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

Made You Look

10 Toronto Shops for Unique Holiday Gifts

THE YEAR’S BIGGEST SHOPPING SEASON IS UPON US. IF YOU’RE FEELING THE PRESSURE TO FIND SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR THAT ONE-OF-A-KIND FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER, HEAD TO THESE WELL-CURATED TORONTO STORES FOR UNIQUE HOLIDAY GIFTS, MANY OF WHICH ARE HANDMADE TO ENSURE QUALITY AND AUTHENTICITY.

Brika Yorkdale

Brika’s pop-up shop at Yorkdale Shopping Centre is open until January

BRIKA
The motto at Brika is “a well-crafted life,” which sums up the store’s concept: it sells well-made items designed by artisans instead of mass-produced goods. Originally an online business, there’s now a standalone store on Queen West, as well as a pop-up shop at Yorkdale Shopping Centre open through January 2016. Here, shoppers can pick up a beverage and baked goods from the café, and then peruse jewellery, home accessories and more from such designers as Cabin + Cub, Farewell Paperie and Most Modest. The Yorkdale outpost also feature a handy wrapping station for parceling up your purchases, as well as a colouring wall to encourage a bit of some self-expression.

(more…)

Staff Picks: 10 Stores for Unique Gifts

Whether you’re looking for gag gifts or one-of-a kind collectors pieces, these Toronto stores offer creative solutions for the weary holiday shopper.

The Drake Hotel General Store features a bevy of novel products (photo by Connie Tsang)

Bergo Designs
One of the showcase retailers in the Distillery Historic District, Bergo is a hub for the latest and greatest industrial design products—both functional and decorative—for the home, by designers such as Georg Jensen, Alessi, Brothers Dressler and more. 55 Mill St., 416-861-1821.

Blue Banana Market
This eclectic two-storey space in the Kensington Market neighbourhood features a mix of mass-market and artisan-made wares by more than 200 craftspeople and small retailers. You’re not likely to go home empty-handed—everything from area rugs to gourmet food products to musical instruments is available. 250 Augusta Ave., 416-594-6600.

Bookhou
Blending modern and traditional styles, John Booth and Arounna Khounnoraj’s design boutique features their expertly crafted textiles—like bags, pillows and tea towels—wood pieces and wall art, all of which emphasize natural materials. 798 Dundas St. W., 416-203-2549.

Drake Hotel General Store
A re-imagined version of a hotel gift shop, this general store sells contemporary takes on playful and nostalgic items—think fake moustaches, DIY nesting dolls, retro-styled all-sorts jars and many other quirky items. 1144 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042; 1011 Yonge St., 416-966-0553; 82 Bathurst St., 416-703-6518.

The Guild Shop
Since 1932 this Yorkville gallery-boutique has trafficked in the finest art and jewellery handcrafted by Canadian artists. It’s also the city’s oldest retailer of Inuit and Native art, with numerous carvings, prints and tapestries from communities in Canada’s north. 118 Cumberland St., 416-921-1721.

(more…)

Hot Shopping: Local Jewellery Gem

Kate Singer is an accidental artist. The history student-turned-jeweller began selling stained glass accessories at folk festivals after a bout of academic burnout. Her Marmalade Designs creations have since evolved into silkscreened fabrics coated in resin and mounted in sterling silver. Today, the talented Toronto metalsmith has a cult following across the country with more than 20 stores stocking her trademark rings, necklaces, pendants and earrings. Pick them up here at Distill Gallery (55 Mill St., 416-304-0033), Made You Look, The Guild Shop and Red Pegasus, or see her entire collection online, here.

The Creators

Eight Canadian jewellers turned their passions into a profession, and now you can wear the fruits of their artistic labours. Click any of the images below to learn more about Toronto designers including Richard Booth, Linda Penwarden and Anne Sportun.