Bulldozers level Saskatchewan’s iconic gas station

Setting of television series Corner Gas was a popular tourist spot, but after 13 years it was deemed unsafe

ROULEAU, Sask. — Dog River has lost its gas station. While gas stations can be an anchor to a small town, this one drew more traffic than most.

Last week a track hoe tore down the iconic prairie gas station set that had been at the core of the popular television series Corner Gas.

The show was based in the fictional town of Dog River and in the real world was located in Rouleau.

The hit television show started filming in Rouleau 13 years ago and the outdoor set with iconic gas station and attached café called The Ruby was built along Highway 39. It was built as a temporary structure, intended only to last a few years.

Grant Clarke, mayor of Rouleau, said the land it sat on was low and the set was sinking. Wet years in Western Canada didn’t help.

“We and producers of the show were concerned if it didn’t get taken down, it would fall down on its own,” he said.

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Virginia Thompson, executive producer of the show, said her organization didn’t own the land and the owner didn’t want to sell the location.

Tourists regularly made pilgrimages to Rouleau to be photographed outside the fictional gas station.

Clarke said the town has a walking tour of other favourite Corner Gas shooting locations, but acknowledged the station was a big draw.

He said the show is working with the Western Development Museum in Moose Jaw, Sask., to put together a Corner Gas display to remind people that the town of Dog River is just down the highway and still open for business.

  • The show premiered Jan. 22, 2004 to 1.15 million viewers.
  • It averaged an audience of 1.4 million viewers over its 107-episode run.
  • The series finale, on April 13, 2009, set a record for a Canadian scripted TV series with 3.02 million viewers.
  • All of the characters’ last names are places in Saskatchewan.
  • Nancy Robertson (Wanda Dollard) and Brent Butt were married in real life in 2005.
  • To promote the second season, cast members pumped gas in stations across Canada.

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