Guelph: Verging on the holidays

The town is still abuzz from this week’s unofficial kick off to the holidays and the event I look forward to every year: the Stay Out of the Mall concert. A shopping or fashion event it is not, but it captures some of the best qualities of Guelph: indie rock, independent businesses and of course, local beer.

The two-night show was co-headlined by University of Guelph alums Constantines ( and Human Highway (—a new project between Guelph’s own Jim Guthrie and Islands’ Nick Thorburn.

I decided to begin my holiday shopping in the spirit of Stay Out of the Mall and headed to On the Verge (112 Wyndham St. N., Guelph 519-763-9780,  Striking a balance between modern chic and retro cool, OTV is the perfect place to shop for those on your list who have grown tired of chain stores.

The shop carries a modish selection of jewellery and clothing, including lines by Tashi, BB Dakota and Delicious.  There is also a large selection of kitchen and bath items, and for the impossible-to-shop-for, kitsch pieces that will bring a smile to anyone’s face. My pick for best stocking-stuffer is the Anatomicals line of beauty products, featuring Help the Paw Vitamin Rich Hand Cream and No Old Bags Allowed Eye Gel.

Between my OTV purchases and Constantines albums for everyone on my list (because nothing says Christmas like forcing your tastes onto everyone you know and love), I could have all of my holiday shopping finished in a day.

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