Enjoy the magic of the North End in Winnipeg, where you can walk along Main Street, ducking into the shops that look promising and while you're stomping off that snow, get a friendly greeting from a person who is likely the owner.
Strolling by the huge display windows of Pollock's Hardware Co-op on Main Street in Winnipeg, you could easily believe that the year is 1959, you're eight years old, and about to tug at your Mom's hand to show her that six-foot wooden toboggan and drop a huge hint that it would make a nifty Christmas gift.
That's the magic of the North End , where you can walk along Main Street, ducking into the shops that look promising and while you're stomping off that snow, get a friendly greeting from a person who is likely the owner.
Welcome to mukluk and moccasin central! Edna Nabess will jump up and say hello, leaving fellow designer Alley Yapput stitching rabbit fur on to beautifully beaded footwear. Shop owner Keith Proulx (who happens to be Edna's son) shows that artistic talent runs deep in this family. He points out his contributions to the shop, among them a fringed handbag adorned with an antler handle and feathers. 1346 Main Street, (204) 219-7428
Pollock's Hardware Co-op
John Latham, the brain trust of this co-op, seems to have a photographic memory of where every three-inch hinge and can of spray adhesive lives in this wooden-floored beauty of a store. He's also pretty good at gift suggestions, noting that the vintage toys, cast-iron cookware and even those nostalgic wooden toboggans are popular choices comes the holiday season. 1407 Main Street, (204) 582-5007
Bryan Bashucky says the true mark of success is when shoppers from outside the hood, as in St. Vital, start coming to the shop. And that's exactly what's happening. Along with biz partner Ricky Acuna, this pair of young-and completely friendly-entrepreneurs bring hot hip hop streetwear to the North End. Look for lines including Beyoncé's Deréon, Jay-Z's Rocawear and the always hot Sean John. A shipment of hard-to-find Algierz is in the house. And because this is the North End, there's always a good price to be found. "Get fresh, not ripped off" is the motto at the store. 1316 Main Street, (204) 219-8024
Vintage Veruca Antiques
Overheard in the shop: "I'm so fortunate to have found my passion. I never have a bad day at work because I love this so much." That's what Monique Buckmaster said and it's obviously what she believes. She has a story to tell about each and every item in her tidy antique store. She's been in this biz for 17 years and specializes in estate jewellery, bone china dinnerware replacements (she ships 6,000 pieces out every year) and vintage Christmas ornaments. "I spend the entire year shopping, looking forward to that magical day, Nov. 1, when we can set up the display." Oh and what a display it is. 1342 Main Street, (204) 339-5301 www.verucaantiques.com