SPRING 2004 EDITION | Archive | Alliston Forum | WEBCAMS: Fish-Cam - Snowbank-Cam | email us

Welcome

This website was created in order to provide a personal glimpse into the town of Alliston, located in southern Simcoe County in Southern Ontario. Commonly called "the potato capital of Ontario", Alliston boasts acres of fertile farm land and most recently, the home of Honda Canada Manufacturing. Its not just a small town on Highway 89 anymore...

HONDA SUT - Production to start in 2005 in Alliston
"After telling you for years we have no plans for a truck," said American Honda executive vp Tom Elliott "now we're telling you we do." Indeed Honda does. The Pilot-based SUT (it will be given a real name later) will go into production in calendar year 2005. Honda engineers said they researched the pickup truck market always asking, "How can we make the pickup truck a Honda?" The SUT's answers include its unibody chassis (rather than a full frame), spacious cabin and integrated cab and bed (an industry first Honda says). Production engine specs are still being finalized. An aluminum dohc V6 powers the concept. autoweek.com

Coffee-Wars

All you have to do is observe the consistency in both of these Tim Hortons coffee joints. The "East vs. West" easily has the East winning hands down! The coffee always seems to be exactly HOW you order it whereas the West seemingly botches its drivethru orders by passing off "double doubles" as regulars.

STATUS REPORT - Fish on-a-stick
VISIT OUR NEW "FISH-CAM" WEBCAM

Earl Rowe Park located just on the outskirts of town greets vacationers and locals alike every year for recreation and camping. One sign that spring is near, other than the robins and fast food litter reappearing on the roadsides after the thaw, is the big FISH that adorns the entrance way of the park. Todays status is: NO FISH

THE FUNNIES..SORTA, IF IT WEREN'T TRUE
What arrives empty, leaves empty, yet costs tax payers $60k per year? You guessed it... our town transit system!
A better use for this bloated Tijuana taxi would be to affix a snowplow to the front and let it clean the streets while it trolls around town, belching fumes and taking up space. Driven by a hat that closely resembles what members of the SS wore, its no wonder our local elders sport their comfy shoes and walk to the west end of Alliston!

LifeInAlliston.com has NO advertisers and is not affiliated with ANY local businesses. This enables an unbiased view of news, shopping, jobs and entertainment in Alliston. This is a web-only production and everyone is treated equally. In other words, if for example, you were an advertiser and decided not to pay us for advertising anymore, we wouldn't start writing bad things about your business. Get it? No, we can't be bought either 8-)

As Close To A Editorial As It Gets

This website is not pro or con "anything". But go ahead, call us capitalists! The proposed Cappucitti development that has been met with nothing but negativity in the press and council meetings should be given the green light. Toronto at one point was only a dirt road and a couple of stores and saloons, and look at it now! People in Alliston, only a couple of decades ago, had NOTHING to choose from when you wanted to go out for supper or shop. Look at it now! Zellers, Wendy's, McDonalds.... Going to Banting in the '70's and 80's gave you no "extracurricular activities" other than "walk uptown" to go to Macs. Then we all found out how dangerous that could be. Now kids get to dart back and forth across 89 Highway to get anything from Fish & Chips, coffee, magazines and a new exhaust system! They've got it made! Honda coming to town gave the area a shot in the arm which could have easily been had elsewhere. As with all change, a period of adjustment had to be made as people with $70,000. homes found they could then sell them for $300,000. and invest in their own futures, buy a new subdivision house for under $200,000. and simply live off the fat of the land, and Honda. Where else can you get a job indoors, with your clothes provided, great people to work with, a dedicated employer, and more money than any normal person can spend in a year? To expand the area with a new whack of houses off of the Tottenham Road will only bring more good things to the area, or at the very least, stop a lot of the snow drifting issues on the 15th north of the Beeton flats. 8-) Alliston - grow and prosper.... you deserve it!

The absolute worst drive-thru speaker in Alliston goes to Swiss Chalet! If you've ever watched Charlie Brown and "Peanuts" cartoons on tv, the sound of the speaker talking to you is quite reminiscent of the garbled "adults" which occasionally spoke in the background on the cartoons.

Most Common Sayings Heard Around Town

3/ "We sold so many that we don't keep them in stock anymore."

2/ "When you get to the Dairy Queen, turn left"

And... the #1 Alliston Saying,

"HOW ARE YOUSE...?"

Alliston Weather
This is where you can participate. It could be said that our local television station is The NewVR in Barrie. However, Alliston is not listed in their forecast. Every town in a 50 mile radius of Alliston seems to have its own personal 3 day forecast, sometimes being towns that abut each other (ie. Newmarket/Aurora). Do your part by sending an email to The NewVR and ask that Alliston be included in their weather forecast. Simply click on the NewVR icon and email away!

Are You A Zehrs Or A Sobey's Kinda Person?

...or maybe you play both sides of the street? Each store has something to offer - something unique to itself. President's Choice items are selectively placed throughout the Zehrs store while Our Compliments tidbits dot the aisles of Sobeys... and can also be found at IGA's across Ontario.... where ever they are.

Cleanliness
Our crew of scouts has surveyed many things about each of these fine establishments. Sobey's comes out on top as being less dusty than Zehrs, although there are many less square feet of store to keep tidy. Even the parking lot at Zehrs has its downside as it appears that the ice which is packed around the fish in the seafood dept is simply disposed of out the front door in a vinegar slurry and you have to walk through it twice on a one-stop visit. Driving away your vehicle begins to stench of dead fish with their eyes still in their sockets. Which brings me to the lobster tanks in both Zehrs and Sobeys. I have never seen a soul buy one of the poor, elastic-banded creatures, ever. If you have ever purchased one and dropped it into a vat of boiling water, please send us an email. We'll post your experience of assassinating your supper just for the sake of being trendy. The shopping carts are on the verge of starting to show some wear at both stores, but still function pretty well. The "wobbly caster syndrome" hasn't quite started yet but after the very roughly plowed parking lots at both stores, I'm sure the vibrating shopping carts will start appearing soon. The small, carry-around-the-store baskets at both Zehrs and Sobeys are APPALLING! You would think that they were carrying any of the following instead of packaged groceries: 1/ used tractor parts from McVitties, 2/ entrails from the butcher shop, 3/ Grandpa's galoshes when he enters the store. These baskets need boiled and then pressure washed. The handles are sticky and so is the inside of each basket. You can often find bits and pieces of broccoli from the last person who used it, along with gum wrappers and old, used Kleenexes. This closes the paragraph on cleanliness at the grocery stores - I need to go wash my hands!

Staff
Sobey's staff seem to be happy to look you in the eye whereas the Zehrs people dart around the store like rats scurrying back to their holes. No eye contact is made if it can be helped. Even the checkout at Zehrs has gone "personless". Automated scanners and a whirly wheel of bags which are stacked too thickly have replaced some of the dour checkout clerks which actually are more friendly with their very loud and cheery, "THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AT ZEHRS" greeting. The Sobey's gang comes off as being a little more "small town friendly", and it seems pretty much anyone who shops there is met with a smile and a hello in at least one department per adventure. The check out girls are extremely friendly when approached, however when viewed when not checking out your groceries can sometimes give the impression that their boyfriends dumped them or they need some sunlight.

The Goods
Sobey's is far superior to Zehrs in the "fresh" department. The fruit and vegetables appear to have been handled with kid gloves and very well maintained while laying in wait for us to buy them. The dairy section has enough of a selection to satisfy, yet not so large that you spend too much time deciding what coffee cream to buy. The frozen goods ARE FROZEN! For the most part, everything that needs to be frozen is kept behind doors, in a freezer, and solid as a rock. The bakery on the other hand, has its shortcomings where buns are concerned. When you buy buns and put them in a plastic bag to devour at some point later in the day, when you open the bag there is a "sour" smell. Its similar to a smell you would get when baking sourdough. It could be a water issue, I just don't know. Not pleasant anyhow.

Zehrs really needs a company manager to drop in unexpectedly. The stink of vinegar & fish from the parking lot invades the front lobby and picks up again once you reach the seafood section. The store opens at 8:00am now (thanks to Sobey's 24 Hour inspiration), yet there is very little fresh food ready to go. This means the bakery and the deli. When you walk in at 8:00am its like you just woke up a bunch of people from a wild night on the town hangover. Sullen, dower faces adorn the aisles. Again, no eye contact, no enthusiasm. There is not one "doored" freezer in the building unless there is icecream behind it. A lot of the frozen boxed foods appear to have been soaked in water and re-frozen. This means that the stuff in the boxes has been exposed to above freezing temperatures. How can we trust the frozen food at Zehrs? Just have a look at the frozen pizza boxes, and the "lunch" type items such as Pizza Pockets, etc. One of the highlights of Zehrs, is the bakery section. The buns are outstanding, the donuts far exceed what you can purchase anywhere in town and you actually can find a smiling face over in that warm and good smelling corner if you try hard enough.

Eating Out In Alliston

Badda Boom, Badda Bing!
War of the Restaurants!
Rumor has it that directly beside the existing establishment, "West 89", a new eatery is being built. Yup, you guessed it.... Now West 89 and Eastside will do battle for their longitudinal places amongst Alliston's hungry residents!
Merv's Fish & Chips Plus - or - The Country Kettle Family Restaurant
To be quite honest with you, I don't know if this is one or two restaurants, or a take out and a sit-down, each with different names. All I do know, is if you're sick of fast food and cookie cutter restaurants, visit this place today!! The decor screams of "down east"... dotted with wily sea captains and stuffed fish of all kinds, knick knacks that would shame Captain Highliner and anyone wearing Old Spice! This is THE REAL DEAL when it comes to seafood in Alliston. There are other items on the menu (none of which I have personally experienced), but every time I go to "Merv's", I order fish and chips. I have had the less expensive pollock, and its more uptown cousin, halibut. Each is equally outstanding and I believe the choice is yours when it comes to what type of fish you like. The batter literally melts in your mouth and the chips taste like real potatoes that were hand dug out of the fields of Alliston! But thats not even the highlight! Prior to your order arriving in a timely fashion at your table, you are treated with a warm bun and REAL smooth butter, a little plate of beets and another adorned with fabulous pickles. Doesn't this just scream hospitality? I thought so... and to tell you the truth, I feel like a good fish fry right now myself!
Other Places:
Sweet & Spicy
McDonalds
Wendy's
West 89
Swiss Chalet
Peking Wok
Fongs
Golden Pine
Dairy Queen

Automotive

Road Report
I don't think anyone will argue that January 2004 has been the longest, snowiest and cccoldest month we've seen in years. The snow has piled so high that it's darn near impossible to pull out into traffic safely. Sideroads around Alliston have been plowed well past the ditches, fooling many into thinking they can hug the shoulder of the road when in reality, they can't. Stay safe, practice your skid steering in the empty Canadian Tire parking lot after hours, and keep away from deep ditches!
Visit the official Town of New Tecumseth web site by clicking on the button. There you will find all your "politically correct" information about, what else... politics!

 

WASH ME!
You've all seen those words handily drawn into the dirt on the back window of your mini-van! So, what to do but to head to the local spray wash! In Alliston, we have two manual outfits to choose from. Representing the east is the VanLeuwen production and for the west, Moons. Both have the "two buck" blow job... but are they equal? The east end has deliciously formulated soap, and five bays to choose from. Beware however, as Highway 89 is the route to the Cookstown stockyard and there have been manure laden trailers seen, having their long-haul carnage being soaked out of the back in the east end spray wash. Even the good smelling soap can't dissolve the smell of bovine juices or sheep... droppings. This joint is well lit and well looked after, however, the change machine has left me with lighter pockets and a dirty vehicle on more than one occasion. After going into the convenience store once to request a refund, I find it less tiresome to simply drive away, pissed off and filthy.

The west end spray wash has its own list of shortcomings as well. The pressure isn't as good as the east end, which could be a blessing in disguise if you're driving a vehicle with less than sound body work. The driveway situation is precarious if you're driving anything bigger than a Chrysler Neon, but once in the bay of your choice, there is tons of room all around to work with. The equipment is sadly worn out. The fitting that joins the hose to the ceiling pivot in bay #3 (from south to north), leaks, dripping soapy water on the roof of your car even if you're on the rinse cycle. BUT, there is a plastic owl duct taped to the top of the whole contraption which used to make noises, but has now been silenced, more than likely by an unhappy patron who got their 2 buck heisted in the worn out "start washing" box. The floor mat hangers located on the walls mostly have their springs broke and don't work anymore. One thing that is sort of nice about this place though, is the GIGANTIC plexiglass walls on both the north and south end. Its sorta cozy in there on a sunny February day when you're giving your wheels a nice bath.

The end result is: they're pretty much both equal. The duration of a "session" in the west end outfit appears to be a bit longer than the east end, but if you factor pressure into it all, you're likely wasting the same amount of water at both places. For $7. you can drive to the automated "touchless" place on the south side of 89 Highway, just east of the Rent Shop and get a glorious wash and blow dry for your car, truck or van... without getting mud, cow crap or grease on yourself or your vehicle.

All The Bad Stuff

Even though Alliston is a great place, sometimes things can go awry. For complete and up to date listings, visit the website for Nottawasaga OPP Media Releases here

January 29, 2004

Youth Hit By Vehicle In Crosswalk

(Alliston, Ontario) On the 28th of January, members of the Nottawasaga O.P.P. responded to a complaint of a fail to remain accident that occurred in the Sobey's plaza parking lot. At approximately 5:45 p.m, a 19-year-old male was walking across a cross walk, when a silver, Chevrolet Cavalier hit him. The male hit the hood of the car, and the car then drove off. The male attended Stevenson Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries. It is suspected that the suspect vehicle may have a dent in the hood, from the impact.

Local Business Broken Into Over Weekend

(Alliston, Ontario) On the 25th of January 2004, Nottawasaga O.P.P. responded to a break and enter, at a local business located on Young Street in Alliston. A snowplow driver made the complaint after he drove by the business and noticed that the front door had been smashed and the interior light was on. Investigating officers found the office of the business to be in disarray, and cash was missing. Damage to the building was estimated at $800.00 - $900.00

Lucky To Be Alive - Intoxicated Male Walks Down Center of Highway

(Alliston, Ontario) On the 20th of January, at approximately 8:00pm, a concerned citizen contacted the Nottawasaga O.P.P. to report, that a male who appears intoxicated was walking down the center of Highway 89. Police responded and during patrols for the male, located him walking eastbound on Highway 89. The male was driven home for his own safety.

Submissions: You can submit your experiences for this web site. Email us today!

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