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Taking the Leap

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  • Taking the Leap

    I found a suitable shop to purchase way up in Northern Ontario, price looks good and on a little bit of land situated in a small town.

    I do Truck Collsion repairs, and have been for twenty some years now. I plan on moving north and opening a shop doing these types of repairs along with boat fibreglass repairs general auto body, don't like cars though, sleds and Atv's etc along with general fab and welding repair.

    Have acumulated all the necessesay tools and equipment now with exception on sandblaster, pressure washer and a few smaller items, no bid deal.

    I am a country bum by nature and only live in the big city for the money. Hate cites and the conjestion that comes with it.

    Idea is to move north and open a smaller friendly type of shop, as you can see on the price of the shop, I could pay that off in about 18 months. Be debt free, and in my own shop. Would be able to do what I like to do and have the time to enjoy the work again without the hassles and aggravations of overhead debt etc. This has been a long term plan that I have been working towards for the last five years now, purchasing all the right equipment, from welding to pulling equipment etc. I am at the level now to purchase land with a shop, and take that leap. I have currently 3500.00 of debt/current to clear off, then I am ready.

    In that area of the province, there is alot of truck traffic, mining and forestry as well, lots of snow and deer hits too.

    My question would be, I know alot of guys on the forum here have thier own shops, how are you making out with your shops if your more rural? Not associate with a large urban area.

    All you guys have such a impressive amount of varied knowledge and experience. I would very much appreciate some input.

    Happy New Year
    There's a method to the madness, disregard the method and the madness begins.

  • #2
    inside shot
    There's a method to the madness, disregard the method and the madness begins.


    • #3
      another inside shop

      note lighting and cement floor with drain.

      also has oil heat, air compressor 15 hp 80 gallon tank and shop and land comes with 40 foot storage trlr.

      taxes running 5900.00 per year.

      been talking with the real estate agent, problem with deal is that it is 7 hours north of where i am now, trouble getting time from work as winter is our busy time of year.

      One of my guys, ironically is visiting in this area right now for the holidays and is getting me more pics and a general sense of the area.
      There's a method to the madness, disregard the method and the madness begins.


      • #4
        I have a good hot hi pressure washer plumbed in to the facility,, out in the sticks we use it every day. Out there you could add on a little at a later date to customize a little. I am in the farming business so am not currently assosiated with working for customers. I dont encourage a lot of walkin work but some of that may change in the future as some of our own rebuilding work is finished. 2 of us repair, rebuild, maintain and upgrade full time. We are finishing a fertilizer spreader now, added every possible modification and upgrade we could to make it last as long as possible. Stainless bolts, grommets, custom paint, every new bearing and u-joint and we even built in a couple handy service upgrades. So, I have enough work without having to deal with customers but I have something in mind and I will let you know in a year or so.


        • #5
          Big rig guy if that place is 7 hours north of Toronto it is really up north. You will be spending a lot for heat I would think. Hope that shop is well insulated.


          • #6
            Yup its nipply up there. The shop is on oil heat, I would take that out and go with likely propane radiant, the overhead tube style.

            We have that style in the shop I am in now and you simply cannot beat it. From what I understand I think it is the most effecient as well.

            The shop is around Kirkland Lake Ontario, and if you check a road map, you will see it it under 100 from the last road in the north.
            It's pretty close to as far as you can go, at least in Ontario.
            After that road, its foot or fly.

            It's what they call God's country up there.
            There's a method to the madness, disregard the method and the madness begins.


            • #7
              BigRig, if it's so far north yer almost out of roads, what are they chargin $5900- a year in tax for?
              What's the economic base for 50 miles around there that will support a shop?


              • #8
                Yes I am questioning that as well, the houses up north are going for anywhere from 9000 to 50,000.00 and the average property tax is around 800.00 per year. I am emailing the real estate early next week which a bunch of questions and the issue of taxes is one of them. Does seem high though. Its on a half acre, but still don't think that rate is proper.

                I am going to extend the front of the building outward another ten feet or so, and would surmize that would change the tax rate as well.

                I am in the planning stages right now, and collecting all the info so that I can make an intelligent decision, okay, the wife said that i had better not screw this up. lol

                I have debt to clear this month, and want the shop and land paid for before I open up. If all fails, I can work at the closest WallyWorld as a broken down ex welder truck collision mechanic----greeter. Maybe I can weld shopping carts?????
                There's a method to the madness, disregard the method and the madness begins.


                • #9
                  BigRig, even with tryin to wrap my mind around the Canadian/US exchange rate, and factorin in all the additional taxes John Bull nails you for, I gotta think $5900 C is insane for a 1/2 acre property with a steel building.
                  What's the deal on utilitys, do you have 3 phase hydro (that'll confuse somebody) and other urban amenitys like sewers and gas, or is this so far out you gotta generate your own?
                  The bite on taxes alone will make it **** to build a business, even if nobody around there is in the same line you're going into.
                  I ain't lookin to punch holes in your dream, but this location just don't look all that profitable unless I'm missing a lot.
                  What's the population numbers around there that you can draw business from?
                  BTW, scratch the Walmart basket repair idea, they're switching to plastic carts.


                  • #10
                    I know it has 220 single phase in the shop, no gas, I would have to run propane and get set up with a storage tank, this is a usually thing to do in Northern Ontario.
                    Regarding sewar, its another question that I am going to ask, the property and shop are locate in a small town just off a major highway.

                    As for population base, Northern Ontario is a busy place for trucking. Matter of fact, here in the city, I constantly work on trucks from that area of the province, they actually bring thier trucks down, drive back home and then come back in a week or so to pick them. They do this as there s not anyone up North qualified to do heavy collison or light collision for that matter.

                    It's typical for a truck owner operator to work out of a trucking terminal here in the city, but actually live way up North. I have talked with many many owners over the last number of years regardng a shop up north, all have said, that you should be able to make a go of it. Not going to get rich, but will live.

                    We have major trucking across the upper portion of Ontario due to frieght from overseas and trucked from Vancouver to points in the east such as Montreal and Toronto, one major snow up there and trucks are all over the road. Not too mention moose and dear hits, as well as warranty work for the major truck makers, as they are located up there as well.

                    As for taxes, and thinking that 5900.00 per year is way out of this world, well we live in the most taxed to death area in North America. We have user fees for every **** thing possible, taxes at a outlandish level, insurance rates over double the last two years. I took a toll highway from last Sept 1 to end of November back and forth to work, and I got the bill just before Xmas, it was 1296.00. Can you imagine that. The distance on the toll road one way is less than 30 miles.

                    5900 per year I am not worried about, what concerns me is the shop insurance. They on average, 4 times what you were paying three years ago, business insurance for vehicles, my buddy four small half ton trucks went from 11000.00 to 63000.00 per year, his friend went from 42000.00 to 245000.00 and had to close his business. My personal insurance went up from 108 per month to 228.00 cause the wife got a seatbelt ticket a year ago, no other claims no nothing.

                    You guys down there, at least put up a stink when the idiots in power are trying to screw you over, we up here, just smile and only ask for a kiss when your done. Makes me understand, when in the states you cannot drive anywhere for more than a minute or two and not see an american flag, up here in Canada I can't recall the last time I seen our flag, were pussies. I can say that cause I am half american, half canadian, its my american blood that boils when we sit by as a nation and lets the loons ruin our quality of life.

                    So yeah, I am and will not be surprised to find out that is the proper tax rate. Now I got my dander up.
                    There's a method to the madness, disregard the method and the madness begins.


                    • #11
                      Big, just slide south a bit to Neuevo Hillareah where I am, and you'll see the same crap. You got the Quebec mobsters runnin the nation to ****, and down here, we get TV ads from the Ontario Ministry of Commerse prospecting for jobs to come north to Ontario offering skilled labor and lo hydro rates.
                      I'm 15 miles from Rochester, the number 1 per capita murder town in NY, and every one of my taxes just went up, only by a few perrcent, all for my own good, according to the politicians.
                      The education system has gone down the dumper, and 90% of the kids coming out of high school can't tell a 9/16 wrench from a 3/4 wrench, let alone read a ruler.
                      Kodak, Xerox and Bausch & Lomb have all but evacuated this area, and insurance and taxes make me wonder what the **** they can take next. NY even put in a law making it illegal to smoke inside any public building, so, even if I wanted to smoke, in a building I own, I couldn't legally do it, if there was 1 employee or customer who ever came in that building. This came 5 years after resturants built millions of dollars worth of sealed off smoking areas.
                      People here are just as gutless as Canadians, or too **** dumb to do more about the screwin they just took than cry about it. The politicians in this country have come to be an elitist class that makes the Lords of England look like a bunch of vagrants.
                      Just as the french have taken control of Canada, the welfare class has become a control voting block here.


                      • #12
                        Go ahead, feel free, dont hold back,, you got sumthin on your mind? Just say it.


                        • #13
                          low hydro rates, are caps are coming off, and look out, our hydro system is so far in debt and in trouble, my kids will be paying an arm and a leg to run thier household.

                          Our education system is as bad as yours, we have cops in the schools now, all students must go through metal detectors, shootings and killings everynite in the city. Our kids coming out of the schools are not even close to a level they should be at. We have the gangs now, alot of them connected to the big gangs in major US cities.

                          Anyone with good skills and able to work southside, are gone, and no looking back. They favor the tax scales down there and you can write off more on your taxes.

                          As for smoking, can't smoke anywhere, but, in one town about an hour ago, it is illega to smoke while driving any commercial vehicle through town.

                          I don't agree with the constant messing up of things, our politicians are doing daily. I can't change it either, but I can control my exposure to it, and hence the need for moving to Northern Ontario.

                          I look at the world events and policies etc, and the underlying thing that is missing is plain old common sense.
                          There's a method to the madness, disregard the method and the madness begins.


                          • #14
                            You sure that yearly tax isn't $590.00. If the houses are from $9000.00 to $50,000.00 and the taxes are $800.00 a year then it would seem a small metal building would be $590.00. I haven't seen a house go for $50,000.00 in about 15 years where I live. If you have to pay $500.00 a month in taxes + your house note+ heating costs and electrical costs+ high insurance rates ,How are you gonna eat? You'll have to charge $200.00 an hour to make any headway. David