Home Decor Shopping Trip

Many of you have been asking where I all stopped during my recent home decor shopping day trip, so I thought it could be helpful to do a short post providing you with some brief information and pictures of each unique stop I discovered.  This was my first time at most of the stores, and I would highly recommend you try to get to at least one or two if you happen to be near highway 6 anytime soon.  Clicking on the names of the store will take you to their website where you can always find out more information.

Here’s the list:

BURLINGTON

 

Station Home

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A friend of mine introduced me to this shop on Instagram and I quickly became attracted to their modern accessories, clean colours and whimsical decor.  Highlighting midcentury modern furnishings, urban decor, accessories and unique gift ideas, Station Home is a one-of-a-kind stop.  Even if modern stuff isn’t your thing, their selection of vintage posters, fresh house plants, heavenly scented soaps, unique gifts and warm pillows and throws will have you filling your bags in no time.

 

 

Centro Gardens

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I recently saw this place on someones Instagram story and I knew it would be a hit in my books.  Tucked into the centre of downtown Burlington, Centro Gardens has both indoor and outdoor home goods in a variety of styles.  Browse everything from dishes, chairs, linens, wall hooks, soaps, jewellery and the most delightful decor pieces for any home or unique and precious gift ideas.  Don’t forget to wander outside as well to the large selection of plants, planters and other outdoor decor and furniture pieces to make a complete trip.

 

 

Ikea

I know you all are aware about Ikea and I usually highlight independent stores, but sometimes you just need some cheap accent or organizational pieces, and that’s when I like to stop at Ikea.  Here is usually the list of things I like to get from Ikea:

1. Picture frames – cheap large frames in clean finishes with matting to frame photos and art
2. Kids items – whether it’s craft supplies, rugs, pillows, sheets or toys, Ikea’s bright colours and creative offers make children as thrilled as their parents.
3. Organizational items – I love the selection and prices of their modular shelves, storage units and unique but super functional storage solutions.
4. Kitchen goods – napkins, unfussy glasses and dishware you don’t care if you kids drop, gadgets (like their super functional cheese grater/storage), linens and vessels
5. Decor – candles, vases, greenery, containers and more!

 

 

GUELPH

 

Accents for Living

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Just outside of Guelph in Aberfoyle, sits a quiet, hidden gem full of wonderful furniture and elegant home decor.  Browse the two story collection of exquisite, hand-selected pieces, fine linens and lovely art that can surely enhance any space.  Did I also mention they have a beautiful collection of unique and stunning lighting??  Table lamps, floor lamps and gorgeous pendants and chandeliers – I have my eye on the perfect chandelier for my foyer!  Seek advice or ask for suggestions from any of their warm and knowledgable professional staff.  This will surely be a place I cannot wait to go back or advise many future clients to visit.

 

Rug & Weave

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I’ve been following this gem for a long time on social media and I’m so glad I finally got a chance to visit Rug and Weave.  A curated collection of vintage and handmade goods for the modern home, Rug & Weave offers truly one of a kind treasures from around the globe or handcrafted around the corner.  Their vintage rugs range from 60 to over 100 years old, pillows are delicately crafted in house from the most luscious fabrics from around the world, blankets and throws gathered globally and ceramics and decor handmade from local artisans.  Each piece tells a unique story and surely will be treasures you’ll want to pass down or spoil as gifts to loved ones.  And if you can’t get to this store, be sure to check their website weekly for new additions and shipping information.

 

 

I hope you were able to be inspired to get in the car and visit some of these wonderful and unique home shops.  I can’t wait to discover what lovely pieces I find on my next visit or recommend to eager home owners.

Know of a place you think I ought to know about?  Message me so I can sing their praise and advise others to shop there too.

Tour This Town – Tofino (Special Edition)

 

If you’ve been watching my Instagram account, you’ll know I recently had the wonderful opportunity to explore Tofino, British Columbia in celebration of my 30th birthday this year. I’ve had so many awesome comments and questions about my time there that I knew I had to do a special edition post on the town of Tofino. And now those of you who many be planning some upcoming travels could consider this magical destination.

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Tofino is a small town on a peninsula on the west coast of Vancouver Island that has been getting a lot of attention lately as Canada’s top surf destination (that’s right you can surf right here in Canada!) and upcoming foodie hot spot. With a population of approximately 1,900 people, the town swells immensely during a couple months due to summer residents and tourism guests from all over the world. The top months for travel are June-September, but winter gets a boast due to coastal storm watchers too.

 

For this special edition I want to break down my recommendations by schedule instead of by activity, as most of you who will be considering going would do so for a few of days, and I felt we schedule things just right. Here’s what our trip looked like:

 

 

 

Day 1

Unpack and unwind

Our early morning flight from Toronto to Vancouver was a memorable one as we upgraded our seats using our points and for the first time flew Business Class, enjoying all the amenities (like sparking wine at 8am and hot towel service before our deluxe breakfast). We landed in Vancouver and shortly after, took a small plane of 16 people right into the Tofino airport. I’m a nervous flyer and this 32 minute flight had me on edge, so I tried to enjoy the spectacular Vancouver Island aerial views.

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Landing at the Tofino airport in the late morning (time change is great… sometimes), we shuttled to our accommodations – the beautiful, rustic and elegant Relais and Chateaux property of the Wickaninnish Inn. We enjoyed a casual lunch at the café over looking the ocean while waiting for our room to be ready. Following that we explored the facilities and soaked in the west coast fresh air and ocean views. Unpacking and enjoying a light diner at the On the Rocks Bar that night allowed for an early turn in after a long day of travels and jet lag.

 

 

 

 

Day 2

Explore town

The next day we hit up the free Tofino shuttle to get us to town (about 15 min drive) and explored the unique shops and fabulous views, even in the pouring rain. We started with breakfast at Rhino Coffee House and after enjoying a cup of hot coffee and mouth-watering donuts, we came to understand why the line was out the door – YUM! This surfer vibe destination was doing everything right! Next we cruised into some nearby galleries; Mark Hobson – known for his spectacular wildlife and landscape paintings, Rubio Jewelry Studio and Roy Henry Vickers Gallery – displaying exceptional First Nation’s masterpieces displayed in a traditional Northwest Coast Longhouse.

We toured a bunch of cute, bright-coloured, surf-inspired boutique stores including; Pina Styles – local art and clothing, Caravan Beach Shop, Merge – curated and handmade goods, Blue – hand crafted arts and more.

For lunch we wandered down to Shelter Restaurant where we literally took shelter from the rain and still got to enjoy the Island views from the covered and heated patio. I ordered the Tofino Surf Bowl here with Salmon and really enjoyed how fresh and flavourful the dish was.   After lunch, we grabbed a coffee and cookie up the road at Tofino Coffee Roasting Company and made our way back on the shuttle to the Inn for a nap and to freshen up.

Dinner that night was at Wolf in the Fog, rated 85h in Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants 2018. The Wolf in the Fog has a menu inspired by the local oceans, forest and shoreline and the warm and rustic interior décor perfectly accented the menu offerings. My husband and I each enjoyed one of the features that night, and my husband’s exact words were, “that was the best pizza I’ve ever eaten!” I couldn’t have agreed more. The total ambiance of this place was spot on, including amazing drift wood light features (duh of course I would notice these), 2-story bar and West coast décor. A must hit stop in my books.

 

 

Day 3

Surf & Dine

This was the big highlight for me (although the food and beachfront were both close seconds). After much research, we booked our group surf lessons with Pacific Surf Company and were very pleased with our experience and instructor – Annie. After we weezled our way into some full body wetsuits (this was the Pacific Ocean by the way), I was beyond excited to get to the beach. Our instructor spent time with us on land going over safety and background information about the waves, and after some quick positions and instructions, we entered the ocean to learn how to really do it. I got up on my first attempt and several other times throughout our lesson. Although I didn’t “master” the surfing technique, my husband sure impressed me by catching many waves for some good length runs.

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After waddling back to our accommodations, achy and chilled to the bone, I filled a hot bath while some hot mac and cheese was ordered for me and the red wine was poured.  About an hour later, I think I finally thawed out.

For dinner we really splurged at The Pointe Restaurant for my official birthday dinner. Although we both aren’t big on seafood, our selections incorporated some fresh, local and expertly prepared ocean offerings, such as our appetizers – Dressed Heirloom Tomato (with trout roe, which I mistakenly advised him it was a sauce not fish eggs :S), and the Dungeness Crab Salad. For our mains we had ‘Rossdown Farm’ Chicken Mole and the Beef Tenderloin (with beef fat roasted carrots, pomm anna, carmalized onion puree and garlic scape chimicurri). Again, my husband and I both caught ourselves saying, “this is the best thing I have ever eaten” as he started and I quickly stole his amazing entre (sorry hunny!). The sommelier personally advised and suggested some excellent French wine choices for our meals, and the setting sun was the perfect view for our night! A nice personal touch was that they added my name at the top of the menu with a birthday wish, in which they sent back with us at the end of the meal to remember the evening by.

 

 

Day 4

Spa, brewery & harbour

I had a feeling we’d be rather achy after our day in the ocean so I strategically booked spa services for the next morning. We unwound and let our muscles be massaged and our souls soothed in the Ancient Cedar Spas located right at the Wickaninnish Inn.

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We than enjoyed the use of the facility bikes as we made our way to the village marketplace to hit up the ever-popular original Tacofino and browse the other eateries. Even at 2pm, the lineup at the Tacofino food truck was insane as they quickly were slinging out orders. I ordered the crispy chicken burrito and my husband the pork burrito. I saw a couple crispy gringas after and those looked amazing too!

 

After that and a short nap (yes vacations are most definitely for naps), we shuttled to Tofino Brewing Co to taste some local brewed Tofino beer and BC cider. We than made our way to the beautiful harbour front and the Hatch Waterfront Pub at the Tofino Resort & Marina for a beautiful patio dinner for our final night. The smell and sounds of the ocean were perfection and really made the thought of leaving the next day daunting. We ordered some pizzas and ciders and ended the meal with the best berry crumble I’ve ever had. We casually enjoyed a stroll down at the docks post dinner before the sunset, which we enjoyed one last time on the North Chesterman Beach back at the resort.

 

 

Day 5

Soak it in and depart

Our last day in beautiful Tofino was spent casually enjoying the views and beachfront, dreaming of never having to leave.   A shuttle back to the airport after lunch brought us to a slightly bigger plane (32 passengers) for a smooth ride back to Vancouver. Here we booked a night (and was delightfully upgraded to the Gold Level) at the Vancouver Airport Fairmount Hotel. Enjoying some hot canapés in the lounge and watching the planes takeoff and land, was just a reminder of how quick times pass, but experiences and great memories remain.

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I will forever hold a place in my heart for Tofino – where my dreams came true and my mind was awakened to how beautiful and vast our country really is. I highly recommend Tofino to anyone looking to travel to somewhere with beautiful nature views, amazing adventure opportunities and of course, spectacular food. I hope to be back one day!

Tour This Town – Elora, ON

Elora is located about 30 min north-east of Waterloo in the heart of Wellington County,  and truly is one of the most picturesque towns in Ontario.  With a population of just under 8,000, this town is a tourist hot spot for the adventurer, creative spirit, foodie or eager shopper.  Known for its amazing shops, thriving artist scene and incredible cliffs and caves belonging to the Elora Gorge, the town has and continues to build up, a warm community inclusive to all who want to wander about.

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Photo source – Instagram @drimmieflorist

One of the most recognized architectural landmarks in Elora is the Elora Mill, which was built in the 1930s and is currently wrapping up a massive renovation to become a luxury Inn, complete with spa, dining and elegant event facilities.

When you’re booking your outing to Elora, I recommend you spend at least a half day in town and half day exploring the natural scenes of the Elora gorge, Elora Quarry and surrounding parks and adventures – including zip lining, tubing, kayaking and hiking (ok so you may need more than a half day for all that).

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Here are the shops and stops I recommend exploring while in the area:

 

TO SHOP

Pariscope – A delightful little French-inspired shop filled with fine linens, soaps and home decor items to beautifully dress up your table and home.  Many of their fine products have been directly imported from Europe so take trip a little closer to home this summer and still bring back some wonderful keepsakes!

 

Karger Gallery – Truly a one of a kind gallery shop filled with handcrafted furniture, décor, fashion and jewellery with a flair for the unique.  Items crafted from Canadian artisans as well as supporting fair-trade arrangements from international artisans around the world, Karger Gallery focuses on one of a kind, hand-crafted unique items for your home and body.

 

Honey Church Lane – A beautifully crafted vintage gift shop and furniture refinishing emporium.  Carrying the full lines of Homestead House Milk Paint, Mill Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, Fusion Paint, FAT paint, as well as the tools and expertise you’ll need for your next furniture refinishing project.  Don’t forget to peek at the unique light fixtures, mirrors and gift items for sale throughout the shop.

 

Mermaid Emporium – I don’t believe I have or ever will be in another shop quite like this one.  If you need shelf brackets, door knockers, mail boxes, plaques, hooks or anything similar for your home, this is the shop to check out!  The store goes on and on into themed corners and walls of the most interesting and unique collections.

 

 

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The Queen’s Fancy – Located just outside Elora in the corner town of Salem, this warehouse style shop is packed full of vintage and restored furniture and accessories.  There are also many handcrafted tables, benches, pieces of art and decor items that will surely appeal to the country or eclectic homeowner.

 

 

There are so many small shops and artist studios in town you really need to poke around and explore what the town has to offer.  I really couldn’t include them all but I encourage you to explore the side streets, brightly coloured buildings and corner studios for a look at some amazing artisans and galleries.

 

TO EAT

Elora Brewing Company – Brewery, gastropub and amazing farm-to-table restaurant, this place is the perfect place to lunch, dine or grab some brews before heading back on your road trip home.  The rustic and industrial touches of the pub make for a great contrast to the local fresh food and refreshing brews.   Check out their local events and facilities for your next private event too.

 

Lost & Found Café – A vibrant and friendly cafe perfect for the start of the day or an afternoon pick-me-up.  The cafe supports local and organic when possible, hunting down nothing but the freshest ingredients from local farmers and markets.

 

The Secret Garden Tea House – The sweetest little place for traditional English Tea with whoever you brought along with you on your day out.  I’m thinking this would be ideal for a mother/daughter day out and I can’t wait to take my sweet baby girl in a few years.  Also a place worth considering for any bridal or baby shower events you may be hosting.

 

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The Cork – Casual fine dining in the heart of Elora, the Cork offers fresh and locally inspired menu options.  Be sure to enjoy the patio during warm weather and check out their special events menus for that next special occasion.

 

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The Desert Rose Cafe – Homemade vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free cooking in their cafe, cooking classes, ready-to-go meals and beautiful event space.  Ethnically diverse offerings and nothing but the freshest, the Desert Rose also has an award winning cookbook worth checking out.

 

 

TO TOUR

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Photo source – Instagram @geoffwild

Elora Mill – The Elora Mill is recently undergoing an extensive revitilization under the Pearle Hospitality Group (owners of the Cambridge Mill, Ancaster Mill & more).  Although currently only open for special events, their dining, hotel suites and spa will surely be as impressive as what we’ve been able to see so far.  Opening July 6th, 2018!

 

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Elora Gorge – Nothing short of breath-taking, the Elora Gorge is part of the Grand River Valley with trails alongside the cliffs and caves reaching as high as 22 meters.  Check out this variety of exploring opportunities below:

  • Tubing – explore the gorge with an adventurous and wet viewpoint.
  • Rock climbing & zip lining – ONE AXE PURSUITS – for the thrill seeker and adventurer
  • Kayaking, canoeing, hiking, fishing, camping and more!  Visit here for more details on these adventures.

 

People enjoying the beach and blue waters of Elora Quarry Park
Photo source – Grand River Conservation Authority

Elora Quarry – This local spot has become a busy destination on hot summer days as locals and tourists enjoy taking a dip in the refreshing waters and beautiful limestone cliffs reading up to 12m in height.

 

Homes & Architecture – One of my favourite things to do while in new towns is to cruise up and down residential and back roads exploring the architecture and homes of the town.  Elora surely did not disappoint and I think I picked out a few homes I could see myself moving into.

 

Whether you pop into Elora for just an afternoon or have a couple of days to explore and seek adventure, the stunning nature and architecture are the perfect backdrop for the picturesque town of local artists, shops and fresh local eateries.

 

 

Tour This Town – Tillsonburg, ON

 

Tillsonburg may be a town you haven’t heard of, but like most small towns in Southern Ontario, you probably will pass through it or near it this summer on your way to friends or the beach.  As the weather warms and we yearn to get outdoors and seek exploring new areas, why not take a morning to visit some of the unique and independent shops on your way to your next adventure.

I must admit, this town made my radar based on the first stop on my list. I was after some light fixtures for my home and had been following the shop on Intagram, browsing all of their inspiring posts. After purchasing the perfect kitchen pendants, I quickly discovered what more the town had to offer and hope you will be able to too!

 

 

J.D Lighting

This family owned and operated lighting and décor store provides an array of options both in-store and online. No matter your style, their knowledgable staff will assist you in selecting the best lighting for your needs. Don’t forget to gander upstairs and check out some of their adorable décor items as well!

 

 

 

Tillsonburg Antiques Plus

A collection of antiques and treasures for your browsing pleasure. This multi-vendor marketplace surely will have you taking home a little piece of history with an array of furniture, tools, books, art and home accessories to look through.

 

 

 

The Anchor Shoppe

This home décor and supply store will surly have you ready to set sail on your next project. Pick up some Fusion mineral paint for your next décor project or browse their large selection of beautiful home décor and furniture displays.  With a casual, beachy vibe, this shop screams summer living!

 

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The Fox & Fawn

Unfortunately this little gem wasn’t open when I was in town but peeking in the windows led me to believe this shop has some lovely antiques and collectables. Lace and delicately cared for décor items seem to be beautifully displayed, waiting to make that perfect gift for someone dear of just for you.  Let me know if you get here and what you are able to find!

 

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Pedlar’s Quay

A collection of unique and quality gift and home décor items can be found in this beautiful 1872 Heritage Home. Whether you are shopping for that hard to buy person or a little something to bring into your home, Pedlar’s Quay has something for everyone and for every room.

 

 

 

The Cup & Cake

This bright old home has been converted into a cheery place to meet up with friends for lunch or coffee and dessert. Be sure to have a lovely cup of tea here and some of their made from scratch British baked goods.

 

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Photo source – Facebook

Dad’s Ice Cream

This seasonal joint is your next family tradition.  Described as having the best selection and offering the best ice cream in town, this cool stop is sure to satisfy every member of your family.

 

Take a scenic drive this summer on your way to the beach, stopping into Tillsonburg’s adorable home décor, gift shops and tasty eateries!

 

Did I miss a stop in Tillsonburg or perhaps you have a town to suggest I get to this summer – don’t hesitate to let me know!

 

 

Tour This Town – Stratford

Best known for its theatre and arts culture, Stratford is a tourist hotspot with some amazing shops and delicious eateries. First settled in 1832, Stratford really began booming in 1850 when the railroad came to town and the manufacturing district really took off.  This town is less than 30 minutes from my house so I tend to get there a little more than I care to admit after discovering some unique and inspiring stops.  With a population of just over 30,000 people, visiting Stratford means engaging and supporting hardworking small businesses and encouraging a prospering art community.

Whether you are heading to town for a Shakespearean play or to meet a friend for lunch, make sure you check out some of my recommended stops in this picturesque town:

 

Wills & Prior

Hands-down the most perfectly curated home shop I have ever been in. Owner Sarah has an amazing eye for mixing vintage pieces with modern accessories in a European-feeling design that will compliment any home or make for the perfect gift. Whether you are in the mood for a vintage accent chair, well-made Dash & Albert rug, complimenting basket or beautiful local-made art goods, Wills & Prior should be first on your shopping list. Pop back often as new items are constantly being added and seasonal arrangements and displays will be sure to inspire your home.

 

Got it Made

I only discovered this shop the last time I was in town and I cannot believe the creativity and craftsmanship that gets poured into each piece found here. A wonderful and unique collection of over 60 local artisan goods can be found displayed and prepared for your home or next gift.

 

Bradshaw’s

Family owned and operated since 1895, this is the ultimate stop for all things functional and beautiful for your hard working kitchen and home. Enjoy browsing a wide range of kitchen tools, beautiful linens and don’t forget to pick up your next bridal registry gift while you’re there.

 

Stratford Antique Warehouse

The multi-vendor warehouse Stratford Antiques, is home to an afternoon of exploring and treasure hunting. Take your time as you look booth by booth at some one-of-a-kind items from days gone by.  Pick up a solid wood chair, a vintage serving dish or some framed prints to compliment and add history to your space.

 

EATERIES

I’ve compiled a large list of eateries for you to explore.  You’ll probably have to return a few times to hit every stop on this list (and I’ve probably missed some amazing ones as well):

(In order from top to bottom, left to right)
Sirkel Foods – homemade food in a cafe atmosphere, join for breakfast or lunch
The Red Rabbit – fresh take on fine dining, menu inspired by local ingredients and artisan producers
The Common – eclectic mix of food from around the world, theatrical beautiful interior
Keystone Alley – casual fine dining with an amazing patio for warmer months
Jenn & Larry’s Brittle’n Shakes & Ice Cream  – year-round offering of traditional cold treats and homemade brittle
Edison’s Cafe Bar & Inn – fresh, mostly organic and simple cafe fair.  Be sure to check out their gorgeous inn as well
The Pulp – high quality juices, smoothies and vegetarian food options
York Street Kitchen – the perfect spot for a casual lunch before a show or while shopping about
Soup Surreal – a hidden hole in the wall with the best soup ever (great take home options too)
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photo credit – OpenTable 
Revival House – Ok so I’m dying to get to this old church turned restaurant/event space, and I can’t review it because I haven’t been there.  This multifunctional space is both restaurant/lounge and can also be rented out as an event space for weddings, parties or functions.  Call ahead if you’re heading to the restaurant because sometimes the place gets rented out.  If you have been – send me a message and let me know what you thought!

 

Whether you are in town for a theatrical show, meeting up with a friend or looking for that perfect gift, be sure to check out the amazing shops and eateries Stratford has to offer.  Did I miss one of your favourite stops in Stratford?  Message me and let me know.

Tour This Town – Conestogo, ON

Just a short five minute drive northeast of Waterloo lies the small community of Conestogo, ON. Once a thriving mill community, this small town now is home to a few great shops (especially for the vintage enthusiast) and some quiet subdivisions. Conestogo is a wonderful stop on your way through to the neighbouring towns of Elora, Guelph or Elmira.

 

You should first stop at Rumbletum Café & Gifts for some delicious breakfast, lunch or just a morning coffee. Be sure to look around at their lovely gift shop while you’re there, and make your way upstairs for more vintage finds, décor pieces and adorable clothing for the wee ones.

 

Next you’ll want to walk a few minutes down the road to Pepper Pot Place Vintage Store for a sneak at the wonderful displays of quality furnishings and vintage treasures. From lamps and crystal glasses to globes, picture frames and hutches, you’ll be sure to find something with a mysterious history for your collection or display.

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Another interesting shop you’ll want to explore (but unfortunately wasn’t open while I went through town) was Auburn Vintage Clothiers. A sneak peek in the windows revealed some unique looking clothing and accessories perfect for that special occasion or collection.

 

As you head on your way to your next destination, be sure to stop at Sittlers Home Baking for some goodies to go. Fresh baked breads, buns, cookies, loafs, preserves and granolas abundantly fill shelves of a small tucked away building just off the main street. Only open Wednesday-Saturday, be sure to go early for the best selection and freshest options! I highly recommend their short johns for just the perfect bite of sweet dough and cream!

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Finally if you continue about 5 minutes northeast outward from Conestogo, you’ll end up at the intersection of Northfield Drive East and Line 86. A large orange barn off to your left should catch your attention and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find a large selection of antique furnishings at the Country Antique Store.  With everything priced very reasonably, I would think you’ll have a hard time leaving this stop without stuffing something into your trunk or backseat.

 

Let me know if you make your way to Conestogo and tell me all about some of the wonderful treasures and goodies you were able to find!

Tour This Town – Galt, ON

Before Cambridge amalgamated several small communities to form the present day city, Galt held it’s own as a historical industrial town and beautiful riverfront community. And although it is technically referred to as Cambridge, the area that was Galt is still acknowledged as such by locals. This picturesque downtown overlooks the Grand River and has an abundance of stone buildings and architecture with a long historical tale. Many local businesses have planted their seeds in buildings that have a history much longer than their own, making visiting this area a trip to days gone by.  Read more history here.

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I am a frequent traveler to this area as many of my favourite shops can be found here. You’ve probably seen me post many treasured goods that were found in Galt and I’d like to share these spots here with you today.  Here are some of my favourite stops:

Cornerstone Interiors – Once upon a time this beautiful building was the old Woolco department store that has now been transformed to a well-collected furniture wonderland. If I had to shop at only one furniture store for my whole house, this would be it! The space is huge and the selection is amazing. Something can be found here for every style – the only problem being, you’ll want to take it all home!

The Art of Home – Whenever I need a unique quality gift for someone, this little gem is my go-to store. Whether it’s a hard-to-buy for family member, corporate holiday gift or for a best friend, The Art of Home has something delightful for everyone: home décor accessories, the cutest babywear, fine jewelry, stylish clothing and tabletop items for any home.

Monigram Coffee Roasters – This cozy café roasts and sells quality coffee and tasty eats in yet another restored stone building downtown. This java joint is a local meeting spot for business folks to students to parents and tots, making it a delightful addition to the downtown community. I can’t rave enough about their sandwiches and coffee, so hop in for a quick cup of coffee to-go or for a relaxing lunch with friends.

Southworks Antique – Said to be Canada’s largest antique selection with over 125 booths and over 30,000sq ft. of treasures, Southworks Anqitues has recently settled into their new space on Water Street in Galt. Although the building lacks the charm of the old stone architecture found on the other side of the Grand River, this new location still boasts a massive selection of amazing antiques and helpful friendly staff to help you along your way.

The Flower Market – This picturesque stone cottage sits on the river’s edge and has a good selection of arrangements, unique plant holders, houseplants and gifts. Order ahead for custom arrangements or pop in for a last-minute hostess gift or birthday surprise.

See you all soon in Galt!

Tour This Town – St. Jacobs, ON

Well known for the amazing Farmer’s Market and Mennonite history, the quaint town of St. Jacobs is bustling on any given weekend in the summer months. Leading up to Christmas, the streets fill up with lights and decorations as the town comes alive in festive spirit.

Recently, St. Jacobs was voted in the top 3 for small towns in Canada by Expedia, so it’s no wonder it’s made our list of Towns to Tour.  Many people think they have been to St. Jacobs without even being to the town because of the amazing Farmer’s Market and outlet stops just 5 minutes up the road near North Waterloo.  But the downtown of the village is a must-stop for checking off some of those hard-to-buy people off your Christmas list and learning about some of the Mennonite Heritage of the town and people.  The many shops have an array of merchandise, specialty products, homemade treats and quality furnishings.

Here are my top choices to shop at with some honourable mentions as well:

Timber Barn – An amazing showroom of not only solid building materials and customizable furniture, but some awesome gift ideas, décor pieces and home-goods as well.  Although must of the store has a rustic edge, there are some lovely modern and traditional options to spruce up any space. They have everything for your home and I can’t wait to use some of their pieces in some upcoming projects.  There are many hidden nooks in this store so take your time as to not miss a treasure.

 

Stone Crock Bakery – This is one of the founding shops of the tourist town today and I will warn you, it is likely you will leave the bakery 5 pounds heavier (if not in bags, then your tummy). Behind the abundant displays of breads, pies, muffins, donuts and more, you can see many of the hardworking employees rolling out dough or mixing batter.  Visit their restaurant, meat & cheese shop or booth at the Farmer’s Market too for more delicious goods.

 

Artefacts Salvage & Design– Just 2 short blocks off the main road, where the train stops for those traveling from the Farmer’s Market, is a rustic barn housing hundreds of years of one-of-a-kind artifacts, building supplies and furnishings. These reclaimed materials are available for purchase as-is or you can customize anything you see into a beautiful piece of furniture or décor for your home.

 

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Shadetree – It can be easy to miss this store on the main street as it is set back a bit and immersed in the shade of a beautiful tree (hence the name). But this old home is filled with theme-filled rooms of decor, accessories and gift ideas. The rooms go on-and-on so keep traveling back and up as your arms fill with wonderful finds.

Here are just a few other places worth popping into:

Home Hardware Furniture, Jacob’s Grill, Exclusive Elements,
Block 3 Brewing Company, The Village Silos, La Creme

Something to keep an eye on in the village are these two transforming properties which both have a rich history:

 

If you want delicious comfort food, to see some horse-drawn carriages and Mennonite heritage, amazing specialty shops and solid quality furnishings, St. Jacobs should be a must on your shopping list!

Tour This Town – Paris, ON

About 30 minutes West of Hamilton is the small town of Paris, ON. This riverside town is home to about 12,000 people. Since my initial visit to this town by bike (40km ride there and back… what was I thinking??), I have been attracted to its’ small town charm and alluring downtown shops. Here are my top 4 must-go-to stops in Paris:

 

  1. Piper & Oak – Since discovering this place, it is now my driving reason (no pun intended) to come to town. I can walk into this store and want to purchase half of it. Owner Sarah has a great eye for design and beautifully displays furniture, accents, décor and gift items in an effortless way. The open and spacious store design allows the browsing to feel calming and unrushed… allowing you to pick up one too many things for purchasing.  My mango wood pedestal dinning table comes from this store and remains to be one of my favourite furniture purchases.   It’s a stunning piece I am proud to own and houseguests can’t go without noticing its beauty.

 

  1. Paris Wincey Mills Co – This is like a small indoor marketplace filled with tiny treasure booths and tasty eats. I have never gone in here and it not be bustling with families, conversations over coffee and busy shop owners connecting with their community. A true treasure and must stop at location for coffee, lunch and gifts to go!

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  1. Paris Road Antiques – Just outside of town, this small stop is packed with treasures for your home. They have an abundance of furniture, mirrors, chandeliers & more antiques that spill out of their garage and onto the patio and lawn surround. Take your time so you can note each item and bring a large vehicle so you can take home something unique.

 

  1. Still Waters Plate & Pour – Breathtaking views of the river, mouth-watering menu and courteous staff – what a combo! I have eaten here a couple times and still can never make up my mind with the menu each time. The options are plentiful and it all sounds amazing. Plan to go at least once when the weather is warm so you can enjoy the patio that looks over the river.
    (I enjoy the food so much I always forget to take pictures here.  Photos are credited to stillwatersplateandpour.ca).

Tour This Town – New Hamburg, ON

About 15 minutes West of Kitchener/Waterloo is the small town of New Hamburg. For a community of just under 8,000 people, this town has a pretty bustling downtown. Several shops & restaurants grace the streets and a gorgeous park overlooking the Nith River is a nice place to spend a sunny afternoon. After poking my head into several stores and grabbing bites at many of the eateries, I have my top 4 stops to get to when in town:

 

 

  1. Imperial Market & Eatery – First of all, the food is great. You can’t go wrong with a classic selection like rotisserie chicken or smoked brisket for lunch or dinner. Their takeout options are a go-to for our family and brunch sounds amazing (need to try that soon!).
    What really makes this place for me though is the décor and design of the restaurant. It has a vintage upscale farmhouse vibe going on.  The open concept space keeps things inviting and approachable in contrast to some of the finer architectural details. Rustic wooden pantry shelves help display local goods for sale and balance out all the traditional elements.  The generous amount of beautiful chandeliers making this place feel warm. A lovely and cozy place to dine!

 

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