If ever there was a symbol or institution by which Kenora could be identified, it would be Ye Olde Chip Truck at Market Square. It is as recognizable as Husky the Musky and draws every bit as many people if not more as an attraction. The difference between Husky and the chip truck is that with the fish, you can only take pictures. With the chip truck, you can eat the best French fried potatoes east of Vancouver.
The origins of the chip truck are a haze in the memories of nearly everyone in Kenora. Most of them figure the truck was just always there – like a mushroom that sprouted overnight. In fact, the truck made it onto the Kenora scene in 1957. John Hutchuk was a bush pilot from the Toronto area who flew seasonally for Parson’s Airways in Kenora. He got the idea of buying an old truck and converting it so he could make and sell French fried potatoes on the streets of downtown Kenora. He bought an old delivery van locally, probably from Lakeland Dairies, and proceeded to refit it. He built the fryers and all the fittings, and installed the burners for the fryers himself. They were Coleman burners and used Naptha gas to heat the grease. George Granger who was the base manager at Parson’s Airways was a good friend of John and helped him on a regular basis with peeling potatoes, cutting them up and working the truck. The vehicle would park across the street from the Salisbury house, (now Bizzi-bee sandwich shop) and John would sell French fries to the local citizenry during the summer.