Christine, Old Post Office | June 23, 2020
Cozy, delightful, and charming. These words beautifully describe Blair House Gifts. Every establishment has a story, and Blair House Gifts is no exception. Owner Ann Dohanik grew up in Galt but, like a lot of students, she moved to a bigger city to complete her post-secondary education at OCAD (Ontario College of Art and Design) at Sheridan and Humber College. However, the call of her hometown with its tree lined streets and slower pace lured Ann and her husband back home. Twenty-five years ago, she decided to go into business for herself and opened a small gift shop in the village of Blair. Over the years she has built up a devoted clientele, developed friendships, and is continually keeping up with new trends and gift ideas. A few years ago, Ann moved Blair House a little closer to home and settled in downtown Galt.
What is not apparent when you visit Ann’s store, is her passion for photography. She takes breathtaking photos which she often shares on her Facebook page. Her camera goes with her whenever she leaves the house. The love she has for her hometown, the nature and abundance of wildlife, along with its old-world charm and architecture is evident in her photos.
Several years ago, I was speaking with Ann and commented on how wonderful her photos are and how much I enjoyed them. She replied, “Thank you, but they aren’t my best. I’m saving my best work for later.” Later? I was intrigued. She went on to say that at some point in the future she would like to have some of her photos available at her store as cards, framed prints, or canvas. You never know, some day in the future that card or artwork you see at Blair House might be an Ann Dohanik original!
Do you share Ann’s love of photography? Try these great resources:
- If you have an interest in the history of Cambridge and surrounding areas, try this history-packed self-guided walking tour of Galt or check out the City of Cambridge trails list for a variety of adventure-in-a-day options.
- If you are new to photography, or need a refresher, I have found books by Scott Kelby easy to read and a great reference tool.
- Kanopy also has some great videos. Try The Great Courses: National Geographic Guide to Landscape and Wildlife Photography!
Blair House Gifts is located at 20 Grand Avenue South, Unit 104 in Cambridge, Ontario and on Facebook.
Meet Our Neighbour series is all about introducing you to local businesses, makers, and performers, as well as some additional resources from our collection.