When I am in need of inspiration, I’ll take a break by heading into Downtown Kitchener. It may sound a little odd that I choose to go downtown for relaxation when most people look to escape from the usual hectic downtown hustle and bustle. Downtown Kitchener is quite different however, even when it is busy with events and activities, it feels lively and not overwhelming.
One of my favourite things to do downtown is park my car and simply wonder around. As an amateur digital artist, Downtown Kitchener provides me with inspiration and the environment I need to be creative. There is art everywhere: on the streets, in coffee shops, private galleries, at City Hall and of course at the K-W Art Gallery. The K-W Art Gallery is quaint but the collection it hosts is superb. Next to the gallery is Kitchener’s Central Library, which exhibits works of local artists as part of their Artist Program. It has been recently renovated and it is a beautiful space to let your mind explore. My favourite thing at the library is the Digital Media Lab, complete with a 3D printer, which is free to use! If you are in town for business and need to get work done, I highly recommend going to the Central Library to use as a change of scenery from your hotel room.
When I am in a need of a pick me up, Downtown Kitchener does not disappoint with the number of coffee shops available. My two favourites are Café Pyrus and Matter of Taste. As a coffee lover I have had my fair share of coffee, and I can say that the coffee at Café Pyrus is one of the best I’ve ever had. Not only does it taste great, it is also fair trade and organic. Also if you are health conscious, their menu offers so many delicious vegan choices. Matter of Taste has excellent espresso for lattes and cappuccinos, plus you can pair it with a cold treat from the gelato bar.
Another way to free my mind, is going for a walk in Victoria Park. It is a lovely park with mature trees, a lake, and gazebos. In the summer you can go for a canoe ride in the lake and enjoy a nice picnic (GoGo Mart is perfect for grab and go sandwiches, salads and smoothies.) In the winter you can ice skate with friends. It is beautiful year-round– but I especially like it around the Holiday season when the entire park is lit up.
After an afternoon in Downtown Kitchener I feel revived and full of ideas. I get a sense of accomplishment and a positive attitude to take on the rest of the week. Next time you are in need of a refresher, explore Downtown Kitchener.
By Celina Lopes