Thunder Bay

Highway to run over family business

The twinning of the highway from Thunder Bay to Nipigon is forcing a family to abandon its business that's more than half a century old.

Garage and store slated for closure

Ken Grann said his parents bought the store and the garage at Pass Lake Corner on Highway 11/17 in 1958. (Nicole Ireland/CBC)

 A family living east of Thunder Bay is learning the price of progress. 

The twinning of the highway to Nipigon is forcing them to abandon a business that's more than half a century old.      

Ken Grann said his parents bought the store and the garage at Pass Lake Corner on Highway 11/17 in 1958.

The Pass Lake store will close next month, followed by the garage. (Nicole Ireland/CBC)

In the late 1980s, the Ministry of Transportation told his father a new highway would run right through the property.

"But they said it would be so far down the road that … there's no possibility of it ever affecting us," he said. "And here we are today."

The store--now operated by new owners--will close next month.

'No idea where I'm going'

Grann said he is keeping the garage and gas station open until the ministry tells him it's time to shut down. His customers keep asking if he'll set up shop somewhere else.

"I have no idea where I'm going," he said.

"Like there's no place in this area that is zoned commercial that has a building on it that we could move into."

Customers are losing more than their local mechanic, convenience store and LCBO outlet.

This is where you find out what's going on in the community,” said Cindy Grann, one of the owners of the garage next door. (Nicole Ireland/CBC)

Grann's wife, Cindy, said people crowd around the coffee counter every Saturday.    

"This is where you find out what's going on in the community," she said.

Cindy worries about the customers, but she's also thinking about Ken.

"It's my husband that's going to have the hardest time."

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