a peek inside the fishbowl

24 Nov, 2015

Shop local, Shop the Neighbourhood

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Ottawa|Publishing/writing/career stuff

Last year I was part of a really cool initiative called Shop the Neighbourhood. The idea behind it is to encourage people to shop locally, which I love, because I truly believe that independent stores are the backbone of our community and help make it a great place to live. I’m very happy to announce that I’m collaborating with Shop the Neighbourhood on the 2015 edition (woot!) and the big day is Saturday November 28. (You can learn more about this  campaign on their Facebook event page.)

There’s a bunch of us, from coast to coast:

Me! And the other Shop the Neighbourhood ambassadors

Jessica Deeks took this photo of me at Westboro’s Truffle Treasures for an Ottawa Magazine piece awhile back!

I’m representing Ottawa, but Halifax, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver are hosting Shop the Neighbourhood events as well.

This year I will be roaming around Westboro and using my Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook page to share some of my favourite finds. I’ll be starting off at Winston Square where Shop The Neighbourhood representatives will be spreading local cheer, so if you’re in the area, make sure you stop by and grab some goodies. Look for the yellow, and if you see me, please say hello!

To help guide my shopping I’ll be consulting an app called YP Shopwise because it highlights all the exclusive deals that participating merchants are offering on the big day.

If you happen to be reading this from a place that is NOT Ottawa, Halifax, Toronto, Calgary, or Vancouver, I do encourage you to support your local business community in ways that make sense to you. There are lots of ways you can show a little local love:

  • grab a friend and poke your heads into a shop you haven’t explored yet (Christmas is coming after all!)
  • buy your hot beverage of choice at a cool local coffee shop
  • try that new take out place around the corner for lunch, or dine out at dinner (there are a few restaurants listed in the app!)
  • I haven’t even mentioned services: haircuts, beard trims, massage or yoga classes!

… and even if you aren’t in a position to spend on Saturday, recommendations go a long way to help small businesses, both offline or online. That being said, if you’re on Twitter, follow @shopthehood_ca (and #shopthehood too!) and you may see some tweets from me there as well. :)


4 Responses to "Shop local, Shop the Neighbourhood"

1 | Claudette

November 25th, 2015 at 11:58 am


We live in a neighbourhood south of Lakeshore (along Lake Ontario) and all along Lakeshore there are many bustling little businesses, not chains, mostly mom and pop shops. The local business community here calls it “shop the shore”.

So yep! In Toronto neighbourhoods, it’s a thing, too.

2 | binki

November 25th, 2015 at 3:12 pm


I don’t get this. You are representing Ottawa? Just you…for the whole city?

3 | andrea tomkins

November 25th, 2015 at 5:24 pm


Claudette, I do love those mom and pop shops! We have lots in this area too.

Binki, to answer your question, yes, I’m representing Ottawa, even though Westboro is just a small slice of it. :)

4 | Heather

November 25th, 2015 at 5:42 pm


Thank you for the reminder. Having the REDBLACKS in the Grey Cup this year took over in the brain.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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