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The Waterloo Wonder: Are Small Businesses Making Big Moves?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier chapter.

Nestled amidst the academic hustle and tech bustle of Waterloo lies a neighbourhood that’s like no other. Uptown Waterloo is a charming haven where small businesses flourish, each one adding its unique flavour to this eclectic community. Join us on a delightful journey through Uptown Waterloo’s small business scene, where quirkiness and quaintness reign supreme.

Caffeine Chronicles

If there’s one thing that fuels the creative minds of Waterloo’s entrepreneurs, it’s caffeine. Small, independent coffee shops are scattered throughout the city, each with its own distinct charm. Whether you’re sipping a locally roasted brew at “Pilot Coffee Roasters” or enjoying some live music at “Midnight Run Café,” these cafes are more than just places to grab a cup of joe – they’re community hubs where ideas come alive.

Vintage Vibes

Waterloo is a treasure trove of vintage shops, thrift and consignment stores. “White Tiger Vintage” is a time capsule of nostalgic finds, from cool antiques to vintage clothing. For those who love streetwear and hip-hop, “Vintage Meets Hype” offers a cornucopia of hidden gems, waiting to be discovered. Who needs a time machine when you can explore the past through Waterloo’s vintage scene? For those who want to be stylish on a budget, check out “Lustre & Oak,” where you stumble into perfectly curated (and affordable) clothing for you and your closet!

Artistic Alleyways

You don’t have to visit a museum to experience art in Waterloo; it’s right there on the streets. Wander down the city’s alleys and you’ll stumble upon striking murals that tell stories of resilience and creativity. These urban canvases are a testament to the city’s commitment to supporting local artists and transforming ordinary spaces into extraordinary showcases of imagination. Waterloo has supported artists for years and still does. Are you one of those hidden artists? If so, check out the clay and glass museum, where you will see an array of art pieces done by local artists and you can even book a class and make something yourself! Who knows, maybe you will see your art showcased someday.

Waterloo’s small businesses play a pivotal role in shaping the vibrant essence of the city. Beyond merely serving as convenient places to shop and dine, they serve as the heart and soul of this community. These enterprises infuse Waterloo with a unique blend of quirkiness, creativity and character, which collectively contribute to its distinct identity and charm.

As you stroll through the streets of Waterloo, you’ll quickly realize that these small businesses are more than just economic entities; they’re the lifeblood of the city. They are the places where locals gather to share stories, where artisans showcase their craft and where entrepreneurs pour their passion into every product and service offered.

So, the next time you find yourself in Waterloo, I urge you to take a detour from the beaten path and embark on a journey of discovery. Venture into the cozy boutiques, cozy cafes and eclectic art galleries that line the city’s streets. Engage with the dedicated individuals behind the counters who pour their hearts into their work.

Ciara Edwards

Wilfrid Laurier '24

Philanthropist who has a background in social work and psychology. Very passionate about social justice, my community, and being involved in my community whether that's volunteering or being a part of events to sell my jewelry. I am a very outgoing person who loves people which reflects my education and lifestyle.