Whether it’s a Secret Santa or a special someone you want to wow, holiday shopping can prove to be a stressful endeavour. But instead of making your hunt a hectic one, allow gift giving to be an experience for you as well by engaging in local shops in your east side neighbourhoods.
Check out our list of must-have gifts for everyone on your list, and then grab a warm scarf and a hot bevy from one of these local coffeehouses and let’s check this list twice:
TORONTO EATS: 100 SIGNATURE RECIPES FROM THE CITY'S BEST RESTAURANTS
Even the most imaginative home cooks need an inspiration once in a while and these 100 recipes from 50 talented chefs embrace why Toronto is a culinary destination. Written by Amy Rosen, this book celebrates the chefs in Canada’s largest and most diverse city while keeping the recipes easy enough for a Tuesday night. Think Pecorino Focaccia Bianca from Blackbird Baking Co. and Mumbai Chili Crab from Indian Street Food Co. Serve this one to the foodie in your life.
Found at: Queen Books, 914 Queen St. E, queenbooks.ca
RARE SPECIMENS EARRINGS
For the one-of-a-kind gift for that gem in your life, dig no deeper. Rare Specimens earrings are
made in Hamilton with natural, raw and rough rocks and crystals. Each rock is hand-chiseled so the end result makes no two pairs alike. Get the four-pack at Token where you can mix and match to your heart’s content.
Found at: Token, 804 Queen St. E, tokentoronto.com
COPPER TEA TIN
The sleigh bells are ringing and it’s time for tinsel and tea tins. This is your chance to gift your favourite tea drinker a beautiful copper tea tin made by the Thatera community of Kishangarh, Rajasthan, India, where the craft is passed down generations. Give the gift of giving — as the purchase of this tea tin supports the artisan community through Ten Thousand Villages.
Found at: Ten Thousand Villages, 362 Danforth Ave., tenthousandvillages.ca
LE CANADIEN TEE BY PROVINCE OF CANADA
It’s Canada’s 150th birthday this year, so there could be no better time than now to rep our great land in celebration. Minimal and Francophone-inspired, this super soft and 100% cotton tee by Province of Canada — an apparel brand that focuses on lifestyle and culture for the modern Canadian — is the perfect gift for any true Canadian.
Found at: Good Neighbour, 935 Queen St. E, goodnbr.com
PIP THE PORCUPINE SOFT TOY PILLOW BY THE WILD
Surprise the wild bunch with these plush animal toy pillows from The Wild, a collection of modern apparel and accessories for adventurous little ones. Available at August Kinn, a newly opened baby and toddler lifestyle store on the Danforth, these pillows are handmade and hand-printed in Ontario and are filled with 100% eco-friendly polyester. There are over five different pillow creatures to choose from including penguins, owls, and bears, oh my!
Found at: August Kinn, 1374 Danforth Ave., augustkinn.com
GROUP OF SEVEN BEARD BALM BY THE NORTHERN BEARD COMPANY
Move over, Movember because the holidays are all about DecemBeard! The Group of Seven Beard Balm by the Northern Beard Company is a two-in-one balm and leave-in conditioner
that’s sure to keep the giftee’s whiskers soft and behaved during the cold and dry months ahead. This product is made in Canada and works with other oils and waxes found at MenEssentials (just ask the front desk, they know everything). We're certain the big man in red wouldn't mind receiving this instead of cookies this year.
Found at: MenEssentials, 412 Danforth Ave., menessentials.ca
BOX APPETIT - THERMO POT
Long gone are the sunny days of gaspacho at work. This modern and sleek version of the thermos keeps your food hot for six hours, and has a 10-year guarantee. The leak-free design also has an ergonomic spoon that conveniently magnetizes to the side. It’s time to warm that belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly.
Found at: The Big Carrot, 348 Danforth Ave., thebigcarrot.ca
MAISON APOTHECARE - TRUE NORTH GIFT SET
With the cold, dry air, it's important to keep the skin nourished. Get any host/ess this beautifully packaged three-piece piece limited-edition gift set from Maison Apothecare that pays homage to the Canadian wilderness. It includes a Canadian Forest Body
Scrub, a Canadian Garden Hand and Body Cream, and a Canadian Lakes soap. All made on our Native land, this gift box is sure to keep anyone well protected in the true north.
Found at: Brika, 768 Queen St. E, brika.com