Scrambling to do last minute holiday shopping? Wracking your brain for Toronto gift ideas to round out stocking stuffers? I will give you 2 solid reasons why you should shop local this Christmas:
1) Buying local builds a strong local economy and keeps jobs close to home. In difficult times like we’ve been experiencing in 2020, it’s more important than ever that we raise each other up by supporting family owned and operated businesses.
2) Shopping local will give you that extra boost of good juju to ensure that you don’t end up on Santa’s naughty list. Yea, you know what you did. You need all the help you can get 😈 and so do these small, local businesses 😇
Those are some pretty solid reasons if I do say so myself. Clearly I missed my calling as a lawyer (I’d be a horrible lawyer). Now that I’ve convinced you to see things my way, here’s how you can take action.
How To Shop Local For Christmas:
+ Check if your favourite store or restaurant went online: When small businesses were forced to close due to lockdown, to stay afloat they had to pivot from brick and mortar shops to selling products online. Check if your favourite store has gone online or even their social media for ways to shop local for Christmas.
+ Gift Cards/Certificates: Like I mentioned in this post, this method of paying cash upfront is a great help to small businesses that don’t have e-commerce set up. Plus gift cards take all the guesswork out of choosing exactly what your loved one wants.
+ Shop on independent seller sites: You’ll be able to find much more custom, unique gifts on sites that feature products by small business owners like Etsy or Not Amazon, a website that aims to boost local businesses across Canada.
+ Ask friends, colleagues, neighbours and family for recommendations: If you’re drawing a blank for Toronto gift ideas that will help support local shops, simply ask around! Guaranteed someone you know has a fav hidden gem in their ‘hood or knows someone from their pilates group who started a side hustle.
Sure, shopping local is a little extra money and effort but luckily for you, I’ve done all the legwork, compiling a list of covetable presents that small businesses in Toronto offer, tailored for every personality.
From the workaholic to the coffee addict to the crazy plant lady in your life, there’s a gift for every special person in your life this holiday season:
Toronto Gift Ideas for: the workaholic
Three Ships Self-Care Kit
We all have those friends who work themselves into the ground who need a big ol’ TIME OUT🙅🏻♀️ For an indulgent gift that will remind them to practice some self-care, this kit from Three Ships Beauty includes a calming lavender toner, tropical piña colada-flavoured lip scrub and green tea clay mask — all full-sized and 100% natural.
Three Ships Self-Care Kit, $61.00, available at Three Ships Beauty.
Gold Apothecary Salt of the Month Club
What’s more soothing than a long soak in the tub? For a monthly reminder for quality You-time, give the gift of fancy AF bath salts that will be delivered January, February and March. You can choose from Gold Apothecary’s dreamy signature scents — Sweet Bergamot, Citrus Eucalyptus and Lavender Fields.
Gold Apothecary Salt of the Month Club, $69.00, available at Gold Apothecary.
Murphy & Jo Candle Co.
Encourage loved ones to trade blue light for candle light with a Murphy & Jo candle to set the mood. With several delightful scents to choose from ( grapefruit and rosemary, tobacco and vanilla, etc…) each 9oz candle will provide 80 hours of fragrant relaxation. Bonus holiday spirit points: a portion of proceeds goes to Save Our Scruff, a non-profit dedicated to finding rescue dogs permanent homes.
Murphy & Jo Candle Co Candle, $32.00, available at Murphy & Jo.
Toronto Gift Ideas for: The Plant Obsessed
MIKA’s Original “Jellyfish” Pot + Air Plant
You won’t find a more unique gift for the plant lover in your life than this verdant creation of a handmade urchin pot and air plant. The “Jellyfish” is the result of the owner’s love of the ocean and pottery — an air plant housed within a speckled pot textured with real coral for a hint of the sea. P.S. Air plants are easy indoor plants for beginners since they require very little maintenance.
MIKA “Jellyfish” Pot + Air Plant, $45.00, available at MIKA.
JOMO Studio Sprout Propagation Station
Give the gift of witnessing the miracle of plant life growing before your very eyes with this sprout propagation station from JOMO Studio, an “art handcraft planterior design studio.” Its sleek, clear glass tubes are set in gold-toned metal racks that’ll make the recipient feel like a sexy scientist.
JOMO Studio Sprout Propagation Station, $50.00, available at JOMO Studio.
Plant Collective DIY Terrarium Kit
How cute is this terrarium??!! If you’re aiming to shop local for Christmas, look no further than the DIY terrarium kit from the Toronto-based Plant Collective, the ideal gift idea to keep idle hands busy. You can customize the colour of the moss, gravel and sand colour, and even the finish of the cube container frame.
Plant Collective DIY Air Plant Terrarium Kit – Cube, $69.99 (sale), available at Plant Collective.
Toronto Gift Ideas for: The Fitness Fanatic
SAYA the Label Athleisurewear
Every fitness fanatic could use a little freshening up to their workout wardrobe, whether it’s for a yoga sesh or to run errands. SAYA draws inspiration from edgy, modern, bold women and it shows in their high quality athleisure essentials like the crossback bra and high rise legging in matching neutral hues.
Greenhouse Juice Co. Cleanse Crate
Help the clean eater in your life get a head start on a healthy new year with a cleanse crate from Greenhouse, a Canadian beverage company based in Toronto. You can choose a Gentle, Standard or Green cleanse that include a range of nutritious concoctions (think spicy turmeric lemonade and green juice) and how many days (1-3) worth of drinks.
Greenhouse Juice Co. Standard Cleanse Crate – 1 day ($59), available at Greenhouse.
6IX Cycle On Demand
All I want for Christmas is….an endorphin rush? Spinning on a Peloton bike at home alone just isn’t the same so get them a monthly subscription to 6IX On Demand. It’s an all-access pass to energetic classes that they can watch so they work up a sweat with the 6IX Cycle team from any device, any time. They even rent out spin bikes!
6IX Cycle 6IX On Demand Subscription ($19/month), available at 6IX Cycle.
Toronto Gift Ideas for: The hungry foodie
Culinary Adventure Co. Food Tour in a Box
One of my favourite gifts is a memorable experience. Culinary Adventure Co. supports small and local restaurants with curated boxes with multicultural bites from various neighbourhoods in Toronto like the Chinatown + Kensington Market Food Tour including pie from Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, dim sum from my favourite Toronto Chinatown restaurants and more!
Culinary Adventure Co. Food Tour in a Box ($99), available at Culinary Adventure Co.
Matheson Cookware Cast Iron Pan
If the foodie in your life has been spending 2020 sharpening their culinary skills, get them a piece of cookware that means serious business. Local celebrity chef, Matty Matheson, has come out with a cast iron frying pan that has enough surface area to make basting and stirring much easier while ensuring an even sear.
Matheson Cookware 10″ Cast Iron Pan ($200), available at Matheson Cookware.
Xylk Reusable Grocery Bag
Caring about the environment is cool. You know what’s even cooler? These locally made reusable grocery bags by Toronto designer Xylk (pronounced “silk’). You foodie friend will love transporting their goodies home in these nostalgic carriers in style, particularly in the one featuring “It” girls from the 2000s.
Xylk 2000s It Girl Grocery Bag ($50), available at Xylk.
Toronto Gift Ideas for: The coffee addict
Subtext Coffee Filter Subscription
Subtext is a small collective of “coffee professionals roasting in Toronto” that offer the perfectly caffeinated gift idea in the form of a coffee subscription. You can choose flavour profile, coffee or espresso, size, number of bags and the frequency schedule you’d like the freshly roasted coffee to be delivered and enjoyed well beyond the holiday season.
Subtext Coffee Filter Subscription, starting at $40.00 for two 250g bags, available at Subtext Coffee.
Pilot Coffee Roasters French Press
A Toronto gift idea for the coffee connoisseur who likes their morning brew just so, grab a French press from Pilot Coffee Roasters. Made with quality heatproof glass, it’ll allow users to make a cup of coffee exactly to their individual tastes while retaining a robust natural flavour. It can even to used to steep loose leaf tea with the fine mesh filter!
Timemore French Press, $42.00, available at Pilot Coffee Roasters.
Strange Love Coffee Gift Card
‘Tis the season to give..but what about giving back? Buy a gift card from Strange Love and know that you’ve not only found a great gift for your loved one, but for every $5 spend, they’re donating one meal to the Toronto Food Banks. Bonus good karma points! And how about that tropical packaging design, huh?
Strange Love Coffee Gift Card, from $25.00, available at Strange Love Coffee.
Toronto Gift Ideas for: the skincare enthusiast
Amalusta Truth Balms
Looking for luxe stocking stuffers? Amalusta offers plenty of skin-loving essentials full of high quality plant-based ingredients to pamper your loved ones. Grab a couple of nourishing Truth Balms in 6 different shades, packed full of shea butter, mango butter, orange wax, and papaya and pomegranate extracts to protect and hydrate the skin.
Amalusta Truth Balm, $20.00, available at Amalusta.
Province Apothecary Daily Glow Bundle
For skin that’s glowing as radiantly as your Christmas tree, The Daily Glow Bundle from Province Apothecary is the perfect way to shop local this Christmas. Crafted for sensitive skin, this bundle includes a cleanser/makeup remover, toner, face serum and moisturizer — all made in small batches to ensure the highest quality.
Province Apothecary The Daily Glow Bundle, $112.00, available at Province Apothecary.
6BabeBeauty Facial Kit
Treat your loved one to a facial from the comfort of their home! A rose quartz facial roller & facial gua sha make the ultimate skin care combo. They will smooth wrinkles, improve circulation and lymphatic drainage, sculpt the face…plus it’s a very soothing addition to the morning routine.
6BabeBeauty Facial Kit, $65.00, available at 6BabeBeauty.
Local Toronto Shops To Find Gift Ideas:
If browsing an array of wares and products to spark gift ideas for loved ones is more your jam, check out these local Toronto shops:
+ Easy Tiger: A lifestyle concept store offering a curated selection of carefully designed and well-made goods including home décor items, paper goods, unisex accessories, jewelry and gifts.
+ Spruce Toronto: A home decor and lifestyle goods boutique in the heart of Cabbagetown with a range of locally sourced vintage and handmade finds.
+ Pictus Goods: A stylish flower shop in the Junction that specializes in gifts mades exclusively by women in Canada, such as salt soaks, clay masks and fresh and dried free-form floral arrangements.
+ Likely General: Since opening in 2013, this inclusive retail store, event space, and gallery has worked with over 300 artists. You’ll find eclectic home decor, handmade goods & edible gifts to shop local this Christmas.
+ Health Hut: This one-stop-shop is where you’ll find a wide selection of natural, green beauty and self-care products from creams to candles.
+ Labour of Love: For Toronto gift ideas aplenty, you’re sure to discover new artists and unique treasures at this concept store that collaborates with artists and cross-promotes other local, small, independent businesses.
+ Scout: On the hunt for handmade gifts by Canadian and independent makers? You’ll find curated thoughtful goods for home and lifestyle at both their Roncesvalles and Leslieville locations.
I have so much respect for all of these small businesses in Toronto who are hustling like crazy to make it through this difficult time. They deserve all the attention and support we can give them as a community so shop local for Christmas. Heck, with all this giving you’re doing, you deserve to pick up a lil’ sumthin’ sumthin’ yourself 😉
For other ways to show small businesses some love this holiday, check out this post for supporting local Toronto Restaurants and Bars right now.
Keep your stalking game strong and follow me @teriaki if you aren’t already!