First Friday has reinvigorated downtown

Cathy Dobson Jen Brace lives downtown, works downtown and frequently performs downtown in her own band. “I really don’t like going anywhere else,” she smiles. “I’m a believer in the culture that downtown has built.  I’ll never leave here.” Growing up in Sarnia, the 34-year-old Brace can recall how a vibrant retail area fell on… Read more »

Wind, solar costs are overblown, expert says

Marco Vigliotti While solar and wind energy have played in role in inflating electricity prices in Ontario, the bulk of those increases are attributable to work on aging nuclear facilities and new natural gas plants, a Sarnia energy expert says. Peter R. Smith, an Ontario-based consultant, says wind and solar generation added only 3.3% to… Read more »

Gurd mansion was once Sarnia’s largest home

John Rochon In 1875, prominent attorney and one-time Sarnia mayor Robert Sinclair Gurd erected the largest home in town on the southwest corner of Christina Street and London Road. The site had been occupied by the remains of George Durand’s store, which was the first in Sarnia. Named Fairholme, the 32-room, three-storey mansion boasted an… Read more »

Council candidates took different tacks on campaign spending

Cathy Dobson Re-elected city councillor Mike Kelch doesn’t believe you can spend your way to a council seat. The 17-year political veteran spent just $1,000 on his campaign, distributed about 50 signs and did some print advertising. “If people think you’re an idiot, you can spend millions and you won’t get elected,” he says. A… Read more »

What’s Happening, week of Nov. 6

What’s Happening events must be open to the public, of general public interest, 60 words or less, and received at least two weeks prior to the event.  Please include ticket prices, if any, and a phone number or website where readers can obtain more information. Email notices to Wednesday, Nov. 5   Detroit Chamber… Read more »

Hospital Dream Home is sleek and funky

Marco Vigliotti The Bluewater Health Foundation is marking the 20th anniversary of its popular Dream Home Lottery by offering the largest grand prize in its history. This year’s winner has the option of moving into the five-bedroom, 1,989 square foot bungalow at 41 Kamal Dr. in Sarnia’s north end. The home alone is valued at… Read more »

New store caters to retro crowd

Cathy Dobson The front door at the new Joie de Vintage shop opens frequently with curious shoppers coming in to see the funky clothes, retro housewares and chic, mid-century furniture. Invariably, they stop to tell owners David and Isabel Weber what a great place it is. “It’s so clean in here, everything is in really… Read more »

Big Band giving our symphony a boost

Marco Vigliotti A musical blast from the past is seeking to bolster the coffers of Bluewaterland’s acclaimed symphony orchestra. The Imperial Theatre will play host next week to the “Big Band Blast,” a concert by the Bluewater Big Band -under the direction of Tim Hummel and featuring jazz vocalist Sonja Gustafson- in support of the… Read more »

Inn of the Good Shepherd calendars stolen

The Inn of the Good Shepherd has been victimized by a thief. Some 150 of the Inn’s Cash Calendars, $862 and a payment machine were stolen in east Sarnia on Oct. 4. Eighty of the stolen calendars were purchased at the Art Under Glass event at Degroot’s Nurseries that night. Anyone who bought a calendar… Read more »

Heavy equipment in place at Cull Drain Bridge

Workers from Ross Steel Fabricators are on-site at the Cull Drain Bridge on Old Lakeshore Road, Journal reader Rick Smith reports. City council voted in September to spend $230,000 to demolish the unsafe bridge but save its steel trusses, to be trucked to Mike Weir Park for possible future preservation. The derelict structure was declared… Read more »