Anyone who drives up to their cottage in Muskoka from the city knows of Weber’s burger joint famous for its charcoal burgers and long line ups along Highway 11 that snake out the restaurants front door.
A Weber’s Timeline:
Weber’s originally opened in 1963 along the highway just north of Orillia which became a landmark for families traveling north from Toronto. In 1981 the Ministry of Transportation installed a box beam barrier along a section of the highway as well as a chain-link fence to curtail the tens of thousands of people who were trying to cross over the highway for their Weber’s fix. In 1983 the now iconic orange bridge (a portion of the pedestrian bridge from the CN Tower) which straddles the highway became the first and only privately owned bridge built over a public highway in the Province of Ontario. In 1987 Weber’s acquired 3 CN railway cars which were retrofitted into a modern meat processing facility to house its own meat processing operations. In 2005 Webers launched its frozen hamburger products sold through The Loblaws Company so fans of the burgers could now take the Weber’s experience into their own backyards.
I would drive up this highway as a child with my family many times each year to visit our cottage in Port Sydney on Mary Lake. I remember staring out the window and ooing and ahhing at the massive line of people waiting to get their burger fix. My parents are not ones to wait and we’d always just zoom past the joyous (read: patient) families. My sister and I decided to stop at Weber’s for a bite to eat on our way up to Lake of Bays this summer. It had been raining all day so were pleasently suprised that the typical massive line up was only just starting at the door. The ever so effiecient (and young) staff took our orders and in a flash we were munching on our meal sitting inside one of the CN Railway dining cars.