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John-Thomson  

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Feb 14, 2013 / 5:00 am
I am going to try to answer some of the e-mails I have received over the last couple of weeks regarding SOPA Square, the new high rise commercial and residential property on South Pandosy. Yes there are some snags in the development at the moment. Ed and Stacey Fenwick, the developers, are in the...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Feb 7, 2013 / 5:00 am
I believe it was ten years ago that the Mrs. and I attended the opening week of a new restaurant, East Side Mario’s. I really wanted to try the Phili steak sandwich, which was always a favourite of mine but very difficult to order in this part of the world. A young couple from Edmonton were...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Jan 31, 2013 / 5:00 am
He is a home town boy who has done very well for himself in the financial community. Dale Lamb is the man I am referring to and here is some background. Dale attended both OKM and UVic. where he got his Bachelor of Arts degree with a focus on the Economics and Statistics. He started in the...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Jan 24, 2013 / 5:00 am
It has been years since I started writing about Target stores coming to Canada. I remember one rumour out of the east that had the Minneapolis retailers taking a look at the Hudson Bay chain as a method of expansion into Canada. That was before there even was a discussion about the purchase of...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Jan 17, 2013 / 5:00 am
With my two weeks away from writing I must say the inflow of story ideas was tremendous. Today I am going to go over some of those things as well as whatever else comes across the desk. The handling of the Burke firing by the new owners of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment was very...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Jan 10, 2013 / 5:00 am
Big news out of the east as the rumour about Loblaws continues to grow! Loblaws own both SuperStore and Extra Foods. The rumour is that the Loblaws, owned by the Weston family, will make an offer to Safeway Canada to buy out the chain in this country. Loblaws already has over 1000 stores in...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Dec 20, 2012 / 5:00 am
We had a good laugh with NBC’s Emmy Award winning “Saturday Night Live” cast this past week as they tackled the “politically correct” Christmas on their two hour NBC Special. They did a whole group of politically correct Christmas carols, as only they can do. It was...


John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Dec 13, 2012 / 5:00 am
It was the Tiny Tim Christmas breakfast at the Coast Capri last week and 1150 people came through the doors for their free breakfast if they brought an unwrapped gift. They collected 1786 toys and with the money collected, the total was approximately $35,000. All of the toys and money were...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Dec 6, 2012 / 5:00 am
My information this week includes that the new owners of the Lucaya property on Sunset Drive have hired security to look after their property. There have been skate boarders using the site and I understand people sleeping there. The project as you know was purchased by Chinese investors. I...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Nov 29, 2012 / 5:00 am
It hit us like a ton of bricks when all of a sudden Canadian retailers decided to go with a full out promotion for Black Friday. This is the very successful American sales event that has been a feature at Thanksgiving south of the border for years. This year the numbers soared in what we believe is...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Nov 22, 2012 / 5:00 am
A Kelowna landmark has been sold to investors from Alberta. The Paramount Theatre building has been a downtown institution since 1945. The theatre is leased by Landmark Cinemas and will continue to be one of Landmark’s premier locations for movies in the valley. It now is a three theatre...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Nov 15, 2012 / 5:00 am
My sources tell me that Chief Robert Louie of the Westbank First Nation was told that it is time to start work on the land for the new medical centre across the lake. The medical centre proposed by the Westbank First Nation hopes through their negotiations to have a working relationship with...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Nov 8, 2012 / 5:00 am
Last week when George Lucas and Disney announced the sale of Lucas Films to Mickey Mouse for $4 billion it brought back memories of a book I read many years ago written by Walt’s brother Roy. Walt was a hero of mine all through my business career. Roy wrote in the book that one day he...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Nov 1, 2012 / 5:00 am
Sometimes it is difficult to understand the workings of Interior Health and the way they answer to serious health situations that require the public's knowledge. Of course I am writing about the weekend news that carried the story on the Novartis Agriflu serum that three provinces were using...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Oct 25, 2012 / 5:00 am
The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce named her “Business Leader of the Year.” Nancy Cameron, the President & CEO of Tourism Kelowna, was given this most prestigious award last week. This is a very sharp lady and worthy of the award because she makes it all work and that isn’t easy...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Oct 18, 2012 / 5:00 am
It was about a month ago that a contractor told me his business wasn’t bad and that many of the enquiries about the lots he has for sale are coming from Saskatchewan buyers who want to move to the Okanagan and Kelowna in particular. I then received a follow-up to the story that land sales...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Oct 11, 2012 / 5:00 am
It is about to happen, the Zellers store that is twenty-years-old will be closing in the next ten days. It will be all cleaned up and turned over to Target Canada by the 29th of the month. Construction will then begin on the new Target store for the Orchard Plaza shopping centre. Ledcor...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Oct 4, 2012 / 5:00 am
It’s hard to believe, but the U.S.A. national press has finally figured out the scuffle in Bellingham over the Canadians buying all the milk available in the Costco store there. Big headline in U.S.A. Today, “Canadians Flock to U.S. for deals.” This is due to the increase in the...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Sep 27, 2012 / 5:00 am
We went to Rann Berry’s “One Hit Wonders” show last Friday night with friends. It was a winner. Most of those old songs held a meaning to the hundreds of people in the Community Theatre. Another great night for Rann’s show. The music brought back such memories. It was...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Sep 20, 2012 / 7:00 am
This past week I received two requests for donations from large charities for envelopes that were filled with address labels. The address label business must be good because many of the charities have the same idea, despite the fact that few people actual write a letter these days. The postal...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Sep 13, 2012 / 5:00 am
If you have driven out to the airport recently you have noticed the construction of the new hotel on the land across from the airport entrance. This will be the new Sheraton Four Points. There is a history of hotels for this site that never came to fruition. Different parties each time. First...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Sep 6, 2012 / 5:00 am
There has been a change in retail sales in Kelowna as the Robertson brothers Ron & Grant have sold their business on Pandosy St., Robertson’s Clothing & Shoes. Todd and Brenda Booker have taken over ownership this week. I have known so many people that shopped at...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Aug 30, 2012 / 5:00 am
I don’t know what you do to remind yourself of things that need to be looked into, but I write myself notes. I have pads in the car, my bedroom and the TV room. All these yellow pages with things scribbled on them. Some, especially the nighttime ones, are sometimes hard to decipher. So, I...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Aug 23, 2012 / 8:00 am
We have a new question on the roster this week: “Will Target sell merchandise at the same price as they do across the border?” Of course they won’t, but that doesn’t mean their prices in the Canadian market won’t be competitive. Certainly Target will set a new...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Aug 16, 2012 / 8:00 am
I read a story on the weekend about the success of Viking Air in Victoria, with a sale of $30 million to China for Twin Otter Floatplanes they build. They are built at the manufacturing plants in Victoria and Calgary. It could have been Kelowna. Well let me tell you a story… It all...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Aug 9, 2012 / 8:00 am
I wanted to talk about gasoline prices at the pump because they jumped a little just before the big long busiest weekend of the summer. I called my friend Dave Skogland, who owns the Skogie’s chain of car washes called Skogie’s Auto Spa. Dave opened Orchard Park Car Wash in 1971,...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Aug 2, 2012 / 8:00 am
I have written about it, talked about it, enquired about it - and finally the P.F. Chang Chinese Bistro has come to Canada with their fabulous Chinese food. They just opened their first restaurant in Canada in Don Mills. The first time we went to one of these restaurants was after John...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Jul 26, 2012 / 8:00 am
Increasing support among restaurant owners spurred the B.C. government to change its longtime policy and permit restaurateurs to let patrons bring their own wine to restaurants in exchange for a fee called corkage. Made me think of the old days in Winnipeg when we went out for a night of...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Jul 19, 2012 / 8:00 am
Rumours and Things . . . I am sitting here at the computer trying to make a decision on how I handle this particular story. It was last Wednesday and I received some information from a close contact of mine regarding a new major retailer for Kelowna. I wrote down the information and then...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Jul 12, 2012 / 8:00 am
Rumours and Things . . . A well-known Kelowna developer/contractor is about to sign papers to take over the long planned Wharton Street project in Summerland. This is a downtown development and was for a time on the desk of a Kamloops developer who had some financial problems he couldn’t...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Jul 5, 2012 / 8:00 am
Ranked by the total number of employees on the biggest insurance brokers in B.C. list, with 300 on staff Capri Insurance of Kelowna was rated sixth in the province. The company has ten offices in B.C. The ranking was done by Business in Vancouver. The very professional staff that Capri is...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Jun 28, 2012 / 8:00 am
Barry Urness was my friend for many years. Now he is gone, and so quickly. What a great man who will be thoroughly missed from this community. He was everywhere doing everything to help make the project he was working on better. He never slowed down. What a man! We both belonged to a...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That

Jun 21, 2012 / 8:00 am
There have been questions, rumours and not a lot of answers to the proposed private health facility on native land in West Kelowna. The Westbank First Nations hasn’t said a lot about the development. Chief Robert Louis has been in touch for quite a long period of time, with Johns Hopkins...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Jun 14, 2012 / 8:00 am
Whatever happened to supper? Didn’t we get called in for supper? Supper ain’t no more, now its called dinner. Dinner was at 12 noon. Now, its lunch. In those days we made a lunch to take where we going so we could eat it at dinner. Who changed all this? It has...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

Jun 7, 2012 / 8:00 am
Things are starting to happen in a very organized way as Zellers clean out their stores and get ready for the new tenant, Target Canada: Zellers Penticton closed this week: the liquidation sales saw everything go, and was a huge success. Final prices were 90% off. The store will now be...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

May 31, 2012 / 8:00 am
This is proving to be a big year on the drawing board for Walmart. The plans call for them to remodel 73 Canadian Stores this year, and that includes the 39 Zellers stores they bought from Target. They will have a chain of 375 stores and they will be ready for the Target onslaught in...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

May 24, 2012 / 8:00 am
I walked into the new Train Station Pub for lunch the other day with the owner Steven Stinson. He is also the owner of The Keg but this food and drink house has nothing whatsoever to do with that restaurant. This is a partnership between Steve and Tanner Dillon. This is my first time in the...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

May 17, 2012 / 8:00 am
Every week I get emails from readers who are very supportive and help me with things they see around the valley. We have heard that there might be a new Costco in West Kelowna.
Have you heard where it might be located? We can't see any signs as we drive that stretch.
We enjoy...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

May 10, 2012 / 8:00 am
It’s now just months away before the major construction begins on the thirteen Target Canada store in B.C. Ledcor Construction Ltd. has the contract for all thirteen B.C. stores. All the stores have to be finished on the same date. Target Canada will spend upwards of $11 million on...

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

May 3, 2012 / 8:00 am
When we came to the city 34 years ago there wasn’t much talk about Dilworth Mountain. It was just up there. The developer from Calgary, Jack Poole, co-founded Daon Development Corporation, the second-largest real estate development company in North America until its collapse in...