Visiting Trenton almost always involves a meal at Tomasso’s Italian Grille. Owned by the well-respected Kotsovos family, this place has been a favourite of mine since my teenage years. Whether it’s a quiet lunch with out-of-town friends or a cherished mother-daughter date, Tomasso’s is a community go-to. It’s impossible to resist the allure of the iconic Tomasso’s Club Sandwich (I’ve indulged in it more times than I’ll ever admit). The Grille’s pièce de résistance, however, is the stunning patio overlooking the Trent River, surrounded by meticulously tended flowers – a must-visit spot in the Bay of Quinte.
The O2 Oxygen Bar and Beauty Lounge, winners of last year’s ‘Win This Space’ contest, turned a brave leap from home businesses into a newly opened downtown brick and mortar store. I had so much fun chatting and connecting with co-owner Krystal Turcotte during my manicure that Morgan, the lash technician, popped in to join. Krystal, along with MaryAnne Gaudreault, offer a warm space for beauty and self-care as well as an opportunity to bond, share stories, and laugh so loud you can be heard in the next room.
The Trent Port Marina, run by the City of Quinte West, symbolizes Trenton’s spirit of community and love for the outdoors. As a local who grew up in the area, the transformation of the marina into a stunning destination for visitors and locals brings me immense joy. And the fact that they offer Kawartha dairy ice cream brings me even more. The canteen is a must-visit, especially on a hot summer day. If you haven’t tried the Salted Caramel Truffle, go do that, you can thank me later.z
Downtown Trenton is richer thanks to J&B Books & Gifts, a family-owned gem on 97 Dundas St W. Initiated by Bob and Kathy Collins and now flourishing under Mari and Dave Collins alongside their children, Hanna and Sami, it’s a literary haven with added flair: cards, games, comics, and collectibles. The recent expansion adds a touch of home decor and lifestyle products to their impressive array. Every visit, my kids eagerly look around, hoping to spot Nelli, the much loved yellow lab, who always brings a smile to our faces.
The Centre Theatre holds a special place in my heart. It’s tied to so many memories of teenage dates and family outings. Owners Hollie and Eric Gordon have managed to preserve this 1935-built cinema as a beloved community cornerstone. They frequently offer free showings or host local schools for fun student outings. Now on the market, the theatre continues to provide a nostalgic yet fun-filled experience for all. From delectable food to self-care, summer treats, shopping and movie experiences, downtown Trenton offers an unmatched summer experience. Make the most of it!