Guest Post: Shop Local in Canada's Capital
Today's post is brought to you by Malorie Bertrand of EF Magazine. Malorie is a freelance writer, blogger, and stylist in Ottawa, Canada. If you like my blog, you'll love finding out about cool fashion brands and sustainable beauty on EF Magazine! Follow her on a sustainable tour through Ottawa...
Call me crazy, but I think it's often quite hard to find a city's shopping area gems. Don't you agree? It's easy to find the touristy spots — for Ottawa this includes Parliament Hill, the Rideau Canal, Chateau Laurier, the Byward Market and Sparks Street, to name a few. It's equally as easy to find shopping malls, but if you want the quaint boutique or cozy cafe, you have to dig a little deeper or be a really good sleuth and sniff out the hot spots on various travel blogs.
So I've put together a short list of some of my favourite places to shop in Ottawa for Made in Canada, locally made, ethical, sustainable, vintage, you name it fashion. This isn't an exhaustive list but these are my go-tos when pulling for photo shoots or buying for myself.
Starting from east to west:
Young Janes is an adorable vintage boutique on Dalhousie Street, just east of the famous Byward Market. Dalhousie is a great little shopping district with the original Victoire Boutique location (more on that diamond to come), Workshop, Wunderkamer and now Isabelle too. Young Janes is a well-curated shop full of vintage finds that somehow manage to be contemporary and oh-so-wearable. Owner Mika and her husband used to live in the UK and she is as trendy as they come.
Bread & Sons Bakery
Bread & Sons Bakery is my go-to for scrumptious, vegan, chocolate oatmeal cookies or a refreshing cold, gazpacho soup. You might want to stop here on your way west. Hope on the 2 Bayshore bus on Bank Street and you'll be at our next shopping destination in fifteen minutes!
Oresta Organic Skin Care
Oresta Organic Skin Care is a well-established, locally owned organic spa and eco-beauty business with three locations in the city. Owner Oresta has designed each location with warm, wooden furniture to showcase a beautiful collection of hand-picked all-natural and organic skin care, body and makeup lines. My favourite place for a facial!
Bridgehead Roastery is where the magic happens, for coffee that is. Bridgehead is a local coffee shop that has expanded to 15 locations, plus the new roastery space. The coffee is fair trade, organic, and strong, just the way I like it.
Victoire is Ottawa's boutique darling that has found much success. As I mentioned before, co-owners Katie and Regine expanded to this second location and most recently opened up a shop in Toronto on Ossington. Victoire is known for their pretty dresses and rockstar accessories, not to mention the retro decor and that timeless floral wallpaper. Here you'll find a plethora of Canadian designers.
Right next door is the lovely Jasmine Virani and her namesake store/studio. Jasmine not only sells pieces from her own line but a slew of other jewelry lines from all over Canada. Expect a lot of silver, gold, raw stones, and recycled materials.
Twiss & Weber
Twiss & Weber is the new kid on the block. I (gasp) have yet to actually go into the store, but I've poked my head in once and squished my face up against its windows a few times to take a peek after hours. Co-owners Laura and Tonia met through mutual hobbies of knitting, felting, and dyeing and five years later opened up shop to sell their own ethical clothing line. The shop also features accessories from other Ottawa-based and Canadian designers.
AMH Style is my favourite consignment shop in Ottawa. It is beautifully laid out with wall-to-wall fashions for all types at great second-hand prices. From high-end vintage to popular lines such as BCBG and Club Monaco, this shop is always my first stop.
Green Tree Eco-Fashion
Green Tree Eco-fashion is Ottawa's first contemporary eco-fashion boutique and it has a loyal following of shoppers. I also pull from here for shoots a lot because owner Sara offers a lot of European and US lines I can't find anywhere else in town. Green Tree also carries one of Ottawa's only eco-fashion lines, Duffield Design, which offers beautiful, stretchy pieces that are lovingly hand dyed.
Cafe My House
After a long day of shopping, head back east on Wellington to Cafe My House for a delicious raw food experience. The ambiance is wonderful and I would highly recommend sitting outside in the restaurant's private courtyard.
Here's a link to a Google Map of all of the places!
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