611,Rest Area,Facilities Unknown
-131.943699,53.582641,Rest Area,Facilities Unknown
Unlike MrKenFL and the work he does with the US Combined Rest Areas file, I don't really have a way of knowing whether a rest stop is open or closed because the provinces for the most part don't publish that information. So I don't mark whether a rest area is closed or not. I haven't checked Transport Canada, but don't expect to find anything there due to the provinces being responsible for maintaining the TCH.
We travel long distances to family on the West Coast and Manitoba, so this will come in real handy.
The Interstate system in the US tends to bypass small towns, whereas the Trans-Canada (especially in western Canada) actually links many towns. This has an upside and a downside. There are fewer "official" rest areas because almost every town has a tourist information centre adjacent to the highway. Travellers can find out interesting things about the town, check out the "biggest whatever" statue, and use the washroom facilities. The downside to that is that most of these booths are closed in the winter .
I have did the Rest Areas for both Ontario and Quebec.
Quebec is out of date, but I do have a more up to date version of the Ontario one, in gpx format.
I have included info regarding the types of restaurants and gas that are available at each. I did not submit these yet, since some of the rest areas are still under construction.
I will submit these today, if you wish to update your file.
Quebec was done a long time ago and alas, I have not had the inclination to update.
David, I've already replied to you in email, but I'd like to add that I'd like to try and keep this file as up to date as I can. It seems that the most updates are going to occur in Quebec and Ontario since they have actual service areas while the rest of the provinces only have side of the road rest stops with pit toilets and some picnic benches.
I'm doing a cross-canada trip Toronto to BC so this is Great! However, I am new to this POI and when I downloaded from here to computer, used the POI loader and then moved it to SD card to my Garmin, I get only about 50 points showing on the GPS. Any idea what I did wrong?
Your GPS will only display the 50 closest "locations" to where you are or where you have "set" the GPS location.
So if you are only looking at the Rest Area file in your GPS you will only see the 50 closest.
Canada Rest Stops 1.1 Changelog
Yes...three years. It probably should have appeared last year, shortly after the copyright infringement found in the Apple App Store (http://www.poi-factory.com/node/5001?page=6). One of the users of that app mentioned the Canada portion was virtually useless. Sadly, I couldn't help but agree, because I made an elementary blunder when making it.
Half the rest areas weren't centered on the highway, thus a proximity alert wouldn't trigger.
As I mention in the changelog above, I went and fixed that, along with many other issues with 1.0.4. I hope you enjoy the new file, as I feel it is a far better effort than the earlier version. If you have comments or concerns, this is the place to put them.
A job well done
Looks like it is missing Rest Areas on QEW to Niagara Falls.
That's because the QEW isn't part of the TransCanada highway.
New one is up. Three locations added, thanks to oldboy.
You've done a great job. And I'm glad you like my milebymile.com site. I am reworking the site after leaving it for a few years. It took a hit in 2008 and needed to get outside full time work to support my family.
Hey, can I use that rest stop POI list on milebymile?
Also, I'd love it if some fellow highway enthusiasts gave me feedback on milebymile.com. I've been gathering information for over a decade and re-programming the site. What works and what doesn't work? Give me a call if you want 250-542-0064 PST or email me at email@example.com.
I am going to create a POI list of all the steep grades on highways in North America. For Class A RVers. Anyone seen anything that is publicly available?
I've recently absorbed my campground,B&B, and beach info into my site, since the Google Panda/Penguin updates of 2008 hammered these sites into obscurity.
Jim, I just saw your reply, so sorry for the lateness of mine.
I'm reasonably happy with my work on the POI file but would be even happier if I could physically verify each spot. Since that isn't possible, I make do with Google Maps.
You've got my permission to use the file on Mile By Mile. My only request is that if you have any updates that you feel need be made to it such as new entries or updated amenities information to send me a list of those updates, with coordinates?
Strephon_Alkhalikoi was correct when he said that the QEW was not part of the TransCanada Highway, so he did not include it, in the Rest Area file for the TransCanada. However, your comment gave me food for thought and I have now added the two primary Service Centers to the "Rest Areas for Ontario Highway 400, 401 & QEW" file.
These Service Centers are not part of the Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO) network that is on Highways 400 and 401. They do not have their own dedicated On/Off ramps that are standard with MTO Service Centers and do appear to be totally private centers.
As a result, their access ramps are not as clean as an MTO center, but I have linked the POI to the beginning of the appropriate East & Westbound Off Ramps. Both centers are on the south side of the QEW, so service center is most obvious for the WB ramps, but the centers should be quite noticeable from the EB lanes and the signage at the Off Ramps should readily direct you.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the update. Really appreciate it.
41 new entries primarily in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia.
This is a great project, but I first did Rest Areas for Quebec back in 2009 and I have not updated since.
I would be more than happy to hand this particular file over someone else, preferably someone from Quebec or someone that is more familiar with the highways there.
The Rest Areas for Highway 400 and 401 is up to date. These were all taken over by OnRoute, so they are easily maintained. At this point, there is only one of these that is still be refurbished.
The biggest problem in maintaining any of the Canada rest area files is that the provinces publish little information on their webpages regarding their rest areas. Contacting the various transportation departments isn't all that helpful either, if my experience with British Columbia was any indicator. The information they sent me was basically useless.
It's because of the lack of information that I never mark rest areas as closed. That same lack of information is part of the reason why Rest Stops Canada is infrequently updated. The other part is because poring over 5,000 miles worth of maps on Google Earth is a major pain in the ass. The only reason the file saw an update this time is that Garmin's POIs actually revealed rest stops I missed on the TransCanada Highway.
The information in Rest Stops Québec was used in Rest Stops Canada in the beginning, but in 1.1 I moved the coordinates so they triggered on the highway rather than being on the off ramps.
As part of the new OnRoute rest stops, the following location has been closed, and a new location north of it has opened.
This is the original location on SB400, just north of Hwy 89, that is now closed:
-79.657027 44.204358 Rest Area
The new location is at -79.670889,44.251635 at 5th line near Innisfil.
The above coordinates are where the off ramp to access the rest stop starts.
You can see the details here:
I've been waiting ages for OnRoute to complete this location.
Thanks for the coordinates. I had no way of getting these, without a drive there. Google Earth did not have this on the satellite, with enough resolution to nail it down.
I will revise my file and get it posted.
Thanks for the update. I'll get the file updated as soon as possible.
Can the site you linked to pull up things like Visitor Information Centres?
EDIT: The site is only for those rest stops in Ontario. Still very useful however.
Thanks Bruce for letting me that this has finally opened. I have updated the file on POI Factory.
ive been using this POI for quite some time and fairly often come back to check for updates....ive noticed that here in Ontario on the Hwy 11 portion as well as parts of Hwy 17 from about Thunder Bay to Kenora every single Turnout and Rest Area are somehow missing, im a long haul trucker so i tend to switch routes through Ontario either via Hwy 11 or Hwy 17. Some turnouts on Hwy 11 are also strangely missing and not noted. Also a supposed Scale Weigh Station is called out here on this POI but as far as i know, there is no weigh station in Longlac, ON. other weigh stations along the TCH are either not called out where they exist or exist elsewhere along the route not being called out. if this can be fixed that would be amazing.
The only way to fix it would be for me to physically travel both highways, which is exceptionally difficult as I live in the United States. If you have the information, send it to me, but keep in mind the following. A lot of turnouts on those two highways that I had in an older version of the file were snow plow turnarounds where parking is probibited. Thus I pulled them.
shame that you had them at one point and have since removed them. i like other truck drivers realize that the majority of those "turnouts" are posted as no parking zones but when you need to check your reefer temperature or re-tighten your load straps or refill your washer fluid resevoir, being able to see an upcoming turnout is a real lifesaver. is there a way that those old co-ordinates can be re uploaded on here for us long haul drivers. especially in the Districts of Thunder Bay and Kenora where very few if ANY at all are called out along the way. thanks
I probably have a prior version on my hard drive. Let me look.
After three years it may be time for another update, if I can find the time.
Thanks for your great work Strephon_Alkhalikoi!
The Quebec government has a web page listing all rest areas in the province. You can download the data in GPX, CSV or OV2 format. All you have to do is select all.
Here is the link:
Now if the rest of the provinces and territories can provide that level of information it would make things a LOT easier than using Google Earth for three weeks.
Is this file still being maintained regularly?
Not sure but i noticed a lot of issues with this file. I had my garmin set for places along the road. It would show a bunch of stuff, mainly taken from my poi files. A lot of rest areas shown were just pull outs along the side of the highway and even then you would still not be fully off the road. Not a place to rest that's for sure.
The file isn't regularly maintained, simply because I don't live in Canada. As to the information within the file, the opening post mentions my sources, clearly linked. Everything else was done using Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google Street View. It's as accurate as I could make it given the tools available. Unless I suddenly move to Canada, I don't envision the accuracy improving appreciably.
I'm not sure whether I should be more offended or bemused at the accusation of theft. I've cited my sources in the thread above, and up until today this has not been an issue. Since I'm not aware of any POI files authored by you according to your profile page, it's a little difficult to have stolen your work, unless you happen to be the maintainer of transcanadahighway.com.
I'm not sure whether I should be more offended or bemused at the accusation of theft.
No idea where that comes from, but so be it. Observation made that some of the mentioned rest areas are not rest areas at all they are pull-outs. So this is the discussion area! I didn't say it needed to be fixed. Didn't say you even knew about it. It's an observation. People in here add to, take from, and comment on Poi files. Get over it.
No idea where that comes from, but so be it... Get over it.
Strephon_Alkhalikoi may have misinterpreted your reference to rest area locations being "mainly taken from my poi files" as a claim of plagiarism on his part.
That is unfortunate, as I'm sure no personal criticism was intended. Sadly, creating and maintaining a POI file is often a thankless job, and Strephon_Alkhalikoi probably just responded in frustration.
I appreciate that maintaining a POI file of Canadian Rest Areas is difficult. Unlike most states in America, provincial Transportation departments don't have easily accessible web sites listing rest area locations. If they do identify rest areas, there is almost no detail on what (limited) facilities are available. In fact, I'm confident that most rest areas on our highways are little more than pull outs with wide shoulders, and MAYBE a garbage bin. Nothing like many of the rest areas on Interstates in the U.S.! But that is a problem with OUR transportation system, not with Strephon_Alkhalikoi's file.
I appreciate Strephon_Alkhalikoi's efforts and I use his file. I hope he doesn't take your comments too harshly.
...maintaining a POI file of Canadian Rest Areas is difficult...
Daniel could not have said it better. The nature of rest areas in Canada is certainly different from the US.
We all appreciate Strephon_Alkhalikoi's efforts in maintaining this file, and his frequent contributions to the forum.
That's exactly what I thought. I was not happy to see that post, and I responded appropriately. I haven't bothered to read his reply, because it will likely irritate me all over again, and I've actually had a decent day today.
I didn't lose any sleep over the comment because I know exactly what I did, how I did it, and what files I used to do it. I do wish I was living in Canada, because given how most provincial ministries of transportation don't have much usable information on rest areas or pullouts I'd have to drive the Transcanada to update it; something that is on my bucket list.
Well, I do live in BC and I don't know how to make POI files, but I did find this:
Been there, done that, and got the T-shirt too.
When I last updated the rest stops file, there was no way to export BC's data or any other province or territory into something I could use. Each province and territory has its own way of providing that data; all of them were different and all of them were as useful as a rest area in Nunavut.
Well, I sent an email to the BC webmaster. Maybe they'll have a file-I also asked them to get on Google's case for being so slow to add a fancy new $4.8 million rest area on 97c at Loon Lake with multiple car chargers.
Unless they've seriously upgraded things, the file you'll receive from them will prove to be of little use. Most notably, no coordinates so you can't pin down the location.
fancy new $4.8 million rest area on 97c at Loon Lake with multiple car chargers.
The money came from closing the information center along the highway at Merritt
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