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The 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Everyone has their own idea of the perfect holiday. Some like to cook up a storm, others head for the hills. And then there are those for whom holidays mean dressing up and hitting every fabulous party. No matter how you like to wile away the time, our holiday gift guide has you covered.

Party Time

Diamond Earrings at Howard Fine Jewellers, 220 Sparks St.

Sparkle like a red-carpet star with these stunning dangle earrings, which feature round and yellow enhanced diamonds. $19,500.

Dirty Jokes at Stomping Ground, 728 Bank St.

Take your cocktail party banter to a new level with this collection of adult jokes. $11

Ace Face Shoes at John Fluevog Shoes, 61 William St.

These fancy lace-up derbys by the celebrated Canadian designer will ensure that you step out in style. $349.

Appliqué Minaudière Purse at Nordstrom50 Rideau St.

Add texture and shine to an evening outfit with this pint-sized purse. $169.

Silk Ties at E.R. Fisher199 Richmond Rd.

Dion neckwear has been making high-quality silk ties ($95-$135) and pocket rounds ($65) out of Toronto for 40 years.


Cheese Board at Boogie & Birdie, 256 Elgin St.

Show your national pride with this made-in-Canada bamboo cheese board. $106.

Reusable Bags at terra201304 Wellington St. W.

Be a wise owl and use these cute reusable bags, which come in a package of two. $15.

Japanese Blade at Knifewear, 800 Bank St.

The Mugen Santoku is a multi-purpose knife perfect for slicing, dicing, and mincing vegetables. $500.

Wood Finish at Maker House Company, 987 Wellington St. W.

Enhance and protect your wooden utensils and cutting boards with this all-natural beeswax product. $8.

Food Storage at The Chef’s Paradise1314 Bank St.

This alternative to plastic wrap uses the heat of your hand to create a seal. $30.


Mountaineering Board Game by Family Pastimes

Watch for avalanches, overcome frostbite, and grapple with other challenges in this cooperative, locally-made board game. $21.

Poop Coaster at Maker House Company, 987 Wellington St. W.

This coaster protects furniture — and lets guests know you’re not that uptight. $22. 

Good Gorilla at The Modern Shop, 541 Sussex Dr.

Hanno the gorilla can hold poses and hook onto furniture, bringing a touch of fun to any space. $150.

Snoopy Backpack at Simons, 50 Rideau St.

This Peanuts backpack by Vans features a padded back and adjustable strap. $45.

Phone Case at Boogie & Birdie, 256 Elgin St.

Is it mixed tape or mix tape? Regardless, transform your iPhone into an icon with this throwback case. $36.

Cozy Up

Earmuffs at the Hudson’s Bay Company50 Rideau St.

These faux fur earmuffs from the Canadian Olympic Team Collection feature a cozy knit headband. Also available in red. $30.

Box of Chocolates by Bernard Callebaut314 Richmond Rd.

This collection features handcrafted chocolates, five of which are award winners. $24.

Grand Teapot at Le Creuset517 Sussex Dr.

This teapot has a capacity of four cups — so your reading (or Netflix-binging) time won’t be interrupted by the need to put the kettle on. $60.

Canadian Club 40 YO at the LCBO, various locations

Toast Canada’s 150th with limited-edition Canadian Club Whisky that has been aged for 40 years. $250. 

Wool Blanket at The Opinicon1697 Chaffeys Lock Rd.

Handmade in Canada, this 100 per cent virgin wool blanket is the same one that graces the beds at the historical Opinicon Resort. $195.


Weatherproof Pad at Lee Valley, 900 Morisson Dr.

The Rite in the Rain notebook will not absorb water, nor will it curl or wrinkle. $9.50.

Craft Beer at the LCBO, various locations

Get adventurous with your tastebuds with beer from Ontario’s Collective Arts and Flying Monkeys. About $3.

Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket at Bushtukah, 203 Richmond Rd.

This lightweight down winter jacket is ideal for when the temperatures drop and weight is a concern. $350.

Eton Grundig Executive Satellite Radio at MEC, 366 Richmond Rd.

This device receives AM, FM, long and shortwave, VHF, marine, and HAM signals. $200.

The Bripe at Equator Coffee Roasters, 412 Churchill Ave. N.

You don’t want to lug a coffee pot to the great outdoors but need a caffeine fix. This copper apparatus and its kit allows the user to brew up an espresso in just a few minutes. $99.

Interview With David Suzuki

By Brendon Purdy

By Brendon Purdy

Where Edmonton Editor Lindsay Shapka had a chat with David Suzuki about his new book Letters To My Grandchildren, and about what is next for the well-known Canadian. Suzuki will be in Edmonton, at the Metro Cinema on June 27, 2015 for a live talk about this page-turning read.

WHERE (W): It seems like a very personal topic, writing to your grandchildren, but obviously you must have felt that there is a larger message in there, and a larger audience for it. Why did you decide to share these letters with the world?

David Suzuki (DS): It is a very personal book, but it was a very easy book to write compared to my other ones because it was like I was talking to my grandchildren. But, I did write it to appeal to other people. I am really issuing a call to elders to get off the couch and off the golf course and get on with the really important part of their lives, which is passing on the lessons that we have learned. Young people need to hear what we have gone through — our successes and our failures. I do hope young people will read it as well. A lot of my ideas come from my life [experiences], and I am hoping that [the book] will spark ideas in young readers.

W: Are there any important messages that you are hoping readers will take from the book?

DS: I do have some [messages in the book] regarding the First Nations people, as two of my grandchildren are Indigenous people that live on a reserve in Haida Gwaii.
There are a lot of environmental messages as well, which is kind of what people expect from me. But I also pass, on lessons from working with the media — the media creates a persona that you see on TV, but that has nothing to do with who I am.
The two things I didn’t talk about in detail are my foundation which I am very proud of, and my career as a scientist because I have written about both of those things extensively in other books.

W: Speaking to the idea of fame, I know that you are very famous for a lot of things — you have won multiple awards, you have countless honourary degrees — but what is it that you have accomplished that matters most to you?

DS: Well, to me there is only one thing, and that is my children and my grandchildren. My greatest contribution is children who are decent, hardworking and talented human beings who are contributing to society themselves. I am very, very proud of that.

W: When you were the same age as your grandchildren, what did you want to be when you grew up?

DS: I had an insect collection, and I used to run through the fields and search for new bugs. I was particularly keen on beetles and I wanted to be an entomologist. Then, as I got older people started telling me that I would never get a job as an entomologist, so then I wanted to be an Ichthyologist because I loved fishing! But, I fell in love with genetics when I was in college and that just changed everything for me.

W: What’s next for you?

DS: I want to spend more time with my grandchildren, but my wife has told me to stop using the word “retirement”. Right now my health is okay, and I really passionately care about environmental and social issues because of my grandchildren. I will continue to speak out whenever I have the opportunity and try to make any sort of impact.

In the book I tell the story about the hummingbird. It is an old Indigenous story that tells about a forest fire that breaks out and a hummingbird going by sees the fire. He flies over to a pond, gets a beak full of water, flies back to the fire, drops the water on it, and goes back to the pond. The bird is going back and forth with a small beak full of water, and all the other animals of the forest are just laughing and saying, “What are you doing? You’re not going to put the fire out!” And he just looks at them and says, “I’m doing the best I can.”

And that’s all I have ever done and will continue to do — the best I can.


Hot Halifax Shopping – Five for Readers

Atlantic News

Atlantic News on Morris

Five shops for those seeking a good read in Halifax.

Woozles, Birmingham Street: Canada’s oldest bookstore for children; classic picture books, educational volumes, movies, music, toys and games aplenty.

Maps & More, Lower Water Street: City maps, travel guides, road atlases, nautical charts, travel accessories and reference books.

Venus Envy, Barrington Street: Education-oriented bookstore and sex shop; feminist, queer and left-leaning books and magazines in many genres.

Atlantic News, Morris Street: Magazines and newspapers from around the globe; same-day editions of 400 newspapers from over 60 countries printed on site.

Veritas Catholic Books, Barrington Street: Books and devotional items from the Catholic tradition; books by recent popes, literary fiction on religious topics, prayer books, religious art and more.

Meet Nigel Beale of the Literary Tourist

Haven’t given up on the printed page in the era of digital media? For book lovers who also love travel, the Literary Tourist is a rare find.

The site, launched in 2011 by Nigel Beale, an Ottawa-based writer, broadcaster and admitted bibliophile, has a huge database of bookstores, literary events, and significant literary landmarks around the globe—everything from the Charles Dickens Museum in London to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter amusement park in Orlando. It even includes a few literary hotels. (Did you know there were literary hotels? We didn’t.) (more…)

Hot Shopping: Fun and Funky Holiday Gift Ideas

Now that we’ve officially hit December, the countdown is on. In just a few weeks, you’ll have tons of pretty presents under the tree. To make getting there a little easier, we’ve highlighted a few gift ideas that you can snag for someone on your list (including those out-of-towners), or use for inspiration. Happy hunting!

Black doesn't mean basic with this Empreinte bra.

Lingerie is a classic, and for good reason. Take the time to give your girl something she’ll love from Brachic (service is top-notch, so feel free to ask for help and suggestions). Along with higher-end brands like Empreinte (featured), Prima Donna, and Andres Sarda, this boutique has an extensive range of sizes (A to N with band sizes 28 to 46), as well as colours, materials, and fits. Thank us later. 433 Richmond Rd., 613-321-0401.

You Are Here: Old Strathcona

Image courtesy of Noel Zinger

With over 600 eclectic, independent and alternative shops and services to explore, it’s little wonder Old Strathcona is regarded as the place to experience Edmonton’s finest live theatre and music, boutique shopping, dining and nightlife. Read on for some of our top spots in this historical district and then visit www.oldstrathcona.ca for even more. (more…)

Hot Shopping: 5 for Readers

Atlantic News

•    Bookmark, Spring Garden Road: Atlantic Canada’s largest independent bookseller; best-sellers, local works, travel books, unique gifts.

•    Woozles, Birmingham Street: Canada’s oldest bookstore for children; classic picture books, educational volumes, toys and games aplenty.

•    Maps & More , Lower Water Street: City maps, travel guides, road atlases, nautical charts, travel accessories and
reference books.

•    Atlantic News, Morris Street: Magazines and newspapers from around the globe; same-day editions of 400 newspapers from over 60 countries printed on site.

•    Veritas Catholic Books, Barrington Street: Books and devotional items from the Catholic tradition; books by recent popes, literary fiction on religious topics, prayer books, religious art and more.

Hot Date: Book Bonanza

Jonathan Franzen appears at this year's International Festival of Authors

OCTOBER 20 TO 30 Rub shoulders with some renowned writers as they gather for the International Festival of Authors, an annual meet-and-greet of the best and brightest from contemporary literature. Boasting a number of events—from readings and roundtables to interviews and book signings—the event gives due credit to the written word. Award-winning writers including Jonathan Franzen, David Mitchell, Dionne Brand and Yann Martel are expected to attend. Harbourfront Centre, various times, $15 to $25, some events free; call 416-973-4000 or click here for tickets.

The WHERE List: Canada’s Best Bookstores


We asked our editors across the country for their picks for the best independent book stores in their cities–places that offer a unique selection of books as well as a comfortable atmosphere.


For young bibliophiles (and the people who love them) Woozles Children’s Bookstore is a must-visit destination in Halifax. In the heart of the downtown on Birmingham Street, it’s Canada’s oldest independent bookstore for children, carrying a wide range of books, from the whimsical to the educational.


In Victoria, the word bookstore is synonymous with Munro’s Books, an institution along historic Government Street for more than four decades. Described by Allan Fotheringham as Canada’s most magnificent bookstore, Munro’s offers a vast selection of titles on virtually every topic. Don’t miss the beautiful wall hangings by fabric artist Carole Sabiston.


Locally owned chain McNally Robinson Booksellers is one of the country’s best independent book sellers. Along with a vast selection of books and magazines, its two Winnipeg locations stock great giftware, host numerous music nights and readings, and house popular restaurant Prairie Ink Cafe.


Pages Books on Kensington is an independent bookshop with two floors of more than 10,000 titles in literature, children’s books, specialty and non-fiction. The staff are avid bookworms themselves, and are helpful with recommendations–they will even assist you in tracking down a book if it is not in the store. The shop also has special visits from authors like Timothy Findley and Rohinton Mistry.


Downtown booklovers find comfort (and much to splurge on) at Ben McNally Books. The upscale shop is a mecca for first-run hardcovers, and if nothing immediately catches your eye, knowledgeable staff (including the store’s namesake owner) are quick to offer recommendations. Type Books is another alternative to chain booksellers in two trendy Toronto neighbourhoods—the cozy literary boutiques offer a well-curated selection of books by Canadian authors, particularly those who make their home in Toronto.

Canadian Rockies

Canmore’s Cafe Books is the Alberta Rockies’ only independent book store that sells new releases. Their wide range of titles includes local guidebooks, fiction, current affairs, plus a large young adult and children’s section. Cafe Books also plays host to monthly author events by local and international writers. Their warm and inviting atmosphere is completed with a selection of jewellery, pottery and artworks by Canadian artists.


At Belgravia Books And Treasures find rare, recent and out-of-print books, antiques and curios, framed paintings and prints. Friendly proprietor Robert Wuetherick loves to guide browsers through an exceptional range of next-to-new and vintage children’s books and educators’ resources as well as literature, popular fiction, special interest books, and a smorgasbord of cookbooks.


Collected Works is an independent bookstore that stocks Canadian, American, and British books with a strong emphasis on literary fiction, poetry, and children’s books. The store is also a venue for exhibitions by local artists, readings by writers, book club discussions, and workshops for aspiring writers.


For guidebooks, fiction titles, magazines, and more, locals and visitors alike flock to Armchair Books, a family-owned and -operated store in the heart of the village.


Budding chefs head to Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks to find cookbooks written by everyone from local luminaries to international superstars. Junior bookworms love the huge selection and family-friendly atmosphere at Kidsbooks. Duthie Books Fourth Avenue sells cookbooks, children’s books, and every other kind of book you can imagine.