Writers lament business loss in downtown

Writers lament business loss in downtown

To the Expositor:

As business owners in this community, we always appreciate the many hours other business people expend to deliver products or services to the fine people of our community and beyond. Two such people are Jerry and Stephanie Prusak of The Pantry.

With great sadness we found out recently they would no longer be opening their establishment. We wanted to take a moment to recognize Jerry, Stephanie and their staff who welcomed locals and tourists alike. For us personally, we will miss our breakfast time, often catching up with old friends and occasionally making new ones. We will miss the amazing bread, Jerry’s incredible eggs, but most of all their friendship and presence on Water Street.

Best of luck to the two of you (and your staff) as you face the next phase of your journey.

Craig and KT Timmermans

Little Current




  1. Here’s an item I wrote in response to the plunging number of riders on the ChiCheemaun. I think it applies in response to this sad headline: Here’s my take. I’ve spoken with too many people who have traveled to Manitoulin and discovered there is “no there, there.” They’ve visited once, but they’re unlikely to visit again. A week on the Island (especially with a young family) is too boring they say. That’s a bit painful for me.
    I’m proud to be a descendant of Henry and Mary Ann Lewis (Long Bay/ 1872) who were among the Island’s original pioneer families. I count myself among the very fortunate who have ever-welcoming cousins living to this day on Manitoulin who unfailingly offer me warm hospitality and great fun.
    But many Island visitors don’t have that.
    Can the people who operate the ferry hope to increase passenger numbers if passengers driving all the way from who-knows-where to Tobermory, disembark at South Baymouth and discover the ChiCheemaun was an expensive ferry ride to…… –to what? Sure, the ferry’s brochure rack is stuffed with pamphlets. Like 500 channels on t-v but still nothing you want to watch.
    In order to entice visitors to the Island, I think Manitoulin communities must offer visitors more varied, and updated reasons to travel there. Events such as the Wikwemikong Cultural Festival, Pow-wows, Country Fest, and Haweater Weekend (my favourite) are great starts. But Island communities must re-think or re-invent what they’ve been doing so that they can become ‘destinations’ to *more* people of varying interests. Keep the folks who love to fish, hunt, curl, snowmobile, four-wheel, camp, etc. happy. They’re the Island’s tourism bread and butter. (Notice i didn’t mention the notoriously stingy squadrons of summer yachtsmen? But I guess they count too.) Those folks are very important, but they’re only part of a much larger audience of potential visitors out there. Island community leaders: Take note of how once easily-forgotten towns that dot the Bruce, Lake Huron and Georgian Bay are now also able to draw thousands more visitors throughout the year by organizing various festivals and offering arts, recreational attractions and quality lodgings and dining.
    Speaking of dining. I know it’s hard to offer quality dining when most Islanders are likely to eat most often at home. But a hungry tourist hoping for a quality meal is faced with embarrassingly woeful choices —particularly in Gore Bay. And unless you’re a camper, Providence Bay (whoo-hoo. A boardwalk.) is no better. Mindemoya has the beginnings, if for no other reason than its geographic good fortune of being a crossroads.( Dining: The Rock Garden Terrace Resort/Mindemoya, The Garden Gate/Tehkummah, The School House Restaurant & Auberge Inn/Providence Bay are delicious exceptions, but not reasons-enough to drive from Toronto and board the ferry.)
    Now, hopefully none of my Manitoulin friends will say, ‘Well, if that’s the way you feel –we don’t need you’. Because you do. Me and thousands like me, because your community can’t survive without our tourist dollars. (Or maybe you think you don’t need tourist dollars because you don’t mind shelling-out more of your own money each year in property taxes to balance your town budget’s ever-rising infrastructure costs. Or maybe you think you’ll “win the lottery” by getting a call from British Columbia-based Blue Goose Cattle Company asking to buy your family’s land to make it part of an industrial-sized cattle ranch –which someday may be all Manitoulin is…–one big mega-ranch dripping cow crap on an industrial scale into the Island’s lakes and aquifers. But that’s a discussion for another day.)
    For now, here’s the bottom line for me. I’ve skipped traveling to Manitoulin for 3-summers now. (Also, I’m not a hunter and I’m not a curler, so unless you offer me something else, you’ll never see me on the Manitoulin in the Spring, Fall or Winter.)
    I’m a cyclist, kayaker, skiier, and hiker. I love my family. I love history and geneology. I love nature. I love good food, a few brews, good people, music and comfortable accommodations. And deep down, I love Manitoulin Island (as I have since I was a child). But I can enjoy each of those things cheaper and closer to home than Manitoulin.
    So Manitoulin — if you want my dollars, and (Chicheemaun, my fare) give me some reasons to return! “Til then it’s cheaper and easier to continue to skype and email my Haweater relatives and spend my discretionary dollars elsewhere.
    (Brad Giffen – Toronto)
    ps. A “Frequent Passenger Discount” would be welcome news to people like my cousin Lynn who has for the past 25-years sailed home each weekend.. Spring, Summer and Fall each Friday…returning each Monday to her work in Toronto.

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