Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Biker's Guide to Dutton, Ontario

It was a perfect day for motorcycling, 25c and sunny. I spent the day visiting my mother in Dutton, Ontario. I don't think anybody has ever done a tourist guide to Dutton, so I will be the first. When I tell people my mother lives in Dutton, they assume I grew up there, but that's not true. My mother moved to Dutton from Quebec, 30 years ago, after my Dad retired. So I am an impartial observer of goings on in Dutton.

Dutton's biggest event in the 21st century happened on April 8, 2006, when 8 members of the Bandidos motorcycle gang were slaughtered, in the biggest one-day biker killing in Ontario's history. Records were set for how many people were killed by a motorcycle club, and how many members of a club died. Since only the Bandidos were involved, both records are now held by the Bandidos Motorcycle Club.

What annoys my Mother the most is not that this blood was spilled in Dutton, but that the spinmeisters of the nearby town of Shedden have managed to dupe the Canadian media into reporting it as the Shedden Massacre, while she rightly points out that the killing was in Dutton, and Shedden is implicated only because the bodies were found there.

The view on approaching Dutton from any direction not spectacular. The countryside is flat, but if you know the town well, you can spot it's landmark sticking out above the trees all the way from the 401. That would be the green water tower. Not too many people from Dutton are excited by the sight of a water tower, but in Dutton the water tower is right next door to the beer/liquor store, so that gives it a bit more significance. There is no reason why you would not be able to find the liquor store, because if you can't see the water tower, you could ask anybody. Anyway if you get there, you can look down the street and see my mother's house. You can tell it by the flowers out the side, and the fact that the carport is dented where a car ran into the post.

So getting back to biker gangs, I would like to point out that the Bandidos are a motorcycle gang in name only. I think they actually like the biker image more than they like riding motorcycles. So they buy the Harley T-shirts, and drink and fight, but you don't see them riding bikes very much. But the Ontario Provincial Police (the OPP) are apparently still on the lookout for bikers, from what I saw on the main street of Dutton today.

First I must explain that the 401 service centre near Dutton is closed for reconstruction, and that lots of people now drive into Dutton for gas because of this. Well I saw a couple on a Harley stop at one of the gas pumps, and immediately behind them came an OPP cruiser with a female police officer. She stopped and walked briskly over to the biker and put her arms around him and gave him a big hug. I watched this occurrence with my jaw hanging out and then asked my mother what was going on. She never saw anything like this before either, but I'm guessing it is some kind of reward program for bikers who don't kill anybody while passing through Dutton.

One more event of importance was the erection of a four-way stop near the school last year. As this was the first change in traffic signage in the last 97 years, it took a while for the people of Dutton to catch on. There were so many violations, that the OPP posted a permanent officer in a cruiser next to the stop, and handed out fines for anyone who didn't pay attention. Although my mother, by the grace of God alone, didn't get a ticket, just about everybody else in town did within about 4 days. Finally, the cruiser went away, and now people stop for the signs.

OK so what else is there to say about Dutton? If you want to eat a pizza there is Mancari's on Currie road (i.e. main street). It's pretty good, but whatever you do, do not order extra cheese, unless you really like cheese.

picture from:


  1. '... and handed out $300 fines for anyone who didn't pay attention."

    What?! .... $300?!

    How did they come up with that? Failing to stop at a stop sign is an offense under Section 136 of the Highway Traffic Act. The 'set fine' for a violation of Section 136 is $85 (Item 348 in Schedule 43.

    Even with the Victim Fine Surcharge (about $17) and the $5 'court fee' that's still a long way from $300.

  2. I was going on memory of what I was told, so I rechecked that story, and it seems that $85 is a lot more believable. (although not absolutely confirmed). I know there is no sign indicating "Community safety zone: fines doubled", but it is in front of a school.

    I have never yet received a ticket for not stopping at a stop sign, although I did get a warning once.

  3. love it. I bet I know the officer. Not too many female OPP's in Dutton, and the one that is, is super cool.
    I've been to the liquor store hundreds of times...never seen the water tower. Odd? But now i know for sure i'll never get lost.
    great article.