At one time Kerr Street in Oakville was a good place to stop for antiques, a slice of pizza and a few of those hard to find items not available anywhere else. Today, you will find an exciting and eclectic mix of retail stores and services, and for food lovers, a diverse choice of great independent locally owned coffee shops, restaurants, and specialty food stores.
A COMMUNITY DESTINATION
The face of Kerr Street has been changing for a while now, but the pace of change has accelerated with the development of several new condominiums in the area, and since the approval of a pilot project about a year ago by Oakville’s Planning and Development Council. “There’s a wide variety of shops and culinary destinations here that offer a very unique vibe and atmosphere,” explains Kerr Village BIA Executive Director, Doug Sams. “People find this a great place to relax because of the unique culture,” he adds.
Corrine Filler and Alexandre Fellmeth, owners of Chocolate Alphabet & Casa del Gelato say it was very attractive for them to locate their business in an “up and coming” area. At their store, customers can buy chocolate gilded in 24 carat gold lettering made using stencils from France, authentic French macarons, gluten-free and lactose-free desserts, and sugar-free gelato, sweetened with guava juice.
“I like the feel of the neighbourhood,” says Olivo Fresco Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar Tasting Rooms owner, Georgette Theodore, whose store opened in 2012. “It’s very multi-cultural and there are already some established businesses like Stoney’s Bread Company across the street.” As luck would have it, she saw Stoney’s featured on an episode of The Food Network’s “You Gotta Eat Here” while still living in Halifax. They looked at a property on Kerr and realized it was across the street from Stoney’s. “That was a big, big draw,” she says. Her most popular sellers are the Tuscan Herb Oil and Fig Dark Balsamic Vinegar.
Many of the long-term business owners in the area have been looking forward to the changes. Craig Hansen, owner of Hansen & Lübbers (Elite Farrow & Ball Stockist) says, “I’ve been a retailer in Oakville for 16 years and I have always wanted to be part of the revitalization of Kerr Village. I’m glad to be part of the new vibe.” His business serves all homeowner’s needs including colour consultations exclusively with Farrow & Ball paint, drapery, furniture and more.
New condominium developments at either end of the village will increase foot traffic to the area, and the village itself is a great draw for potential home buyers. “It’s very appealing to have so many services and food choices close to where you live without having to get in your car and drive,” says Theodore.
The appeal of the area is not only its overall vibe but also the variety of unique discoveries and services available. You can enjoy the area day or night, since many shops are open until 9pm or later. At Chocolate Alphabet customers stop by after dinner for coffee and dessert. “They’ll bring the whole family instead of preparing dessert at home,” Filler says.
If you’re like Sams, the more you visit Kerr Village, the more chances you’ll have to satisfy any food craving you have. “I have had the opportunity to experience the wide variety of places to get a meal or a snack,” he says. “There’s so much to do you could make a weekly visit throughout the entire summer and find something new to experience every time.”
So if you haven’t been to Kerr Village in a while, it really is time to re-discover this wonderful neighbourhood. Whether you are looking for fresh oysters or a cappuccino, sushi or Thai take-out, organic fruit and vegetables or a delicious pasta dinner, you won’t be disappointed. Take a look at our map to see a small selection of the choices available to you.
By: Becky Dumais