guide to thrifting in kitchener/waterloo

Cards on the table, I was definitely one of those people who started thrifting before Macklemore decided to make it a whole thing because secondhand is cheap and I loved the weird thrill that comes with finding something unique or something that’s actually way more expensive than the thrift store thinks it is. As a student, thrifting lets me shop within a limited budget and also lets me practice slightly more mindful consumerism. As accessible as fast fashion is, it’s hard to justify the price tag when you are (painfully!) aware that the company isn’t 100% ethical in their practices. Talk about problematic faves.

So if you’ve been wanting to get into thrifting I have some tips for you in this post as well as recommendations on where to go if you’re in Kitchener-Waterloo!

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spotlight on: four all ice cream

Distinct and reliable signs of fall:

  • trees changing colours
  • people bringing out their long sleeves and sweaters
  • the insane lengths of the bookstore/Tims/Dollarama lines

After being gone from campus for yet another 8-month stint for my last two co-op terms, coming back to KW was a weird experience. Why is it so crowded on campus? Why is it impossible to find a cutlery tray? Why did I briefly think that I could survive 3 seminar courses? All excellent questions with no real answers.

In the two days it took me to finish writing and editing this post we have found a cutlery tray (a new unsullied Dollarama opened up on Erb) and I made the decision to save my sanity and switched out of one of the seminars.

What really helped me transition back to campus life was the fact that while I was gone, a new ice cream place opened up in Kitchener and I have been waiting months to try it out. Now I could go on and on about how “for someone who is lactose intolerant I shouldn’t love ice cream as much as I do” but that’s old and tired – unlike the products at Four All.

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spotlight on: balzac’s coffee (kitchener)

Supposedly there is to be a Waterloo location of Balzac’s soon but that mythical location has not opened yet (to my knowledge) and I am very sad that I still have to go all the way to Kitchener for dope coffee. Honestly, it’s worth the trek, but we really need to be bringing more of these cute coffee shops to Waterloo.

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spotlight on: smile tiger coffee

How much do you love natural light and coffee shops that make you feel like you’re in the living room of your dreams? I’m going to go ahead and assume that you answered like any other human because who wouldn’t love that? You need to get your butt to Smile Tiger.

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spotlight on: kitchener public library

This blog post has been updated to include more details on the resources available at KPL.

Downtown Kitchener – I have very mixed reviews. On one hand, there are some extremely yummy restaurants and cute stores down there. If you drive around the neighbourhoods there are some really nice houses with neat features (I’ve seen a house that actually appears to be subterranean, and other house with the wraparound porch and personal fire escape). I’d say that the crown jewel of DTK would be the library and before anyone starts screaming the Arthur song, please remember that this is a library and patrons shouldn’t be screaming the Arthur song.

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spotlight on: seven shores cafe

The good thing about the KW area is that there’s a surprising number of cute cafes and I’ve been trying to go to all of them. Generally, the cafes in Uptown Waterloo are all on King St. but there’s construction going on right now (surprise surprise) so a lot of buses have to divert their route to Regina. So construction is really how I discovered this very lovely cafe called Seven Shores Community Cafe! They’re all about community, ethical/local sourcing, and delicious foods.

I may or may not have gone there three days in a row this week already but I have minimal regrets about it.

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