November 19, 2020

By: Emilie Lapointe

Despite new restrictions coming into effect this week, there are still ways to safely explore local neighbourhoods with members of your household while supporting your favourite local businesses. This week, we are headed to the eclectic part of town: Kerr Village. With over 50 restaurants and many shops to discover, there is something for every taste in Kerr. Browse the Kerr Village BIA business directory to plan ahead when heading out.

Wake up: Time to caffeinate

If you’re like me and my family members, a day doesn’t begin without a warm drink in hand (whether coffee, tea, or hot chocolate), so grabbing a quick morning pick-me-up from Vereda Central seems essential. This local café specializes in Colombian brews that can also be bought in bags to bring home. They serve up many beloved favourites like aeropress, macchiatos, matcha lattes and many more!

Brunch to-go at Kerr Street Café

As a brunch fanatic, it’s a mystery how I’ve made it this long as a local tourism ambassador without a visit to Kerr Street Café. The café has been offering Kerrbside pickup for several months now. The ordering process is easy and the menu features brunch staples like pancakes and eggs benedict in an elevated way. I ordered the Staxx to share, which may very well be a contender for the most beautiful looking (and tasting) breakfasts I’ve ever had.

While the weather is not as uncharacteristically warm as the last couple of weeks, I simply bundled up a bit more and took the short walk over to my favourite Kerr Village park – Westwood Park. There is a charm to this park that I haven’t found elsewhere in Oakville – the archways, pockets of landscaping and cement chess table and chairs make it a special local spot to get some fresh air. If you have a friend or family member with their own chess pieces, bring them along for a little friendly competition in the park!

Where to shop

Although in-store browsing right now may not be in your comfort zone, stores in Oakville have made it easier to shop with updated websites to browse and order with delivery or curbside pick-up.

Holiday shopping for friends and family

On my last visit to Kerr Village, I noticed a carousel of character keychains from Belle to Naruto at Dove + Arrow. These make for a thoughtful local gift for a friend or family member this season. Choose their favourite character or choose a character you feel embodies some of their key personality traits, attach the keychain in a card and explain your reasoning for the pick!

Stores are continuing to roll out their holiday offerings, décor and window displays, so my suggestion is to grab a snack and walk the length of Kerr St. and do a little window shopping to take in all that’s available.

Stock up on cozy crafting items

This is the perfect shop for the craftier people in your life! It is described as a knitter’s paradise. With a rainbow of different coloured and textured yarns and knowledgeable staff, you’re in good hands at The Wool Bin. Even if you’re hopeless with knitting needles in hand, the shop carries winter blanket kits that are more beginner-friendly.

In case you’re feeling snacky

If you need a little snack along the way and you are ready to embrace your inner Elsa (with the cold not bothering you), I recommend a couple scoops of gelato from La Dolce Vita – the candy cane flavour is back! Get your final gelato fix before they close for the walk-in season on November 22. For a slightly less chilly snack option, check out The Sweetest Thing for some cupcakes and baked goods. Eat these baked goodies on-the-go or take them home with you to host a mini household tea party!

Dive into some French literature

As a member of a French family, I was excited to visit local French bookstore Il Était Une Fois (translates to “Once Upon a Time” in English), with my family to beef up our bookshelves. The store mainly offers titles in French for kids, teens and adults, however, there are also English titles as well as comics, décor, stationery, toys and games. Whether you are a native French speaker, shopping for one, or looking for someone in your life who is learning French, this is a charming shop.

Takeout dinner from J.A.C’s Bistro

As the sun sets and the temperature dips, that is usually my cue to grab my dinner to-go and enjoy it in the comfort of my own home. If you’re still feeling hungry and want to treat yourself, J.A.C’s Bistro, a local family-owned and operated establishment, offers a seasonal menu featuring rustic Italian and French dishes. Being able to share good food with my loved ones is a joy for me. Make a takeout night special with your household by grabbing a few meals to share and watching a movie together. 

Ways to support local in your neighbourhood:

  1. Shop online or order for curbside pickup this holiday season
  2. Purchase gift cards for restaurants, spa services or cinemas to gift to someone you love or use yourself for later
  3. Take advantage of the winterized patio dining or order from local restaurants for pickup or delivery
  4. Share your favourite stores with friends and family to encourage more and more local shopping

Looking forward to the upcoming festivities

It has never been more important to shop and support local and with the holiday season approaching, I’ve made sure to keep my eyes out for local gift options for friends and family. Beyond gifts, there are also many unique ways to enjoy the season with your bubble and support local. Local bakery, The Sweetest Thing, takes orders for beautiful custom cakes and other baked goods that would make for a perfect sweet treat to share or send to your loved ones this winter.

Beloved local cinema has had to shutter their doors for now, but are offering movie snacks to-go for an at-home movie night. Let’s face it, popping your own popcorn at home will never taste as good as movie theatre popcorn! You can also still support this local gem by purchasing gift cards for later use.

As the season approaches, seasonal deals will be made available by local businesses, so get creative with how you support local this season with catering options, private experiences and custom orders!