It’s beginning to look a lot like, well, like the holiday season in Toronto. The Santa Claus parade has passed, winter's first snowfall has dusted windshields and perhaps the most telling sign: holiday jingles are now on solid rotation just about anywhere you go.
While it's easy (read: lazy) to check off your shopping list at the mall, there’s something extra thoughtful about giving a present that's been locally made, printed, sewn, painted, carved, baked, salvaged... you get the idea. Toronto's east end is full of fun holiday markets flush with discoveries for inspired, quirky and one-of-a-kind gifts. Here are five local markets to find that special something while showing your support for homegrown talent.
LESLIEVILLE FLEA HOLIDAY MARKET
Flea markets are havens for finding one-of-a-kind gems, and the Leslieville Flea is no different. Back for a one-day holiday market, Leslieville Flea is prepping for their biggest yet with over 50 vendors ready to set up festive displays. Expect everything from vintage antiques to handcrafted goods, preserves and jams to reclaimed gift items. Organizers say the majority of vendors will be hauling in items geared specifically towards the holidays. Admission is always free and there will be coffee and food. The Leslieville Flea will also have free gift wrapping in exchange for donation of non-perishable food items with proceeds going to Community Centre 55.
Nov. 27, 10 a.m to 4 p.m.
SH Armstrong Community Centre, 56 Woodfield Rd.
Leslieville Flea details
HOLIDAY POP-UP AT RAWSPACE
Head to RAWspace, the Leslieville jewellery studio and workshop, for a special one-day holiday pop-up on Dec. 11. There will be a diverse selection of wares from made-in-Canada artisans on display at its space on Carlaw Ave. Beyond the pop-up, RAWSpace offers bench rentals for expert jewellers, and classes for those who want to learn the trade.
Dec. 11, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
270 Carlaw Ave., unit 102
HOLIDAY SHOPPING SOCIAL AT YOGA MAMAS
Get a jump start on your holiday shopping at Yoga Mamas during its holiday shopping social on Nov. 23. The entire retail boutique will be 15% off some of Toronto's most beautiful baby and lifestyle brands. Yoga Mamas is also inviting its favourite brands to pop-up with goods for the one-day event.
Nov. 23, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
1402 Queen St. E
MERRY MAKERS HOLIDAY MARKET AT PITCHFORK COMPANY
Discover unique homemade gifts from a roster of artfully curated makers at Pitchfork Company's holiday market. Running Dec. 4 to 11, you can find ceramics, textiles, paper craft, mixed media art, jewellery, small-batch foods and baked goods. Peruse the goods, enter a raffle for your chance to win a gift basket and enjoy free apple cider and mulled wine. A gift wrapping station will be available with proceeds going to Glen Rhodes Food Bank and Red Door Shelter.
Dec. 4 to 11, various times
1322 Gerrard St. E
TORONTO BAKERS MARKET — HOLIDAY EDITION
The Toronto Bakers Market has been a monthly dose of sweetness since launching earlier this year, and plans are underway for a holiday-themed event in December. Many vendors will be making special holiday treats and packaged goodies for gifts. Swing by for fun holiday cheer, music and holiday activities. Admission is free, but you'll want cash on hand to bring home a haul of treats.
Dec. 18, noon to 4 p.m.
Ralph Thornton Centre, 765 Queen St. E
Are we missing any other local holiday markets? Let us know in the comments.