Laura Byrne Paquet


When I wrote The Urge to Splurge: A Social History of Shopping, I thought I was writing a history book that happened to be about shopping. But lots of other people saw it as a shopping book that happened to be about history, and that propelled me further into the world of consumer journalism. As well as shopping columns in City Journal (an Ottawa weekly newspaper) and Checkerspot (an environmental magazine), I write frequently about retailing for Wish, Ottawa Magazine, the Ottawa Citizen and other publications. Here are a few of my stories to try on for size.

9 Stops, Dozens of Treats, Countless Calories
Published in the Ottawa Citizen

What did you do? I went on a chocolate pilgrimage.
It’s chocolate—do you have to ask?           
Read on

Ottawa Insider: Westboro
Published in Wish

A decade ago, the 11-block stretch of Ottawa’s Richmond Road from McRae Avenue to Golden Avenue was known mostly to neighbourhood residents, who dropped by the unremarkable retail strip to pick up a loaf of bread or meet friends at a casual pub.               
Read on

Shopping on Chabanel
Published in Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel

Looking for fashion in chic Montreal? Skip the downtown boutiques andgo to the source: the manufacturers and importers along Chabanel Street West, which sell to the public most Saturday mornings.  
Read on

Indulging My Inner Diva
Published in The Ottawa Citizen

What did you do? Spent a decadent day primping, noshing and shopping
in the Byward Market. 
Read on