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Downtown Development Board Brings Back Nostalgia Nights to Say Thank You! by Rob Burns If the last six Nostalgia Nights are any indication, expect thousands of smiling faces up and down Talbot Street on September 18th between 4:00 and 9:00 pm. They will be: • admiring hundreds of shiny special interest vehicles,

St. Thomas, Nostalgia Nights has grown from the confines of a couple blocks to sprawling from Hincks Street in the west to John Street in the east! We have had as many as 1,200 cars at Nostalgia Nights. But, if you’re not a car enthusiast, no worries. In the addition to the exciting events above, you can: • tour Creators Alley, featuring local artisans, in Hepburn Parkette, thanks to Railway City Tourism;

• enjoying the sounds of DJ Ken Chaplin’s music coming from the steps of city hall, Rock and Roll at Hepburn Parkette and talented Buskers at the L&PS Station • savouring the delicious meals of our Downtown restaurants, and relishing the FREE train rides on the L&PS Rail Line.

• visit Small Business Alley, showcasing many local gems, thanks to The Small Business Enterprise Centre • play trivia games, hosted by DJ Ken Chaplin, and win prizes Don’t forget to try your luck on the 50/50 Draw to support the St. Thomas Optimist Club, who look after parking our beautiful cars!. Attendance for both spectators and car owners is free. Nostalgia Nights is sponsored by The St Thomas Downtown Development Board, and other local organizations, to thank you for your support — especially during the last crazy 18 months. We hope to see you on September 18th, stay safe and #stthomasproud.

Started by a small number of volunteers to promote Downtown

Message from DDB by Earl Taylor Chair, Downtown Development Board I think that was the quickest summer ever! But maybe I say that every year! Have you been Downtown lately? Wow, it’s a busy place and it looks like things are back to normal. Take advantage of two hours of free parking and visit your favourite restaurants, patios and retail stores soon. In fact, if you haven’t visited one of our patios yet, I suggest you do

that before mid-October. Don’t forget to collect Downtown Dollars at various events because they’re redeemable at most stores! Our flower planters are in full bloom, thanks to St. Thomas Parks. Our new cross street banner poles have been reinstalled at Talbot and Horton Street so we are once again able to promote local

charity events. Thanks to St. Thomas Police Services, we now have eight CCTV cameras operational throughout Downtown. The Downtown Clean Team is busy picking up garbage and cleaning our sidewalks every day. Last but not least, we are preparing for our 7th Nostalgia Nights Classic Car Show and free train rides on September 18th. Check us out; we would love to see you!

Those Who Create the Vibe

Hobbies Help You Feel Better by Peter Yurek Yurek Pharmacy

Remember your childhood – days of riding your bike, fishing, playing sports, or just doodling? We know how important play is in the healthy development of our children; but did you know that play is also crucial in being a healthy adult? In adult life, play takes the form of activities we call hobbies. Hobbies, defined as an activity regularly done for pleasure in your spare time, provide us with the chance to escape the routine of everyday life and to do something that we are passionate about. Different types of hobbies can offer different benefits. Physical/Outdoor hobbies (hiking, swimming, martial arts, gardening) help to improve your physical health and relieve stress. Social hobbies (travelling, joining a club, playing games, volunteering) allow you to socialize and make new friends and new memories.

Creative hobbies (painting, photography, cake decorating, knitting or quilting) help you to build emotional expression and a sense of accomplishment. Collecting hobbies (antique cars, stamps, coins) allow you to build organizational skills and a sense of pride.

connections between memory and other areas of the brain thereby strengthening your thinking and memory. Making time for hobbies, for doing something for enjoyment and interest, can improve your physical health, your mental health and your emotional health.

Making and Tinkering hobbies (old cars, models, 3D printing, dressmaking) give you the enjoyment of building, repairing and restoring successfully. Enrichment hobbies (writing, reading, learning a new language) help you to improve your mind and interests. According to Kettering University, hobbies can improve your health by decreasing blood pressure, stress hormones and lowering bouts of depression. Hobbies are good for our brains too. They improve neuroplasticity which means the brain can expand

Friends of the Downtown “There is no question that Downtown is the heart of St. Thomas,” acknowledges Dan Reith of Reith & Associates Insurance & Financial Services, a fourth generation, family-owned, 107-year-old local business.

“Folks often forget their Downtown and take it for granted. These are the businesses that employ our neighbours and support our sports teams. That’s why I support them! I don’t buy anything from Amazon. Never have; never will.”

While Reith is confident that all levels of government will work to bring everything back to normal, post pandemic, he and his company contribute as much as possible. Their steadfast support of The Downtown Vibe is a good example. They also treat their employees’ community involvement as years of service in the company, which helps them progress! Reith reminds us that “In 2017, Expedia. ca declared St. Thomas to have the

coolest downtown in the country. It draws people from within the city and other municipalities.” Our historic Downtown includes an enduring blend of offices, professional services, retail shops and restaurants. “We have great events like Nostalgia Nights, a refreshing collection of public art—murals—some unique stores, the Horton Market and a burgeoning foodie scene!” Personally, I feel blessed to have so much at my store step. Located at 462 Talbot St, Reith & Associates is a fully digital insurance broker that still make house calls for clients who prefer oldfashioned customer service!

Featured Merchants A TASTE OF DOWNTOWN

St. Thomas


Ice Cream is just one of those foods that bring both joy and comfort. To heal broken hearts and make smiles widen. It’s loved universally but also highly debated about how it’s best prepared and served.

by Sarah Noble

the rolling process.

from the Elgin/ St. Thomas Small Business Enterprise Centre

Despite launching an Ice Cream business at the height of the Canadian Winter, they quickly connected with their customer base because families were looking for opportunities to treat themselves to new experiences and support local businesses during the “unprecedented times.”


Since variety is the spice of life, I was particularly thrilled to see Sub Zero Rolled Ice Cream and Bubble Tea open to provide a new layer to the local ice cream scene - and it’s about time we rolled in to learn more! Owners Craig and Heather started their small business journey in late 2020 with renovations on a space in Downtown St. Thomas and menu experimentation in preparation for career changes from Heavy Equipment Operations and Nursing to being Small Business Owners! I asked, “why ice cream”? The answer was a simple one - ice cream makes people happy. And they aren’t wrong; the joy is tangible in an ice cream shop. Rolled ice cream or Stirfried Ice Cream is quite a young food offering. Originating as street food in Thailand in the late aughts, it’s gained global popularity in recent years through the magic of social media videos of

The Business is family operated, and family was top of mind when creating the business model. Craig indicated that as a family of five, they are cognisant of providing a high-quality product at an affordable price. Family is also a part of how Sub Zero looks to give back to the community. Since their inception, they have partnered with other local businesses and their customers on fundraisers to help families in need. You can support these efforts through your purchases and tips. Sub Zero is open daily from 10 am-9 pm at 930 Talbot Street in Downtown St. Thomas.

But you might see their Ice Cream Truck around the community or hire it for a special event! Fan favourite orders include cheesecake rolled ice cream or milkshakes and classics like Oreo, Cookie Dough, and Birthday Cake. But the hidden gem of the menu is the Bushel or Two apple pie rolled ice cream. I tried the new chocolate base, paired in Hazlenut Been for You and the vanilla base with When Life Gives you Lemons. Two new flavours for me, but both delicious. Each order is hand-made to order, so you may wait a bit longer than for a traditional scooped serving. But incorporating real bits of chocolate bars, cookies, or cake creates a new experience that’s well worth the wait. Traditionally I am a chocolate lover without compromise, but I was happily surprised by the shortbread lemon bar flavour that was refreshing on a hot, humid day. I also agree that the fan favourite cheesecake is a must-try, particularly as a strawberry cheesecake milkshake.

Creating the BEST Solutions for Recognitions and Celebrations Since 1980 With families reuniting and businesses reopening, now is the time to get caught up with celebrations and recognitions! Marking 42 years in business this coming October, Ansell’s Awards and Specialties has hundreds of ways to satisfy your needs. Gillian Martin, owner of Ansell’s Awards and Specialities, welcomes new and old customers. “Of all the goals we set for ourselves at Ansell’s, none is more important, none more worthy, than the satisfaction of our customers. At Ansell’s we are committed to the highest standards. We strive for nothing less than 100% customer satisfaction. And that’s the way it should be.” Ansell’s carries a wide inventory of available products, from trophies, medals and plaques, to giftware, promotional products and memorial items! Their creative and knowledgeable staff are willing and eager to demonstrate their 40 years of engraving experience and their flair for the

unique to make your wishes into reality. Keeping up with the latest trends through membership in industry organizations allows Ansell’s to provide up-to-date products and processes. Through quality craftmanship, creative genius, a flair for the unusual and using the latest technology, Ansell’s has become the widely known reliable source for individuals, businesses and organizations to contact to fulfil all their wants and needs. Demonstrating her commitment, Gillian states, “My favourite part of the business is the creative side. Developing custom designs and solutions to fit each customer’s

requirements, from a special birthday gift to large corporate recognition. Every event and every customer is important to us.” Whether you are looking for that personalized wedding gift, an everlasting remembrance for the people and pets you love or promoting your business or organization, Ansell’s has the perfect solution, expertly created just for you!

Maintaining the Vibe

St. Thomas Public Library: So Much More Than Books The library has long been the community’s living room. People gather and meet here, seek out new materials to read and watch, connect to the world through WiFi and computers, and learn new things at library programs. Did you know St. Thomas Public Library also works hard to be an integral part of our local business community? Our community partnerships are incredibly valuable to us, and we love being part of the lively, entrepreneurial downtown core. We are finding ways to weave local business into the library’s story. Most recently, we brought the magic of Summer Reading Club to storefronts downtown with the support of local businesses who generously provided window space for a downtown StoryWalk. Readers strolled Talbot Street reading

a panel of “The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do” by Ashley Spires at 17 different businesses. Our library users explored the downtown and learned more about what our local businesses offer in the process! We have also piloted a library “perks” program, STPL Plus. Library users show their library cards at participating local businesses to get a discount or special offer, incentivizing our 13,000+ library cardholders to “keep it local” when shopping for the goods and services they need! The program is completely free for businesses to join and is marketed regularly on social media and in our quarterly program guide, STaPLe.

The library also offers a range of free, online courses through Gale Courses! Small businesses and self-starters alike can access college-level courses with topics such as Microsoft Excel, Quickbooks, social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), leadership, and much more for training or gaining new skills. Did we mention accessing Gale Courses is completely free with your library card? If your business would like to join STPL Plus or to learn more about our resources, please contact our Outreach Coordinator, Amelia Bainbridge, at abainbridge@

information, please visit Arts Crawl Scavenger Hunt - RAILWAY CITY ARTS CRAWL.

St. Thomas Mayor Joe Preston Welcome September! Fall is in the air and what better way to celebrate than with the return of Nostalgia Nights to Talbot Street. As we slowly move to a new state of normal life, it’s great to see our downtown coming to life again. At the end of July, World’s Finest Shows put on a two-weekend Summer Carnival. The Railway City Arts Crawl Scavenger Hunt is well underway encouraging residents and visitors to get out and explore our great City. For more

Dan Reith

To learn more about STPL Plus, visit

I would like to commend all downtown merchants for your resiliency during the past 18 months. We faced challenges head on and came out strong! I would also like to remind anyone that if you are experiencing any issues relating to City services, please reach out to our Corporate Customer Service Department. Customer Service can be reached by email at, by phone at 519.631.1680 ext. 0 or you can complete an online form at

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 |

Produced by St. Thomas Downtown Development Board —

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St Thomas Downtown Vibe September 2021  

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

St Thomas Downtown Vibe September 2021  

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

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