The best resource for great local shopping!

There is amazing stuff close by – local artisans and independently owned retailers, cool things to do and eat, and great charities to support. It’s good for the economy, the environment and the soul.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Back to School.....

Dare we start?  I personally prefer to hang on to every last moment of the freedom.  Our kids are old enough to fend for themselves a bit more, so there really is liberation without the routine.  Alas, the days pass, and September is in the headlights.  Thought we would try to tempt you with a little local shopping if you are in the mood before labour day.
Kid Culture is a kids shop dedicated to selling fun stuff for kids of all ages. "Our goal is to give children and parents a store they can love. With everything made locally, we try our best to carry products that are well constructed with the best materials organic cotton, bamboo, and re-purposed fabrics".  
And while you are in the Junction, your older kids (or you) may enjoy the fashions from Trap Door and The Black Daffodil, both of which feature local designers.
Lets face it - this is the fun shopping.  Lets leave pencils and notebooks to the last minute.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Dog Days of Summer

This edition of the 100 Mile Finds blog is dedicated to all our furry friends.  We got a dog a couple of years ago, and I have to say at times I would rather sleep in than take her for the morning outing that she is accustomed to.  However, that fully body wag greeting at the door makes up for the occasional lack of shut-eye.
Toronto hosts an event in the spring called Woofstock (love that handle) and it is filled with local and artisanal products for our friends.  It is held at St. Lawrence Market - pooches welcome.  If you missed it this year, keep it in mind for 2014.  It is lots of fun.  The sponsor is Barnsdale Farms, a local manufacturer.  100 Mile Finds own Barkn up the Green Tree  makes dog treats that are all natural, free of preservatives, gluten, dyes, fillers, and needlessly added sugar and salt.  Another Woofstock sponsor is dogsdogsdogs - for all the info you could possibly need to keep your four legged friend happy. 
Finally, since it is the dog days, take the pup for a swim.  Here's a link to an off leash dog park blog that features some with swimming spots.  Happy Dog Days!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Local Skin Care

I had a bar of Soap Utopia Naturals soap in my powder room, and it is kind of surprising how lovely it fills this small room with a natural scent.  Not overpowering like canned air fresheners or the decal you hang from the rear-view mirror.  For a small price, it really has brought me a lot of satisfaction.  I notice it every time I am in there.  What a perfect cottage hostess gift!

100 Mile finds has lots to choose from if you  are looking for gentle, natural skin care.  Batty's Bath has a wide selection of products from soaps and cleansers to an Acne Starter kit - all natural with non-irritating ingredients.  This gentle cleanser is perfect for cleansing extremely sensitive skin.

And finally, lots of us are sensitive to scent.  Beaulance Natural Skin Care has an excellent unscented lotion to soothe summer skin.  Check out these products and more on 100 Mile Finds.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Harvest is Here

Have you had any local strawberries yet??  They taste SO good.  And that colour - you can only get it if they are picked ripe (therefore not shipped too far).  We have a tendency to go a little crazy with seasonal stuff in our house. I think the kids were sort of glad when the asparagus season ended, although I still fondly miss it.  We never get enough strawberries though.  I like them as part of a savoury salad as well as for dessert, and breakfast.   However you enjoy them, go grab some today and enjoy, cuz they won't last long.

Just FYI here are a couple of good sites to find all the locally grown food you could want this Harvest Ontario is the largest and most comprehensive source for local including on-farm markets, pick-your-own, farmers' markets, farmgate honey producers, local meats, wineries, craft breweries, fairs and much more. 
growing season. 
And Pick your has an at-a-glance page to find local farms to visit and harvest yourself for lots of fresh things (including strawberries).

Friday, June 21, 2013

School's Out (soon)

Ahh, the beginning of summer.  I can still remember the eager anticipation of long summer days when I was a kid.  At the end of June, September was a world away.  Most of us don't have the luxury of the whole summer off, but I still think that our school day habits are ingrained and those months are a little more relaxing.
So even if you don't have tons of time off this summer, think about taking advantage of some day trips and shorter jaunts to Ontario destinations.  One of my favourite sites is Travel and Recreation Ontario

You can find Events, Parks and Outdoor Activities.  Think about a jaunt to a beach outside of Toronto for the day.  We enjoyed Cobourg, which is also accessible by train, and has a great ice cream spot near the beach.  And of course, Wasaga and Sauble are our own version of Caribbean sands.
Another site is Ontario Travel which features a downloadable summer magazine with 250 ideas, including lots of great Ontario Beaches.
So enjoy this longest day of the year, and get out and appreciate this amazing province.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Heirlooms Artisan Market

Heirlooms Artisan Market promises a perfect afternoon strolling through the picturesque greenhouses of Vermeer’s Garden Centre. 

Quality and craftsmanship are guaranteed from our carefully selected group of outstanding artisans. We know that everyone will find a special something from our wide range of craftspeople. Everything from fine art to knitwear, pottery, woodworking, leather and jewelry can be found over our two days of family fun. 

Join us on Friday June 14th from 10am-8pm and 15th from 10am-6pm for a day of arts, crafts and gourmet food. Located at 684 South Pelham Road, Welland. 

You might remember us from our past event, First Sunday Stroll, that took place in Harold Black Park last June or from our monthly market in 2011 called Brocante Lux. All fantastic venues for our wonderful talent. This event promises the best from our years of hard work and dedication to our love of finely crafted arts. 

Volunteers from Pelham Cares will be ready to greet you at the entrance to accept donations to their charity and ballots for our draw. Get there early on Friday and bring a Toonie or a non-perishable canned good for swag bags, while they last! 
First prize for our draw is two outstanding glicee prints from Patricia Haftar with many secondary draws to follow. 

Bring your family and enjoy free children’s crafts provided by Creative Bug on Saturday while enjoying a sampling from our gourmet food vendors. Get your photo snapped with ShutterBrugs to remember the day and don’t forget to pick up anything you might need for your garden - we are at Vermeer’s of course!

See you soon! 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Summertime - and the crafting is easy!!

Here are a couple of fun and crafty options from west end vendors coming soon.  Mary from Wisedaughters has a solid month of Crafting options;

June Workshops
Our formal workshops for adults wrap for the summer at the end of June. Join us for:
Travel journals June 6
Art journals June 13
Granny squares June 20
Knit/felted bags June 27

Summer Craft Camp , Ages 10+ - July 22 – 26, 1 – 4 daily

Grown-Up Craft Camp - July 15 – 19, 1 – 4 daily

Summer Saturdays
Join us outside under the tent (inside if it rains) to meet a local artist and make something!  All ages, drop by 10 – 5.  Cost: $1 - $5 per craft (to cover supplies)

June 1      People Power Press – DIY buttons
June 8      Creations Diana – beaded lizards
June 15    Sara MacHin – mixed media collage
June 22    Megan Goos – silly monsters
June 29    Marina Wilson – fun with duct tape

Details at

And if those don't fit the bill,

 Saturday June 15th  1 pm-4 pm
Cost $60.00
Saturday June 8th 1pm -4pm
Cost $60.00
                                      Wednesday June 12th 6;:30-8:30
Cost $60

Have Fun!!

Friday, May 17, 2013

The 4th Annual Toronto Etsy Street Team Springtime Marketplace

On Saturday June 1st the Toronto Etsy Street Team, also known as TEST is holding its 4th Annual Springtime Marketplace in the 918 Bathurst Centre, just north of Bloor on Bathurst in the heart of the Annex. 
This year the TEST Springtime Marketplace is bigger and better than ever! Along with our handmade vendors, you can peruse great vintage finds, enjoy music from our live DJ, and take part in one of a series of FREE craft workshops. The Marketplace will be followed by a cocktail reception offering refreshments, a cash bar, a charity raffle, a special tea-infused cocktail workshop and a chance to mingle and chat with the members of TEST. The show features 40+ TEST makers and vintage sellers and includes; one of a kind jewelry, art, fashions (both new and vintage), toys, handmade body care items and baked goods. See the the website for more details
Spend a fun spring afternoon checking out these talented handmakers' wares, support local artisans in your community, enjoy the hunt for the perfect vintage item.
Admission is free
Location: 918 Bathurst St.
Date: Saturday June 1, 2013 11am - 5:30pm
Reception to follow at 6pm

Etsy is the largest on-line marketplace for hand-made goods, vintage products and craft supplies. Toronto is the home to TEST, the more than 600 member-strong Toronto Etsy Street Team. Between them they have a vast array of handmade jewellery, fine art, contemporary craft, indie fashion, accessories, eco-friendly bath and beauty items, handmade food and vintage finds.
Check out our facebook page and their blog to keep up with everything we've got going on.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Made By Hand Show April 20, 2013

Here's a great opportunity to shop local. The Made By Hand Show has been around for a few years now and Jacqueline Hunter has really figured out how to offer both artisans and customers a great local shopping experience. Located at the International Centre, Hall I, on April 20th, 2013 the show has almost 200 vendors. The quality of vendors has really improved as Jacqueline has earned a name for herself as someone who can put on a great show that is well attended.

Some of the many amazing vendors that will be at the Spring show this year include Warm Fuzzies, who specialize in adorable plush heating pad covers great for all ages.

If you are looking for handcrafted cards check out another great local vendor at the Made By Hand Show on Saturday,  is Lenie Designs they offer personalized unique handmade cards for every occasion. It's a great opportunity to stock up!

Mistura Timepieces will be on hand showing off their newest designs. This is a great chance to get your Father's Day shopping done.
Judy Cogo Designs has some really beautiful pieces of jewellery. One of her pieces was part of the Grammy Celebrity Gift bags this year. If that's not an endorsement I don't know what is. If you're looking for gifts for your wedding party Judy will work with you to create a beautiful statement that the girls will love. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Can't bear the thought of the mall? Try shopping in the Junction

If you've been to the mall lately, I bet the thought of going back makes you feel queasy. Well, have no fear, there's really no need to go. There are some amazing shops sprinkled throughout Toronto that not only carry really cool products but you're supporting local businesses, artisans and if you do it right, local restaurants too! Turn a dreaded day at the mall into a fab day in a cool T.O. neighbourhood!

Check out Wise Daughter's Craft Market in the Junction. It is packed to the rafters with amazing gift ideas for hostesses, birthdays and maybe a little something for yourself. Looking for a new spring outfit, head west to Black Daffodil, Cynthia carries a ton of Canadian designers, the store has a funky retro vibe to it. Definitely worth a peak.
If you're looking for something to wear that has a modernist feel with a local flavour head east to Trap Door Boutique. They have a great selection of outfits for the artistic professional. It's my go-to place when I'm looking for something that's funky and sophisticated. You must be exhausted by now, time for a break! Head over to Crema for an espresso and a tasty treat!

On your way over to Trap Door don't forget to stop by Kid Culture, they've got amazing clothes for kids, even a decent selection of offerings for the boys and lots of great gift ideas for the kiddies!There are a ton more great stores up and down Dundas West in the Junction area. Now's a perfect time to rediscover an up and coming neighbourhood!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Organic vs. Conventional Produce

It's a big question. Should we be eating all organic food all the time? Are we crazy not to? Or are we just wasting our money?
Maybe the first question is what does "organic" mean? In Canada, organic foods are those that are grown, raised and harvested without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, GMO's (genetically modified organisms) antibiotic and growth hormones. All foods in Canada that are labelled "organic" must follow the Canadian Organics Standards Act . Conventional or non-organic foods may be farmed using some of the same techniques as organic farms, however they may also use synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.
There have been studies done to test whether or not organic foods are more nutrients rich with Vitamin A, & C, calcium and iron. There is no evidence to show that they are. Some people believe that organic produce tastes better than conventional produce. Whether or not you choose to eat organic or conventionally farmed products, here's a great video showing you how to make sure you clean your produce properly before eating.
There's the dirty dozen to look out for, if you are only buying certain veggies or fruits that organic, these are the ones to choose.

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Imported Grapes
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

So now that we have or veggies and fruit figured out, what about meat and dairy products? The things you need to worry about in meat and dairy products is hormones and antibiotics. Both of these are used in Canadian meat and dairy production to help keep animals healthy and to help them grow. In Canada growth hormones are only given to meat cows, not to dairy cows, or in chicken and pork production. Antibiotics are more widely used in poultry, pork and fish raised for food. They are also sprayed on fruit and on honey bees. Keep in mind that when a cow or chicken is treated with antibiotics their milk and eggs are thrown out for the duration of the treatment. Because Turkeys are such hardy birds they rarely need to be treated with antibiotics.
Whether or not you eat all organic, non or somewhere in between we know it's better for the environment to eat foods produced closer to home, it's saves using those damn fossil fuels. Eating locally produced foods means you are supporting your local community, who doesn't want to do that? Whatever your choices, bon appetit!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Agent Reclaim

Shannon O'Hara, the talent behind Agent Reclaim works out of her studio in East York creating handcrafted reclaimed leather handbags and accessories from their inventory of jackets or your own.

Shannon  has a background in designing everything from jewelry to an eco fashionable line of baby accessories. She definitely has the knack!
Shannon describes Agent Reclaim  "The use of post-consumer leather is an exciting medium to work with. Every garment has a story and each seam, each stitch lends to a unique piece when reclaimed into a new item."
Last Spring/Summer Agent Reclaim partnered with Danier Leather to create an exclusive line of handbags and accessories made entirely from their vintage jackets. Her Fall/Winter 2012/13 collection is available in 8 Danier stores in Toronto. Agent Reclaim's custom collection is available on Etsy. Her work is amazing, you have to check it out!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Eudora's Fine Foods

Don't know what to cook tonight? Too tired to cook? No time to put a decent meal on the table? Check out Eurdora's Fine Foods.
Eudora's Fine Foods is a line of ready-to-eat signature sauces, gourmet preserves and prepared foods from the province of Goa in India. Made in small batches by hand in Toronto using no artificial preservatives, colours or flavours using fresh and local ingredients whenever possible . Eudora Fine Foods is an easy way to make the everyday exotic.
The line started out with 4 different cooking sauces, Khaldin, Kofta Curry, Coconut Curry and Vindaloo and has evolved from there. The secret to the Eudora currys is that they are made in small batches with fresh, local ingredients.
I tried the Vindaloo and the Coconut Curry. Honestly it was so easy, all you do is pour the sauce into a pan, add some water and your meat of choice. Done! The Vindaloo has a hot, sour taste to it. It was fantastic! The Coconut Curry is similar to a Butter Chicken but it has a smooth, creamier taste to it. I gotta say, I will have several jars of Eurdora Fine Foods in my pantry from now on. I can't wait to taste their other flavours.
You have to check out their website too. They've got recipes if you want to kick it up a notch AND suggested wine pairings! LOVE IT!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Windmill Hill Bath & Body

Windmill Hill Bath & Body really is a Mom & Pop shop! Back in the mid 90's this husband and wife team realized that there was a real need for high quality, reasonably priced bath and body products. Keeping to the motto "Simple is Best" they did some research, started mixing and Windmill Hill Bath & Body was born.
Using the best quality ingredients for their lotions and potions they use minimally processed ingredients, keeping the products simple and pure. The Windmill Hill team use locally sourced ingredients whenever possible and everything is made by hand in Southern Ontario. The products are all PARABEN FREE and these goodies are clearly and honestly labelled so that it's easy to see what is in the goods you are buying!
Windmill Hill Bath & Body creates everything from soaps, to scrubs, to lip butters and tub truffles and soy candles too.
Windmill Hill is available on line or go to their "Where to find our products" page for a list of retailers.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Bunny Safari Pottery

Bunny Safari Pottery is a really cool concept. "Bunny" is the Mom of a small child, a potter and a photographer. When she's not running after her little one, she's fusing her two other passions into fantastic pieces of pottery.
Her pieces are uniquely functional and funky to boot! There's a feeling of whimsy in each piece that is sure to delight.

This "Wooly" White Yarn Bowl holds your favorite ball of wool, while you are creating something warm and fuzzy. Bunny warns this won't make the greatest soup bowl!

How cool is this?! This special handmade pottery cup was originally a special request from a customer. Perfect for the Don Draper in your life. Shaving brush not included.

The Poe Spirit Cup collection is inspired by the words of Poe. The name Poe is stamped into the 'spirit' cup using reclaimed letterpress. The letters swirl around the cups in a random pattern. Grab a copy of the famous "Raven" poem by Edgar Allan Poe, and a Poe spirit cup, of course filled with your favourite spirit and sit back and relax.
Bunny Safari Pottery is available on 100 mile finds, on Etsy and at Vessels/Whitestone Gallery at 80 Norfolk St. in Guelph, ON and META4 Gallery at 200 Queen St, in Port Perry.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ernesto Sirolli: Want to help someone? Shut up and listen!

My darlin' husband is a huge fan of the TED talks. When he tells me that he's just seen another great talk, I can't wait to hear what he wants to share, our 14 year old has a "trapped in the headlights" kinda  look on her face as she tries to make a slow, stealthy exit from the room. There's nothing worse than being the "lucky" recipients as we try to spread the word of enlightenment to the kids. If you have a moment, well actually 17 moments, grab a coffee, sit back and have a listen.

Ernesto Sirolli: Want to help someone? Shut up and listen!

Susan and I started 100 mile finds because we wanted to make it easy for customers to find locally made products. When we ran the idea past family and friends, almost everyone said it was a great idea, something that they would want to participate in. As we've gathered artisans, manufacturers and retailers to the site almost everyone on that side of the fence expressed what a great idea the site is too. Now we want to take the site to the next level. What do YOU want from the site? As a customer and as a vendor, many of you are both. 
After listening to Ernesto Sirolli I realize that we've done exactly what so many people who want to facilitate an outcome do. We've come up with the solution without really finding out what the real problem or needs is to our customer. 
I'm going to spend the next couple of weeks talking to vendors and customers and see what they want from a local shopping site. I can't wait to see what we all come up with!
If you've got ideas, suggestions or thoughts about what you want from the site or what would make it more valuable to you, we'd love to hear from you
Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mary K Jewels - shamballa bracelets

One of the many things that I love about 100 mile finds is all the things I learn from being introduced to the vendors on the site. MaryK Jewels has introduced me to the Shamballa bracelet. 
MaryK has a passion for fashion jewellery. "I love to create one of a kind jewellery, from all types of beads such as glass beads, semi-precious beads and also swarsovski beads."
When one visits the MaryK  Jewels Etsy site  you are introduced to a great selection of Shamballa bracelets. I will focus on the Shamballa bracelet and it's history but you should now there are also some beautiful rings and necklaces available for sale too.
The Shamballa bracelet is quite trendy right now and has a fascinating history to it.  The Shamballa bracelet is a style of bracelet based on the traditional Catholic rosary beads used to assist in meditation. Real Shamballa bracelets are made with beads of the same name which are threaded or knotted onto a cord by macrame knots that are then pulled close to fit. 
Shamballa beads are made of anything from crystals, wood or clay to genuine diamonds and intricately carved bone, even plastic. 
The color of the beads of the bracelet is very important. Based on the idea that the 7 different parts or Chakras of the body are affected by different colors. Black or clear bracelets would bring clarity and purity to the wearer, where red would assist in the feeling of security, reality, stability and support. An orange bracelet would help balance creativity, release stress...
MaryK also hold fashion parties, book a party and earn a complimentary gift.