Happy April Fools’ Day!

Hall of Fame moving to London

For over 20 years, the small town of St. Marys, Ontario has been home to a national hall of fame and museum for one of the Big 4 North American sports. No more. Calling it an interesting but ultimately failed experiment, board members Thursday unanimously decided to sever ties with St. Marys and move all operations to a soon-to-be-completed complex adjoining historic Labatt Memorial Park on Wilson Avenue in London.

The fact that local municipal officials appeared poised to reject an ambitious expansion plan prepared by the board, paired with what was described as a “sweetheart” offer by the City of London prompted the unexpected decision.

London has no shortage of historic baseball credentials itself, including the aforementioned Labatt Park, which dates back to 1877 and is believed to be the world’s oldest baseball grounds in continuous use in its original location. “The team that called the field home in those days, the London Tecumsehs, were champions in the 1877 inaugural season of the International Association, competing against teams from cities including Pittsburgh, Columbus and Rochester,” said one official. “So you can see that London is an ideal fit to celebrate the history of baseball in Canada.”

As for the fate of the town’s suddenly vacated ball diamonds, the Mayor…

Local theatre group holding auditions for Fifty Shades of Grey

Citing the overwhelming, record-breaking and award-winning response to their latest production – which featured somewhat racier, adult themes – St. Marys’ local theatre group has announced that, in Spring 2017, they will be staging an adaptation of the best-selling 2011 E.L. James novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

The group, which normally holds auditions at a local church, has reportedly had difficulties finding a venue to hold these audition sessions due to the notorious mature content present in “Fifty Shades of Grey.” However, auditions are tentatively scheduled for between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, April 10 and 11, and parts still to be cast include female lead Anastasia Steele, her roommate Kate and Anastasia’s mother Carla.

Already tapped to direct and star in the role of wealthy and mysterious businessman Christian Grey, portrayed by Irish actor Jamie Dornan in the 2015 film adaptation, is experienced local actor and St. Marys Independent News Editor…

Historic artifact discovery may prolong Queen Street reconstruction

Some relics dating back to pre-European settlement North America, when this area was populated by Mississauga Anishinaabe First Nations people, have been discovered during preliminary digs in preparation for the town’s planned major reconstruction of downtown this summer.

Items were discovered in two sites, described as “midden heaps” by attending Western University researchers Thursday afternoon, including pottery and fishing hooks dating back as far as 1450. According to a release, the university will now begin conducting an in-depth study of the newly uncovered midden heaps to gain a better understanding of those ancient peoples’ diets and, in so doing, their society.

However, the discoveries, on the west side of Victoria Bridge south of Queen Street and on the Northwest corner of the intersection of Peel and Queen streets is sure to put off the construction schedule for the Town’s 2016 Queen Street rehabilitation.

“The artifacts were found on either side of our proposed construction zone so, even if the construction in the downtown core between Water and Church streets proceeds on schedule, Queen Street between Thomas and Peel may remain closed long past Hallowe’en,” cautioned the project’s lead engineer.

That’s a big if, as early archaeological radiography seems to indicate the presence of ancient burial ground…

Medical marijuana dispensary opening on Queen Street

A former Town of St. Marys mayoral candidate and owner of an infamous now-shuttered head shop has declared his intention to open up a medicinal marijuana dispensary on Queen Street later this month. The medical centre, dubbed the Happy Hoots Dispensary, is set to open on April 20, pending final approval by Town Council. Some officials have suggested it would be better to pause discussions on opening such a business in town until the federal government has further outlined its plans to legalize the drug.

About 15 other such establishments licensed by Health Canada already exist in Ontario, mainly located in Toronto and Kingston. However, should the dispensary open its doors, it would become the first centre of its kind in the province west of Brantford. Queen’s Park has indicated the need for such a facility in the southwest region, and say they believe they have found just the man for the job in the former St. Marys businessman.

St. Marys could be set to become a hub for those who are legally permitted to take advantage of “cannabis’ unique medicinal properties,” said owner…

Did we fool you?

As you probably figured out by now, our first two pages were filled with a few fibs and jokes. Hey, it’s not every day (or even every year) that you have a paper come out on April Fools’ Day.

So no, as far as we know the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame is not moving to London, and will be staying right here in the Stonetown for the foreseeable future. Just how viable it can become as a popular tourist destination and a fitting home for all the stories and artifacts it enshrines without a serious commitment from the Town, however, is less certain. While the federal government has signalled a change is coming in regards to how it treats cannabis, there has been no word of opening up a medicinal marijuana dispensary here in Town. But, if you hear anything, let us know.

According to CAO Brent Kittmer, the Queen Street reconstruction is full steam ahead and will be completely finished before October. And you needn’t worry about the Andrews Jeweller building. Donald Trump has quite a few other things on his plate right now to worry about taking on Heritage St. Marys.

The St. Marys Community Players are almost set to debut Oscar Wilde’s celebrated play “The Importance of Being Earnest,” which runs April 21 to May 1 at the St. Marys Town Hall. This fall, they’re excited to be performing Steel Magnolias in a newly-renovated theatre. We doubt they’re making plans to delve into the literary works of E.L. James.

Hopefully some of these goofy stories have reminded you that St. Marys has some pretty great facilities and events that deserve your support – with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, our downtown businesses and performances by the St. Marys Community Players just a few examples. As the weather continues to warm up and improve, we encourage you to get out there and enjoy them – and don’t believe everything you read!

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