The store

Corner Gas it once was called, but Corner Gas it ain’t no more.

Gas was once sold from a single pump on the corner of a Walter’s Falls intersection. But single-pump outlets are no longer feasible, having been pushed to extinction by the self-serve giants. But the little raised restaurant still remains operating under a name as simple as that of “The Store,” which the sign out front so now indicates.

But don’t let that simple name fool you, for the food that is served, though bearing common names on the menu, the taste, the makeup, the quantity and the quality, can be matched by no other, and the prices are unreasonably low. I first heard about this little eatery about a year and a half ago. A friend of mine, interested in birds, as I, picked me up to go to a chicken show that was being held in Meaford. Having placed the birds taken in the show cages, we wandered downtown to partake of a late breakfast.

Having come in from bright sunlight, my glasses had darkened, so on first entry I could see absolutely nothing. But the multiple chatter and clatter of dishes told me the place was jam-packed from stem to stern. Then, as my sight slowly cleared, I heard a feminine voice calling loud and clear from the back of the room, “Barrie, come sit with us.”

As it turned out, after a scraping of shuffled straight-backed chairs around a large oval communal table, while strangers made room to squeeze us in, I recognized her and her husband, who were close neighbours when I lived in Fergus. After the exchange of self-introduction around the now overcrowded table, I handed her my card, on the back of which is mapped my location.

“Oh!” came her startled reply. “We quite often go over near you for breakfast or lunch.” When I returned a questionable glance, she went on to say, “Corner Gas at Walter’s Falls – the place is clean, the food is great, and the price is right, much like this place.” What more needed to be said?

When a longtime reader friend of mine from Listowel phoned this past particular morning, suggesting as he does about once each month that we go out for lunch, my mind started to grind. It was my turn to choose which restaurant.

From Listowel to Markdale is just over an hour’s drive, so I had plenty of time to think, so think I did. As I made my usual rounds on Jennie, my jitney, talking to the animals while throwing a handful of scratch grain on the floor for Whitey, our newly rescued resident barnyard rooster, my thoughts struck on the conversation of Walter’s Falls, so to Walter’s Falls we went.

My friend ordered a BLT and I, french toast which came with bacon and maple syrup; then we sat back and sipped our bottomless cups of coffee. When it came, wow! Wow! WOW! What a plateful! It was neatly prepared and the taste was superb. Need I say more?

Yes, I do! Walter’s Falls is only a day trip from anywhere in southern Ontario. It is situated alongside the Bruce Trail. A sign on Highway 10, just a country block north of Markdale, indicates its direction off to the east. 

So, folks, get off of your butt and go for a drive. The scenery through cattle country, at any time of year, is unique, and the food can’t be beat.

May I suggest that you try their world-renowned western sandwich? You won’t regret that you did.

Take care, ‘cause we care.




Barrie Hopkins