Big City Living, Small Town Feel

Monday, June 28th, 2021

Life at The Barrel Yards offers the height of vibrant urban Uptown Waterloo living. With countless opportunities to soak in the culture, excitement, and entertainment all found within quick and easy access from your own front door – it can come as a surprise that our thriving community also offers a uniquely charming small-town feel. From within our immediate Uptown Waterloo neighbourhood and extending outwards from the city core, you’ll find charming venues and opportunities to enjoy that will delight, enchant, and quickly become favourites on your list of must-visit locations. Check out a few of our favourites below!


Seven Shores Community Cafe

Only minutes away from The Barrel Yards, you’ll find community-owned and operated Seven Shores Community Cafe, which is our first stop recommendation for Uptown Waterloo gems offering a sweet, small-town vibe. This exceptional cafe endeavours to source and support local farmers, foodies, and community through simple, ethical, and quality goods and relationships. With a fresh, local food menu offering delectable baked goods, soups, salads, sandwiches, and more, all ready to be enjoyed on their quaint and captivating patio. This community-owned cafe is at the centre of the city, but offers the heart and soul of sweet, small-town living. Make a point to swing by, get yourself a cup of some of the tastiest, fair trade coffee in the area, get your hands on some daily-made fresh sticky buns, and soak in some great conversations and ambience.


St. Jacob’s Market District

The true small-town gem of the Kitchener-Waterloo region is the sweet simplicity of the St. Jacob’s Market District. This one-of-a-kind farmer’s market at the north end of Waterloo is Canada’s largest year-round farmer’s market and rivals the uniqueness, and appeal of the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, but with a strong Mennonite influence that gives it a distinctive rural flavour.

Home to the largest population of Old Order Mennonites still in Canada, when heading to the St. Jacob’s Farmer’s Market, you might see local farmers on the roads traveling by horse & buggy – often delivering their fresh produce and goods directly to the Market District. Originally established in 1975, St. Jacob’s Market District is now home to hundreds of local vendors, dining, and unique experiences filled to the brim with rustic, rural charm and historic character. The Market District encompasses three main components including the Farmers & Flea Market, Antique Market, and Outlet Shopping. 

  • Farmers and Flea Market: A weekly 15-minute trip to the Market from The Barrel Yards will become a much-loved tradition for those looking to explore outside of Uptown Waterloo and stock up on fresh local fruits, vegetables, quality meats, cheeses, preserves, baked goods, treats, organic and gluten-free options, artisan crafts and so much more. Get everything on your fresh farm-to-table grocery list and be sure to stock up on the Market’s legendary apple fritters, perogies, and local honey and maple syrup. The Market’s artisan vendors offer an incredible variety of handmade goods, glass creatives, wood crafts, bath products, and beyond. Keep in touch with the Market’s impressive vendor list, visit with small farm animals, enjoy family-oriented rides and activities and spend the day soaking in small-town life while only minutes away from your modern city luxury apartment. 
  • Antique Market: Market Road Antiques appeals to those young, old, and every demographic in between. For seasoned treasure hunters, you’ll find an incredible assortment of antiques and collectibles, furniture, estate jewellery, books, and art. Those young at heart will love the curious collections of vintage toys, clothing, vinyl, and unique one-of-a-kind finds and collectibles just waiting to entertain and delight. Those with a savvy decor sense will find stellar statement pieces and decor that will add unmistakable personality to your next decorating project. Browse the online antique market to get a glimpse of what awaits you at the Antique Market – and get ready to plan a trip soon to explore antiques and collectibles from around the world, in over 100 booths spread out over 20,000 square feet. 
  • Outlet Shopping Market: St. Jacobs Outlet Mall offers a unique shopping destination with great deals on clothing, footwear, housewares, and beyond – making it well worth the stop to soak in up to 60% off original prices while shopping in a unique and refreshing small-town atmosphere. Browse the outlet directory listing here for more information when planning your trip to the St. Jacob’s Market District. 


Small-Town Experience Tours

Our unique KW region balances progressive university and tech environments, stunning natural greenspaces throughout our urban areas, and unique ‘off-the-beaten-path’ tours for those looking to escape the urban hub and soak in unique small-town experiences without having to travel beyond your own Kitchener and Waterloo backyard. Our favourite tours to experience are Canoeing the Grand and St. Jacobs Horse Drawn Tours – both just minutes away from The Barrel Yards. 


We hope you enjoy these suggestions for finding small-town charm while living within the comforts of big-city life at The Barrel Yards! Connect with our leasing team today to book your private tour.