John Thomson  

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

It was an evening in July 2010 and the sky was lit up in Kelowna. A major fire was filling the sky with flames and smoke from the commercial area just east of the Landmark development. The Stewart Centre on Kirschner Road was on fire. One of the buildings was destroyed and the second one was badly smoke damaged. The fire wall now known as the "Red Wall" saved the older building.

Now, the brand new Stewart Centre is open for business with many of the same tenants that they had back 2010.

The remodeled buildings are very attractive.  Part of the development was replaced with very attractive glass which will become the new home for the Women’s Place. This will be a good move for the long time Kelowna business.

The Centre is owned by Whitworth Holdings with the five daughters of the Stewart family in charge. In October 2006 Colleen, Sandra, Kate, Jennifer and Julie, the daughters of Bill and his wife Jean, became the owners of the company.  Bill passed away in 2009.

Meikeljohn Architects Inc. was the architect on the project.


Every time you turn around something new is happening at Predator Ridge Resort in Vernon.

I remember the first time I went up there to look at the new property with Ed Hall, one of the original partners and the man who would build the community. He took me on a spin around the property. It looked like a dream and with a lot of money and vision it became the magical place it is today.

In his two years there as the VP of the resort community, Brad Pelletier has escalated the plan many years ahead to make this the place for golfers and visitors.  Management asked themselves, “What amenity are we lacking here?” They immediately thought of convenience and fresh, local goods and soon the Commonage Market was a reality. It is open seven days a week for just about all your needs.


Have you heard any news if Cora is going to reopen at the same site that burned down at 97 and Burtch, or are they even going to open again?



This is a short email from a reader and I can answer some it for the gentleman. They are not going into the building they were located in before. I heard that from the owner. They had a lot of traffic in the small parking lot and it made it difficult for the other tenants to operate. They probably need a bigger space.

The last rumour I heard on this restaurant was that they were making a deal for the property where Far West was located across for Joey’s.


If it's food you’re worried about Archie, I have good news for you. There is a new place you have to try - Swankies Gourmet Hot Dogs at 1282 Ellis Street. I like a good hot dog, not that garbage meat we get in some of those branded dogs.  Linea Fiest and Ben Cramb are the owners and they have their gourmet dogs especially made for them.

They are just about ready to open another location in Rutland next to the Rutland high school.


At least three or four months ago I reported that City Furniture would be taking over the old Extra Foods building in West Kelowna. This is one large building and the workers have been busy for months. There are two partners involved, one with a store in Merritt and one with the Prince George store.


I was watching ESPN NFL football and the commentator and he said that the $4 million TV spots for Super Bowl XLVIII were all but sold out. He also mentioned that a scalped ticket on the open market today was $2600. If you have designs on attending Super Bowl XLVIII in East Rutherford, NJ in February, forget about saving your pennies and skip right to taking out a second mortgage.

The biggest fan feature of Super Bowl XLVIII? A 60-foot ice slide running down Broadway and spilling out into Times Square.


The Central Okanagan’s Vital Signs® 2013 Launch event takes place on Tuesday, October 1st at the Laurel Packinghouse (8:30am – 10:00 am).

Central Okanagan’s Vital Signs® is a bi-annual check-up that measures the vitality of our region, and identifies trends and priorities across 13 issue areas critical to the quality of life in our region. As part of a Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) national initiative, the Central Okanagan Foundation will release a local Vital Signs® report on October 1st, 2013 at the Launch event.


To celebrate the completion of the Downtown Marina and Public Pier, Westcorp is holding a public Open House on September 27, 2013 from 2 pm to 6 pm for Kelowna residents and visitors to tour the new pier and marina and see the architecture.
There will be a free BBQ, offering hot dogs, hamburgers and refreshments for the first 500 people attending the Open House. Attendees can enjoy entertainment and enter to win prizes including a full day boat rental for next season, parasailing and a dinner cruise.

Following the Open House, from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, the Pier will remain open to participate in the inaugural Culture Crawl Kelowna, a street party along Bernard featuring artists, musicians, street performers, and food trucks. Culture Crawl is part of Culture Days, an annual three-day national celebration promoting art and cultural events.


Statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, John Thomson.  While we are sure that every care has been taken in the compilation of this information and every attempt made to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur.

Castanet will not be held responsible for any claims, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within this article.


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About the Author

John Thomson is the Okanagan's pre-eminent business columnist writing his column, Rumours and Things, for over 24 years. Plugged in to the valley's who's who, John keeps his readers coming back for more with his straight talk and optimistic perspective on where we are headed next.

When John is not writing his column, he runs a sixteen year old think tank called the Executive Roundtable and holds his popular "Thomson Presents" quarterly business speaker seminars.

Have a comment, question, or tip for John? 

E-mail John at
[email protected]
or send him a fax at 250-764-8255.


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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