AAA Travel Tips / Toronto Off the Beaten Path

Toronto Off the Beaten Path

AAA/Patricia Miller
By AAA Travel Editor Patricia Miller
November 06, 2018
If you’re in search of a change of pace from Toronto’s high-energy lifestyle, take a drive south to the quirky yet quaint town of Hamilton. Part of the greater Toronto area, this haven for hipsters is often compared to Brooklyn, New York, and has lots of fun things to do; it’s home to many unique restaurants, eclectic art galleries and stylish boutiques.
Hamilton Farmers Market in Hamilton Ontario Canada
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Hamilton Farmers’ Market
35 York Blvd.
(905) 546-2096
The modern mirrored building that contains this indoor farmers’ market may cause you to wonder, but step inside and you’ll see there’s nothing too unusual about its contents. About 60 booths hold a delightful array of locally produced vegetables, fruits, meats, seafood and cheeses. If you’re looking for a quick bite, choose from prepared foods that you can eat on the spot, including poke bowls, ramen, and Mexican and Indian dishes.
James Street North Art District Hamilton Ontario Canada
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James Street North Monthly Art Crawl
Between King and Murray streets
The arts are alive and well in Hamilton, with plenty of thriving galleries in its various neighborhoods, including James Street North. Check out the Art Crawl, a free and fun event beginning at 4 p.m. on the second Friday of each month. Many merchants stay open until 11 p.m., giving you ample time to enjoy the eye candy and pick up a piece of art as a souvenir of your vacation. Lend an ear to street musicians who supply the soundtrack to a leisurely evening.
Inside Mulberry Street coffeehouse in Hamilton
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Mulberry Street Coffeehouse
193 James St. N.
(905) 963-1365
A bevy of coffeehouses fill Hamilton, and that’s a good thing, because if there’s one thing that Hamiltonians love, it’s a good cup of joe. A prime example is Mulberry Street Coffeehouse, a local hangout in a former 1887 hotel with original white plaster ceiling medallions, brick walls and some of the finest java you’ve ever sipped. Take a moment to savor a freshly brewed iced tea or chill-chasing latte made with fair trade, organic coffee and a homemade vegan or gluten-free muffin. Stick around for some live music and discover talented Canadian performers.
Shops on James Street North
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James Street North Shopping District
James Street North (between King and Murray streets)
A true shopaholic could spend days here, especially if he or she has a thing for one-of-a-kind shops that aren’t likely to be found elsewhere. James Street North is home to one of Hamilton’s most varied shopping districts: Pop into bohemian boutiques tucked into late 19th-century townhomes, including Blackbird Studios and O’s Clothes; a store named STORE that sells artisan-crafted ceramic, leather and wood items; and a candy shop called Chocolat on James, to name a few.