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I spent this afternoon walking through Hintonburg. It’s a neighbourhood in Ottawa that I’ve heard lots of good things about. It’s my understanding that the neighbourhood is under going gentrification which on one hand means higher rents and displacement of long time residents (something I know well having lived and worked in St Henri in Montreal), but on the other hand it means young entrepreneurs opening interesting shops and restaurants that offer local and sustainable fare.

I certainly don’t have the answers on how to address these types of controversial community transitions – especially in a city that is new to me, but I don’t want to ignore small businesses trying their best to offer Canadian made products and support local artisans while I figure it out. So today with a sense of curiosity and an open mind I went for a walk through the neighbourhood and dropped in the shops that caught my eye.

I started my walk at Bayview Station and made my way to Wellington Street West. It was quite a hot afternoon. I wore this outfit.

Obviously no wig! Though even without it I must say I was overdressed for the heat. I should have worn short sleeves and brought my fan. Usually it is cool in late August. Not this summer!

First stop was Maker House. This shop features handcrafted furniture and homewares from over 90 local artisans. Lots of wood items to be found in this space. All quite charming. The space is shared with Brew Donkey which offers tours to 18 local craft breweries in Ottawa. I don’t drink so this is not for me, but it does sound like a lot of fun for those who enjoy a pint!

A video posted by Seska Lee (@seskalee) on

A photo posted by Seska Lee (@seskalee) on

Then I got a smoothie and a salad at Simply Raw Express. I had the smoothie right away and saved the salad for supper.

A photo posted by Seska Lee (@seskalee) on

I popped into the clothing shop Muriel Dombret. I LOVE the designs and that the collection is designed and sewed in house. I have my eye on the linen trousers to replace my cheaply made and paid for Joe Fresh ones. I really want to make the move from fast fashion to more sustainable high quality local clothing.

Afterwards, I popped over to the thrift store run by Society of St Vincent de Paul. I am on the look out for a blouse like this one for my fall/winter capsule wardrobe. I want to get it at a thrift store, but unfortunately, I did not find anything here this time. I will keep trying.

Next, I went to Flock. I’ve shopped here before when I used to visit Ottawa. I quite like the Canadian made collections they carry. I was super interested in a shirt dress by designer Allison Wonderla – or maybe in this fabric. I think it is something I could wear as is, with jeans, leggings, trousers or a skirt. I could also layer my fancy long underwear underneath it as well as wear a sweater on top. Hopefully they will still have it next week when I can buy it. It’s pricey but when you have a Ten Item Wardrobe like I do investment pieces make a lot of sense and cents. Ha ha ha. ;-)

At this point I was hungry again so I went to Strawberry Blonde Bakery. This isn’t true. I wasn’t actually hungry but I did go. It was because I happened upon a sign that directed me down a side street to this awesome little shop of vegan delights!

A video posted by Seska Lee (@seskalee) on

A photo posted by Seska Lee (@seskalee) on

A photo posted by Seska Lee (@seskalee) on

My last stop was Rikochet Resale which is a consignment store. I left two leather handbags I no longer wanted and they sold so I had a credit. I used it to buy a pair of boots from Vegetarian Shoes. How lucky was I that they had an awesome pair on non-leather boots in my size. So lucky!

A photo posted by Seska Lee (@seskalee) on

By then I was well on Richmond Road so I headed to Westboro Station and the Transitway to take a bus home.

PS I will try over the next few months to explore other neighbourhoods. I will also actually take photos of them. This was a bit of an unpredictable day and I’m using a very busted iPhone as a camera so I’m not in the best position to be a photojournalist. ;-)

A photo posted by Seska Lee (@seskalee) on

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