Gooderham garage gets revived
By Sue Tiffin
Published June 20, 2017
A Skidoo trip to Haliburton became life changing when it led Jim Fenney past the Gooderham Service Centre.
Fenney grew up in the Highlands, but moved to the city after graduating high school. He’s owned a towing business since 1990 there.
“I thought, ‘if I can put two and two together with what we have in Oshawa, we can make it work,” said Fenney. “So I ended up back in Gooderham.”
Fenney and his wife Dorothy purchased the garage, renamed it the J&D Service Centre, similar to their flagship shop J&D Towing in Oshawa, and began sprucing it up.
“It just needs a little tender care,” he said.
The service centre will offer gas, automobile and marine oil, oil changes and minor repairs. Fenney is also working on providing CAA service with a tow truck from the location.
“It’s been pretty good,” he said. “That first day, when all was said and done, we asked, ‘how’d we do today?’ It wasn’t so great, but ever since then, people got talking, I see business has elevated considerably and been getting better and better.”
Doug Bates, who worked at the service centre for years as a mechanic, said he’s excited to see the garage up and running with full service again.
“It’s been part of town for a long, long time,” he said. “It makes me feel good to see people putting effort into it. I like to see business come back to town.”
With the renewal of the garage, Bates said Gooderham becomes a stop for cottagers and residents in the area.
“Anything helps a small community like ours,” said Bates. “On Saturday morning, if I need some lumber, need some gas, need some groceries, need some alcohol…if there’s no gas, no groceries, no alcohol, no lumber, I’m going to leave the town. Now we have everything back in town again.”
Fenney said the service garage is essential in the small town, especially as a fuel provider.
“You look around and it seems the other gas stations - Kinmount, Carnarvon - they’ve closed down,” he said. “You think, ‘where do they go for their fuel?’ They have to have something going. It’s hard.”
The J&D Service Centre is located at 1014 Mills Street in Gooderham and is open seven days a week.