It’s a pleasant pastime to stroll along the Niagara-on-the-Lake’s main artery, Queen Street, and check out some entertaining, albeit touristy, shops. The following are the best of the bunch. Serious shoppers also make a pit stop at the Outlet Collection at Niagara (see below) en route back to Toronto.
- Greaves Jam—Skip the labor of heading to the orchard to pick fruit, and grab some already preserved local goodness at Greaves Jam. This preserves emporium is run by fourth-generation jam makers. The jellies, jams, chutneys, and marmalades are truly good stuff. Specialty flavors include gooseberry, boysenberry, and rhubarb ginger (55 Queen St., Niagara-on-the-Lake; tel. 905/468-7331; Mon–Wed 9:30am–6pm, Thurs–Fri 9:30am–6:30pm, Sat–Sun 9:30am–7pm).
- Hatley Boutique—Painter Alice Oldland ran a quaint gift shop in North Hatley, Quebec, and painted for pleasure more than profit. When a series of pastoral landscapes she did started flying off the shelves of the gallery she opened above the gift shop, her husband thought it would be a great idea to create a line of aprons based on Alice’s art. Cow and pig aprons soon gave way to moose and bear motifs, which are now printed on everything from pajamas and onesies to fetching raincoats (8 Queen St., Niagara-on-the-Lake; tel. 905/468-2349; daily 10am–6pm).
- Irish Design—Irish expats Paul and Maureen Dickson head back to Emerald Isle every year seeking out only the best hand-knit sweaters, and traditional gold and silver jewelry. The quaint store also carries teas, Guinness memorabilia, and leather goods (75 Queen St., Niagara-on-the-Lake; tel. 905/468-7233; Sun–Fri 9:30am–6pm, Sat 9:30am–8pm).
- Maple Leaf Fudge—Since 1967, this sweets stop has been fueling sugar crashes thanks to their small-batch fudge and nut brittles. Patrons watch as the aproned staff fashions fudge in 20-plus flavors, first cooked down in copper kettles, then shaped on marble slabs (114 Queen St., Niagara-on-the-Lake; tel. 905/468-2211; Mon–Thurs 9:30am–6pm, Fri–Sat 9:30am–6:30pm, Sun 9:30am–7:30pm).
- Outlet Collection at Niagara—This open-air shopping mall has more than 100 different stores to browse. Jocks flock to Bench, Adidas, and New Balance, while outdoorsmen prefer Columbia and the Bass Pro Shop. For deals, Marshall’s, the Nike Factory Store, and the Banana Republic Factory Store are your best bets. High-end options include Brooks Brothers and Escada (300 Taylor Rd., Niagara-on-the-Lake; tel. 905/687-6777; Mon–Sat 10am–9pm, Sun 10am–6pm).
- Scottish Loft—Catering to William Wallace wannabes, this wee shop is filled with tartans, Celtic memorabilia, candy, books, and other assorted Scottish-themed notions (13 Queen St., Niagara-on-the-Lake; tel. 905/468-0965; daily 10am–5pm).
- The Shawp—The Shaw Festival gift shop carries George Bernard Shaw memorabilia, books, and more (10 Queen's Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake; tel. 905/468-2153 ext. 2276; daily 9am–8pm).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.