Small-town life is the best kind of life, if you ask anyone who has had the good fortune of settling in Bobcaygeon. (Residents from our Port 32 and Encore communities will all vouch.) A flourishing downtown filled with locally-owned shops and restaurants, a beautiful setting and friendly locals: check, check and check. In a nutshell, the small but thriving area has got it going on. (If you can’t tell, we’re big fans.)
And, nowhere is the area’s charm felt more strongly than in the collection of shops that dot the downtown landscape and those of the surrounding towns. Whether we’re building you a custom cottage or home – or you’re anticipating Encore at Port 32, everything from furnishings and accessories are a stone’s throw away.
What are the shops we find ourselves frequenting the most?
Here are our top five favorite spots:
#1: My Favorite Things (facebook.com/MyFavouriteThingsBobcaygeon)
With a name like My Favorite Things, it’s no wonder this one tops our list. Even without a peek at the interiors, there are clues this one is special. Brick pavers lead up to the gorgeous Georgian-style private-residence-turned-shop; a scalloped awning, black shutters and red accent stars add architectural flair. The interiors are just as eye-catching.
Walking through the collection of art, furniture and décor is like visiting the home of friend—a friend with impeccable taste. You could blissfully browse for hours (and we do!)—taking in everything from the seasonal tablescapes in the dining room to the ever-changing offerings in the relaxed but refined living room. It’s the perfect spot to find inspiration and an escape.
#2: Gilstorf & Gray (www.gilstorfandgray.ca)
If farmhouse chic is your thing, then Gilstorf & Gray—“where old-fashioned general store meets artisan gallery”— will be your happy place. This gorgeous little corner of the world is brimming with an eclectic collection of artwork, antiques, and home décor with influences ranging from industrial to French Country.
From vintage housewares to chippy furniture, every piece on the floor has simple appeal. Still, the overall vibe is fresh and clean, making the shop a go-to for those who crave a cozy but modern look. The well-curated collection focuses on Canadian designers and artisans so you can feel as good about supporting locals as you do about your beautiful new spaces.
#3: Southern Comfort Hearth & Home (www.southerncomfort.ca)
Whether you’re outfitting your home or yourself, achieving a look that’s on-trend (without being trendy) and timeless (without being tired) isn’t easy. Unless you shop at Southern Comfort, that is. In this Lindsay shop, just a short drive from Bobcaygeon, classic meets chic and local meets high-style.
As soon as you enter, you’ll immediately want to decorate your entire home to look just like Southern Comfort—and you can. The one-stop-shop showroom is filled with enticing vignettes of decorative accessories and furniture for every room from kitchen to bedroom to bathroom. And, we’ll let you in on a secret: It’s where we buy most everything you see in our Port 32 and Encore model homes.
#4: Stony Lake Furniture Co (www.stonylakefurniture.ca)
Head east from Bobcaygeon, and you’ll soon reach Lakefield, a charming small town chocked full of great shops. Once you arrive, make a beeline for Stony Lake Furniture Co.
Here you’ll discover quiet natural textiles (think: nubby linen pillows covers and tea towels, handcrafted clay pottery and ceramic dishes). The vibe is totally zen. While you’re there, don’t miss the opportunity to chat with owner/interior designer Lisa Besseling, whose trained eye can help style your spaces to perfection.
#5: North 65 (facebook.com/North-65)
Bring homespun cabin style to your new interiors with a visit to North 65. Whether you’re wanting to go rustic from floor to ceiling—you’ll find sofas, clocks, mirrors, light fixtures and more—or just hoping to score a single conversation pieces, North 65 has got you covered. From Adirondack chairs and twiggy furniture to landscape art and wildlife-themed accessories, you’re sure to find something to warm up your spaces.
As engaging as the area’s retail options are, eventually, you’ll need a break. Thankfully, Bobcaygeon’s dining scene is on point, too. Here are three spots to grab a bite or sip—all just a stone’s throw from Port 32 and Encore:
Kawartha Coffee Co. If you need a quick pick-me-up, the Kawartha Coffee Company delivers happiness in a cup—or on a plate. Everything from their specialty lattes to their soups, salads and sandwiches feature organic, locally-sourced ingredients.
Check the chalkboards for the day’s specialties (and revolving art and clever quotes). Insider tip: They have a surprisingly impressive lineup of authentic Mexican dishes. If you’re craving something south of the border, go with the Tostada Tower. You can thank us later.
Grilled Cheese Hideaways. Crisp on the outside and ooey gooey on the inside, this aptly-named spot has mastered the art of the grilled cheese. Stick with a classic or choose one of the cheekily-named specialities, like Great Balls of Fire (it includes red pepper pesto, banana peppers and bacon) or the Lady Marmalade with blue cheese, bacon marmalade and arugula.
Freshly baked sweets and savories from pies and cupcakes to sausage rolls and chicken pot pie pull in the crowds (a mix of locals and day trippers) at this cozy spot. Relax over a mini quiche or cinnamon roll, then take a bag of butter tarts to-go; flaky and full of flavor, they’re the best around.
Ready to be a part of a community that has it all?