At Play It Again Sports, locally owned and operated for 20 years, athletes suit up to conquer challenges on the ice, in the field, or on the court with new and used gear from major-league brands such as Bauer, Reebok, and Adidas. An ever-rotating inventory keeps lockers stocked with spare balls, dressers filled with run-ready shorts, and dens populated with gleaming treadmills. Proud recipients of the Gold Standard Store award, amiable staffers stand ready to answer questions or assist with fittings, ensuring that each athlete leaves with the appropriate gear for their needs. Neglected equipment ready to leave storage spaces and rejoin the sporting life can be traded in for cash or credit for gear, completing the ethereal Circle of Sports.
With four acres of nursery space and display gardens, Whitehouse Perennials grows a large number of the familiar and rare pieces of flora that adorn its shelves. Growing more rapidly than a seedling in a tanning bed, the selection constantly accommodates new plants and boasts as many as 300 varieties of hostas and 1,000 varieties of daylilies in addition to shrubs, conifers, and ornamental grasses. Nestled into sunny and shady patches where appropriate, the nursery's display gardens help visitors imagine how the plants might look at home without having to hire a professional Monet reproductionist. Every Saturday, the garden's design professionals assist with free garden-design consultations by appointment, helping guests pick the right plants for each plot.
The butcher, the baker, and the candlestick-maker aren't just three characters from a nursery rhyme; they're part of the team at Manotick Natural Market, a farm-to-table shop that's served the community for nearly two decades. The butcher carves organic chicken, antibiotic and hormone-free pork, and other locally sourced meats, the baker crafts fresh pasta and gluten-free breads, and the candlestick-maker shapes wax into elegant candles that flicker on dinner tables. Shoppers can also find natural beauty products, health supplements, Olea Bella olive oil and balsamic vinegar sampler, and organic produce sourced from farms located within a 100-kilometer radius.
With sandals from Naot and walking shoes from Mephisto, The Shoe Inn’s latest collection offers practical choices for a busy day of walking. The Shoe Inn’s experts shun flimsy, support-free footwear, instead striving to clad feet in practical shoes by European designers such as Birkenstock, Rieker, and El Naturalista. Though they champion solid arch support, sturdy heels, and durable materials, their inventory strikes a balance between functional and chic, boasting vibrant patterns, pastel colors, and other feminine flourishes.
As players sink numbered balls at 14 pool tables, competing in games of 8-ball or 9-ball, others choose to keep a classic sport alive. Though largely forgotten elsewhere, snooker thrives at The Orange Monkey, where six tables challenge newcomers with smaller pockets and deeper strategy. Within the 7,000-square-foot facility, marble pillars and vintage bar signs complement the old-fashioned decor, making the tables feel right at home in their green felt zoot suits. At the bar, pool sharks hunt down drafts of beer and snacks such as breakfast sandwiches, nachos, and hamburgers.
Greg Best and Natalie Szabo founded The Sassy Bead Company in the early ’90s, creating a sanctuary for more than 3,000 types of beads from seed beads to semiprecious stones. They also fill their shelves with rarer bead types, including Swarovski crystals, Japanese delicas, and freshwater pearls, available individually or as part of finished bracelets, necklaces, or toupees. Along with beads for purchase, the duo accepts beaded jewellery for repair, and crafts custom pieces for special occasions such as weddings and proms.