When owners Sean and Tamara McKaig opened Canoe last year, they set out to showcase quality workmanship from Canadian and American brands and makers who create truly unique, well made and heirloom pieces that stand the test of time. "We settled on Hamilton to open our flagship store as we always wanted to play a larger role in our community and we couldn’t think of a better city to do it in," explained Tamara, "We offer a unique mix of goods from small independent designers and up-and-coming local Hamilton makers, to trusted brands with long proven histories." Whether they source their goods locally, or in towns across the U.S., they choose products from brands and makers they truly admire. "We have a deep appreciation for the time and effort that goes into designing and creating everything we offer," Tamara says, "A few of the great brands we carry include Filson, Eleven Thirty, Sea and Lake and the 140 year old brand Faribault Mill." And some of my shop faves? Preserves from Kitten and The Bear and bitters from Dillon’s Distillers, of course.
What’s the story behind the shop? Tell us about designing and renovating the space.
We wanted Canoe's aesthetics to resonate with the traditional Canadian trading posts of the past while combining our love of clean and simple spaces. When we stumbled upon a 100 year old Victorian on Locke Street South with original pine sub-floors, an exposed brick wall and reclaimed century barn beams, we knew we had found a home for Canoe.
We hired local contractors to help us with the major renovations including the addition of a new front entry. Because of our commitment to quality and our deep appreciation for nature and the environment, we hired a craftsman to build displays in the shop using reclaimed barn board. This includes our display tables, shelving and a display wall. We now have a space that is true to who we are and represents Canoe perfectly.
You chose Kirkendall as the location for your shop. What do you love most about the area? Who are your neighbors?
We love the Kirkendall area with its Victorian homes, wonderful architecture, mature tree lined streets, proximity to the escarpment, outdoor activities and the family-centric vibe you find all around us. We also live in the same neighborhood and love that we can leave the car at home and walk to work! Canoe is located in one of Hamilton’s many fine shopping districts and we’re alongside some great eateries and shops including Bitten on Locke, Earth to Table: Bread Bar and Kabuki Spa to just to name a few.
You carry a range of products. What are some of your favorites? Who are some of the local makers you work with?
At Canoe we carry a wide range of products for men, women and the home so picking just a few brands is a tough one! We are proud carriers of some amazing Hamilton brands including Jack & Marjorie, Honey & Glow and The Black & Tan Trading Co.
Do you have any collaborations or events coming up?
We are always excited to promote the brands and independent makers we carry at Canoe and are excited about the collaborations and events happening this year. For the second year in a row, we are a proud sponsor of the West Hamilton Artists Tour taking place mother’s day weekend. This great event celebrates talented local artisans and as Studio 12 we look forward to hosting local potter Tara Lynne Franco and original paintings by Michelle Guitard.
Where would we find you guys on your day off? What other places in the area do you like to shop, eat and drink at?
Admittedly finding time off has been difficult especially during our first year. When we do manage to find some time to unwind, you’ll find us touring around Hamilton on our motorcycle and supporting all the other interesting and unique shopping districts within Hamilton. We also like exploring new places to eat and introducing Hamilton to our out-of-town friends. Hamilton hasn’t disappointed with places like Rapscallion, The Aberdeen Tavern and The West Town for Sunday brunch. We also love being outside and exploring the Bruce Trail system and we’re determined to see every waterfall in Hamilton!
233 Locke St. South
Hamilton, Ontario L8P4B8