Experts may have predicted it, but it still came as a shock to drivers this morning: gas prices went up this weekend.

And in some parts of the province, they're the highest they've been in years.

In Wasaga Beach, the cars were lined up six lanes wide and three deep at just one gas station. That’s because it was cheaper than nearby stations and drivers were hoping to full up at a $1.31 per litre.

“An example: across the street it's $0.10 more already so you have to be patient and sit in line,” says driver Lorraine Leslie.

Another driver, Rob Stadnyk, was surprised by the rush on the pumps. 

“It's pretty bus. I was going to fill up before work but it seems like there is more to it than that,” he says.

While some gas stations around southern Georgian Bay are holding off on a price hike for the moment, the impact of rising world oil prices started spread across our region overnight.

Today gas prices varied from $1.32 in Barrie and Collingwood to $1.39 in Wasaga Beach, and even $1.42 in Toronto.

Gas-price watchdog Dan McTeague says ongoing unrest in Iraq threatens to disrupt oil flowing out of that country and that's continuing to push global prices higher.

“Iraq is in fact a large producer – the second largest in OPEC – that being 40 per cent of all of the crude produced in the world so nothing to sneeze at,” he says. “A threat to that could impact Canadian supplies as well. We do in fact import Iraq oil into Canada, particularly in eastern Canada.”

McTeague expects prices to be highest in major urban centres over the weekend but the price trend will spread from there. Driver Tim Alderson says drivers are helpless.

“As consumers we are at the mercy of the gas companies,” he says. “They pick the price, we have to pay it.”

The so-called driving season is just getting started and according to McTeague, there is a high probability prices will continue climb at least for the next week.

It is cheaper to fill up in some places, compared to others.

In Newmarket, it's the most expensive at around $1.40. Some gas stations in Barrie are also selling gas at the same price, but there are some stations at $1.32. Gas is at $1.32 in Collingwood and it's a cent more in Orillia at $1.33.

Gas is a bit cheaper up north in cottage country, with the price at the pumps sitting at about $1.30.