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...
Introducing, the Starship Zehrs!
Zehrs has undergone extensive changes since I last reported on
the long and shortcomings of this grocery store. A quick catch-up
has Zehrs originally located on the south west corner of Hwy 89
"and the Dairy Queen road" where we now see Dominos
Pizza and various other places in which to spend your hard earned
$$'s. TSC, now located on Hwy 89 west of town, moved into the
former Zehrs location, seeing the grocery store taking up shop
directly across the road where it now stands. Some familiar faces
from Zehrs early days are still found walking the aisles of the
"Starship Zehrs", and is the only "soothing"
part of this now longwinded paragraph.
grocery store battle, in my most humble opinion, has led our friendly,
folksy, down-home, pot-o-porridge, colorful, farmsy Zehrs... ASTRAY!
Yes, Captain Kirk would feel more at home in the now clinical
appearing grocery store. There is something very "UN-warm"
when you enter the store now... be it the chrome and white, lowered
shelves, or the gatekeepers booth that houses the resident florist.
I mean seriously, I miss the rusty shelves that usually had someone's
half eaten lunch crammed towards the back. Even the smell of fish
is gone... what good is that? Don't even start me on the lobster
tank debacle. Set them free, damnit! Does anyone really buy whole
fish with the heads still on? Does anybody even eat fish that
isn't guaranteed dolphin free and mashed to small bits so that
it no longer resembles a sea creature? I'd hate to be in the store
when the new shipment of fresh tuna or crab arrives simply because
there is no place for the Cornelia Marie to dock and unload. God
love you Captain Phil. See why the Alliston north area switched
from tobacco to potatoes? Yeah, you thought they were nuts "back-in-the-day"
.... but nobody ever died from smoking a spud. The leaves perhaps...
but not an earthly "buh-day-duh"....
In closing, Zehrs as it stands now is just a shadow
of its former self. I miss the veil of darkness from overhead,
the smell of dead fish and the re-frozen freezer goods that melted
overnight during the power-down. And for pete's sake, fix the
self-scan checkouts so that they work... when they're actually
Next edition: Sobeys... same convenient size....
same sad faces within its walls....
to the Editor:
Do you cover the Potato Festival or the Parade?
A. No, I have not attended a potato parade (or at least admit
it), since they flew crop dusters down the main street in the
late 70's. If there's no possibility of carnage or destruction,
I just stay away.
Who ARE you Life In Alliston people?
A. Who are YOU? But seriously, why does it matter? You're
here. You're reading. You're caring. What'zit matter?
Should I move to Alliston?
A. Why not... it beats Keswick or Randwick.
Do you like anything at all about Alliston?
A. Hell yeah I do, why do you think this site even exists?
Its not called "Life in Bangkok" or "Life in Poughkeepsie"...
I mean seriously... what the hell.... whats NOT to like about
Alliston? Even though you can't buy a fresh potato to save your
life, Alliston IS the place to be... for me anyway.
Is Honda going to lay off people or shut down?
A. Not from my "sources"... I think if it was going
to happen, it would have happened when the global economy went
for a dump. Besides, its Alliston that put Honda on the map...
or so the saying used to go.
STATUS REPORT - Fish on-a-stick
OUR "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: FISH PRESENT
Deep, Burning Questions
Why is the corner of Zehrs
parking lot still vacant after they bulldozed the Car Wash and
auto body shop? The vacant abyss does not look better! What gives?
Has anyone actually bought
a Dominoes Pizza yet?
The original Hunter Motors
"on the corner" that is now nothing but a vacant lot
looks like they cancelled the noxious weed act. Cut the damn ragweed
down! Make the town look lived in, not abandoned! Build a new
Dairy Queen or a Piggly Wiggly there!
got the answers? simply add
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We Eat Now Boss?
saddens me to see that John Noodle no longer is open. I do have
a theory, however, as to why it was so short-lived. By now, you've
all seen the new Shoeless Joe's in the new plaza on 89 west. Although
I've not been in there, I believe it is now open for business.
Good luck if you have a meal there and please let me know how
it is. There is also Crabby Joe's, located almost across the highway
and has been in existence now for a couple of years. Again, that's
another place I've never had the privilege to dine in so I won't
say anything to sway you in one direction or another to check
it out for yourself.
am I rambling? Back to my theory: If John Noodle had the foresight
to spend a little more on his signage and buy and apostrophe and
an "s", the place would have been called John's Noodle...
not JOHN Noodle. Follow the example of the two Joe's in town...
the Shoeless one and the Crabby one. They both followed advertising
grammatical etiquette (I just made that up now... 8-)... and pluralized
their names. If John Noodle was actually JOHN'S NOODLE... I do
believe it would be standing room only. And I did eat there once
and in all honesty, it was a tremendous feast! Perhaps if Shoeless
Joe's and Crabby Joe's took up a collection for John and bought
him some pluralization, John wouldn't be scrubbing floors in downtown
Concord now. Think about it. We can take this even further and
instead of having all these restaurants all over town, combine
them so that they are one: "Shoeless Crabby Joe's John"
.... not sure what they'd serve, but I'm sure you'd need some
sort of protection even if going for appetizers.
John Noodle. And the reason John Noodle came to exist was because
of the curse of the location; nobody has stayed there too long
in recent memory. The last attempt at this location was the "Diner"
with the 50's-kinda appearance and all the tin advertising signs.
There was one fatal mistake made with this one so listen very
closely to anyone wanting to start a business: do not, I repeat,
DO NOT.... paint a billboard sized mural of the Three Stooges
on your wall! Everyone knows that women inherently detest The
Three Stooges, so why would they want to dine in an establishment
with their likeness glaring at them the whole time?
pretty simple, when you break it all down.
Other Places And Their Potato
Tire Hot Dog Wagon
- West End
question, the Sunset Grill is a most welcome establishment
in the community. Food galore, and GOOD food! Who wouldn't want
breakfast at noon? Even though they close mid-afternoon, who needs
supper after a breakfast or lunch at the Sunset Grill? A good
chain regardless of its location across the province. A warning:
DO NOT GO UNLESS YOU ARE VERY HUNGRY 8-)
Canadian Tire Hot Dog Wagon as its pumping its hotdog smell
into the air, could make a cadaver drool. Whats with hot dog carts
anyway? They almost go against all we were taught to believe in
when it comes to fine dining, but treat yourself and believe me,
its worth it!
McDonalds at Walmart still seems to be a little rusty at times.
Early morning Egg McMuffins either take 10 minutes to go squeeze
a chicken and "break an egg" as they describe it instore,
or the McMuffin is already made, yet cold. The odd smile wouldn't
hurt as you get your "HAPPY meal" handed off to you.
Humpfh..... Sorry to actually want a bag to carry it all home
in as well...
I thought it was a good idea until I decided one afternoon I'd
throw some money their way. I pulled around to what still looks
like a place under construction, only to find the cook, the guy
who runs the till and a couple of girls feeding fries to a flock
of a dozen or so seagulls. I mean seriously. I don't want to have
my food cooked by the guy who was just touching the beak of an
ocean faring albatross just minutes before. And besides, doesn't
that just encourage the birds to hang around and crap on peoples
roofs and hoods of their cars?
Bandanas, tatoos and all, still bar none the best fish & chips
West End. The renovation of what was once a place teeming
with freakish clown art was an act of kindness to all who step
through their doors. A crackling fireplace.... strategically placed
televisions.... nice hidey-hole places to sit and enjoy the ambience....
aaaaaaaahhhh so lovely. No wonder Gary Dorland hangs out there
now instead of Tim Hortons. Free coffee refills. No screaming
brats. Gentle lighting.... All thats missing is a piano bar and
Campaign Headquarters: please refer to McDonalds West End
writeup. Thank you.
off, Walmart is the place to find Mr. Polka. Yes folks, its true
and my crack-spy photographer grabbed this shot one brilliant
sunny morning at the Alliston Walmart - isn't that just a sight
to behold? I've been in the store several times, just trying to
imagine who this famous individual might be and I have it narrowed
down to one of the two male greeters. I am waiting for the final
hint, and that'll happen when he meets me at the door one day
wearing lederhosen, a green felt cap with a feather and smells
like an accordion. THAT'S when you know you've become famous,
like Mr. Polka must be! Use your nose and sniff around for a squeezebox...
yeah, that's the ticket! No wonder daddy can't sleep at night....
once you get past the fact that Walmart has a polka department,
you will discover the most delightful greeters and checkout clerks
on the planet, truly. How can you not love a white haired, sweet
smelling woman that looks like she should be presenting you with
a tray of cookies, your favorite blanket and a warm hug... come
on people! Once past the greeter du jour, an ocean of opportunity
lays in front of you. I mean, did you check out the Halloween
section alone over the past few weeks? You could outfit a Broadway
version of Dracula, The Munsters, Princess Goonfish and Pirates
of Penzance from the goods in one aisle alone! The pet department
sells everything but pets... the pharmacy section can not only
give you a clean shave, but erase ugly varicose veins, restart
your heart and give you a back rub! Check out
the electronics section and you could recreate Bay Street in your
own home! Food? You want food? Excellent bakery, excellent produce
and enough of a variety of oddball brands the other stores don't
have to make you think you're shopping in Windsor.
thing about Walmart is, if they don't have what you're looking
for, chances are they have all the stuff needed to make it. Thats
the kind of store I want. Then to end your voyage through the
store, you can evacuate your bowels in their nice restrooms and
then fill'em up again at the instore McDonalds. How can you beat
store opens at 7am !! Thats EARLY! Earlybird shoppers LOVE this
place especially since half the stores in town (more like 90%),
don't open until 9 or 10 am! Now Zehrs decided to open early to
compete with the 24 hour Sobeys and the early rising Walmart.
Now THAT'S a forward thinking quality move right there!
what's with the controversy of Walmart shutting down the main
streets of all the small towns across Canada and the US? Who knows,
they're usually all closed until someone rolls out of bed and
shuffles around to find their keys, wipe the drool off their faces
and unlock the doors. No wonder Mr. Polka sought refuge at the
east end of town as the pillars of Walmart began to rise in what
was once a field of crops. Walmart came calling with lower prices
and actually opened their stores with hours that can make everyone
happy, unlike the "by chance or by appointment" mentality
of other places. Chances are they sucked anyway.
to Alliston Walmart!
those prices and ring my bell baby! May your happy smiling face
long outlast those who feel they are owed a customer!
What The Hell is With This?
seen everywhere in Alliston. What happens when it rains? When
it really good to call a place that gives your body a workout, SNAP?
have an observation: either people need to have more garage sales,
there needs to be more drop boxes, garbage day should be more than
one day a week... or people need to stop buying crap!
so sad.... this is the "before" picture
yeah, people just couldn't wait to lease all these units. Look how
full the place is! And by the way, what happened to STARBUCKS and
QUIZNO's? What a scam...
of the few places that actually had the fortitude to go ahead and
open. The butcher shop is another. But why OH WHY do stores think
they don't need to open until 9 or 10 am?
American had a great story on the worlds biggest potato if you're
interested. I personally think it looks like some sort of garden
gnome from Chernobyl but hey, thats just me. Read
about this amazing find here (don't worry, this isn't some sort
of spammy bastardized link) A new window will open so don't be alarmed.
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