Gas prices significantly lower in Hamilton for all brands – why, and what can you do about it?

By Pepper Parr

Each Sunday we drive to Hamilton to attend the church of our choice and unless we are late, there is nice comfortable conversation along the way.  A few Sunday’s ago I turned to the Missus and asked: Are all the gas prices in Hamilton lower than they are in Burlington – and if they are – why are they lower?

With no snow in the driveway this Sunday, February 5th  we set out to document what differences there were in the gasoline prices in Burlington and Hamilton.

We drove south from Upper Middle Road and down Guelph line and took pictures at four gas stations, some offering regular gas at the same price, some with lower prices.

With that information in the camera we headed to Hamilton and went west along Main Street in the Westdale community next to McMaster University where we took pictures of the same brand gas stations and recorded their prices.

In Burlington regular gasoline at the

The Shell station on Guelph line $1.249 per litre

Burlington Esso on Guelph Line $1.249

The Petro Canada station immediately across the road from Esso also wanted $1.249

Shell station on Guelph Line and Mainway was $1.249 cents per litre.

At the Esso station just across the road gas was $1.249 a litre

Husky was the lowest amongst the Guelph Line stations - $1.247 per litre

At the Petro Canada station, across the road from the Esso station gas was $1.249 per litre

At the Husky Station a little further north on the west side of Guelph line gas was $1.247

A ten minute drive into Hamilton and the prices were a lot lower – low enough to make the trip worth your while ?  Perhaps not but we make a point of gassing up when we are in Hamilton.

Here are the Hamilton prices:

Esso station $1.226

Husky station $1.226

Shell station $121.9

Best price in Hamilton was at the independent Pioneer station where gas was $1.217 per litre

Pioneer station $1.217

 

At the Shell station on Main West in Hamilton - $1.219 per litre of regular gas

Regular gas at the Hamilton Esso station $1.226

Husky in Hamilton $1.226Why the difference in prices?  Because that is what the retailers can get away with.  Prices for each brand of gas are set by the regional marketing office but the change is made at the gas station.  We tend to use Shell because they hand out Air Mile points and were told by the operator at that station in Hamilton that he had “the lowest price on the strip”.  This guy obviously wanted the business and was prepared to cut his price by a couple of pennies to get it.  The Shell station in Burlington is more convenient for me but the guy in Hamilton wants my business and because I am driving by once a week anyway – he gets the business.

Best price in Hamilton was at the independent Pioneer station where gas was $1.217 per litre

And that is about all you have in the way of impact on market prices.  Stop buying your gas at places that have higher prices – and if enough people do that – the price will come down.

After driving by the gas stations and checking out the prices we went on into Dundas to just look around and get some exercise and have lunch.  Their Main Street was a delight to walk along and there was all kinds of stuff to see.  Walking through their Heritage district was a pure delight.

The sign certainly caught our attention. Perky, inviting. Retailers in Dundas aren't beaten down the way those in Burlington are who have to compete with malls that have tens of thousands to spend on upgrades.

Posts that flyers can be put up on make streets in Dundas a little more friendly.

We wondered what it was that made the downtown part of Dundas so pleasant and the retail stores so attractive.  Well even though it was a Sunday there were lots of people on the street; the weather certainly helped.  The streets were welcoming, the merchants had a certain perkiness to them  and the local Business Improvement Area had made the streets a little more people friendly.

What was it that made the difference.  No malls, at least not the customer sucking malls that pull everything away from Burlington`s downtown core.

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