Year-round, area retailers offer everything you need, whether you’re a local resident, cottager, or area visitor. Beach-themed items are available just steps from the shoreline. Household and renovation materials and supplies, formal, designer and casual clothing, imported and domestic gifts and jewellery – are all available locally. Main shopping hubs include Exeter, Forest, Grand Bend and Bayfield. Jump to retail listings on this page.
Start running after the Victoria Day long weekend and run weekly to the week prior to the Thanksgiving long weekend. For Farm Gate locations in Lambton Shores, visit locallylambton.com.
- Wednesdays: Grand Bend Farmers’ Market, Colonial parking lot, 8am-1pm, grandbendfarmersmarket.ca.
- Thursdays: Exeter Farmers’ Market, Baldwin Street, 2pm-6pm, facebook.com/exeterfarmersmarket.
- Fridays: Forest Farmers’ Market, King Street, 8am-1pm. Bayfield Farmers’ Market, Clan Gregor Square, 3pm-7pm, bayfieldfarmersmarket.ca.
SHOP THE UNIQUE
Shopaholics beware! You’re going to check boxes off your shopping list you didn’t know you had! In the quaint villages, towns and communities along Lake Huron’s shoreline, shopping becomes a pleasure again. Escape the mundane and repetition of big-box stores and malls. Shop the unique at family-owned stores for a refreshing shopping experience that will excite your soul and delight the senses. Visualize mature trees that umbrella historic buildings and provide shaded pedestrian-friendly walks. Proud shop owners that take time to share their creative talents and one-of-a-kind merchandise. Stores filled with truly unique items. You can own pieces of history, handcrafted treasures, conversation starters, and the works of many local artisans and artists. Here’s a curated selection of the area’s offerings.
ONLY IN CANADA YOU SAY
Thunderbird Crafts & Trading Post (Kettle Point) is a family-owned and operated Native trading post. For centuries, the Kettle & Stony Point community was a supply location among Native peoples. Today, Thunderbird continues that tradition offering walls of colourful and unique crafting materials like colourful seedbeeds, porcupine quills, native themed fabrics, leathers and fur, and wool broadcloth. An authentic cultural experience, this store showcases genuine, hand-made First Nations products from across Canada and locally. You’ll be proud to gift these moccasins, blankets, mens and ladies jackets, hats and bags. You can even purchase a beginners guide to spoken Ojibwe.
If you’re searching for that show stopping, jaw dropping, conversation piece that will give your home that ‘wow’ factor, then look no further than DL Creations (Bayfield). Inspired by the outdoors, they provide beautiful home furnishings and décor (butcher blocks, appetizer boards, wine caddies, etc.) from reclaimed pieces of wood. Each item is guaranteed to be as unique as the piece of wood from which it’s crafted.
Gift of Art (Grand Bend) features the work of local and Canadian artists and artisans from across the nation. Let your eyes wonder with delight through this curated collection of pottery, jewellery, wall art and home décor. Thinking bigger? Why not a handcrafted boat or canoe from Skip Izon of Shadow River Boatworks (Grand Bend) – the artisan who built Olympian rowers Silken Laumann and Marnie McBean’s racing sculls. His pieces are truly works of art and any boater’s dream.
TAKE ME BACK
If your taste can be defined by ‘anything old is gold’, then you’ve hit the jackpot! This area is rich with vintage and antique shops. JMR Collections (Bayfield) carries an impressive selection of hand-picked vintage clothing and accessories. Each piece is in pristine condition and is a trigger for nostalgia. It’s fashion through the ages, with many pieces translating to today’s trends. If your love for vintage is reflected more through your home than your wardrobe, then be sure to check out Dale’s Antique Market (Grand Bend). With their appreciation for the unique and unusual, you will be impressed by the variety of rustic, yet high quality items. This family business also features solid wood furniture, hand crafted by Canadian Mennonites. If you’re a bit of a “furniture feen”, you won’t want to miss Stonehedge – Antiques and Design Studio (Bayfield). It features very high-end vintage and period styled pieces, specializing in fascinating collections of clocks, lighting, and crafts. Bittersweet (Grand Bend) has drool-worthy furnishings that have been repurposed and given new life, all while maintaining their vintage quality. For the antique hunters that love anything rustic, you will lose your hinges over Country Collectables (Parkhill), Dashwood Design and Décor (Dashwood) and Born in a Barn (Ailsa Craig). Other places to search for the unexpected pieces at a budget friendly price, are Blessings (Zurich) and ARC Angels Thrift Shop (Dashwood). They’re truly a thrift shopper’s delight!
STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES
For shoppers with a green thumb, don’t miss the charming shops that are not only filled with beautiful fresh flowers and exquisite arrangements, but also with gifts, décor, and garden accessories. Forest Florist (Forest), The Garden Gate Gifts & Florals (Grand Bend), and Frontier Flowers and Gifts (Parkhill) will give you a warm and cozy country feel as you shop to the sweet aroma of bursting bouquets. Westland Greenhouses (Grand Bend) is the largest destination garden centre on the shores of Lake Huron. Shopping at Westland is like a mini vacation for the whole family. It features a bird sanctuary and bunny petting zoo that welcomes children, along with relaxing show gardens, workshops, and unusual yet spectacular merchandise. It’s just one of several amazing garden centres the area offers.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Can’t find the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for person? Then, head to the shores of Lake Huron! This region is spoiled with dozens of stores that have just what you’re looking for. You will feel more like a guest than a customer when you visit Hive (Bayfield) where shoppers can enjoy an in-store mini café that offers mouth-watering treats. Once you’ve had your fill, browse through their inspiring clothing, accessories, décor, and more. Many items are up-cycled and reimagined. It’s another great place to feel those vintage vibes. If you’re a fan of munching while shopping, don’t miss akSense (Grand Bend), where coupled with their unique gifts is a cozy café with a menu to die for! It’s so good, they cater. Pinery Antique Flea Market (Grand Bend) won’t leave you hungry either. This family friendly market is the complete package for an outing with everyone. It has food, entertainment, and a vast variety of vendors that offer everything from fresh produce to the latest trends. Not to mention an incredible amount of antiques that are sure to provoke a treasure hunt through the past. It’s a Grand Bend must, and a wonderful way to spend the day. Mark your calendar, it’s open Sundays May to Thanksgiving. For more wall-to-wall amazing, check out My Favourite Store (Forest). Its name speaks for itself, and it won’t disappoint. This store holds countless accessories for each room in your home, baby and pet related items, clothing, and a knitter’s needs. If your kitchen is your favourite room to accessorize, then The Gravy Boat Kitchen Store (Bayfield) is your haven. With its huge assortment of quality tools and fun giftable items, it truly has something for everyone’s inner kitchen and cooking enthusiast.
If your version of shopping for a-diamond-in-the-rough, is quite literally diamonds, then you’ll be dazzled with the collections of jewellery to be found in the area’s shopping hubs. For budget-friendly treasures of all ages, Sea Jewels (Grand Bend & Bayfield) is a very popular destination. For custom designed and gold pieces, be sure to drop by Bakelaar Jewellery (Exeter) or Four Seasons Jewellery Design (Grand Bend). Elements of Design (Bayfield) is a unique find offering Canadian artisan jewellery from Christophe Poly, Jon Klar, Nancy Plourde and others. Since 1873, family-owned Van Valkenburgs Jewellers (Forest) has operated a full-service jewellery store offering quality items to celebrate and commemorate life’s greatest moments. Knowledgeable staff and jewellery experts will help you find your perfect gem at each of these locations.
Once your bling is taken care of, you’ll want to find an outfit to compliment the rest of your look. This area has no shortage of spectacular apparel stores. The latest trends and fashion forward ideas can be found at Designers (Exeter & Bayfield), Leslie’s (Bayfield), Luv Scarlett (Exeter), and Rhumba (Bayfield). Headed to the beach, but nervous about finding a bathing suit? Bikiniland (Grand Bend) is your answer! They have an incredible selection, and boast having bathing suits that flatter all body types.
It’s about more than what’s on the outside; if you want to enjoy shopping that’s good for the mind, body, and soul, you’ll want to visit Forest Glen Herb Farm (Forest). It has a variety of culinary products and products made from herbs and other plant life; from facial masks to vacuum scents. Not to mention, it’s gorgeous! Located right by the Lake Huron shore, it’s an organic garden and farm. It’s also the perfect place to enjoy their service as a bed and breakfast or wedding venue. The incredible indoor/outdoor experience doesn’t stop there; they offer classes for making products and for yoga. Continue to treat your body well at Genuine Wellness (Parkhill). Owned by a holistic nutritionist, this health food store offers solutions for health problems, delicious and healthy products, as well as organic and gluten-free specialty foods. Or, drop by the Wellness Cabin Health Co. (Grand Bend) for quality supplements, vitamins, herbs, protein powders, local natural teas, soaps and beauty skin care lines, specialty groceries, and more. And don’t forget what you put on your skin ends up in your body. Visit LUVU Naturally (Exeter) for a full line of all-natural cosmetics and beauty products from lip balm and eye-shadow to shampoo, soap and even toothpaste. And yes, they can give you the ingredient list!
ON THE MOVE
Keep the outdoor fun going at Outside Projects (Bayfield) where repair services, equipment and accessories for bikes keeps you on the move. Paddle boards, skateboards and snowshoes too. Whether you’re looking to buy or simply rent for the day, they’ve got you covered. Be sure to browse the bike and running shoes and outdoor clothing for everything you need to have fun and be comfortable outside. Guided tours also available.
- Hensall Village Wide Yard Sale & Fireman’s Breakfast – May 26, 2018
- Town-Wide Yard Sale (Exeter) – June 16, 2018
- Bayfield Rummage Sale (Pioneer Park) – July 13, 2018
- Exeter Sidewalk Sale Days – July 19-21, 2018
- Bayfield Antiques & Collectibles – August 10-12, 2018
- Thanksgiving Market & Sidewalk Sale (Grand Bend) – October 6 & 7, 2017
- Lambton Fall Colour & Craft Festival – October 13 & 14, 2018
- Lucan Christmas Craft Show & Sale – November 2-4, 2018
- Christmas Comes Early (Grand Bend, Forest, Dashwood & St. Joseph) – November 16-18, 2018
- Christmas in Bayfield – November 16-18, 2018
- Christmas Weekend (Exeter) – November 16-18, 2018
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Gallery on Main StreetGallery on Main StreetContact: Victor Alderson & Mark McLean
Gallery on Main Street is owned and operated by Victor Alderson and Mark Mclean, who share time spent at the Gallery answering art lovers questions and working on new pieces.
Victor was a professional photographer for 20 years operating studios in both Forest and Grand Bend, Ontario. Living on the Ausable River Cut near the Pinery Park for 25 years, he had a perfect back drop for portraits.
An avid Lake Huron boater, he has a keen interest in nature, landscapes and Lake Huron sunsets. Victor picked up an artist’s brush and converted his photography display easel into his new support for canvas. He paints in both oil and acrylic media in the year-round sunroom Studio/Gallery at 14 Main Street, Grand Bend, Ontario. The Gallery features over 200 original paintings and 60 photographic images, very popular with international collectors.
Victor favours the Alla Prima style (also called wet-on-wet) which is a direct technique where the painting is completed in one sitting. As well as paintings, Victor offers scenic photography and driftwood sailboats.
Mark works in a style he calls photo representational. His art and the subjects he paints are anointed in a manner that the subject is easily identifiable but not so that you would confuse it with a photo.
Mark paints images that have a personal meaning to him and paints to convey a story. He always uses archival papers and professional quality watercolours to ensure customers receive an image that will be archival.
Mark has exhibited his work in several Paint Ontario exhibits, had a solo show at Victoria Playhouse Petrolia, participated in several juried shows at Victoria Playhouse and exhibited at Gallery in the Grove Sarnia. His work is also shown at the Main Street Gallery in Grand Bend.
He has taken instruction from Jane Garner, Maria Berry and Peg Kivi.
His art at Victoria Playhouse juried show has won an award for best watercolour.
Mark has a solo show scheduled in the Laurence House in Oct 2018 at the Lawrence House Center for the Arts in Sarnia.