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Hot Shopping: Wandering Wolseley

Affectionately known as the ‘granola belt’, Wolseley is home to many local artists and activists. A lush canopy of mature elm trees shades the six-block shopping district along Westminister Ave where many charming boutiques champion an environmentally-respectful mantra. Begin on the south side at the corner of Evanson St, where you’ll find
La Parfumerie. Experts at this customized scent-blending gallery consider your natural scent and olfactory preferences when creating a unique personal fragrance. Across the street at Organic Planet Worker Co-op local, fairly-traded and organic products line the shelves. Grab a bite from the on-site vegan deli and pump up your pantry with a bottle of Manitoba cold-pressed canola oil. Next door, Humboldt’s Legacy stocks Sodastream machines and a supply of flavoured syrups for pouring your own pop sans plastic bottle waste. At adjacent The Shoe Doctor fill your closet with stylish pairs of sumptuous, buttery leather El Naturalista boots (pictured). Down the street, in the main floor of a charming home, Heartsease’s soothing natural skincare products are handmade on-site.

Hot Dining: Restaurant Review: Charisma of India

A big bouquet of exotic spices perfumes the air inside Charisma of India, teasing diners with the dishes  soon to come.

With few exceptions, Indian cuisine is a dance of spices. A dash of cumin, cardamom and cinnamon are expertly combined into remarkably delectable yet undissectible concoctions that confound and delight diners. (more…)

Hot Shopping: Scene in the City: Wolseley’s Wooded Whimsy

One of Canada’s most intact neighbourhoods of pre-1930’s homes, Wolseley exists beneath the lush canopy of an urban elm forest. Begin on Westminister at Maryland, and stroll west through this green community bordered by the Assiniboine River and Omand’s Creek. Follow the sweet scent of fresh-baked cinnamon buns to Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company. With a whole grain treat in tow, head to Prairie Sky Books (pictured) where titles about yoga, astrology and vegan cooking are shelved amid ornate Indonesian carvings. Next comes Humboldt’s Legacy, a shop that stocks everything needed for sustainable living, including luxurious natural skin and hair products. Wile away an afternoon with a mug of tea, becoming better acquainted with The Neighbourhood Bookstore and Café’s previously read pages. Steps away from Westminister on Lipton, Wolseley Wool carries local and eco-friendly wools like hemp and soy.

Hot Shopping: Shop Talk: Walk-in Closets

A move to Wolseley in 2005  inspired The Closet Chick and The Closet owner Lorraine Hay to abandon the rat race and opt for a more sustainable lifestyle. Armed with 30 years of fashion industry experience, Hay simplified her life and opened a previously-loved clothing consignment boutique. The Closet Chick’s two floors offer current (one year or less) and true vintage (40s to 80s era) fashions for fierce females.  Based on its success, four years later Hay launched second location The Closet in Osborne Village, which also stocks styles for men and some of the sweetest vintage leather in town. Create a Mad Men-inspired look by plucking a sleek sheath dress and a curve-hugging cardigan from the racks of chicly displayed mint-condition garments.  For someone with enviable first dibs on numerous pieces of coveted vintage, Hay’s personal closet is remarkably small. “At home I have a tiny closet–I’ve got my own little look,” Hay says. Instead, Hay gets her fashion fix styling customers. The Closet Chick,  938 Portage Ave, 204-774-2442; The Closet, E-470 River Ave, 204-233-2442.