Breaking the Cycle - Chloe Ngakosso and Samantha Daniel

Sometimes it's easier to stay silent. To not rock the boat. Put your head down - and hope things just get better on their own. Unfortunately when it comes to racism that's how cycles perpetuate. 
Even when issues are addressed they may be done behind closed doors and there is little to no accountability to the victim or their families to know if anything was actually done - or if the incident was just swept under the rug to avoid confronting it. Then, when no concrete changes seem to be forthcoming to address issues like institutional racism (aka systemic racism) - how can one feel good about the educational institutions our children attend, especially in regards to ethnic minorities? 
Thanks to Chloe Ngakosso and her mother Samantha Daniel and others like them who have raised their voices to demand change, it looks like change may be coming. When we first started talking to Samantha about publishing their story locally last week there had been no response from the Thames Valley…

St. Thomas Cooling Centre is at 423 Talbot Street, Free City Transit Available

HEAT ALERT, PLEASE SHARE: The St. Thomas Cooling Centre, where you can shelter from the heat, is at 423 Talbot Street. Hours are 8am-8pm. There is also free transit in the city for anyone that needs to get there.

*Want to donate something? Bottles of water would be appreciated.*
The normal city locations our vulnerable could shelter in to get a break from the heat are currently closed to the public, such as the St. Thomas Public Library and the Joe Thornton Community Centre. In additional to that, the various restaurants and coffee shops, including the The Grace Cafe, are not allowed to have guests take a break inside during the current emergency measures.

The location at 423 Talbot Street has capacity for 30 occupants at a time right now, but they have the ability to expand if needed. If they receive more people that need shelter from the heat at the moment they can rotate people through at 20 min intervals.

I (Grayden) chatted this afternoon with Lori Fitzgerald, who administers th…

Horton Farmer's Market Approved by St. Thomas City Council

Monday evening, St. Thomas City Councillors voted unanimously to accept the new proposal from the board of the Horton Street Farmers' Market. Unfortunately, due to audio issues we were unable to hear the debate or hear all the details on how the new plan differs from the previous one. It's great to hear that the new plan was approved however, and kudos go out to the Horton Street Farmers' Market Board for getting it done.

The revised plan was not included in City Council's minutes, so on Sunday (June 7th) we reached out to City Councillor Lori Baldwin-Sands as she is also the Chair of the Horton Street Farmers' Market Board to find out all the details on what was changed so we can share that and are waiting to hear back from her.


UPDATE: Councillor Lori Baldwin-Sands contacted us this morning to fill in the rest of the details. While the main building will be closed, the washrooms …

#BLACKLIVESMATTER Protest in London, June 6, 2020

If you weren't at the #blacklivesmatter protest in London, Ontario this weekend. You missed something special and important - hopefully historic, but that is up to us. Members of our community need the help of everyone to fix the systemic racism in our society. If you're not aware of what has been going on, or how our systems and institutions run, then it's time you educate yourself. Right now, it's our minority groups that are doing all the heavy lifting - but it's time for that to change - because things can't continue as they are. It has been ignored for too long. One of the organizers simple requests was to defund the police that are in the London school systems (SROs) and use that funding for things that will be more beneficial for members of their communities.

“We are seeing a spike in police officers responding to mental health crises and they aren’t qualified to provide mental health support and counselling to vulnerable people, especially BIPOC.” Stat…

$20,000 Injected into Local Businesses to Provide Product Bundles by EDC

Unique initiative provides much needed funds to businesses while also providing local products to residents. From "Quarantine & Chill" to "Pack the Pantry" these bundles of joy from local producers will help you and your loved ones weather the pandemic. Plus, you get a sweet one of a kind #stthomasproud backpack or dufflebag!

This initiative was put together by Sean Dyck (CEO, St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation) and his teams at the Small Business Enterprise Centre and Railway City Tourism in partnership with the St. Thomas Downtown Development Board and Elgin County Economic Development & Tourism.

Everyone pooled their resources and raised upwards of $20,000 to purchase items from local producers during the pandemic in an effort to provide economic help during this time. Folks can buy one of these packages at and have Canada Post deliver it right to their house - contact free!

Mustang Products ( in St…

Wildflowers Farm Market Details - Opening June 5th

This afternoon Grayden had a chat with Jane Magri from Wildflowers Farm to talk about how she and her partner Chuck put together a farm market plan in 48hrs. They did this after hearing on Wednesday that The Horton Farmers' Market would not open for the 2020 market season after St. Thomas City Council voted against the market board's proposed plan and budget on Tuesday night.

The plan Jane and Chuck put together has approval from Southwestern Public Health and the market's opening day is June 5th from 4pm-8pm and will continue on Fridays until Thanksgiving.

Social distancing measures will be in place as well as sanitization processes following the recommended guidelines.

The market will also include food vendors and trucks such as pizza from Elgin Harvest, so visitors can pickup their local produce as well as grab dinner. Visitors will be encouraged to put their orders in ahead of time with the food vendors and that way there will be not wait time when they pickup their meals…

Media Release: Emergency Child Care is Coming to Elgin County

Media Release
May 20, 2020

Emergency Child Care is Coming to Elgin County
ST. THOMAS, ON — The City of St. Thomas-Elgin (the System Service Manager of Child Care and Early Years for the City of St. Thomas and Elgin County) has partnered with Licensed Child Care Providers to support essential service workers with free emergency child care during the pandemic as outlined in the directive from the Government of Ontario.

In consultation with the Southwestern Public Health Unit Medical Officer of Health, the YWCA has been selected to offer care for school age children, and The Early Learning Center Dalewood has been selected to offer care for toddler, preschool and school age care.

Parents/guardians who are eligible for care based on the Province of Ontario List of Eligible for
Emergency Child Care can submit an application for a child care space by:

Downloading the application found on the City of St. Thomas Website and then emailing it to 519-631-9650 …