Cochrane business leader loves to tell people where to go

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, April 28, 2016

John Thomson reflects on 25 years of Cochrane Map.
Photo by Warren Harbeck

One of our Cochrane coffee companions is that kind of person who loves to tell folks where they can go – and even more so. He’ll even show them the way. And how do folks respond to this fellow? Why, they say, “THANK YOU!”

So, John Thomson, this column is my way of saying thank you to you for helping me find my way around our wonderful foothills town since 1992. Congratulations on your 25th anniversary of publishing Cochrane Map!

Of course, back in 1992 it was a lot simpler for John to tell folks where to go. Our population was just over 5,000. The old Community Hall was still on 2nd Ave. W, and the Domtar Site was still just a contaminated wasteland awaiting reclamation for what would eventually become The Quarry, with its big-box amenities.

But communities such as Heritage Hills and Sunset Ridge, as well as those south of the Bow River, didn’t exist yet, nor did Grande Boulevard with its shops and services or the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre.

Now in 2016 our population has quadrupled to over 23,000 – new neighbourhoods, new shops, new facilities, and new street names. Clearly, if folks want to find their way around Cochrane, they really do need the latest map.

And thanks to John’s quarter century of dedicated efforts, that’s exactly what we have. This year’s edition of 37,000 copies highlights the locations of 135 businesses and services by name, many of them with ads.

"From a personal standpoint, the map enables me to stay in touch with the business community,” John says. “As a former downtown business owner, I get to renew old acquaintances, business owners that I have known for a long time, and meet new owners of existing businesses and managers of the new businesses. As I am strongly involved with Cochrane Tourism, it gives me a chance to keep my finger on the pulse of the business community.

“I get feedback every year, especially when the maps initially come out the week of the Cochrane Trade Show. People are pleased to keep updated on the streets and the businesses. The map gives me a conduit through which I can be of service to the community."

Well, John, you definitely continue to be of service to me. Again, thank you for telling me where to go.

Copies of Cochrane Map 2016 are being distributed with this week’s edition of the Cochrane Eagle. They will also be available at this weekend’s Cochrane Trade Show at the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre.


© 2016 Warren Harbeck

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