A convoy of trucks and passenger vehicles heading to the nation’s capital to protest the COVID-19 vaccine mandate departed from the Kingston area on Friday morning after stopping overnight.
On the evening of Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, Kingston Police and OPP were present at the Gardiners Road offramp to direct those from the convoy who chose to stay overnight in the city. From approximately 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., tractor-trailers, passenger vehicles, and RVs left Highway 401 at the Gardiners Road offramp, and were directed south into the city. Police closed a section of Highway 38/Gardiners Road, from Cataraqui Woods Drive to McIvor Road, off and on throughout the evening.
The convoy was directed towards parking lots east of Gardiners Road and on roadways that included Centennial Drive, Fortune Crescent, Venture Drive and Resource Road. Police fully reopened the affected roadways by about 6 p.m., after the majority of the convoy participants had been situated in their overnight locations. By about 9 p.m., about 300 transports and support vehicles had arrived, according to Kingston Police, with an estimated 400-600 additional vehicles still to arrive or opting to stop overnight in Belleville or Napanee.
Approximately 200 supporters gathered on the margins of Gardiners Rd and at overpasses on the 401 to greet the convoy participants.
As of 9:35 a.m. this morning, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, Kingston Police reported on social media that all roadways had been reopened, and all trucks and passenger vehicles had departed onto Highway 401 eastbound.
Police also released their count of vehicles that departed the city this morning:
- 17 full tractor trailers
- 104 tractors w no trailers
- 424 passenger vehicles
- 6 RVs
As the vehicles began to roll towards the capital after a mild night without any issues, a collision occurred at Highway 15 and Highway 401. Though the collision appeared to be minor in nature, the incident added to the already congested roadways accessing the highways. Minor injuries were reported and Highway 401 was briefly down to two lanes just before Highway 15.