When it comes to saving money, I’m no winner.

And when it comes to shopping for clothes my motto goes a little something like this: a perfect fit, a perfect find.

While my pockets might not be overflowing with bills, my closet is full of pieces that have lead to fashion forward (and yes, I admit) backward moments in time.  For the impulsive shopper, or the harmless hoarder, a change in season serves as a great time to – obviously – make room for more purchases.

A good rule of thumb when determining shelf life is to pass on anything that hasn’t been worn in the last year.  Take time to learn about thrift stores located nearby in order to lend a hand to those in need.


An afternoon spent shopping is usually one of leisure, exploring the sales sections and identifying new trends.  With mom by my side, my partner in pattern mixing and style matching, I always have someone available to provide a second opinion.  Brutal honesty is a girl’s necessary best friend.

While commercial shopping centers serve as a one-stop shop, overwhelming crowds and long lines make for wasted time.  The only thing one-of-a-kind about designer brands is the price tag.  Actively choosing to shop local, allows for a more engaged shopping experience.  On Saturday, November 28, celebrate nation wide, as the third annual Shop the Neighbourhood continues to sell its mission.  An initiative of Yellow Pages, Shop the Neighbourhood, “is a local shopping event that celebrates small businesses and reminds Canadians how shopping locally makes a difference in all our lives”.  As noted by the campaign’s website, supporting local shopping results in creating neighbourhood prosperity, keeping dollars close to home and reducing environmental impact.  As the event gained national reach last year, over 8,000 small businesses joined the movement and more than 6,000 deals and promotions were offered to consumers.  Mark the date on the calendar and help to strengthen Canada’s local economies – one purchase at a time.

Take a stroll along your favorite forgotten street.  Take a browse store to store with your coffee in one hand, your clutch in the other.  Give buying your favorite find of the day a whole new meaning.  Check out www.ShopTheNeighbourhood.ca to learn how to participate for free as a business or a shopper.  Size up the action by using the hashtag #shopthehood.


For those familiar with the Burlington downtown area, add these must-stops to your shopping list – promising a fresh wakeup call, a new color to your wardrobe and an afternoon nibble.


Tamp Coffee Co.

Tucked away on Pine Street, full of charm and curb appeal, Tamp relies mainly on word of mouth to draw coffee lovers.  The regularity of the company’s online updates reflects the lax nature of the place.  Casual, comfy and super cozy, its earthy tones, chalkboard menus and industrial design make it hard to just grab and go.  The specialty coffee and tea shop uses the latest single brewing methods to bring high quality and flavor to each cup.  Home to a custom roast profile consisting of three single origins, the taste of Tamp is a rim above the rest.  During warmer months, catch a couple rays and a creative vibe on its secluded back patio.


Centro Garden


Centro’s season-to-season mission: live outside inside.  Inspiring consumers to return to the basics, the business promotes, “a way to continue the love for all things green while pursuing the belief that lifestyle, design and art can play a much stronger role in the garden store experience”.  A favorite among many Burlington residents, Centro supports community development through its seasonal farmer’s market and available workshops.  Always thinking outside of the norm, the place warrants a lengthy visit – you’ll be sure to miss a thing or two.  Those passing through will easily become interested in not only the products, but also the display.


Lettuce Love Café


Canada’s first 100% gluten-free vegan restaurant, Lettuce Love Café puts a whole lot of heart into what you find on your plate.  Committed to the belief that food is an essential source of energy, health, longevity and happiness, Lettuce Love is proud to offer meal choices consisting of local, fair-trade and organic food.  Although making the declaration to help consumers #EatBetter, the cafe’s menu does not limit appetites.  Colorful options including diverse soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers and bowls promise to satisfy any food craving.  For those on the run, available smoothies (green smoothie, almond buttercup smoothie) are sure to provide individuals with full and flavorful daily necessary nutrients.


Check online for a full list of participating businesses in your city.

About The Author

Laura Shirk
Theatre Professional

Laura is a University of Guelph alumna with an Honours Degree in Theatre Studies. Through her writing, she looks to engage with the online community and share her interest of arts and culture. She has no shame when it comes to dancing in public. Achievements: -Published Writer: primary contributor for Illuminessence e-magazine, a lifestyle magazine celebrating young professional women -Tottering Biped Theatre General Manager: a touring theatre company that aims to explore suburban theatre - during my time with TBT, I served as a community arts representative and helped to implement its first annual university touring theatre program, establish the Arts and Cultural Collective of Burlington and organize the first annual TBT Film Festival

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