|Current driveway of the domicile which was once the|
Westport Gap Filler Site
The gap filler site just north of Westport Ontario is conveniently located a short distance off county road 10, a paved well maintained road - so no climbing of mountains was needed. The drive to the site is serene and picturesque. The last leg of the road is one lane and one lane only. When the Gap Filler stations were sold off in 1964, it was sold to Norkum Construction of Porcupine, Ontario. Today, as you can see from the (dated) satellite picture below, no vegetation grows around the perimeter, and little vegetation grows within the circle. I visited the site on August 5th 2012 and was quite surprised to find that it was not currently owned by a business or industrial interest, but a private owner. As I didn't catch his name, we'll call him Cletus for no reason what-so-ever. Cletus "greeted" me in his gitch, while his three giant German Shepards were circling and barking at me. He was a man of few words and even less patience, as I tried to explain who I was and why I was interested in visiting his property. The terms "Cold War", "Pintree Line", "Gap Filler", and "Military History" didn't interest him much; he informed me this was his private land, he didn't want any visitors, and I should best be on my way. I apologized profusely for interrupting his lunch, and bid him good day. I can't say he was rude exactly, but not very neighbourly, by my neighbourhood's standards anyway.
I did not get any pictures of the site, very unfortunately, because the two Steelox buildings have been clad in white vinyl siding, and green detailing added around the windows that have been installed. They also have a windmill and solar power; I'm not sure if they're living totally off the grid, but they're at least half way there. The ring road around the buildings is still very visible, although there doesn't seem to be any reason for traffic around the ring, so I can only assume whatever herbicide the military used to cleanse the area was potent stuff. Agent Orange has been rumoured to have been used at Pinetree line sites; could it have been used at Gap Filler sites? I would have liked to ask Cletus if he'd had difficulty growing his vegetable garden, but alas, he wasn't in a chatty mood.
UPDATE: I took the above picture on September 1st 2012 showing that the driveway is well maintained. "Cletus" did not seem to be home, and I did not trespass on his property.
No tower is on the site (anymore?), and I did not see any fuel tanks or auxiliary buildings of the same vintage as the Gap Filler site. It was a disappointing visit, but I'm glad I saw the gorgeous job they've done on refitting the Steelox buildings into proper homes.
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|Westport GFA Location|