Saturday, November 5, 2011

You can buy Milk in Peterborough after 6 PM now

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Today’s Blog Post

You can buy Milk in Peterborough after 6 PM now

What a difference 13 years make!

13 years ago we arrived in Peterborough from Western Canada. We stayed at a home of two friends that were traveling out west. They heard we were to possibly come to Peterborough for employment at the Northview Church as the Minister. They offered their home as place to stay. What a treat that was.

We arrived at the house in the evening. It was not yet dark.

Realizing that the owners of the home had been away for a few weeks when we arrived, we looked in the cupboards and refrigerator for the possibilities of breakfast the next morning. There were boxes of cereal but no milk. There was no bread or butter. All the basics that were not there. I do the same when we leave home for weeks on end as well.

I decided to simply hop in the car and go to the store to buy something for breakfast. That seemed simple enough.

13 years ago in Peterborough, Ontario there was no stores open after 6 PM. It was the law. Everywhere we had lived always had somewhere open to buy food and milk. But not in Peterborough. Stores locked up tight at 6 PM. It was 1998!

I found that out after traveling around the city for a good half hour.

13 years ago there was one Tim Hortons Donut Shop. It was on Lansdowne and was situated where Shoppers Drug Mart is now, beside the Minute Maid processing plant. The sign stated that they would close at 11 PM.

I walked in and asked if they had any milk to sell. The girl was apologetic in that they had only one carton of milk left in their small refrigerator. I bought the last quarter pint of milk in the city just so I could have my cereal in the morning.

13 years ago this was the ONLY Tim Hortons in Peterborough, a dim and shabby little place that still allowed smoking in the restaurant making the donuts taste weird.

This was not the dark ages when Tim Hortons did not exist. I had opened the first Tim Hortons donut shops with Tim Horton in about 1970 – 28 years before 1998. I did that when I installed their first Cash registers in Oakville. Every city that we had ever lived in had more than one Tim Hortons – but not Peterborough.

No there wasn’t any Coffee Time or other coffee hangouts. There was no end of small restaurants and coffee shops – but they all closed at 6 PM or earlier.

This was my introduction to Peterborough. Having lived in cities like Regina, Saskatchewan; Scarborough, Ontario; and Hong Kong – Peterborough’s closing at 6 PM just seemed really weird.

In 1998 there was hardly any stores like the rest or the world had. If we wanted to buy at Costco with our membership card we had for over 10 years… we had to drive to Ajax. The same was true of all of our favorite stores in big cities.

But Peterborough had an attitude that was so strange. They were the center of the Universe. If Peterborough didn’t have it – you didn’t need it.

After we moved here something on one of our appliances died. I needed a part to fix it. There was one store that sold parts… and the price was ridiculous. I knew that just down the road in Scarborough I had bought the same part for about one half of what this guy was selling it for. I drove to Scarborough on a day off and paid for the gas easily with the money I saved on the part.

Peterborough’s population was still at about 75,000 people. They were big in their mind’s eye.

Regina had about 200,000 and Scarborough was running over a million. Hong Kong was over 6 Million and they lived on an area about the size of Peterborough region – 20 miles by 20 miles.

It was an adjustment to live in a “small city” again.

I say all of this to state my utter amazement of the recent announcements in our little city.

Not only will our present Wal-Mart be expanding but another Wal-Mart will open two blocks from where we live.

We now have a Costco and a Super Store. We have a Chapters and even a Future Shop. Add to all of these we have all the Tim Hortons coffee places that you could ever dream of… plus all of its coffee shop competition.

We have a Home Depot and Staples.

This week we heard that we will have a Lowes store coming just south of us.

In 13 years we have watched the little city of Peterborough be turned upside down! No kidding you can buy Milk or whatever you wish to buy 24 hours a day – seven days a week and about 362 days a year – (There are still holiday closing days).

Believe it or not… Peterborough has changed. We now have most of the problems that all the other cities have as well. We have arrived.

But most important – you can buy Milk after 6 PM!

~ Murray Lincoln ~ 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Murray, You have a great way with words!