Work is well under way on Knowlton Road and, in July 2017, we should see a new Tim Hortons coffee and doughnut shop as well as a gas station/dépanneur on the old parking lot of the Odd Fellows.

The new outlets will be open 24/7 and according to Michel Nolin of Constructions Novard, promoter and administrator of the facility, represent a minimum investment of $2M and will provide about 50 permanent jobs.

Directly across the road, Dépanneur Rouge also runs a gas station as it has for years.

“Yes, I am disappointed”, said Jean-François Malette, the owner of Dépanneur Rouge, “but competition is here to stay. We used to have only one drugstore in Knowlton, now we have two.”

While stressing that Dépanneur Rouge provides services such as catering that the new competitor does not, Malette accepts the competition with a dose of philosophy. “It’s up to us to adjust to the new reality, and competition is good for the consumer.” Does he expect gas price wars? “Very unlikely, costs are high for everybody. Don’t forget there are five gas stations in the village of Ange-Gardien!”

At the time of going to press, it was still unclear what company would pump the gas. It will not be a Shell outlet as there is one in operation across the road. An agreement has already been signed between the promoter and Parkland Fuels, a company that represents many popular gas banners.

Another gas station will be opening at Gilman’s Corner, where highways 104 and 139 meet in West Brome. The new Shell station will be a very short distance away from the existing Ultramar on the 139.