Just in time for holiday shopping, the Shop Durham Region online marketplace is set to launch in November! Shop Durham Region will provide customers with a single platform where they can virtually explore and purchase products and services from participating businesses in Durham Region. Businesses are now being onboarded with many more expected to join in the months ahead. This project, funded by the Region of Durham and led by the Downtown Whitby BIA, was initiated as a result of COVID-19 and the need for small businesses to elevate their digital presence and e-commerce capability.

Soon, we’ll be able to shop your favourite local artisan products, unique goods from local boutiques and so much more—all from a single multi-vendor website. Curbside and/or in-store pick-up will be offered, and some businesses will also provide shipping. Interested businesses are encouraged to sign up to receive updates on the launch, or email the Whitby BIA for details.

The Great Taste of Ontario, hosted by the Culinary Tourism Alliance, has ideas, trips and stories to help you fall in love with Ontario. Start by exploring your own backyard in Durham Region! Save the additional content for inspiration and future planning to visit other regions in Ontario when it’s safe to do so. Each time you check-in to an establishment, you’ll be one step closer to redeeming some sweet Ontario-made prizes—all while supporting local food and beverage businesses in Durham Region. Get your passport here.

Blue Heron Books presents The Book Drunkard Literary Festival 2020 – Virtual Edition

Former Durham resident, Lucy Maud Montgomery once quipped, “I am simply a book drunkard”—relatable words for readers and writers. The Book Drunkard Festival captures the wonderment of the written word and its ability to intoxicate, transport and transform all ages and myriad tastes. The headline event will take place on November 19 with Margaret Atwood and Lorna Crozier, as they discuss their latest books, Dearly and Through The Garden, with their publisher, McClelland & Stewart’s Jared Bland.  Lovers of music and story will be offered a cure for the COVID-19 blues, Newfoundland-style, by singer and author Alan Doyle at a virtual pub event on November 30, the final day of the festival. Tickets here.

PORT Restaurant prides itself on being a valued anchor and neighbourhood destination for Durham Region—today and for years to come. As they celebrate their 13th anniversary this year, PORT is excited to announce the installation of permanent patio heaters, along with the updated air flow in the dining room and lounge. Booth and table dividers have also been installed. They will be launching their new PORT Market Place and Take Away Kits for November with wine offerings to go—available exclusively at PORT. Stay tuned for the launch of their new daily takeout deals! Visit their website for more details

Pickering Museum Village launches new COVID-19 safe Christmas drive-thru experience

Visit the Pickering Museum Village this holiday season and experience the spirit of Christmas through the brand-new Christmas Drive-Thru Tour. Journey back through the years to learn how the popular Christmas traditions started; learn how Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer came to be and when his Christmas carol first started; and, end your tour with a safe-distanced visit with Santa Claus! Tickets are timed entry, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., for a 35 minute tour. Pre-registration is required in advance. Cost per vehicle is $20 plus tax.

Tickets are available online or by calling 905-683-8401.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair returns for it’s 98th year with a twist! Although COVID-19 impacts forced the cancellation of the in-person fair, The Royal Agricultural Virtual Experience will run from November 10 to 14. Register for FREE and stay tuned for scheduling announcements, contests and other promotions including the announcement of the 2020 Royal Ambassador! Register here.

Old Flame Brewing Co. receives milestone national beer award

Congratulations to Old Flame Brewing Co. in Port Perry for capturing Gold for their Helles Lager in the North American Style Premium Lager category and Silver for their Hazy Blonde in the Kellerbier/Zwickelbier category at the most recent Canadian Brewing Awards. Coming off their win, the brewery now boasts nine medals over the past five years in the competition’s lager categories—making them the most awarded craft lager brewery in Canada since 2015 as per the Canadian Brewing Awards Learn more about this milestone achievement!

About the Author

Bryen writes about local Durham community news, including regional events, municipality updates, entertainment, lifestyle, and the great outdoors. Email him directly if you want your business profiled or know a community member that deserves recognition - bryen@thelocalbizmagazine.com