Over the past few weeks I have been fortunate enough to do some traveling around Ontario. It’s been a lot of fun discovering new places and returning to some of my favourite spots. In this post I highlight some fabulous places I went to in each city.
Starting off in Canada’s capital…
Ottawa is a great city with lots of excitement. It’s not all politics and government in Canada’s fourth most populated city. While I was in Ottawa I stayed with two great friends, A & S, and they introduced me to some fab new shops and restaurants.
Along the Dalhousie strip, we admired the clothes and decor at Workshop and at Victoire. Each store stocks lovely clothes and jewelry, and the sales people are friendly and helpful.
Pretty clothes and jewelry at Workshop.
Beautifully hung at Victoire.
At The Grand in Byward Market we had the most delicious meal. Pizza, meatballs and gnocchi were all deliciosi!
Oven-baked Pizza at The Grand
Delicious Italian ingredients at The Grand
At Byward Market, be sure to stop by for some fresh produce or a bouquet of flowers.
Kingston, nicknamed the Limestone City because of the many historic buildings built from the local limestone, is always a great place for a vist. In recent years, many new boutiques and restaurants have opened up in the downtown core.
For breakfast (or lunch, or dinner), Pan Chancho is the place to go. The ingredients are fresh and the meal options are unique. Oh, and the napkins are pretty. If you don’t have time for a full sit-down meal, at least stop in and gather up some baked goods and cheeses. On this visit, J & I stopped in for a morning scone and coffee. A prefect treat.
Olivea has a great casual atmosphere and a lovely selection of Italian dishes. The service is good and the food is delightful.
Antipasto at Olivea
Stop into Cooke’s to stock up on cheese, coffee and specialty food products from around the world. Be sure to take your time browsing as you’ll want to enjoy the decor of Cooke’s, which has been around since 1865.
61 Brock Street, Kingston
Old world charm at Cooke's
Princess Street is the place to go for shopping downtown. American Apparel, Lululemon, The Gap, and Urban Outfitters all have claimed a piece of this shopping strip. But there are plenty of unique options as well. For pretty jewelry, try Sterling (77A Princess Street). A new clothing store, Laundry, has recently opened up at 293 Princess Street. It feels a bit sparse at the moment but the clothes and decor are lovely. For shoes, try Heelboy (212 Princess St.) or Catwalk (320 King St.).
Or, you can skip the stores altogether and head to the market. On Saturdays, Market Square hosts a farmers’ market and on Sunday, it’s all about antiques.
On the lookout for the perfect teacup at the Antique Market
The Big City
Now, I know there are plenty of amazing stores in Toronto. In a city of over 2.5 million people, there have got to be some great shops to keep the people happy! But I sometimes feel overwhelmed with all the choices and I end up sticking to what I know and love. I always make time, for example, for a trip to IKEA. It’s a constant source of inspiration and I love strolling along with my IKEA coffee in hand. There’s always a smile on my face when I reach the fabric department, probably because the colours are so vibrant and there is almost always something on sale.
Gunvor, IKEA, $5.99 per metre
Katrin, IKEA, $7.99 per metre
Katarina, IKEA, on sale: $2.99 per metre
The possible uses of this fabric are endless. I used the Katarina to make a yoga bag. I’ve also used IKEA fabric to make a beach bag and matching cosmetic case, to recover vintage teak chairs, and to make pillows. I have a friend who made the coolest sundresses out of IKEA fabric.
I was lucky enough to spend a sunny day at Niagara-on-the-Lake. To celebrate a very special birthday of a very special someone (aka My Mom), a van full of my most favourite ladies went for Afternoon Tea at the Prince of Wales hotel. It was a glorious day and the most perfect way to celebrate.
Prince of Wales Hotel
The Drawing Room, Prince of Wales
Going to Guelph
Rated as one of Canada’s most liveable cities, Guelph is located approximately 100km west of downtown Toronto. I spent a weekend here with C & S as exceptional tour guides, showing me the best of Guelph.
Best Breakfast: With The Grain (294 Woolwich St.)
Best Used Book Store: Macondo Books (18 Wilson St.)
Best Lovely Clothing Store: Blush (38 Quebec St.)
Best Used Clothing Store: Meow (10 Carden St.)
Best Dinner: Atmosphere Cafe (64 Carden St.)
This way to breakfast at With the Grain.
Prettiness at Blush.
Hats at Meow
In this city in Southwestern Ontario, there’s plenty to see and do.
Start with a coffee at The Little Red Roaster or a tea from the Tea Haus in Covent Market.
Richmond Row is the place for independently owned clothing boutiques and restaurants. Stroll along and take in the window displays from Dundas to Oxford Streets. For high-end shopping, go straight to Fisher & Company. This store has an exquisite selection of clothing.
Fisher & Company
If you need a break from the city, head to the beach. Grand Bend is only one hour away. There is no better way to spend a glorious sunny day!
Grand Bend, Lake Huron
Obviously this is not an exhaustive list of what each of the above cities has to offer. Go – have fun – and explore! And let us know your favourite spots for fashion, food or fun!
Many thanks to my city tour guides: Shannon, Adrienne, Jennifer, Catherine, & Steve.
Photos courtesy of Workshop, Victoire, The Grand, Olivea, Pan Chancho, Cooke’s, Ikea, Prince of Wales, fashionmagazine.com, flickr.com, grandbend.com, and Jordana.