• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

gifts

Last-Minute Gifts for Dad

By SHERI RADFORD

There’s just one shopping day left before Father’s Day (Jun. 17). But what do you buy the man who has everything? Whether your papa is a hipster, adrenaline junkie, outdoor adventurer, music nerd or sports fan, he’s sure to appreciate shoes and socks that match his true style.

Local brand Native Shoes makes what are, quite possibly, the comfiest footwear ever invented. They’re also lightweight and beast-free (i.e. vegan). Find them at the Native Shoes flagship store in Gastown or at various fashion-forward shoe stores around town.

If your father has a hobby or passion, chances are Stance has a pair of socks to go with it. From sports teams and music stars to funky stripes and Star Wars, every interest is covered. Pick up a pair at Boys’Co, Hill’s of Kerrisdale or Tilley Endurables.

Hot Shopping

Newfoundland-Chocolate

GIVE ME SOME SUGAR

Inspired by the distinctive culture of Canada’s easternmost province, Newfoundland Chocolate Company mixes its sweet treats with whimsy and fun. The packaging features Newfoundland sayings such as “oh me nerves” and the colourful jellybean homes of St. John’s. Inside the chocolate are Newfoundland flavours like partridgeberries or bakeapple. The gelato and truffles are made at the Sunnyside Mall location. Also located at Mic Mac Mall and Halifax Shopping Centre.

 

IMG_6669

UNIQUE CHRISTMAS GIFTS

     —Christmas at the Forum at the Halifax Forum on Windsor Street has been a holiday tradition in the city for four decades. Running from November 3 to 5, this annual festival hosts dozens of vendors, offering gifts, decorations, food, antiques, and more. Discover quality arts and crafts from around the region. On Saturday, admission is two-for-one after 5pm.

Christkindlmarket

     —Visit the Christkindlmarket from December 1 to 3 at Alderney Market on downtown Dartmouth’s waterfront, where the Halifax Transit ferries dock. This traditional German-style market features crafts, toys, and other arts and crafts, plus lots of holiday entertainment—marionettes, carousel, and musical acts.

NSDCC-Market-2

     —From November 17 to 19, Craft Nova Scotia hosts its annual Christmas Show at the Cunard Centre on Halifax’s waterfront. The juried selection includes top-quality textiles, jewelry, and crafts in a variety of media.

Dalplex-Craft-Market---Danny-Abriel-clip

Photo: Christine Darrah

     —The Dalplex Christmas Craft Market is another perennial favourite. Dating back 30 years, it features vendors from across Atlantic Canada selling wares such as pottery, toys, food, and woodwork. Visit Dalplex on South Street from November 24 to 26.

 

     —From November 10 to 12, take a drive to the Halifax Exhibition Centre on Prospect Road for the Christmas Craft Village. It’s another ideal spot to support local artisans while funding unique holiday gifts for everyone on your list.

 

Fireworks-ring-clip

ONE OF A KIND *Editor’s Pick*

At Fireworks Gallery on Barrington Street, goldsmiths create custom jewelry with a fusion of Old World techniques and 21st-century technology. Help create your own design in gold, silver, or platinum, and with precious gemstones. Repair and restoration services available.

 

Hfx-Seaport-Market-3

LOCAL HARVEST

Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market on Lower Water Street is North America’s oldest farmers’ market, but located on one of the downtown’s most innovative buildings. This modern earth-friendly space delivers unique local products aplenty year-round. Find the best in local wines, craft beer, art, clothing, jewelry, and culinary delights. The Saturday-morning market, with live music and every vendor spot abuzz, is a weekend rite for many families.

 

The-Loop-1

KNIT WITS

     —The Loop on Barrington Street is a haven for knitters, supplying a huge variety of yarn. Find patterns to help make accessories for your own wardrobe or to give as gifts. Workshops for knitters of every level.

     —LK Yarns in the Hydrostone Market on Young Street carries a large stock of yarns in textures and colours aplenty.

Ottawa’s Tried & True Shopping

By Chris Lackner

It takes creativity, adaptability, and perseverance to remain a prominent shopping destination amid ever-shifting changes in taste, trends, and clientele. As the country turns 150, we highlight top shops in the capital that have stood the test of time and have thrived for 20 years or more.

Kaliyana

Photo: Ben Welland

Kaliyana ArtwearSince 1987

Kaliyana Artwear offers innovative clothing for women, with sizes 6 to 22 available. Their contemporary, avant-garde designs are inspired by Japanese minimalism, simple and timeless, and driven by unique cuts, textures, fabrics, colours, and prints. Think unstructured shapes with lots of pockets, asymmetric lines, and layers. Most importantly, think comfort. Also, get footloose with international footwear products, including Arche shoes from France and Trippen from Germany.

515 Sussex Dr., 613-562-3676

Howard Fine JewellersSince 1967

No diamond in the rough, this family-owned store is celebrating its 50th anniversary! For one-third of Canada’s existence, Howard Fine Jewellers & Custom Designers has showcased timeless pieces of jewellery from around the world. Its showroom is home to a wide selection of treasures by Canadian and international designers, including Hearts on Fire, Rolex, Tudor, Tacori, Jack Kelege, Jeff Cooper and Furrer Jacot. Howard also offers custom design work and on-site repairs.

220 Sparks St., 613-238-3300

The Gifted Type

Photo: Ben Welland

The Gifted Type ~ Since 1981

The Gifted Type’s products go well beyond glossy print, with an eclectic collection of cards, novelty items, children’s toys, and other small gifts. Formerly known as Mags + Fags (which first opened in the ByWard Market), they have held court on Elgin Street since 1982 — amid a sea change in tenants and residents. Sister store boogie + birdie is right next door, showcasing rare jewellery (including handmade local designers), bath and body products, fashion items, baby clothes, children’s toys, candles, and Turkish towels. 

The Gifted Type, 254 Elgin St., 613-233-9651; boogie + birdie, 256 Elgin St., 613-232-2473

Snow GooseSince 1963

This purveyor of genuine Aboriginal Canadian fine arts and crafts from the Arctic and Canada’s West Coast has been a fixture on Sparks Street since 1963. You’ll find original works of art, including soapstone carvings and masks, along with a large selection of dreamcatchers, original Inuit prints and carvings, Indigenous jewellery designs, and leather goods.

83 Sparks St., 613-232-2213

Davidson's Jewellers

Photo: Ben Welland

Davidson’s JewellersSince 1939

This Ottawa jewel started to shine when founder Eastman Davidson set up a watch and clock repair shop in the family home before opening a storefront in the Glebe. His daughter Judy carried on the family tradition, and their namesake business moved to its current location in 1964. It continues to specialize in things that are shiny, but it has also crafted a glowing reputation for business ethics, service, and quality — not to mention a penchant for giving back to the community. Shine on, you crazy diamond!

790 Bank St., 613-234-4136

J.D. AdamSince 1988

This colourful, dynamic shop in the Glebe showcases an assortment of high-quality kitchenware and home accessories from over 100 high-quality companies such as Emile Henry, KitchenAid, and Cuisinart. It also carries bakeware, tableware, garden and patio accessories, ceramics, and chef gadgets. Smaller fare — including specialty food items, candles and soaps, bottles, vases, and cookbooks — make this a prime gift destination.

795 Bank St., 613-235-8714

Ma CuisineSince 1996

“Cook with it, serve with it, eat with it, Ma Cuisine has it,” they proclaim. And with good reason. Looking for a genuine Japanese turning vegetable slicer? They have that. A butter knife that absorbs the heat from your hand, making it easier to slice through? They have that too. And good ol’ cookie sheets and roasting pans? Check. Whether conventional cook or culinary mad scientist, you’re shopping in the right place. Ma Cuisine is a kitchen supply store with more than the usual muffin tins and rolling pins.

269 Dalhousie St., 613-789-9225

Manhattan West

Photo: Ben Welland

Manhattan West ~ Since 1992

You can save your travel dollars by visiting Manhattan in Canada’s capital. The same mother-and-daughter team have brought Manhattan to Ottawa for over 20 years, showcasing unique, edgy, and exclusive fashions from around the world. The tradition began at their former market location, Manhattan Marque, and continues at their Westboro shop, Manhattan West. You can travel the world of fashion by visiting this charming boutique, where you’ll find contemporary designs from New York, L.A., Italy, France, Germany, and Denmark. A one-stop shop for everything from casual to business wear, dresses to jeans, and exclusive accessories to stylish footwear.

322 Richmond Rd, 613-695-0517

Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’sSince 1977

Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s unique collection of toys is probably the envy of Santa’s elves. Their original location opened in 1977 with the same product focus the local chain has today: well-made, creative toys that spark children’s imagination. They pledge a commitment to toys that meet a high standard for “both play and educational value” and “trusty old favourites that have stood the test of time.” Their classic products are showcased alongside new, innovative playthings. These toys are not only for the young, but also for the young at heart; a visit to Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s will make adults feel like a kid all over again. Locations include The Glebe, Bayshore Shopping Centre, Rideau Shopping Centre, Place d’Orléans Mall, and Westboro.

809 Bank St., 613-234-3836

The PaperySince 1986

This colourful store in the Glebe has been hosting a non-stop paper party for 30 years. Gift-giving is made easy with The Papery’s array of greeting and holiday cards, artistic giftware, gift wrap, tissue paper (over 50 shades), ribbons, and gift boxes. They even offer a wrapping service. Party plan with napkins and plates and seasonal decor. Life plan with calligraphy supplies, agendas, journals, envelopes, and unique, vibrant colour stock. Plan for fun with colouring books, stickers, recipe books, rubber stamps, and origami to entertain the kids.

850 Bank St., 613-230-1313

Kunstadt Sports

Photo: Ben Welland

Kunstadt SportsSince 1988

Kunstadt Sports started as a small business in Kanata run by a clan of athletes and sports enthusiasts. They even operated out of the family’s home basement! It has grown to three thriving sports-equipment stores spread across Ottawa. Given our wintery capital, it specializes in snow sports, but Kunstadt also covers other seasons with an all-star lineup of equipment — from cycling and tennis gear to running shoes. Servicing for skis, snowboards, racquets, and bikes is available on-site, and Kunstadt even sells their own brands of skis and bikes. Their employees are athletes, too, as Kunstadt commits to employing accomplished skiers, bikers, tennis players, and fitness gurus. Sounds like a game plan for success.

680 Bank St., 613-233-4820; 462 Hazeldean Rd., 613-831-2059; 1583 Bank St., 613-260-0696

Octopus BooksSince 1969

This independent bookstore has multiple tentacles. It specializes in alternative and left-wing contemporary and classic books on subjects including politics, environmentalism, feminism, health and Indigenous studies. Author readings, book launches, and community classroom nights (guest lectures, debates, and more) make this bookstore an event destination. The original location opened in 1969 before moving to the Glebe 20 years ago, and the downtown location opened in 2012.

116 Third Ave., 613-233-2589; 251 Bank St., 613-688-0752

Gift-List Must: Backpacking Beauty Products

Dec. 12, 2015
By Morgan Kwan

Editor’s note: We’re stoked that Morgan Kwan has joined Where Canadian Rockies as a guest blogger! This Calgarian not only has an entertaining and insightful outdoors blog, but now she and her friend Andrea have their own beauty product line. Read on to meet Morgan and get inspiration for your Christmas gift ideas!

BowHut-39

It’s not very often that you find 20 women of different backgrounds and experience levels marching up a mountain, laughing and encouraging each other to work through the fatigue. Experiences like this are at the core of Beauty In The Backcountry, my blog that strives to breakdown the intense outdoor sports stereotype and inspire people, especially women, to push themselves and give these activities a try.

(more…)

Hot Shopping

By Suzanne Rent

dart-gallery-4-resized

FOR THE LOVE OF ART

Lovers of local art will enjoy the offerings at The Dart Gallery on Portland Street in Dartmouth. Owner Jane MacDougald sources local artwork such as paintings, pottery, jewelry, and collectibles. The gallery also hosts art shows. Art consultation services, installation, and lease-to-purchase financing options available.

STOP AND SHOP

Mic Mac Mall

Mic Mac Mall

• With more than 120 stores, Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth offers a variety of high-end retailers and special services perfect for seasonal shopping, anchored by iconic department store The Bay. Three floors of shops includes American Eagle Outfitters, Bath and Bodyworks, Lush, and Forever 21.
• Situated in the West End, Halifax Shopping Centre is the city’s largest shopping mall with 160 stores and services. Shop for a winter wardrobe at Banana Republic, American Eagle Outfitters, or Cleo. Find matching shoes and handbag at Aldo, Naturalizer, or Coach. One-stop-holiday shopping for everyone on your gift list.

GIFTS WITH PURPOSE

Jennifer's of Nova Scotia

Jennifer’s of Nova Scotia

P’lovers, with locations on South Park Street in Halifax and Queen Street in Dartmouth, is the perfect destination for the shopper who likes to make purchases that are sensitive to the Earth. The product line includes eco-friendly art, clothing, books, stationary, home décor, jewelry, and items for the outdoors.
• Since 1978, Jennifer’s of Nova Scotia on Spring Garden Road has been a big supporter of Atlantic Canadian artisans who make unique gifts and works of art. The selection includes pottery, glass, wood, pewter, jewelry, and food; you’re sure to find something special for everyone on your holiday shopping list.

STORY SELLERS

Woozles

Woozles

Woozles on Birmingham Street is Canada’s oldest children’s bookstore. It boasts shelves of books that inspire any imagination. Titles include those for baby’s first year of reading to those for young adults. Beyond books, Woozles hosts Battle of the Books, book clubs, book fairs, and more.
• For comic lovers, Strange Adventures, Comics and Curiosities on Prince Street in Halifax is a treasure trove of new and old comics, games, clothing, toys, and more. The award-winning comic book store also hosts Free Comic Book Day.

FULL OF FLAVOUR

Liquid Gold

Liquid Gold

For the foodie on your shopping list, find savoury gifts of olive oil and vinegars at Liquid Gold in The Hydrostone and Sunnyside Mall in Bedford. All of the oils in store are ultra premium and made with the best crops in any season. The balsamic vinegars are made in a family-owned facility in Moderna, Italy. Pestos, tapenades, mustards, and confits will help finish off the shopping for any choosy cook.

EDITOR’S CHOICEFreak-Lunchbox-Exterior-South-2-resized

For gifts for those with a sweet tooth and a huge sense of fun, visit Freak Lunchbox at its Barrington Street location in Halifax or in Sunnyside Mall in Bedford. This colourful store is bursting with nostalgic novelties such as Pez and Pop Shoppe. Grab a bag of bulk candies in myriad varieties or check out the bobbleheads of cultural icons.

 

Hot Shopping: Bling it at The Vault

Bracelet at the Vault

Revamp your jewellery collection and step into The Vault. From classic flower and heart designs to vibrant beads, pearls and modern gems, there’s a wide style selection for any occasion. Located at The Halifax Shopping Centre and Spring Garden Place, the store boasts 16 designer collections, including Sara Blaine, Pandora and more.

Hot Shopping: Locally Inspired & Custom Halifax Creations

Henhouse at The Hydrostone

Henhouse offers creations of all shapes and sizes.

For those wanting to add some local inspiration to their home style, visit Henhouse for handcrafted furniture pieces and more. Located at The Hydrostone, the store has been around since 2001. Whether you’re going the rustic route or aiming for a modern mix, you can choose from the South Shore Collection and Oxford Collection. Already have an idea in mind? Bring a sample picture and they’ll get the job done. The store also offers a wide range of candles, crafts and, yes, even sock monkeys.

Craving a piece of the East Coast? Jennifer’s of Nova Scotia is all about creations made and inspired in Atlantic Canada. Located on Spring Garden Road, it’s a popular go-to spot for tourists and locals alike. The store showcases the work of more than 200 artists in the region. Check out the unique pottery pieces and colourful glass décor, or head over to the section of books by local authors, traditional crafts and handmade jewellery.

Drop by the Bogside Gallery at The Hydrostone for a dose of local talent. Whether you’re in the market for handmade scarves, stylish slippers, unique dishes, Maritime inspired decorations or neat gift ideas, there’s something for everyone.

Care for a bubble bath? Check out Seafoam Lavender Farm Ltd. year-round at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market for an assortment of homemade lavender creations. Based in Seafoam, N.S., this company has everything from aromatherapy, shampoos and lotions to culinary treats and household cleaning products.

Editor’s Choice
Make your kitchen style stand out with Swaine Street Woodworking. With the workshop located in Halifax’s west end, products are available at several spots around town. Specializing in handcrafted cutting and charcuterie boards, butcher blocks, rosemary lemon cutting board oil and Nova Scotia beeswax polish. Turning everyday kitchen tools into stylish pieces, each one is practical.

Hot Shopping: The Perfect Gift for Fido

Only the finest for Fido. Photo: Adele Brunnhofer.

We are loving these cute dog bowls from The Bay’s HBC Dog Collection. Available in small, medium and large sizes, the Silhouette bowls retail from $24 to $25, while the striped bowls run from $20 to $28.

Available at The Bay’s five Calgary locations at Chinook Centre, Southcentre, Market Mall, Sunridge Mall and downtown in The Core. 

Father’s Day Travel Gift Guide: 12 Ideas for Dads

By SHANNON KELLY

A dozen dad gifts for the father who gets out of doors, out on the road or just has a penchant for travel-friendly gadgets.

Start the slideshow »

(more…)

Mother’s Day Gift Guide for Travel-Lovin’ Mamas

By SHANNON KELLY

A dozen ideas for moms who travel this Mother’s Day—no matter what her style! (more…)

Hot Shopping: Shop Talk: Passionate about Paper

Kitschy kitchen gear, hand-crafted, made-in-Winnipeg dolls and funky and fabulous stationery are just a few of the things that have made The Paper Gallery the go-to gift and greeting card store for 35 years. Personalized customer service keep shoppers coming back season after season. Owners Anne and Itzik Joudan (pictured)—who know many customers by name—are the heart of the business. The couple bought the store 15 years ago and moved it from its original Academy Road location to its current Corydon Avenue home five years ago. Today, the pair makes annual buying trips to gift shows in Toronto and New York where they shop with Winnipeggers in mind. “We buy fun but practical gifts,” Anne says. Indeed. From the oinking pig, chip-bag clip to the apron accessorized with a string of pearls, humour is present on every shelf. 1437 Corydon Ave, 204-488-2585, Map 2: D-3.

 

Travel-Friendly Convertible Winter Coat for New Moms and Moms-to-Be

The M Coat can be worn as maternity outerwear and two ways pre- or post-pregnancy.

Splurging on a maternity coat can seem wasteful, prompting all sorts of makeshift winter wear and exposed-belly dilemmas. Not ideal—especially if you’re planning a “babymoon” this winter. (more…)