September 24, 2020

By: Karisa Simon

Oakville is home to three distinct BIAs (Downtown Oakville, Kerr Village and Bronte Village), each so unique and full of life that you could spend an entire day exploring just one of these local neighbourhoods. This week, I’m going to concentrate on Downtown Oakville.

Downtown Oakville is a lively shopping and cultural district that is home to over 400 businesses, the Oakville Museum, The Oakville Galleries and the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts. I know that all this might seem slightly overwhelming and may have left you wondering where to start. Don’t worry. I have you covered. Below is an itinerary that outlines how you can spend a day in Downtown Oakville from the early morning to the evening.

Wake-up activity: Catch the sunrise at the lake

Lakeside Park

Kick-start your day by taking in the beauty of the sunrise at one of Downtown Oakville’s waterfront parks. Settled on the shores of Lake Ontario, Dingle Park has a stunning and intimate view of vast Canadian waters and the Toronto skyline. You can also catch these views at Lakeside Park’s open and expansive lookout. Make the most of your time at Lakeside Park and take advantage of the paved trail, park, picnic tables and benches. You can stroll along the pier, take in the sights of the marina and even walk all the way down to the light tower park. There is no better place to watch the sunrise.

Address: Dingle Park- 240 Front St, Lakeside Park- 2 Navy St

Breakfast: Sunnyside Grill South Oakville and Croissant Express

Sunnyside Grill
Courtesy of: Downtown Oakville

Breakfast anyone? You are going to need a good hearty meal if you’re going to spend a full day in Downtown Oakville, and there are amazing restaurants that serve breakfast in this district. A must-try spot is Sunnyside Grill South Oakville. This contemporary diner serves a wide variety of breakfast options that are sure to leave you wanting more.

If you’re looking for another option, visit Croissant Express. This cozy European-inspired cafe has the best croissants. They also have delightful pastries and other breakfast items such as sandwiches. Grab a table outside and enjoy!

Address: Sunnyside Grill –337 Lakeshore Rd E, Croissant Express- 325 Lakeshore Rd E

Morning activity: The Ten Spot and afternoon tea

Nyla's Room

Manicure, anyone? The colder seasons are approaching, so why not pamper yourself with a wonderful facial and stunning fall nail design. Visit The Ten Spot for a relaxing spa treatment at an affordable price. From manicures to laser treatments, The Ten Spot will have you feeling like a ten. 

After getting beautified, strut over to Nyla’s Room for some afternoon Tea. This award-winning gelato and espresso cafe is offering a delightful high tea experience in their Tea Room. Menu options include a pot of loose leaf tea and a beautiful tiered cake stand filled with Nyla’s Class Cream Tea Celebration items. This includes freshly-baked scones served alongside clotted cream and seasonal jam, or Nyla’s Sweet Bites items – lemon madelines with mascarpone pastry cream and Japanese-style cheesecake. I treated my mother to this experience and she left with a huge smile on her face. The excellent service left her feeling like she was sipping tea with her majesty, the Queen. Dining at Nyla’s Tea Room is a must-try experience this fall.

Address: The Ten Spot – 302 Lakeshore Rd E, Nyla’s Room- 109 Thomas St

Lunch: The King’s Arms or Dar Nabati

Dar Nabati
Courtesy of: Downtown Oakville

Downtown Oakville has many wonderful restaurants that will provide you with a tasty lunch. For this itinerary, I suggest indulging in a delicious meal at Dar Nabati. This Best Vegan Menu Talk of the Town Award-winner is a modern Middle Eastern restaurant that uses plant-based ingredients and big flavours in all their dishes. From buffalo cauliflower bites to out-of-this-world flatbreads and shawarmas, Dar Nabati’s menu is for everyone.

Another great place to have lunch is The Kings Arms. Nothing beats eating a great burger and you will not find a better one than at this 2019 Best Burger Talk of the Town Award-winner. They also serve tasty appetizers, salads and bowls, and mouthwatering main dishes. This British-inspired pub will leave you asking for more.

 Address: The King’s Arm- 323 Church St, Dar Nabati- 333 Lakeshore Rd E

Afternoon activity:  Music in Towne Square and shopping

Towne Square

Stroll by Towne Square on Saturday and enjoy a free outdoor musical performance. Tap your shoes and bob your head to a wonderful musical selection from The Oakville Chamber Orchestra from noon to 1 p.m. Their final show is Saturday, Sept. 26.

After listening to music at Towne Square, explore the amazing shops that Downtown Oakville has to offer. This neighbourhood is home to a variety of small businesses that offer exceptional service for every shopper, including clothing stores, jewellery shops, furniture and decor, beauty, electronics and gift stores.

Last week, I visited some of Downtown Oakville’s finest novelty stores; The Homebody Studio, Nicety’s and Maker’s Mojo. These stores sell a curated selection of unique items that you will not find anywhere else. The holidays are approaching, so get an early start to gift shopping at one of these amazing stores.

Address: Towne Square- 94 George St, The Home Body Studio- 176 Lakeshore Road E, Nicety’s –146 Lakeshore Rd E, Maker’s Mojo-331 Lakeshore Rd E

Afternoon break: Tribeca Coffee Co

Tribeca Cafe

Shopping can work up quite an appetite, so take a break and grab a cup of coffee at the popular Tribeca Coffee Co. As a coffee lover, I always appreciate a nice cup of rich coffee in a beautifully designed space. With delicious coffee, an industrial yet hip aesthetic and the nutty aroma, this cafe will meet all your foodie needs.

Address: 174 Lakeshore Rd E

Evening activity: A visual experience at Towne Square Gallery

Towne Square Gallery
Courtesy of: Downtown Oakville

Take in the sights of the wonderful art selection at the Towne Square Gallery. This remarkable selection of original art pieces by Canadian and international artists will leave you awestruck. This gallery displays a profound collection of subject matter and media, such as acrylic, oil, sculpture, etc. Admission is free, so stop by for a visit with their contemporary art pieces.

Address: 94 George St Unit 4

Dinner: Noble Bistro or Piazza Bistro

Piazza Bistro
Courtesy of: Downtown Oakville

It’s dinner time! There are so many restaurants in Downtown Oakville, you’ll have trouble narrowing down your final selection. Don’t worry if you miss something this time around, you can always try a new restaurant during your next visit. For this itinerary, I suggest going to Piazza Bistro for a delicious slice of pizza. This restaurant prides themselves with serving great food and providing excellent service. Their dinner menu is composed of flavorful antipasti, salads, pasta, entrees and a wide selection of pizza dishes. They use fresh ingredients and hand stretch their pizza to perfection.

Craving seafood? Head to the infamous Noble Bistro. Executive chef JohnRoss Woodland was the 2014 winner of Chopped Canada and was also named as one of the Top 30 Chefs under the age of 30 in Canada. From seafood chowder to snow crab, this modern high-end restaurant has a mouthwatering seafood menu. Not a seafood lover? There are plenty of other delicious menu items that are to die for, such as the decadent lamb burger.

Address: Noble Bistro-218 Lakeshore Rd E, Piazza Bistro– 94 George St

Evening: Drinks at Bru

Courtesy of: Downtown Oakville

End the day with a nice cold beer at the 2019 Best Craft Beer Talk of the Town Award-winner, BRU. This town favourite has one of the best selections of craft beers in the city with over 16 drafts. Not to mention, they support over 15 Ontario breweries and premium imports. They also serve classic pub cuisine, like fish and chips, gourmet burgers and amazing cocktails.

Address: 142 Lakeshore Rd E

Downtown Oakville

And there you have it, a full itinerary for one day in Downtown Oakville. As you can see, there are a lot of excellent activities and restaurants in this district that you can immerse yourself, your friends and your family in. I hope this one-day Downtown Oakville itinerary convinces you to visit Downtown Oakville and assist you in having an amazing day.

Happy exploring!