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MAY 2021 EDITION

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S T. T H O M A S , O N TA R I O

Message from DDB Plus, watch for many other Downtown restaurants as they prepare their patios for you to enjoy some amazing food and beverages.

by Earl Taylor Chair, Downtown Development Board The COVID health guideline restrictions continue to make our Downtown look like the world went on an extended holiday. But, thanks to loyal and supportive shoppers, our Downtown merchants continue to welcome you to experience the new way of curbside pickup shopping. For the second summer, St Thomas Parks has had to suspend the installation of the hanging basket flowers once again. However, not all is lost since they will be planting and maintaining our 27 sidewalk urns.

In anticipation of better times ahead, we are moving forward with the installation of the Popup Sidewalk Patios at The Roadhouse, Streamliners Espresso Bar, Bella Jacks and Why Not Cookies.

The DDB has once again been approved for Canada Summer Jobs funding and we are beginning the process of hiring two summer students, to bring our Downtown back to a pristine look. As well, we are searching for a Downtown worker who will handle other cleanup tasks. Thank you for your continued loyalty and support of our unique Downtown businesses. For more information, please visit downtownstthomas.ca.

Active Transport in St. Thomas Active transport such as walking and cycling has been considered as an effective means to help improve physical and mental health. In fact, there is compelling evidence to show that youth and adolescents who remain active tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) and better health. According to the most recent report from Southwest Public Health, the percentage of our youth who use active transport is similar to the provincial average. However, we could improve the total number active transport hours.

Many studies have looked at what helps and hinders active transport. First is our physical environment. The provision of safe and connected walking and cycling routes are important and much of the infrastructure has been established in our area. A review of the trail map from Railway City Tourism shows that a person can safely transport from Greenway Park in the north of the City all the way to the south and even to Port Stanley! The City in conjunction with Public Health and developers have done a great job to ensure we have the facilities.

that parental involvement and societal influences (friends, social media) impact how we view and use active transport. Making active transport a fun and social event rather than a chore can increase uptake. DDB events, such as the Pumpkin Prowl, encourage parents and kids to be active as they go store to store along the Downtown. Activities, such as geocaching where participants use a GPS receiver or mobile device to find “caches” or treasurers placed at specific coordinates, are a lot of fun and encourage active transport around the city.

Attitude towards active transport is another determining factor. Studies show

Yurek Pharmacy 519 Talbot Street

We have an amazing and beautiful city. There is a huge opportunity to view it up close rather than simply driving through it. Make a commitment to actively transport; it will help your physical and mental health. Take care of yourselves and each other. by Steve Bond, Pharmacy Manager


Those Who Create the Vibe

A TASTE OF DOWNTOWN

St. Thomas

by Sarah Noble from the Elgin/ St. Thomas Small Business Enterprise Centre

@SBECinnovation But the truth is, that fish and chips haven’t always coexisted - they had to come together and come together they did in mid 19th century England. The chips introduced from Belgium or France and the fried fish introduced by Jewish immigrants from Portugal and Spain** often in small, family-run fish and chip shops. It’s still a dish that is quintessentially British and a staple on many pub menus. Across the pond, there are around 8500 fish and chip shops across the UK* and it’s a dish that was exempt from rationing by Churchill during WWII.

In a lot of ways we aren’t that different in Canada, Fish and Chips aren’t far down the list of favourites and most family restaurants and pubs consider it a mainstay - Cities like ours, close to the coast, are fortunate to have a few spots that make the combo something extra special.

Some items go together without much thought. Almost as if these things have always existed together in the same space. For me, fish and chips fall easily into this category. Even calling it fish and fries sounds less relatable and appetizing.

Your Fish & Chips is one of these spots they are a traditional fish and chip shop selling only their specialty out of their Downtown St. Thomas location that’s been part of the family for three generations with the fourth generation working alongside current owners Ryk and Lisa Snetselaar. Ryk came up in the business working after school and on weekends until he joined the operation full time in 1988. In keeping their menu offering simple, they have perfected their recipes and a consistent product that is deeply satisfying for a fish and chip lover. The chips, made from local potatoes, are some of the best in the city in this writer’s opinion. The fish ticks off all the boxes of high standards - it’s firm and flaky, tender, not excessively oily, and white in colour. For takeaway, it’s presented in a traditional cardboard box with paper and tied with string - feeling like a golden gift from the food gods rather than a simple takeaway. It’s also an incredibly reasonable price at only $13.35 for a large (2 piece). Ryk and Lisa are big on family, just like the generations before them and they hope customers have continued to feel part of the Snetselaar family despite the last year of changing regulations. Ryk is looking forward to properly catching up with the

extended Your Fish & Chips family when Ontario returns to

indoor dining. But he is incredibly grateful to their customers for their support over the last year, “Our business has been blessed as we were able to continue operating through this pandemic. A big thank-you to everyone as we are appreciative of all the customers for supporting us at this time. ” Currently you can order Your Fish & Chips by calling ahead for pick up. They only accept cash so be sure to check your wallet before heading in. The full menu is available online at yourfishandchips.ca. Your toughest decision will always be lemon or vinegar (or both in my case, lemon for the fish and malt for the chips!) and Ketchup or Tartar Sauce (it’s always ketchup on my fish, just like John Lennon). Your Fish & Chips is located at 644 Talbot St. 519.631.3202. *Source: The National Federation of Fish Friers **Source: BBC News Magazine

Gurr Auto Takes the GRRRR Out of Car Maintenance! Located at 845 Talbot St., Gurr is a high tech automotive repair shop that believes in oldfashioned customer service. In your first visit, they give you a courtesy digital inspection that ensures vehicle safety and optimal performance. In your future visits, you will receive reminders, vehicle inspections, drop-off and pick-up services, loaner cars, and maintenance and repair records.

Owner John Gurr and his wife Suzanne answer your questions and provide the best possible service, using only high-quality parts backed by a Canada wide warranty. For more information, visit gurrauto.com.


Featured Merchants If We Can’t Repair It, Then We Don’t Sell It! CTP Computers, located at 707 Talbot St., specializes in computer and laptop sales, repairs, and service, and sells network equipment, cabling, software, and peripherals. If you are wanting to buy, needing advice or support, repairs or replacements, then look no further! First-time buyers can rely on staff expertise to find the perfect computer and equipment, along with offering customers a full year in-shop warranty on new products and a 30-minute lesson with each new machine purchased. Power users, gamers, graphic designers, and engineers can rest assure that the knowledgeable staff will take the time to find the right solution for their specialized needs to increase performance and flawless execution. CTP Computers also provides IT support to many small and medium-sized businesses for system integration services, backup solutions, network attached storage and cyber security. CTP Computers grew from a charity called Computers 4 Kids which supplied free

computers to school children in Southwold Township. As they evolved into commercial work, they became CTP Computers & Network Services and opened in the old Erie Works building on Talbot Street and then moved to their current location. Community service is still an important part of their business. Owner Sandy Vazquez says, “Truly the best part of running CTP Computers is helping people…. Making a profit is only part of the answer, making a difference is the rest.” Staff freely dispense advice when needed and offer free resume copying services and print and email urgent items for people with limited resources. They offer free educational

classes to service groups, donate free equipment and computers through local charities and provide local high school co-op placements. Currently, they are supporting downtown merchants by selling them security equipment at cost. For all your computer needs, check out CTP Computers!

Horton Farmers’ Market a Product of Customer and Fellow Vendor Engagement With the season opener of the Horton Farmers’ Market in our rearview, the team at the St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation is excited to keep the anticipation for the market high this season. Saturday welcomed 25 vendors to kick off

the season, but as with every season, the list of weekly vendors grows as more fresh local produce comes on. The market is essential to the city and surrounding community as more than something to do on Saturday mornings. With the EDC covering a gamut of support from Railway City Tourism to entrepreneurial development through the Elgin/ St. Thomas Small Business Enterprise Centre, the organization is well-positioned to help the market and its vendors thrive in 2021. And that success is deeper than dollars. The market enables vendors the opportunity for social learning through engagement with customers. It’s a once-a-week small business incubator that contributes to more innovative

marketing by vendors. They learn through engagement with customers and fellow vendors, increasing the likelihood of vendors diversifying to additional sales channels beyond the Farmers’ Market. Your Saturday morning visit contributes to the local economy today, but this learning opportunity also helps strengthen it for the future. Farmers’ Markets are incredible economic drivers for local economies. According to Farmers’ Markets’ Ontario, every dollar spent at the market sends another two ripples through the economy. The market provides a conduit for local food access to maintain food security. Something that feels ever more important after recent global events. But in the simplest of terms, visiting the market is something fun to do on a Saturday morning. Throughout the season, as Provincial restrictions allow, we plan to open up the patio area and bring back live music. We will welcome community activations of art and celebrate all the ways that the Horton Farmers’ Market contributes to life in our City - join us Saturdays from 8 AM-Noon, now through October. For more information about the market visit hortonfarmersmarket.ca or follow them on Facebook and Instagram @ hortonfarmersmarket.


Maintaining the Vibe

The Chief is #stthomasproud Summer is right around the corner and no one is looking forward to the warmer weather more than the STPS Downtown Beat Patrol Unit!

our dedicated beat patrol unit. Special Constables from our Court Services Unit and Bike Patrol Officers will also be visible in the downtown and on the trails and pathways. Our Mobile Outreach Support Team (MOST) will hit the sidewalks and our CCTV program will have five additional cameras very soon.

by Chris Herridge, Police Chief The COVID torch is extinguishing, and we hope that summer 2021 brings vibrant activity so we all have the opportunity to engage and instill positive life, safety and security back to the vital business core of St. Thomas.

We are listening to those who we serve, we are vocal about your concerns, and we will continue to champion the needs of our proud community.

Just recently, Constable Dan Spicer joined Constable Katherine McNeil on

St. Thomas Mayor Joe Preston The increasing issues with Downtown security have sparked a proactive response to approach these problems head-on. Goal: To improve security by increasing the presence of uniformed police officers on foot to proactively address issues as they arise in the problem areas. Therefore, as of May 3rd for the summer months: • Our Community Services Officers have been working an alternating schedule Mon- Fri and Tues- Sat 9am – 5pm. • The CSO’s have been supplemented by Special Constables from Court Services deployed with a uniformed officer, working Tues- Sat 9am-5pm.  • Additional support has been offered by our MOST who are on foot patrol in the core when not required for calls for service or follow up Mental Health calls. 

Dan Reith

Additionally, Platoons: • When staffing is above 6 officers, all additional officers are deployed to Beat Patrol in our downtown core. This uniformed presence occurs between 8 am – 11 pm. The goal is to have 1-3 additional officers from uniformed patrol present in the downtown core. • When 2 or more officers are deployed from a platoon, one officer may be deployed on bicycle patrol, focusing on the core and trail systems. • When two supervisors are on duty, one NCO is on foot patrol in the core unless other priorities require them to be elsewhere.  • After 11pm, uniformed patrol officers are redeployed to identified Hot Spots within the city focusing on Crime Prevention and Detection as it relates to our ongoing and associated property crime problem.  Enforcement Measures: • When officers encounter incidents in which enforcement of Criminal, Provincial or Municipal legislation is supported by evidence, appropriate charges are to be laid to send a message to the offenders that unlawful behaviour will not be tolerated.

Darren Reith

Discover the Reith Advantage™: advice your way. That is why 97% of our clients renew their policies every year.

We look forward to working with you! 519.631.3862 | ReithAndAssociates.com

Produced by St. Thomas Downtown Development Board — downtownstthomas.ca

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St Thomas Downtown VIBE May 2021  

News and stories about Downtown St. Thomas Ontario Canada businesses, organizations, people, historical and cultural features. The collectiv...

St Thomas Downtown VIBE May 2021  

News and stories about Downtown St. Thomas Ontario Canada businesses, organizations, people, historical and cultural features. The collectiv...

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