Tired of running errands? Hire a valet!

 Total Task Services, determined to live up to its moniker, keeps expanding its range of personalized services that simplify life for its customers. This unique Knowlton-based valet/concierge business has just added an out-of-town messenger service. Individuals or businesses needing parcels delivered to, or picked up at, Montreal or Townships locations can now call owner Lee Patterson instead of Purolator. To meet the demand, this messenger service now runs to and from Cowansville three times a week, and to Montreal and/or Granby at least once a week.


 Patterson launched his one-man company in February. His team now numbers a dozen semi-retired local residents who are on call seven days a week, ready to jump into action. Total Task Services runs errands, picks up groceries and dry cleaning, takes customers’ cars in to be washed or serviced and, when customers are away, checks their properties, feeds their pets, mows their lawns, chlorinates their pools…in short, handles all those pesky, time-consuming chores that you wish someone else would do!


 “We’re there for our customers, whatever their needs,” says Patterson, who recently called a tow truck for a customer stranded on the highway with a flat tire. “We also offer a referral service for tradesmen like carpenters, plumbers, painters. We’ll let them into your home if you’re away and supervise their work. We’ll even wait at your home for deliveries so you don’t have to be there.”

 Total Task Services can be reached at (450) 242-2844 or by e-mail at


June began with a flurry of activity at the Auberge Knowlton. Its ground-floor restaurant-bistro, Le Relais, just opened an outdoor patio, on the roof of Bousada’s furniture store. This terrasse, which seats 65 and serves three brands of McAuslan beer on tap, overlooks the leafy lawn of the public library. For now, patrons can reach the terrasse via the restaurant, but stairs will soon provide direct access from the parking lot in the back.

 Upstairs at the Auberge, a new conference room equipped with audio-visual equipment, Internet access and a photocopier, was completed just in time to accommodate its first business group this week. This 12-room hotel stays busy year round serving corporate clients.

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Almost 50% of bookings come from the Auberge’s Web site, which lets visitors view each room separately and book the room of their choice. Decorated in antiques and antique reproductions by Signy Stephenson, each room has its own individual cachet. Former owners of the Auberge du Joli Vent in Foster, Stephenson and husband Michel Gabereau own the Auberge Knowlton and the building in which it and the restaurant are housed. They are also partners in Le Relais with manager Lynne Patenaude.

 Auberge Knowlton (tel.: 450-242-1055) and Le Relais Restaurant-Bisto (tel.: 450-242-2232) are located at 286 Knowlton Road, Knowlton. Visit the restaurant on the Web at and the auberge at


 Historic Knowlton Village is now on the map — the Web map, that is — at Sponsored by the Knowlton Merchant’s Association (SDC), this brand new Web site is being created and managed by Michel Gabereau as a service to local merchants and the tourism industry. Click on any building on the map and up pops a photo and description. In addition to providing a virtual walking tour of the village shops, restaurants, museums, library, theatre, etc., this attractive site also features a complete line-up of up-coming events.

“People checking out Knowlton on the Internet will discover that there’s a lot to see and do in our little village,” says Gabereau. “The site also gives exposure to small merchants who don’t have the expertise to create their own Web site.” For just $50 a year, commercial establishments in the historic core can get a photo and detailed blurb about their business to pop up on the site.

Gabereau is also the Webmaster for the Brome Lake Chamber of Commerce site at, one of the first Chamber Web sites in the province. In operation since 1996, this site attracts over 200 unique visitors a day looking for events and information about the area.


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 Another Web site with lots of Townships content — and a huge worldwide audience — is Sunnymead Village at Run by a non-profit organization, this site has been offering free Web services to non-profit community and cultural organizations in the Townships, including the Townshippers’ Association ( So far, Sunnymead has donated over $30,000 worth of Web services, of which $20,000 has been to groups in Brome County alone. To pay for these services, Sunnymead charges businesses that reside on the site.

 This engaging three-year-old site, which has grown to over 1,000 pages, attracts up to 200,000 visitors a month from all over the world. How did it achieve such high visibility? “We actively promote our site using link exchanges, by re-registering with over 400 search engines several times a year to get top placement for our site and our members, and by offering tools that people can play with, like our virtual postcards,” explains Maurice Singfield, Sunnymead’s promotional director.