St. Jacob’s, Ontario

If I lived in another country, and was visiting Canada, I would want to know about these kinds of places. That’s how I justify thinking of my blog as a travel and adventure blog even though I rarely go further than a few hours from my hometown. I’m preparing myself for when I can take bigger adventures. You’ll be the first to know.

I love exploring this Antique Shop. It has so many random items and fun kitsch. There are legitimately nice antiques too, but I don’t really care about that stuff. The building is divided into stalls, and an assortment of vendors rent the space, so you may see an over priced mason jar in one section that is much more affordable a few units down. Often times the stalls are decorated or styled, so they’re interesting to look at even if you don’t purchase anything. I always check out the vintage cameras.

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I didn’t go into the town of St. Jacob’s this time, but I checked out the Farmer’s Market. It was a gorgeous, sunny day and people were EVERYWHERE just enjoying the day, chatting and eating at a leisurely place. There is a great variety of food. There are other vendors too, but I never feel the need to purchase anything from them. They tend to sell more assembly line type products rather than real handicrafts. I can purchase tupperware and cell phone cases anywhere, you know? But check it out for the food, definitely!




Love: Places

“I was in love with the place
In my mind, in my mind
I made a lot of mistakes
In my mind, in my mind”

My blog theme for this month is LOVE, which may seem a little obvious for February, but sometimes as you as well work with a situation. The first post for the month though is about my love for a place (and my friends). I was born in Hamilton, and spent a lot of my childhood there, but that’s not why I love it now. Hamilton has such a unique vibe. It’s sort of dirty and sketchy sometimes, but all around are these old, beautiful buildings. And the Art (oh the Art!)… it’s everywhere. Art is part of the fibre of the city, and the creative community has played a central part in re-building the reputation of Hamilton.

For my birthday, I asked my friends if we could go on a book store crawl in Hamilton. It was a Sunday, so most of the bookstores were closed, but we did check out Epic Books on Locke Street. Locke has quirky street art in every alleyway, and a number of really cute, “artsy” shops, including Quills.

After Locke Street, we went over to James North to see if Mixed Media was open, since it’s one of my favourite stores. It wasn’t, but we tried out Hotti Biscotti while we were there.

We walked around to King Street to hit up old favourites after that.

The Hamilton Art Gallery is open to the public for free right now, because part of it isn’t open for renovations, so we stopped there too. I had never been before and really enjoyed it.

Then we went for sushi and ate too much, so all in all, an amazing day. Explore the city (or town) you’re in and try to do it with your eyes open for small details you might otherwise overlook.



Downtown Hamilton Shops

There are tons of small shops in downtown Hamilton that are worth visiting, but my favourite, by far, is Mixed Media on James North. It’s full of Art prints and back issues of Bust magazine, and books by Beci Orpin and other designers. The prices are reasonable and there’s always something interesting to look at, in the realm of media.

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James North is Art central in Hamilton, and hosts monthly Art crawls, plus the Super Crawl. Little galleries and Artsy shops line the street and I’m not going to go in detail on them all. My other favourite though, is the White Elephant. It’s just so pretty inside. Admittedly, this time I noticed it was more expensive and only had jewellery and clothing. It use to have paper crafts – masks, magazines, that sort of thing. white elephant 02 white elephant 03

white elephant

I guess the point is, the sellers are independent and very talented. I loved the jewellery, and it really wasn’t over-priced, I just couldn’t afford it.

We always spend time on King Street as well… down around Catherine Street. I’ve blogged about it before, but I’ll post new photos.

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Cheapies music store

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Out of the past

And finally, Ottawa Street. Ottawa Street is actually the fabric district, as is demonstrated by not only the many fabric shops but also the street signs that look like buttons and a giant needle and thread. Mixed among the fabric shops, are antique stores, some of them pretty high end. I like the junkier places though. Steeltown Pickers isn’t junkier, it’s really nice, but more affordable.

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Apparently these are my only photos from that shop.

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I don’t remember the name of this place and I can’t find it on google. I think it was Aunt Tilly’s Trunk or something. There’s place called Molly’s Back Porch, that might be it… only I thought for sure there was the word “aunt” in it. Anyway, it’s a small shop, just a room really, but very visually interesting (as you can see).

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I love this costume shop too. It’s either really tiny or just really crammed full of costumes though, so there’s not really room to move around or look at things at leisure… be prepared for awkwardness (if that kind of thing makes you feel awkward).

At last but not least, and I’ve blogged about it before, Antique Avenue. I still really love looking around the store. There is just so much to see and it’s all so quirky and interesting. That being said, it’s also gotten more expensive. I still go though, because they’ve had old Dunnville photographs twice now and in my price range! Also, I’m NOT into taxidermy animals. This store has a huge collection of them. They never use to, so I guess it’s a newer addition. antique alley 01 antique alley 02 antique alley 03 antique alley 04 antique alley 05 antique alley 06 antique alley 07 antique alley 08 antique alley 10