Toronto Local Favourites Gift Guide

We know how important it is to support our local businesses. Now that it’s the holiday gift giving season, it’s a perfect time to spend your dollars where it’s also meaningful. By supporting local, our small businesses can continue to thrive. Here are a few ideas we’ve come across to put on your holiday list. Hey, ask Santa, I’m sure he would agree there’s no shortage of amazing local gift ideas!

Upcycling It: For the vintage lover in your life, this local Toronto based company takes vintage records (and their sleeves) and gives them a new life as home decor pieces. The source, collect, curate and craft with original, vintage albums, magazines, books, photographs and more, to create one-of-a-kind artFrom coasters and trays to stools and wall art. All are handcrafted and they will also do made to order.

TUCK Organic Bedding: This Toronto based company is serious about getting a better sleep starting with our bedding. They offer high quality, sustainably manufactured bedding at an accessible price for member of your family. But not only that, they aim to do better for the planet as well. The bedding is made with a proprietary blend of sustainably sourced GOTS certified organic cotton because its production sustains the health of soil, ecosystems and people by using natural processes that do not allow for use of harmful chemicals or GMOs.  They also use TENCEL Lyocell because of its botanic origin, and low environmental impact of production. This blend enhances the functionality and texture of their bedding, including improved colour retention, breathability, fabric strength, and is naturally super soft. Bedding colours and sizes available for adults as well as these adorable crib sheets for bebes.

Vieren Watches: This stunning collection of rectangular shaped timepieces are created by Canadian designer Sunny Fong and next generation watchmaker Jess Chow — who comes from a family who’s been in the watch business for over 40 years. The merging of their two worlds has created a well thought out collection that will be enjoyed for many generations. With her direct access to a watchmaking studio in La-Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, that allowed for  VIEREN to design every bespoke component of their limited edition collections and deliver the highest quality in Swiss craftsmanship.  Fong was a winner of the popular television series, Project Runway Canada, and his label VAWK has grander much attention. He brings his modernist style and focus on form, function, and fashion to VIEREN’s experimental designs.

NicnackKnits: We met Nicole, owner and maker, at this year’s One of a Kind Winter Show and instantly fell in love with her chunky knits. Her throws, tree skirts, and baby blankets have a modern touch to cozy favourites and all knit by hand — as in no needles either. This Brantford-based artisan sources her yarn from a specialty supplier who is also local.  Each of her creations are inspired by someone or somewhere and even have their own names. You can tell she has a deep connection to each piece. Her family is also involved with her knitting business from helping with knitting during the busiest seasons to even her daughter stamping the bags with her logo.

Marmalade Jewellery: located in the heart of Leslieville is this sweet small studio and workshop creating jewellery all by hand from start to finish. Designer and owner Kate Singer is a self-taught artist and has been creating jewellery for the past 20 years. Her husband also helps in the studio with casting. Her designs include her popular charm collection where customers can select and “build their own” special pieces to tell their own stories (great for a bridal party gifts, bff gifts too!). We also adore her tiny earring studs – croissants, mushrooms, stars are all so darling!

Foliée Natural Wellness: Foliée is a collection of all-natural plant-based wellness and skincare products formulated with wellbeing in mind. Toronto-based owner Josée takes a holistic approach to wellness and skincare and wholly believe in the healing properties of plants. Formulations are made with 100% pure and natural source ingredients like organic plant oils & butters, high quality therapeutic grade essential oils and botanical extracts sourced from growers and distillers around the world. Watch for their popular holiday sale.

Verzus Apparel – Technical AthleticWear: designed in Toronto this newly launched line of active & leisure wear was created with technology enhanced fabrics. The high quality performance fabrics not only are comfortable but also have special features or use that we haven’t discovered elsewhere. For example, in their “Don’t Sweat It” collection each piece include sweat-proof technology designed to keep wet patches and sweat under control (see featured photo above). Their men’s underwear line is super comfy and unique with openings for both uh…lefties and righties in a great assortment of patterns and prints. Available online or at their store located inside Markville Shopping Mall.

This is J: Toronto-based creator of this cozy line of pyjamas and loungewear has something for everyone in your family. Looking for matchy-matchy comfy pjs for your holiday photos? You’ll want to check their patterns and colours out. Their red plaid is a favourite! Founder Jaimie Harris tells us they design, illustrate and print their own fabric for the line of ultra-soft and breathable Bamboo Jammers and loungewear. All our products are ethically made in Canada! You can read more about her story here. 

Toronto - pyjamas - shop local

Radford Beauty: From one of Toronto’s most well respected skin and beauty experts, Victoria Radford, comes this incredible line of results driven (and vegan!) products for face and body. Her 24K Gold Hydrogel Face Masks are a serious customer favourite. We’re eyeing her new DEW “everything oil” that delivers long lasting hydration all day with a fresh dewy glow that can be used from head-to-toe! Learn more about her studio here. 

Tilley: This isn’t just your grandpa’s safari go-to store anymore but recently the designs have a noticeably more refined look in this traveller’s dream shop. While you can still get that iconic hat we took a double look at their refreshed colour palette and more modern pieces in their apparel line. The Canadian brand still hold high standards to the quality and materials used. We spotted a new Tilley pop up shop at Yorkdale during the holiday season and a brick and mortar store is located at 61 Ossington.

Christopher: Christopher Rouleau is an independent graphic designer, sign painter, and lettering artist based here in Toronto. He’s also a teacher, published author and his work has been featured in several design and fashion publications. He has also worked with clients and collaborations including The Body Shop, Miele, Pride Toronto, LG and many more. His prints are great additions to home and offices!

Christopher Rouleau - One of a Kind Show - Toronto

Julie Sinden: is an award-winning textile artist. Originally from Lake Erie, now living and working in Toronto. She is a lover of the fibre arts ever since she was a child and studied textiles at the Kootenay School of the Arts, a small and eclectic school in the mountains of southeastern British Columbia, where she learned about the wonders of boiled wool from a fellow student. She is proud to now be celebrating 10 years of making her living making things. Aside from hat-making, Julie is also passionate about natural dyeing. She teaches dye classes at The Workroom in Toronto. We love her colourful slippers, mitts and hats to keep us cozy and warm.

Happiness Is… is a casual lifestyle company with a mission to inspire gratitude, connection, and happiness. Toronto based. Ethically and mindfully made in Canada. Their clothes are made with premium yarn that’s not only strong enough to avoid tearing, fraying or pilling but also comfortable, super soft and easygoing to wear. Respecting nature, they also use sustainable and biodegradable yarns such as organic cotton and bamboo. Tees are preshrunk, garment-dyed, and washed again, so the colours have just the right amount of fade for a well-loved and lived-in look that doesn’t shrink.

Ruckus Dog: Sharyn “Sparkie” Carthcart’s vintage inspired modern “dog-cor”designed for wag-worthy products that’s functional, unique and stylish. They spend time researching the characteristics of each breed for their fun leash hanger pieces. The Toronto-based studio sources reclaimed wood and uses low VOC paints.

The Candi Factory: Candice Levine’s cheeky designs have been popular especially with the One of a Kind Show crowd for many years. She’s been designing clothes & underwear that are little edgy and totally obnoxious (in a fun way), but conveniently comfy. For both men and women.  Her studio is located in the Roncy area.

 

EVIO Beauty: is a Female-founded Toronto-based impact-lead clean beauty brand. Their skincase and cosmetic products are made with good-for-you ingredients, vegan, cruelty free, hydrating and dermatologist tested. Their Lip Serum in Speak Up Shade is a soothing one packed with the healing power of hemp and peppermint. High in vitamin F to repair the skin barrier and form a seal over the lips to keep moisture in. The soft oil balm texture will keep lips supple and hydrated with a refreshing cooling effect. The Evio Rejuvinating Mask will be a welcomed one especially the day after the office holiday party. A 2-in-1 wash-off treatment or moisturizer  restores skin’s brightness and hydration. This radiance-boosting mask can be used as a wash-off treatment or overnight moisturizer to restore skin’s brightness and give a healthy glow. A gel-cream texture with plant-based oils and extracts that contribute to a refreshing cooling effect. PLUS – one dollar from every sale of this award-winning Lip Serum (in any shade) will be donated to FreeFrom, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping survivors of intimate partner violence achieve economic justice and long-term financial stability.

Evio Beauty

Monte and Coe Travel Bags: This gorgeous line of ethically produced bags and accessories are made locally in small batches. Using family run manufacturers in Toronto and Montreal, every piece is hand cut, stitched and painted with artisan skill, ensuring impeccable quality in each product. Additionally, by manufacturing limited quantities, they maximize the yield, limiting unnecessary waste and ensuring that their bags and accessories can remain at an attainable price point compared to other high end fashion brands. Their lineup includes weekender bags, totes, briefcases and travel accessories.

VELD Music Festival Pass: Give your loved ones something to look forward to this December with a 3-day GA or 3-day VIP wristband to Canada’s largest dance music festival, VELD Music Festival, taking place at Downsview Park, August 4 – 6, 2023. Festival goers will be able to experience three days of music from renowned electronic and hip-hop artists, with headliners to be announced in early 2023.

3-Day GA: $334.00 CAD
3-Day VIP: $395.50 CAD

Ticket link: https://veld.frontgatetickets.com

***

Looking for food gifts? Check our Food Gift Guide here.

 

 

About Sonya Davidson 858 Articles
Covering events, openings and all the deliciousness in Toronto. Staff reporter for the Toronto International Film Festival. Follow @theculturepearl on Instagram and Twitter. Reach her at sonya@torontoguardian.com