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The unique ice from Shawville, Que. that is in high demand in this heat wave


In the midst of a heat wave, there is no cooler place to work than an ice-making facility.

"Oh, for sure. We keep the inside of the manufacturing part of the plant about 12 degrees," says Trevor Fraser, owner of Pontiac Ice in Shawville, Que.

"If you're in the walk in [freezer], it's -25 Celsius."

Pushing out 18 tonnes of ice every day, Pontiac Ice says this early season heat wave has driven up demand for his ice cold product.

"This week we're probably about 80 per cent higher than we were at this time last year," Fraser tells CTV News. "And that's just because of the heat."

Fraser says he even had to make emergency deliveries to many of the roughly 200 locations that sell Pontiac Ice through the Ottawa Valley.

So what is it about the Shawville ice that has customers buying it in bags – aside from this week's heat?

For starters, Fraser says Pontiac Ice provides more bang for your buck, selling ice cubes at eight pounds per bag and ice blocks at 10 pounds per bag. He claims competitors have reduced their sizes to five or six pounds per bag.

Probably the more important factor is that Fraser claims his ice lasts longer when in a cooler.

"The blocks last three to four days. A bag of cubes, they last two or three days," he says.

"All our ice is tempered. Our cubes are 20-minutes tempered, and our blocks are 12-hours tempered. So they get nice black, blue ice that lasts longer."

But despite Pontiac Ice's success throughout the valley, Fraser says it has been a challenge getting his unique ice into freezers in Ottawa.

"The problem is that big corporations eat you up in the cities."

"They can do a corporate rate across Canada. It's not the little mom and pop stores, or gas stations, or restaurants; that's all what we have." Top Stories

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