August 15, 2020

We know travel is looking different days and that trying to figure out how to support local and explore new things can get very confusing.

That’s why we’ve brought on our new Digital Tourism Ambassadors! Karisa, Mrinalini and Emilie will be your guides to exploring Oakville safely and responsibly during this time.

Follow along with their adventures every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday on our Instagram page for a look at all the amazing things there are to do in Oakville while staying safe.

Keep reading to learn more about our three new local guides:

Karisa:

Imagine having zero sense of direction and having no idea how you survived before the creation of the GPS.

Then your GPS starts yelling at you to turn around and you begin to panic and wonder why you had to be the adventurous child in the family.

However, all the chaos you went through is worth it when you finally arrive at your destination and embark on your new adventure. I’m Karisa and I have spent my life defying the GPS.

I was born in Jamaica and moved to Canada with my family when I was three years old. Although I miss the warm weather, I cannot imagine celebrating Christmas without snow and high wind chills. I enjoy a good cup of coffee in the morning, believe peanut butter is overrated and cannot imagine life without entertainment and having fun.

Ever since I was young, I always expressed myself in creative ways. Whether it be dance, drama, or creating crafts with my hands. Nowadays, I have been expressing my creativity through digital media such as graphic and print design, photography, video and writing. I recently graduated from the University of Guelph-Humber’s Media Studies Program, specializing in digital communications. My latest project was working as a Managing Editor and Art Director for Guelph-Humber’s Emerge Magazine.

I love all things Oakville, from its luscious trails to its picturesque small-town aesthetic. I love that Oakville is close to the largest city in Canada but far enough to not be a part of the hustle-bustle of city life.

Top 5 things to do in Oakville:

1.The 5 Drive-In

Places like these are rare. I love watching movies and it’s even better if I can watch them in my car under the stars.

2.Oakville Place Mall

The level of light in this mall is unreal. Not to mention it’s peaceful, clean and has a sophisticated mix of stores, including one of the only L.L. Beans in Canada.

3.Visiting a beautiful park

There are so many beautiful parks in Oakville, each with their own unique personality and greenery. I hope to visit Lions Valley Park, Lakeside Park and Bronte Creek Park.

4.Finding food gems

There is an abundance of restaurants in Oakville and I can’t wait to dive more into this culinary scene. From ice cream to steak, there is a little bit of everything for everyone.

5.Film.ca

Another place to watch movies and at great prices? I’m in.

COVID-19 has undoubtedly changed the summer plans of many people, as they are forced to rethink travelling across borders, attending concerts and festivals, and hanging out with friends. That’s where I come in. I would love to inform Oakville residents and regional visitors about all the great things that Oakville has to offer so that they can safely salvage the last days of summer.

Follow Visit Oakvilles’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts, and tune into their blog for my sweet finds around Oakville.

Mrinalini:

Hola Oakville! My name is Mrinalini and I am a Digital Tourism Ambassador for Visit Oakville.

As a child, I was that “quirky chatterbox with an eye for fashion”. I took that quality in stride and chose a career in journalism with a specialization in lifestyle reporting. I have five-plus years of extensive work in the field of travel, fashion, food, beauty, shopping, and celebrity interviews. Who you ask? Let’s go with Woody Allen for starters.

My work has appeared in leading Indian publications like Times of India, Little Black Book, and The New Indian Express. I have also worked with many Canadian magazines, such as Anokhi Life, Bold Magazine, Darpan Magazine, Must be Kismet, The Tempest, and 2 Peonies.

Professional writing and digital marketing pretty much consume my life. I believe there’s a thin line between social networking and wasting your life – I did the former and that’s how I get my job satisfaction.

My mantra is simple – don’t just visit a location, truly live it! While not working, I am busy planning my next trip to see the Northern Lights and Alaska. My self-professed travel addiction took me to places like the Everest Base Camp, Bali, Singapore, UAE, and Muscat. I have also extensively covered my home ground, India.

My next calling is Oakville, the picturesque and quaint town bustling with energy. I am super thrilled to find out where this new adventure takes me. I love exploring tiny, quaint, cozy boutiques and stores. With a massive sweet tooth, I am up for anything remotely close to a dessert. Call me to any part of Bronte Village or Kerr Village for a tasting and I’ll be there in the next 30 minutes. From the traditional museums and galleries to the modern golf courses and campsites, Oakville is a perfect blend of the past and the present. A selfish explorer might keep these wild discoveries to themselves, but here I am waiting to narrate my stories through my social media handles and now through Visit Oakville.

Top 5 things to do in Oakville:

1. Fall in love with golf at the Glen Abbey Golf Club

With over 25 Canadian Open Championships, this course is one of the most renowned in the country.

2. Stay at the Walnut House

This beautiful B&B is located bang in the middle of Downtown. You will want to live here forever!

3. Defy gravity at iFLY Toronto

Once this location opens up again, it would be my first stop. Experiencing indoor skydiving is unique and thrilling.

4. Shop local

Find anything and everything in Oakville thanks to so many local entrepreneurs starting their own brands.

5. Go on a hike

With Bronte Creek Provincial Park, Lions Valley Park, and The Ranch- you have more than enough options for treks, trails, cycling and hiking.

Emilie:

Hi Oakville! My name is Emilie and I’m a mid-twenty something journalism student (a lady never reveals her age). Growing up, I was always on the curious and adventurous side, which has led me down some interesting paths, most notably spending a week sleeping on the side of a mountain and trekking to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. I consider myself well-rounded interest wise. I’m happy to explore the outdoors, go on a hike, and get active, but I also enjoy a good view, a nice cocktail, a delicate French pastry, and any kind of creative, artisanal meal.

I’m a Prud’homme certified beer connoisseur and my superpower is being able to find the perfect beer for anyone, even the most vehement of beer haters. When I travel, both locally and internationally, my goal is to find the greatest things each area has to offer from patios, to landscapes, to that quirky café or bakery around the corner.

On my days off, I can be caught playing tennis, baking, working out, taking photos, watching a classic Disney film or re-watching Gilmore Girls for the 50th time. I’m incredibly open to new things, new ideas, and new experiences – I once ate a scorpion on a stick so very little is off-limits for me!

Simply put, what you’ll get from me is a lot of range. I love to show people how to enjoy an area, even if it’s right in their backyard, and how to have fun on any budget whether it’s alone or with a group. I never shy away from any experience even if it means taking my favourite book and sipping on a drink alone at a restaurant. So come along with me and let me show you all the wonderful ways to discover Oakville no matter what company you’re in!

Want to get to know me more? Check out the playlist I’ve curated for when I’m driving around Oakville, windows down, and singing my heart out!

Feel free to start a conversation with me on my Instagram (@msemiliejean) and let me know your favourite local spots, your anthems to add to my Oakville playlist, or ask for some advice (that’s what I’m here for!)

Top 5 things to do in Oakville:

1. Tribeca Coffee Co

Who doesn’t love a local cafe with amazing seasonal drinks?

2. Cucci

Delicious Italian meals? Check! Stunning desserts? Check! That’s all I need.

3. Florence Meat Supplies

The South African biltong is one of Oakville’s greatest hidden gems!

4. Cameron’s Brewing Company

I’m a sucker for a good craft beer and I always want to support local craft breweries.

5. Any park!

Oakville’s parks are beautiful and there are so many ways to pass the whole day in the sun.