Hintonburg & Wellington Village
Back to Features

FIND the store built for adventure

They met in Greece and have never looked back. Petra Thoms was from the Netherlands and Brad Green was from Canada but the two were immediately drawn together by their mutual love of travel – including motorcycling and paddling – which later became the inspiration for Hintonburg landmark World of Maps. This thriving business has kept them rooted in Wellington West though they’ve continued to explore Canada and the World with the same passion as when they met.

Newcomers to Ottawa almost 25 years ago, entrepreneurial Petra and cartographer Brad saw the need for a specialty map and travel book store. The duo also wisely decided to establish an online presence before it was common. Now, along with serving customers who come from around the corner, World of Maps sells to clients around the globe and e-commerce has become a major part of their business.

But technology hasn’t eliminated the need for paper maps, says Petra. “Even today, people still want the chance to explore alternative routes by planning with a paper map rather than blindly following the route selected by a GPS.”

So what else will you find in the shop? Perhaps a traveller or a sailor, given that World of Maps is also authorized by the federal government to print topographic maps and nautical charts. Custom printing – including in large formats – is another unique service they offer, along with mounting and framing services. Travel gadget and accessories share shelves with an expanded line of books and a colourful array of local and international flags.

Above all else, you’re sure to find support and enthusiasm as you plan your next trip. As Brad says:

“It’s amazing how many people we’ve met and we are so grateful whenever customers let us be a part of their journeys. We stay in touch with many of them and have also met so many newcomers to Canada who land on our doorstep looking for travel information. We gladly share our stories too, especially about canoeing or motorcycle trips.”

For more fresh FINDs from Wellington West, check back here every Tuesday!

Keyword tags: WWBIA, Wellington West, Hintonburg, Ottawa, shop, maps, travel accessories, books, gifts, printing, framing, travel advice, world travellers, shop local