Prepare to embark on a journey through the various corners of the Waterloo Region! Our undercover employees spilled the beans on their secret local haunts, and we’ve gathered all the details for you. Explore the best destinations for home décor lovers, food enthusiasts, eco-warriors, and more. Show some love by shopping online, visiting their stores, or snagging a gift card. Let’s join forces and give our local businesses the holiday hug they deserve!

Let’s explore local shops in the Waterloo Region:

miles master bedroom

For the home décor lover:

Craft a living space that mirrors your unique style! Dive into local home décor shops for a curated selection of pieces, from vintage finds to modern gems. Uncover the artistry of local artisans and transform your home into a personalized masterpiece.

father and son with model cars

For the hobbyist:

Dive into a realm of entertainment at local gaming, collectible, and comic book stores. Whether you’re a gamer, collector, or comic aficionado, support these spots to find treasures that spark joy and connect with a community that shares your passions!

the ivy with food spread across kitchen table

For the foodie:

Embark on a flavor quest in your community! From cozy cafes to gourmet galore, treat your taste buds to a culinary adventure. It’s like a food safari, but without the wild animals. Dive into unique flavors, support local spots, and let your palate party!

Young woman in a vinyl store choosing records.

For the music-lover:

Swap the digital beats for a vinyl adventure! Explore local record stores and instrument shops, where every purchase hits the right note. Whether you’re spinning vinyl or strumming a new chord, support local spots for music that’s as authentic as your love for it!

elderberry with added plants

For the one with too many plants:

Living in a jungle of your own making? Join the green revolution at local nurseries. They’ve got plants for days, and your home could use a few more leafy friends. Don’t be shy—let your indoor garden thrive, and support the local green scene!

Making compost from vegetable leftovers

For your eco-warrior:

Step into sustainable style at local vintage, zero-waste, and consignment stores. Find fashion that’s easy on the planet and supports the eco-friendly mission. It’s shopping with a purpose, one green choice at a time!

happy friends giving christmas presents at home

For someone special:

Find the perfect sparkle to make hearts dance! Explore local jewelry shops for a touch of elegance and sentiment. Whether it’s a classic piece or a unique design, these local gems will help you express your love in style. Because someone special deserves something extraordinary.

Group of young athlete male and female exercising together in fitness. Attractive handsome sportsman and sportswomen working out by push-ups to maintain strong muscle for health care in gymnasium.

For the fitness lover:

Explore local fitness spots for a tailored workout experience. Whether you’re into classes, gym sessions, or quality gear, these places have what you need to elevate your fitness journey. Support local businesses and prioritize your health at the same time!

Cute toddler boy watching cartoon movie in the cinema

For the movie buffs:

Immerse yourself in the magic of cinema at local theaters. It’s like Netflix, but with better snacks and zero buffering issues. Show some love to your neighborhood theaters—because life’s too short for bad movie nights!

  • Apollo Cinema the best in contemporary, classic, and cult films
  • Princess Cinemas –  a true Canadian independent cinema, owner-operated and owner-programmed

reading in bed

For the bookworms:

Step into the magical realm of local bookstores—where ‘just browsing’ turns into a three-hour adventure, and you leave with an armful of books you didn’t know you needed. Support local bookshops and let your inner bookworm roam freely!”

Why shop local?

Support Your Local Economy:

By choosing local businesses, you’re not just making a purchase; you’re investing in your community. Your support directly contributes to the livelihoods of owners, employees, and their families, helping them put food on the table and keep the lights on.


Discover Unique and Creative Gifts:

Small communities are hubs of incredible local talent. Explore the shelves of local businesses, where passionate owners showcase unique and creative products. Your gift choices become more than just items; they’re expressions of community artistry and craftsmanship.


Enhance Your Shopping Experience:

Enjoy a shopping experience with a personal touch! Local shop owners and employees are not just sellers; they’re knowledgeable guides eager to offer delightful and personalized service. Say goodbye to generic and hello to a shopping journey tailored to your needs.


Choose a Greener Approach:

Opting for local shopping isn’t just good for your community; it’s a win for the environment. Walking to local shops reduces car emissions, contributing to cleaner air. Additionally, by avoiding online shopping, you eliminate the carbon footprint associated with delivery and packaging materials.


Fuel Future Growth in Your Community:

Your purchase from a small business acts as a catalyst for community growth. Supporting local stores helps them stay open, thriving, and evolving. This cycle enables businesses to introduce new products, maintain their physical storefronts, and cultivate a truly exceptional brand. Your choice to shop local is an investment in the future success of your community.


Get social with us

Do you plan on supporting one of these small businesses during the holidays? Or did we miss one of your favourites? We want to hear from you! Follow and tag @builtbyactiva on Instagram or Facebook for a chance to be featured on our social pages!

Happy Shopping!