Out of gas
Carbonear’s Water Street is about to lose another landmark. And a lot of people are going to miss it.
The Ultramar Carbonear service station on Water Street is closing.
Warren Maynard, Ultramar’s director of retail operations in Atlantic Canada, said the station had a “lower than average” performance, and the company will be closing it Oct. 31.
“It basically comes down to a profitability issue,” he said from his office in Eastern Passage, N.S., on Wednesday.
Maynard said there are several modifications that need to be made to the site, including upgrading the underground gasoline storage tanks — which he said would cost a “significant six-figure amount” — but the low profitability doesn’t warrant the investment.
“The volume at the site is significantly below our average for the market,” he said, adding that gas stations that were built 30 or 40 years ago don’t necessarily meet the needs of today.
Maynard said the decision was made a few months ago and Ultramar gave the owner “as much notice as possible.”
He added that after the station is closed, the storage tanks will be removed, and once an environmental review of the property is completed, the site will likely be put up for sale.
Peter Sampson, who has owned Sampson’s Barber Shop across Water Street for 40 years, says he’ll miss the station. He says he would often go across the street to have a laugh and tell stories with the staff.
“I think it’s terrible. I depends on that place over there, for lunch and change, and now they’re going to be gone,” he said Friday.
When it closes at the end of this month, it will mark the first time in half a century there will be no service station on the site. The British American Oil Company opened the first B/A station there in June 1960 under the management of Rex Serrick. Walt Milley also operated the station as a B/A and later, Gulf before it became Ultramar Carbonear.
Gerry Power, the local manager of the station, declined to comment on the station’s closure and referred questions to Ultramar’s head office.
Oil refining giant Ultramar says it will be closing Carbonear’s Water Street gas station on Oct. 31.