Skip To Content
Photo by Brenda Labelle

Best funky boutiques in Ottawa

By Brenda Labelle on May 24, 2013

Enjoy hunting for curious and one-of-a-kind wonders? Apt613 has bravely wandered the city streets in search of the cute, the funky, and the truly bizarre in order to help kick-start your spring shopping adventures. These “best” boutiques were chosen for their pleasant vibe and unique offerings that won’t burn too large of a hole in your pocket. Please tell us about your favourite shops in the comments section.

1. Wunderkammer (238 Dalhousie St.)Wunderkammer is like a museum of the strange and beautiful. The main attraction might be the jewelry, but it also offers solid rustic furniture, hip handbags, vintage-looking wall hangings, and faux taxidermied squirrels. With its slightly Victorian atmosphere, this shop on Dalhousie’s strip of many cool boutiques (walk north from here) will draw you in for longer than planned. And you might even leave with a jewelry holder in the shape of a skeleton hand.Memorable item: jar of tiny plastic babies
2. Heavens to Betsy (1111 Wellington St. W.) Watch out, things are about to get girly! With its pink storefront and cutesy name, Heaven’s to Betsy is the perfect place to find fun gift items. While there are plenty of gender-neutral offerings, such as luchador bottle openers, the focus here is definitely on the sparkly and the frilly. The store stocks all kinds of decorative chochkas, as well as lotions, hats, and all of the accessories you’ll need for your Betty-Draper-gone-mad themed cocktail party.

Memorable item: doggy patterned tea set
Fabgear 3. FabGear 64 (1112 Wellington St. W.) Directly across from Heaven’s to Betsy is FabGear 64, the rock and roll store. Mostly for dudes, this shop sells Beatles t-shirts, retro bowling tops, and enough Hawaiian shirts to wear to all the luaus you’ll ever be invited to. Plus, ladies with a penchant for rockabilly dresses will find something here too. Want to be Slash from Guns N’ Roses next Halloween? This is were you’ll get that hat.

Memorable item: retro Pan Am logo bowling bag
Photo from Highjinx on facebook 4. HighJinx (621 Somerset St. W.) Fill your home with affordable antiques and feel good about it. HighJinx’s concept is a fairly unique one: most of the items for sale are donated and the profits, after the owners are paid salaries, go to the homeless. But don’t think that shopping here feels like a charitable act! The place is filled with special gems like the original gingerbread man cookie cutter (shaped like a man, not a stick figure), hanging candelabras, and your childhood board games.Memorable item: seal fur covered lighter on a key chain
Photo courtesy of veganbackpacker from the Apt613 flickr pool 5. The White Monkey (395 Gladstone St.) With offerings that feel highly curated, The White Monkey sells retro vintage furniture for those with collector’s eyes. In room after room filled with such groovy finds as 1950s rattan furniture, vintage martini shakers, and stand-up chrome ashtrays, you’ll be having visions of your sophisticated future-self’s super cool pad. Not everything here is for all budgets, but a funky lamp can be had for as little as $35.

Memorable item: all the Fiesta ware your heart desires
Photos from Curious Gift Shop on facebook 6. A Curious Shop (159 York St.) Tucked away on a less travelled section of York Street is a small boutique with a definite artsy feel. With women’s clothing made by local designers, lots of original jewelry, and curiosities like tiny felt stuffed animals, A Curious Shop is your favourite craft sale in a store. Also, check out Adorit next door.

Memorable item: handmade candles that smell like dessert